United plea to improve roads

HAULIERS and business leaders have backed a call by a motoring organisation for the Government to improve roads including the A12 and A120 to halt growing congestion.

HAULIERS and business leaders have backed a call by a motoring organisation for the Government to improve roads including the A12 and A120 to halt growing congestion.

The RAC Foundation has proposed a £20 billion road improvement scheme to be implemented over the next ten years.

It suggested the entire programme could be funded by using half of one year's motoring taxes and labelled the Government's current road policy as "ad hoc and short term."

The foundation urged the Government to get on with projects which have already been approved, including the widening of the A12 and dualling of the A120.


You may also want to watch:


Steve Prince, owner of Steve Prince Transport in Braintree, said: "Widening of the A12 should have been done years ago."

"They have spent so much money on roadworks like putting in kerbs and they could have used it for widening. It can be absolutely diabolical in the mornings, it takes me an hour sometimes to go from Rivenhall to Hatfield Peverel which is about four miles.

Most Read

Mr Prince said improvements were also needed on the A120 particularly if the development at Harwich International Port went ahead.

He said: "The A120 should be done at the same time as the A12. If the port is going to be redeveloped the roads need to be done at the same time or there will be complete gridlock.

Ewan Dodds, president of Colchester Chamber of Commerce, said: "My view is very simple, that this region has to be competitive. We are fighting very hard for business in Colchester, Essex and the region to be competitive. For that we do need a proper integrated road system."

Mr Dodds said there was a lack of three lane roads in the region, which was particularly relevant given the proposed port development at Harwich.

"These improvements need to be done sooner rather than later especially against the background of increasing take as far as roads are concerned by the Government in terms of levies and taxes," he said.

Braintree district and Rivenhall parish councillor James Abbott, who represents the Green Party, said he did not support the proposals.

"I would ask are they (the RAC) happy with hundreds of thousands if not billions of public money being put into one form of transport while things like local safety schemes, bus services and pedestrian crossings are starved of cash?" he said.

"Do they see an end point of these schemes? We think that unless someone draws a line we will keep in this vicious circle of more and more traffic on the roads.

"We need to lean more towards European models of transport where they have very good, high quality public transport because they have invested in it."

Other road projects the RAC has urged the Government to get on with include widening the M1, M6 and M25.

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