New A120 across Essex from Braintree to the A12 will not use existing route

Cllr Kevin Bentley speaking at an A120 campaign event held at Stansted Airport. Picture: PAGEPIX LTD

Cllr Kevin Bentley speaking at an A120 campaign event held at Stansted Airport. Picture: PAGEPIX LTD - Credit: Archant

A new dual carriageway A120 across Essex is unlikely to use any of the existing route after highways chiefs recommended it is dropped from consideration.

The East Anglian Daily Times is campaigning to Dual the A120, but does not back any specific route

The East Anglian Daily Times is campaigning to Dual the A120, but does not back any specific route - Credit: Archant

Essex County Council’s cabinet will rule next week which of the five route options for a dualled A120 between Braintree and the A12 it refers to government for funding.

A report published today ahead of the meeting, on Thursday, November 23, says four of the routes which went out to public consultation earlier this year are viable.

Highways chiefs prefer routes D and E – but cannot commit

Senior councillors will next week decide which option, or options, to proceed with. More studies will be held and the routes passed to the Department for Transport to make a final decision on funding.

Graphic showing the five original shortlisted routes for the new A120 across Essex. Image: ARCHANT G

Graphic showing the five original shortlisted routes for the new A120 across Essex. Image: ARCHANT GRAPHICS UNIT - Credit: Archant

Of the five original routes, the one which has been dropped is route A, which used sections of the existing A120 between Marks Farm and Marks Tey and suggested a new bypass for Bradwell.

It has been revealed route A had much less public support and less potential to fulfil the project’s objectives.

The remaining routes, B-E, all meet at Bradwell Quarry, and are different combinations of the possible end points.

• Fly along the proposed routes in these videos

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Highways experts are considering whether to leave the existing A120 at Braintree at Notley or at Galley’s Corner, and whether to join the A12 at Easthorpe or Rivenhall End.

Kevin Bentley, deputy leader of Essex County Council, has welcomed the consultation results as an “opportunity to make history”.

He said: “Thank you to everyone who took the time to fill out the consultation. We had an overwhelming response and have heard the public loud and clear – improvements are long overdue on this stretch of the A120.

“We now have an to build a road that will benefit people’s lives for decades to come.

“An improved A120 would form a modern gateway to the UK for drivers, businesses and freight travelling not only within our county but across the country.

“I will be taking the views of nearly 3,000 residents, businesses and commuters into our cabinet meeting next week. I plan to come out of that meeting with a viable route option or options to recommend to government for further detailed technical consideration so our residents and businesses can feel the positive effects of this new road as soon as possible.”

The A120 Braintree to the A12 plans were recently submitted to a Highways England project assurance review, which concluded the project team is on track to identify a viable scheme for consideration for the government to include in the Road Investment Strategy 2 – a pot of money set aside for investing in strategic roads between 2020 and 2025.

The review gave the project a ‘green’ Delivery Confidence Assessment, which the county council said was an unusually high rating for a project of this complexity at this stage of its development.

• The East Anglian Daily Times is running a Dual the A120 campaign, calling for improvements to the route, but which does not back any specific route.

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