Safety works at A120 black spot in Tendring could be completed by summer 2017

Highways England asset manager Andy Jobling talks with local resident Karen Tarling about the A120 H

Highways England asset manager Andy Jobling talks with local resident Karen Tarling about the A120 Harwich Road junction improvements at an exhibition at Great Bromley village hall. - Credit: Su Anderson

A new roundabout on the A120 at an accident black spot could be in place by the summer of 2017.

Experts from Highways England, formerly the Highways Agency, presented their plans for a series of safety measures on the road in Tendring at a public exhibition in Great Bromley yesterday.

Engineers propose to install a two-lane roundabout at the junction with Harwich Road, near Little Bentley, which has seen 23 crashes resulting in 52 casualties and three fatalities in the past five years.

The roundabout would include a new link road to Park Road, funded by Essex County Council, allowing all of the gaps in the central reservation from the junction to the Horsley Cross roundabout – including those at another black spot at Pellens Corner – to be closed.

If approved the measure would prevent any traffic turning right onto the A120, the cause of most serious crashes on the road, leading to slightly increased journey times for some motorists who would be forced to travel to one of the roundabouts.

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Andy Jobling, assets manager for Highways England, said: “The increased journey time is what we would call reasonable, and the priority here is safety.”

Improved crossings for pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders travelling across the main artery road will also be installed, but they will not have signals such as traffic lights.

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Fred Nicholls, Tendring district councillor for Thorrington, Frating, Elmstead and Great Bromley, has been campaigning for the safety measures for more than eight years.

He welcomed the plans, as well as a commitment made at the exhibition to keep the 50mph speed limit and safety cameras installed at the end of 2014 after the new measures are introduced.

Mr Nicholls said: “I think it’s a brilliant scheme. I know some people will be inconvenienced, but at the end of the day the most important thing is safety – and the extra time is only three or four minutes.

“The crossings are very important to stop the A120 splitting the district in two.

“To come here and see something positive is wonderful news.”

If all goes to plan land purchase and highways orders will be drawn up from next month, with detailed design work finishing by spring 2016 allowing construction to begin in the summer of 2016.

Experts at the exhibition said they anticipated the work, as detailed in current plans, to last between six and nine months.

Disruption to motorists will be minimised, with around two-thirds of the required work taking place off the existing A120 route.

Graham Peters, a Little Bentley resident of 20 years, added: “My initial concern about a roundabout was the destruction of the environment, but it is a roundabout or more dead bodies.

“Even if they dual the road down the line this scheme stands up.

“They have incorporated everything. I am really impressed.”

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