New A120 link road could pave way for 'garden town'
Plans for a new link road joining the A133 and A120 are to be submitted in a matter of months - paving the way for the creation of a new "garden community" near Colchester.
If given the go-ahead, the new dual carriageway 50mph road would open to cars in 2024, just as the first new homes in the new settlement to the east of Colchester are built.
Walking and cycling facilities will also be built into the plans, with the project set to be paid for through the government's Housing Infrastructure Fund - in recognition of the area's need for extra infrastructure to cope with housing growth.
Essex County Council leader David Finch said that while the link road will play "an important role in allowing vehicles from the garden community to access the A120 and A12", he added: “The benefits are much wider.
"We know there is a significant amount of traffic travelling along the A133 into Colchester, to then get to the A12.
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"We want to reduce the number of cars travelling into the town, and part of the way we do this is through making it easier to access the roads designed for heavier traffic, so reducing issues on more local roads in the town, so making them safer and improving air quality.”
The plans for the link road are due to be submitted by spring 2021.
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The Housing Infrastructure Fund cash also provides investment into the first elements of a new Colchester Rapid Transit System, which would see a public transport route created with services every few minutes.
There are plans plans for a transport hub to be located off the new link road, with public transport given priority over other traffic.
Mr Finch believes the Rapid Transit System "has the potential to have a transformational impact on how we travel around the town", by reducing the need for car travel with high-quality transport.
It is argued that the system "will provide quick and easy access to key destinations around the town".
More information about the link road scheme is available at www.essex.gov.uk/link-road-and-rapid-transit.