Roadworks on A12 'costing firms money'

PERPETUAL major roadworks on the A12 are costing businesses money and causing commuter stress, an Essex MP said last night.Plagued by no fewer than seven sets of roadworks between the M25 and Wivenhoe, the major dual carriageway has become a synonymous with delays, Chelmsford West MP Simon Burns said.

PERPETUAL major roadworks on the A12 are costing businesses money and causing commuter stress, an Essex MP said last night.

Plagued by no fewer than seven sets of roadworks between the M25 and Wivenhoe, the major dual carriageway has become a synonymous with delays, Chelmsford West MP Simon Burns said.

The Tory MP said motorists were suffering because of a lack of coordination between the Highways Agency and other bodies responsible for the arterial road's upkeep.

Strict 40mph speed limits are currently in force on the Witham bypass with delays expected until December this year.

These works, which began in August, follow six months upgrading the Brentwood bypass ending in March and five months on the Hatfield Peverel bypass ending in February 2002.

Mr Burns said: “In the last six years, there have been seven long term major roadworks on the A12 in Essex outside the M25. These have caused deep frustration to commuters and they cost business money.

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“I don't understand why there cannot be better coordination of the various people involved to avoid the serious disruption.

“It's a pity more work could not be done at the same time so as to minimise the suffering to motorists.”

However, a spokesman for the Highways Agency said the work would lead to an improved road.

She said: “There is a scheme for resurfacing between Feering and Marks Tey for next year and Rivenhall End for 2005/6.

“All of these schemes are part of on-going projects to renew the road surface of the A12 to bring it up to modern standards.

“In theory, it would be good to do the two bits at the same time, but people would get annoyed if they had to get through one section of roadworks on to another, they would probably get more annoyed.”

She said there was a regulation that there had to be a minimum of 15km between sets of roadworks.

“The works at Witham are due to finish in December after a 20-week contract, therefore there will be six months when there are not any road works on the A12.

“Everybody complains about the A12, this work will make it a better road when the work is done,” she added.

n A 24-year-old woman was fighting for her life last night after her car careered across the busy A12.

The woman, who is believed to be from the Maldon area, was airlifted to airlifted to Broomfield hospital with injuries described as life-threatening.

She was driving a black Rover when the car skidded across the northbound carriageway of the A12 about a quarter of a mile from the Hatfield Peverel junction.

No other vehicles were involved in the incident. The A12 in both directions was closed for more than an hour.

Traffic tailed back as far as the A130 turn-off while police waited for Essex Air Ambulance to arrive.

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