Government to spend £60m on A12 upgrade

UP to £60million is to be invested in the A12 through Suffolk and Essex as part of the Government's plans to spend the UK out of the recession.

Graham Dines

UP to £60million is to be invested in the A12 through Suffolk and Essex as part of the Government's plans to spend the UK out of the recession.

However the investment - which will be in a technology package to improve journey reliability, reduce delays and give better information to drivers - depends on the East of England Regional Assembly coughing an equivalent sum on other enhancements to the A12 over the period to 2018/19.

The improvements will cover a total of 54 miles of the A12 from the M25 north, including variable message signs at key points and automatic incident detection sensors embedded in the road surface, if regional partners respond positively to the proposals.


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Linked to the Highways Agency's regional control centre, the system will provide better information for road users, warnings of upcoming congestion and advice on potential alternative routes.

Transport Secretary Geoff Hoon said: “Making this funding available for the A12 reflects our commitment to support economic growth in the UK and to improve the safety and reliability of our major roads.

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“The A12 is a crucial strategic link, taking traffic between the east coast ports of Felixstowe and Harwich and the wider motorway network, and supporting the economy of the region and our trade links with Europe and beyond.

“With this new package of technology in place, the Highways Agency's regional control centre would be able to identify incidents more quickly, deploy appropriate emergency service response and relay practical and strategic advice to road users who can still change their travel plans.”

This 54 mile (86km long) section of A12 from the M25 through Essex to Suffolk is one of the European Unions Trans-European transport routes. The section between Marks Tey to Ipswich is on a Trans-European Priority Axis.

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