Furious gypsies blocked a busy dual carriageway for five hours in protest after a teenage boy was killed by a car on his way to McDonald’s.
Joseph Sheridan, 13, died after being hit by a BMW on the A127 near Basildon, Essex at around 8pm on Monday.
The busy 70mph road runs past the Dale Farm travellers’ site which hit the headlines five years ago after evictions turned violent.
Dozens of gypsy demonstrators turned up on Tuesday to blockade the road with vans and trucks, calling for a footbridge to be built over the road to stop further deaths.
Fury: Angry demonstrators called for a footbridge over the busy road
A car parked across the carriageway could be seen emblazoned with the words: “We want a footbridge how many more”.
Traffic in the area was brought to a standstill and by 11.45pm, some motorists were complaining they had been stuck for more than an hour and a half.
However the handling of the protest by police caused anger among some of the motorists caught in the tailbacks.
Tailbacks: The protest lasted five hours
Sarah_T_182 wrote on Twitter: “a127 still not moving! Been here since 10pm, it’s freezing and no one is getting anywhere!”
Meanwhile obi_ben_n tweeted: “An hour and a half stuck still on the A127 whilst protesters wander up and down drinking beer. @EssexPoliceUK pull your finger out.”
“No sleep tonight it is then….. #StuckOnRoad #A127” said endersusf.
Those stuck in the jam said they were only permitted to U-turn after around four hours at a standstill.
Anger: Motorists criticised the police handling of the situation
An Essex Police spokeswoman said they worked hard to “achieve a resolution as quickly and safely as possible” and several diversions were put in place.
Officers were called to the scene at around 9.45pm on Tuesday where they found a “large number of people and vehicles” had blocked the highway.
A helicopter was eventually scrambled to monitor the crowd and both carriageways on the London to Southend arterial road were closed until around 2.45am on Wednesday.
Essex Police confirmed a 31-year-old driver of a BMW car involved in the incident was arrested and bailed pending further inquiries.