Essex: Haven Gateway Partnership meeting told of case for upgrading the A120

From left, Andrew Harston of port development director at Hutchison Ports UK, Peter Jones, chairman

From left, Andrew Harston of port development director at Hutchison Ports UK, Peter Jones, chairman of the South East Local Enterprise Partnership, George Kieffer, chairman of the Haven Gateway Partnership, Helen Bowkett and Adala Leeson of Roger Tym & Partners, and Steve Clarke, Haven Gateway Partnership director. - Credit: Archant

A forthcoming study on the case for upgrading the A120 in Essex will confirm that the current state of the road between Braintree and Harwich is a major constraint on future economic growth, guests at the annual meeting of the Haven Gateway Partnership were told.

Although the report is not to be published for about a month, some hints of its findings were given at the meeting by representatives from planning and econonics consultancy firm Roger Tym & Partners which has carried out the study.

They highlight the low average speed of traffic on the key east-west route, particularly on the section between Braintree and Marks Tey, and set out the benefits of road improvements, including improved mobility in the local workforce.

Haven Gateway Partnership chairman George Kieffer and director Steve Clarke, said broad support had been indicated for upgrading the A120 ? including five local MPs, more than 30 individual businesses and the Essex and Suffolk chambers of commerce ? and this was being converted into a concerted campaign.

Other speakers at the event, held at the Cruise Terminal at Harwich International Port, including Andrew Harston, port development director at Hutchison Ports UK, and Peter Jones, chairman of the South East Local Enterprise Partnership.

Mr Harston said upgrades to the A120 and the A14 were key issues ahead of potential expasion of port facilities at both the Port of Felixstowe and Harwich International Port.

Mr Jones said he believed improvements to the A120 were “doable” but the region needed to make more effective use of European funding to bring about major infrastructure projects.