Fury at council support for new road

By Juliette MaxamCAMPAIGNERS fighting a plan for a new dual carriageway have criticised a council for putting the future of a river valley above their communities.

By Juliette Maxam

CAMPAIGNERS fighting a plan for a new dual carriageway have criticised a council for putting the future of a river valley above their communities.

The Highways Agency wants to dual the A120 between Braintree and the A12, and has drawn up a proposed route with a number of other options.

A three-month public consultation on the issue has come to an end and Essex County Council has pledged its support for the southern route.

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This would see a new road cut from Galleys roundabout in Braintree, skirt along the edge of he villages of Tye Green, Cressing and Silver End, and then join the A12 at Feering.

Essex County Council has added a proviso to its support for the route that the junction with the A12 should be south of Kelvedon to protect the Blackwater valley.

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But residents are concerned about the proximity of the road to Tye Green and Cressing, and the impact on both the river valley and the village of Feering.

Rodney Bass, the county's cabinet member for highways and transportation, has called for further work by the Highways Agency to ensure any scheme was sympathetic as possible to these communities.

"No-one would argue with the fact that this road is badly needed, it will provide a significant east-west access across Essex from the Haven Ports through to Stansted Airport, the M11 and A10," he said.

"We are asking that the Highways Agency also considers an alternative proposal, which would link the new road to the A12 south of Kelvedon, thus substantially reducing the environmental impact on the Blackwater Valley."

Bob Barrett, spokesman for Cressing A120 action group, which was set up to fight the proposed southern route and come up with an alternative, said he was "extremely disappointed" with the county council's response to the consultation.

He felt the southern route would increase traffic congestion, particularly north of Galleys Corner to the Marks Farm roundabout and along the A120 to Bradwell.

"It's all very well protecting the Blackwater Valley, but they don't seem to be interested in protecting residents of Cressing and Tye Green," said Mr Barrett.

He added group planned to hold talks with Brooks Newmark, Braintree MP, and Nigel Edey, county councillor for Braintree.


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