December 10 2013 Latest news:
Tuesday, September 17, 2013
Victory has been declared after it was announced that safety measures along a notorious stretch of road are set to be installed.
The Highways Agency has confirmed short-term improvements will be made at the Harwich Road, Park Road and Pellens Corner junctions of the A120 with a reduced 50mph speed limit and safety cameras.
Preparatory work is underway to install a roundabout at Little Bentley as part of long-term plans to improve access onto the road which has been blamed for at least five deaths in recent years.
It comes after Harwich and North Essex MP Bernard Jenkins last week criticised Highways Agency chiefs for failing to act.
He said: “I’m absolutely delighted that the minister for roads has finally taken a decision about this notorious section of road.
“This is a huge victory for local campaigners who have been determined and consistent throughout. The people in my thoughts today are those who live right next to the accident blackspots – and who have so often been first on the scene. They have lived for too long with this nightmare.
“The introduction of 50mph speed restrictions pending construction of a roundabout to serve both junctions is almost everything that we have been asking for.
“I will not let up until we know that the roundabout has been given final approval and is under construction.”
Tendring District Council leader Peter Halliday also welcomed the news. He said: “At the outset we said managed speed restrictions in that area of the A120 would do as much as possible to reduced these accidents so we have to be happy with that.
“Now we need to keep the pressure up and get the roundabout installed.”
Work undertaken by the Highways Agency earlier this year initially recommended the closure of the central reservation gaps at Little Bentley but the proposals left residents concerned about the implications on the local roads so a traffic survey was completed.
Highways Agency asset manager Andy Jobling said: “These surveys revealed that the gap closures would be disruptive to local residents and businesses.
“We have since been working to determine suitable short and long term solutions to improve safety while minimising the impact of these on the lives of local residents.”