I've noticed that Essex county council have been doing lots of work on the roads around here. However I noticed the same thing happening about 5-10 miles away so it's not just confined to where I live. Lots of roads have had the top surfaced removed so you are driving on the road with no markings and lots of gravel. The roads have been like it for a couple of weeks. It seems strange they have done this across the county rather than removing the surface of one road and replacing it, redoing the lines etc before moving on to the next location. I can think of 2 stretches which are easily longer than a mile. Very bizarre.