Businesses, residents and road users have been urged to “unite behind a shared vision for an improved A120” after Essex County Council announced the favoured route option for the key route.
Today (Friday, 8 June) Cllr Kevin Bentley, Deputy Leader at Essex County Council and Cabinet Member for Infrastructure, announced option D as the Council’s favoured route option for a new dual carriageway between Braintree and the A12.
The announcement follows a public consultation in which more than four out of five (82%) respondents agreed that this section of the A120 needed to be completely upgraded to a dual carriageway.
The proposed route would see Galleys Corner transformed leading onto a dual carriageway road joining the A12 at junction 23 just south of Kelvedon.
At today’s event at Colne Valley Golf Club, Cllr Bentley said: “I truly believe that route option D offers the best solution to the problems of the current A120 between Braintree and the A12.
“Our study work has demonstrated that for every £1 million spent on improving the A120; residents, road users and businesses will see £3,750,000 in benefits. Route D also delivers up to 15 minutes in journey time savings.
“The current single-carriageway road is not fit for purpose and is often heavily congested, causing major issues not only for drivers and businesses in Essex, but also those helping to fuel the UK economy through our nearby international ports and airports.
“Now is when the real work begins. This scheme is competing with dozens across the country for Government funding so it is vital that everyone unites behind a shared vision for an improved A120.
“Please make your voice heard and make sure the Government knows just how important this road improvement is to the future of Essex, East Anglia and the economic future of the country.”
It is important to highlight that all work undertaken by ECC is advisory; a preferred route announcement for the A120 can only be made by Highways England in association the Department for Transport.
Once today’s favoured route announcement clears the Council’s statutory call-in period, it will be recommended to Highways England and the Department for Transport for funding within the Road Investment Strategy 2 (RIS 2). This is a funding period lasting between 2020 and 2025. An announcement on if the scheme has been successful is expected next year (2019).
If it is funded, the newly upgraded A120 between Braintree and the A12 could be open as soon as 2026.
For more information on the A120 Braintree to A12 scheme, please visit www.a120essex.co.uk.
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