Dangerous A120 stretch between Braintree and A12 urgently needs improving, watchdog warns with new report

Queuing traffic on the A120 at Marks Tey. Picture: PAGEPIX LTD/HAVEN GATEWAY PARTNERSHIP

Queuing traffic on the A120 at Marks Tey. Picture: PAGEPIX LTD/HAVEN GATEWAY PARTNERSHIP - Credit: Archant

A stressful single carriageway section of the A120 is poorly maintained, dangerous and heaving with traffic according to a new report.

Shortlist of five routes for new A120 between Braintree and Colchester, with their estimated costs.

Shortlist of five routes for new A120 between Braintree and Colchester, with their estimated costs. Graphic: ARCHANT GRAPHICS UNIT - Credit: Archant

Lorry drivers, frequent flyers and worried commuters are among dozens of people who have submitted views regarding the “poor quality” stretch between Braintree and the A12 to transport watchdog TransportFocus in the last few months.

Lumps and bumps on the stretch spoil produce – turning yoghurts into butter – according to HGV drivers who described the road as “stressful” and “dangerous”.

Other road users, including car drivers and motorcyclists, said having HGVs on the single carriageway makes it seem more like a B road and causes them to worry for their safety.

Frustrated commuters stuck in heavy traffic often attempt dangerous overtaking manoeuvres, they added.

The East Anglian Daily Times' Dual the A120 campaign

The East Anglian Daily Times' Dual the A120 campaign - Credit: Archant

One HGV driver said in the report, commissioned by Transport Focus alongside Essex and Suffolk county councils: “If you’ve got a roll cage say full of yoghurts, it’s quite easy for them to fly out of the yoghurts and smash all over the floor or turn to butter.

“We get quite a bit of that and that’s all the nature of bumps and lumps in the road really.”

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A frequent flyer, who regularly travels to Stansted Airport, added: “When we use Stansted, I’m always careful to allow an extra hour when I use the A120.

“I’d rather be having a gin and tonic in the airport lounge than stressed out in a traffic jam.”

Last month it emerged there was no clear choice among those who were asked to pick one of five potential route options for an upgraded A120.

Option C received 29% of the votes, Option E had 27%, Option A got 17%, Option D received 14% and Option B had 13%.

• Fly along proposed new A120 routes through Essex with these five videosEssex County Council is expected to step in and recommend a favoured route option to the Government this autumn.

The council’s deputy leader Kevin Bentley said the report’s findings will not come as a surprise to current users of the A120.

He added: “It is vital our road infrastructure keeps pace with the demands of road users to help ensure we keep our county moving to support economic and housing growth, not just in Essex, but across the country.

“Be assured that we are now digging into the detail of the consultation we ran earlier this year to build the best case to fund upgrades to create an A120 that works for everyone.”

Do you use the A120? Send your views to newsroom@archant.co.uk

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