MOTORISTS have protected birds to thank for avoiding a full summer of roadworks, after avocets were found nesting alongside the A13.
Two dozen pairs of the protected species were found by National Grid engineers, who were hoping to carry out £30million of repairs to overhead cables and pylons along 24 miles from Rayleigh to Tilbury.
The proposed work meant drivers would have had to contend with temporary lane and road closures on the A127, A130 and A13 throughout the summer, but the work has been put back until the end of July, so the birds are not disturbed during the nesting season.
Work was scheduled to start in May, but was rescheduled following the discovery.
Project manager Graham Livings said: “National Grid has a vital job to do connecting people to their energy supplies. However, we always try to do our vital work as sensitively as possible, doing all we canto minimise any impact on local communities and the environment.
“Our ecologists work closely with local community stakeholders, including the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, to ensure we don’t have any adverse impact on the local environment.
“Avocets are a very rare bird and, after discussions with the RSPB, we decided the best thing to do would be to postpone this section of the work".