Route options

Option D: Essex County Council’s favoured route

On 8 June 2018 we announced option D as our favoured route option. We will now recommend this option to the Government for inclusion in the Road Investment Strategy (RIS) 2, the next funding period for the Strategic Road Network, after the statutory call-in period has passed.

Option D’s alignment, if progressed by Highways England, would run from Galleys Corner at Braintree to a junction with the A12 to the south of Kelvedon.

Our favoured route option:


How did we decide upon the favoured route option?

As part of the initial feasibility stage, some 68 possible options were examined. The project’s Options Assessment Report outlines this early process which used the Department for Transport’s Early Assessment Sifting Tool.

Following the initial sifting work, five routes were short listed and assessed further. Information on these five routes can be found in the Technical Appraisal Report (available in three parts on this page). We asked the public for their views on the five routes at public consultation which was held in early 2017. Flythrough videos of each of the options consulted upon are available at the following links:

Option A Option B Option C Option D Option E

In November 2017, the Council’s Cabinet decided to discount option A, as it had emerged as the worst performing option and was the option that received the most last place rankings in the consultation responses.

As there was no overwhelmingly strong single candidate option at that point, the Cabinet decided to progress with routes B, C, D and E, as all remained viable options to recommend to Highways England and the Department for Transport for inclusion in RIS 2.

Work has since continued to complete the current stage of work and assess the route options in accordance with Highways England’s processes to enable us to recommend the best possible route option to the Government for inclusion in RIS 2.

Option D has since emerged as the best route option and will be recommended to the Government now that it has passed the statutory call-in period.

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

A120 Braintree to A12 - Highways England 

View: Press Release - A120 Upgrade Drives Forward

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