MP's doubts over A120 dualling hopes

AN ESSEX MP has said he is “not optimistic” that a study into the long-awaited dualling of a busy Essex road would mean the multi-million project starting any quicker.

Annie Davidson

AN ESSEX MP has said he is “not optimistic” that a study into the long-awaited dualling of a busy Essex road would mean the multi-million project starting any quicker.

Brooks Newmark, MP for Braintree, spoke out after it was revealed transport consultants had been contracted to study the benefits of an upgraded dual carriageway link on the A120 between Braintree and the A12.

The East of England Development Agency (EEDA), Government Office for the East of England (GO-East) and Essex County Council have commissioned transport consultants Atkins to see how dualling the link would benefit the country's economy.


You may also want to watch:


It would also investigate whether the road should be reclassified as a route of national importance which would mean getting the £380million funding for the project easier.

Currently the road is classified as being of regional importance so bids for funding are from a smaller pot.

Most Read

A start date for the work is currently set at after the year 2015 but reclassification could bring that forward.

Mr Newmark said: “I am not optimistic, even if report comes to conclusion it is of national importance.

“The bottom line is the Government won't have the money to do the road in the near future.”

Andrew Summers, senior transport planner at EEDA, said: “This study is a proactive approach to getting the A120 recognised as early as possible as a potential contender for a national improvement scheme.

“EEDA is particularly interested in this section of the A120 because it is a major bottleneck on the regional network.

“Businesses consistently tell us that transport constraints are holding back productivity growth.

“We hope that this study provides concrete evidence and an objective basis for the dualling of this section of the A120 and leads to the reclassification of the whole route as a route of national importance.”

Essex county councillor for highways and transportation, Norman Hume, said: “Building this link between Braintree and the A12 is vital if Essex and the wider region are going to see the economic benefits of major expansion both in terms of new housing and the expanded port at Harwich, as well as links to Stansted Airport.”

Jonathan Foster-Clark, project manager for the study from consultant Atkins, said: “This is an important study for Essex and the East of England.

“It is vital that transport investment supports economic growth, and this study will provide robust evidence on the business benefits from reduced journey times and operating costs.”

Mike Evans, of Go-East, said: “We welcome this study that seeks to quantify the wider economic benefits that could arise from dualling the A120.”

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter