We are proposing developments to the A120 between Braintree and the A12 in order to improve the connectivity for local communities, businesses and commuters in Essex and the surrounding areas. The A120 is an important strategic route between the M11 motorway in the west and the port of Harwich in the east, forming part of the Trans European Road Network (Dublin to Brussels). It is also of critical importance regionally and locally to the economic and social wellbeing of the towns and communities it serves.
The A120 suffers from major congestion causing journey time delays for up to five hours each day and at peak times it doubles the journey time (compared to free flowing traffic). It means people have to factor delays into their daily commute in order to get to work on time and products are not being delivered on schedule. It is affecting the quality of life of families living along the route, business productivity and the local economy is suffering.
Bradwell with Pattiswick Parish Council recently carried out a survey to understand the top priority issues within their Parish. They distributed a questionnaire to all households in the Parish that covered a wide variety of topics including housing, employment, roads, recreation and leisure, pavements and lighting, footpaths, young people, education, healthcare, environment and transport. Within the questionnaire, respondents were offered the opportunity to specify their top priority for change.
Based on a response rate of 44%, the future of the A120 emerged in the top two key issues for the community, as voted by 25% of respondents. Respondents commented on a variety of concerns and issues covering both the strategic nature of future route improvements and issues with the existing route. Residents felt in particular that dualling of the existing A120 route was not an acceptable solution and that improvements should instead consider a by-pass. Respondents also voiced that care should be taken when selecting a by-pass route such that it would not divide existing communities.
Of the existing route, residents expressed concerns regarding the safety of pedestrians and motorists travelling at unsafe speeds through the village. Improvements to roads were mentioned 128 times in a total of 140 responses from adults (defined as over 18) and speeding vehicles were mentioned as a safety hazard by 13 out of 24 young people (defined as under 18). Additional issues were raised and are listed below in priority order:
Considering the wide variety of issues presented in the survey, the high proportion of concern expressed by respondents for the current and future A120 really emphasised that the road is a priority for the community. This is why we need to make sure we get this right. We want to come to a solution that benefits both local and regional interests and in order to achieve this we believe that input and feedback from local communities is essential. Essex has a dynamic population with valuable local knowledge. We believe that harnessing this knowledge will enable us to come to a solution that stimulates growth and opportunity while minimising environmental impacts as much as we possibly can. For more information on how we are seeking to achieve this, please visit a120essex.co.uk where you can find information on the feasibility process and how to get in touch with any queries.