Video: Government’s transport secretary to meet A120 campaigners

Transport minister Patrick McLoughlin. Photo: Bill Smith

Transport minister Patrick McLoughlin. Photo: Bill Smith - Credit: Archant � 2013

A campaign to improve the A120 has secured a top-level meeting with the Government’s transport secretary.

Chairman of the Haven Gateway Partnership George Kieffer speaking at the A120 event held in December

Chairman of the Haven Gateway Partnership George Kieffer speaking at the A120 event held in December.

Patrick McLoughlin, chief minister at the Department for Transport, is coming to Colchester on Monday to meet with local business and political leaders to discuss the road.

The campaign to see the A120 improved along its length from Braintree to Harwich – including dualling the road from Braintree and Marks Tey and safety improvements in Tendring – has been led by the Haven Gateway Partnership.

It has been backed by the area’s three MPs, Bernard Jenkin, Priti Patel and Sir Bob Russell, and was given a high-profile launch at an event in December attended by more than 100 businesses.

Monday’s meeting will be attended by officers and leading councillors from Colchester Borough, Braintree, Tendring an Babergh District and Essex and Suffolk County councils as well as top officials from Stansted Airport, the Harwich Haven Authority, the Federation of Small Businesses and the Essex Chambers of Commerce.

George Kieffer, chairman of the Haven Gateway Partnership, said: “We’re delighted the Secretary of State has agreed to meet with us to discuss the A120.

“The road, which links Stansted to Harwich, has long been ignored.

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“With improvement, we could bring an extra £1.3billion in economic growth to our region, whilst also vastly improving journey times.

“And we are reminded all too often how dangerous a road it is.

“We will be keen to make those points to the Secretary of State and ask whether he will be willing to fund the feasibility study we have long been campaigning for. Essex County Council highways have committed £5million towards completing the route alignment studies and we look to the Secretary of State to match that commitment and ensure implementation of the conclusions proceeds at pace.”

The announcement of the meeting came soon after work by the Highways Agency to install average speed cameras along the A120 at Little Bentley was completed.

A new 50mph speed limit was introduced in December along a stretch of road with two accident blackspots, and the cameras will enforce the safety measure.

Aran Nugent, Highways Agency service delivery team leader, said: “Safety is top priority for the Highways Agency, and this scheme will help to make the road safer for drivers on the A120.

“I’d like to thank local residents for their patience while we installed these average speed cameras and I’m pleased to hear the positive effects the 50mph is creating for those who live locally already.”