More A120 talks a 'waste of time' - MP

PLANS for a second consultation into a new route for the A120 in the space of three years have been branded a “total farce” and a “waste of time” by an angry MP.

Annie Davidson

PLANS for a second consultation into a new route for the A120 in the space of three years have been branded a “total farce” and a “waste of time” by an angry MP.

Bernard Jenkin spoke out after learning the Highways Agency was going to carry out another round of talks into the proposed road between Marks Tey and Braintree

Five possible routes were unveiled in February 2005 and public consultation was carried out to find out the public's views and the most popular one.


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The Highways Agency has since been working on the preliminary designs as well as investigating alternate ones suggested by the public.

The scheme, which would cost more than £300million, is now being considered for funding but is competing against other transport projects from across the East of England.

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The Highways Agency confirmed yesterday that further consultation would now be carried out - as legal advice had indicated the 2005 comments would be considered out-of-date.

Mr Jenkin, MP for North Essex, said: “This whole process has been a total farce. The Highways Agency is intent on wasting time and vast sums of money on inadequate consultations - money which could be spent on the A120.”

The Highways Agency spokeswoman said: “Legal advice has recommended that further consultation will need to take place because some aspects of the 2005 consultation may be perceived to be out of date. We want to make sure everyone now has another chance to comment.

“Since the consultation in 2005, we have completed preliminary designs for five of the most frequently suggested alternative route options. Supplementary technical appraisal of the suggested alternative routes has also been completed. Detailed cost estimates for the alternative options are being developed.”

The schemes bidding for the funding will be discussed by the East of England Regional Assembly (EERA) in the coming months but a final decision will not be made until February next year.

John Reynolds, chairman of EERA, confirmed yesterday the A120 was still on the list of projects under consideration but said the successful ones had to be “deliverable within the next ten years.”

He added if the new A120 bid was not successful the next opportunity to apply for funding would be in two years.

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