EU bid sought for A120 improvements between Braintree and Marks Tey and at accident spot near Little Bentley

Queueing traffic leaving Braintree on the single carriageway A120 blocked after an accident near Co

Queueing traffic leaving Braintree on the single carriageway A120 blocked after an accident near Coggeshall.

Essex County Council is urging the Secretary of State for Transport to back a bid for £10 million of European Union funding, to help improvements on the A120.

The Haven Gateway Project is leading a long-term project to improve the route between Braintree and Harwich, including safety work and route imrpovements.

The proposal is for £4m to conduct a feasibility study on the stretch of road between Braintree and Marks Tey, with a further £6m to spend on safety improvements at two dangerous junctions, the Earls Colne turn off and at Pellens Corner near Little Bentley.

Now, Essex County Council and Essex police are supporting the bid, and are hoping to receive backing from the Department for Transport.

Rodney L Bass, cabinet member for highways and transportation at Essex County Council. said: “What is needed is endorsement to improve the A120 and this funding will help secure its development. A proposal has been submitted to the Department for Transport for response and approval.

“This bid is critical to the development of the A120. This is a project which will also enhance the transport network of the EU as a whole, creating faster and safer travel between into and out of the UK through the transport hubs of Stansted and Harwich. At a time of economic austerity, we need barriers to trade and private sector growth and investment to be removed.”

A new website, has already been launched outlining the initial business case for improving the road.

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A study from Haven Gateway suggests that improvements to the A120 could unlock as much as £1.3 billion of growth in the local economy, and cut journey times by 56 per cent.

George Kieffer, chairman of the Haven Gateway Partnership, said: “The A120 is currently a low standard road suffering from capacity constraints, heavy congestion, high accident rates and poor journey reliability. This bid for funding if successful, will naturally help to unlock the economic potential not just of Essex but of the eastern region and also the south-east of this country.”