Securing the dualling of the A120 and replacing the single carriageway stretch of road
between Braintree and the A12 junction at Marks Tey is one of the most important
infrastructure projects in Essex and the East of England. The road is a major economic
corridor linking Stansted Airport to Harwich Port but has been beset with delays,
congestion and accidents. It is one of the most dangerous stretches of road in England with
far too many fatal and serious accidents taking place on it while the extent of delays and
congestion has a significant economic impact on our businesses.
Getting the road dualled has been an issue I have been campaigning on over the last
decade since being elected Witham’s MP. During that time, I have been working closely
with Essex County Council, including Cllr Kevin Bentley, to secure a Government
commitment to progress this scheme. Funding came from the Government and the
Council to support work to develop proposals and following this activity a clear favoured
route has emerged.
The proposals put forward for dualling the A120 are considered by many to be the
strongest and most robust of any road improvement plan put forward to the Government.
After extensively lobbying the Government, including meetings Cllr Bentley and I have
held with Ministers, they have indicated that this is a scheme that could be included in the
pipeline for RIS3, the Road Investment Strategy from 2025. It is good news that the
Government is aware of the importance of dualling the A120 but there is more work to do
to ensure a fully funded scheme can be delivered this decade.
With there now being an end to the delays caused to the A12 Widening Scheme by
Colchester Borough Council’s flawed housing plans, further planning can take place to get
the A120 dualled and to align and sequence that work with the A12 Widening Scheme. I
am pleased that Highways England are working closely with the Council on these plans
and this is strengthening and refining the case for the A120.
The role of businesses in Essex and the East of England and stakeholders in local
communities supporting this scheme cannot be underestimated. The overwhelming
support for the A120 has helped get the proposals this far and we need to continue to
work together and collectively to push the A120 even higher up the Government’s agenda.
We need to continue to demonstrate and show that we are all behind this vision of a
dualled A120, which will act as an enhanced economic corridor for our region and boost
Our country’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic and our future prosperity as a
global trading power post-Brexit will depend partly on us having the right infrastructure
to support business growth and investment. Our County is well-placed strategically with
its connections to trading hubs and is already an engine of economic growth. But we all
know Essex has so much more to contribute. That’s why securing new investment to dual
the A120 will turbo-charge our County, add billions of pounds in inward investment, help
with housing growth and bring in thousands of new jobs.
I will continue to work closely with the Council and with business to keep making the case
to Government and keep pressing for the commitment we want to get the A120 dualled.
In March 2020, the government announced details of its latest Road Investment Strategy (RIS2), covering April 2020 to March 2025.
The strategy outlines how the government will be investing £27.4 billion in maintaining, improving and building capacity in the strategic road network during the 2020-25 period, including £2.2 billion for the east of England.
The document also looks further ahead and includes a list of ‘pipeline projects’ which will undergo more analysis and design work ahead of being considered for potential future investment.
The A120 Braintree to A12 was identified as a pipeline project and will now be progressed by Highways England.
For more information, email A120braintreetoA12@highwaysengland.co.uk
Although Highways England is now progressing the A120 upgrade, Essex County Council continues to provide regular updates. To receive these please register your email address