Chelmsford link road plan delayed

WILDLIVE reserves under threat from a proposed link road have been given a stay of execution after a key decision was put back for at least a year. Three possible routes were being considered for a cross-valley link road in Chelmsford between Essex Regiment Way and Broomfield to the north of the town.

WILDLIVE reserves under threat from a proposed link road have been given a stay of execution after a key decision was put back for at least a year.

Three possible routes were being considered for a cross-valley link road in Chelmsford between Essex Regiment Way and Broomfield to the north of the town.

But the proposals alarmed Essex Wildlife Trust which said there could be “massive damage” to the landscape and important nature reserves in the area.

Among the animals and birds it said could be in danger were otters and kingfishers, as well as woodland, grassland and a diverse selection of flowering plants.


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But the council has confirmed the cross-valley link road has been put on hold until more information about potential traffic flows is available.

The decision was also taken because it is unclear at this stage what the longer term needs will be for patients, visitors and staff using Broomfield Hospital, Chelmsford.

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Phil Sturges , conservation officer for the trust, said: “This decision means we will still have a watching brief, but we are not expecting any movement for a year or two now. It is now a case of waiting and seeing.”

The cross-valley decision was tied into the choice of route for the new A130/A131 dual carriageway link between Boreham interchange, the A12 and the Walthams, because it is not clear how much traffic the new road will generate.

Speaking about the new A130 link, Rodney Bass, the county councillor in charge of highways, said: “This is a major decision on a route for a vital road corridor which is urgently needed for the people of mid Essex and I hope, subject to funding, that we can start construction by 2012/13.”

The council said the new route would be constructed to a high environmental and landscaping standard, with low noise surfacing and provision for wildlife crossing points.

The report will be presented to the cabinet by Mr Bass next Monday for a final decision.

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