Work begins on roundabout at A120 accident blackspot in Essex

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 when the plans were unveiled in 2015. Picture: SU ANDERSON - Credit: Su Anderson

Construction has begun on a £3.1million roundabout on the A120 in Essex in a bid to improve safety.

The A120 Little Bromley and Little Bentley junction looking towards Harwich before any safety works,

The A120 Little Bromley and Little Bentley junction looking towards Harwich before any safety works, when drivers had to negotiate four lanes of traffic to cross the busy Harwich to Colchester Road. Picture: ANDREW PARTRIDGE - Credit: Andrew Partridge

Work on the scheme at Hare Green, near Little Bentley, will officially begin next month but preliminary work such as tree cutting has already begun at the site.

Safety works on A120 could be completed by summer 2017Highways England has revealed it hopes to complete the initiative – which has been several years in the planning – by March 2018.

Spawned by a number of serious collisions on the A120 at the junction with Harwich Road – including fatalities – local safety campaigners are delighted that work is now underway.

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

He said: “I’m highly delighted that work has actually started, and I’m sure all the other people who have been campaigning along with me are equally delighted.

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“The big hope is that when it is done we have seen the end of all the fatalities at that junction, which has always been my aim – to stop people being injured at all.

“When people are killed in road accidents it’s so traumatic for the family, and that was one of the main reasons I got involved because I thought it was so wrong and unfair that for the sake of money they were allowing people to be killed.

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“My feeling is it will make the junction so much safer.”

The scheme will see a roundabout installed connecting Harwich Road to the A120, along with improved crossings – but not traffic lights – for pedestrians and others trying to cross the A120. Park Road will become left turn only onto the A120.

Early plans had been opposed by local residents as they would have led to lengthy diversions.

All remaining gaps between the junction and the Horsley Cross roundabout will be closed.

Safety proposals promised for A120Roundabout plans approved for A120 blackspot at Hare GreenAverage speed cameras, installed in 2014 to enforce a new 50mph limit introduced as an interim safety measure alongside reducing each carriageway to a single lane, will remain.

Speed cameras installed at A120 blackspotThe scheme is one of a number beginning this autumn across the region.

Other projects include a £1.1m bridge repair scheme on the A14 at Claydon, along with general resurfacing and maintenance works along stretches of the road at Newmarket, Bury St Edmunds, Copdock and the Orwell Bridge.

Highways England regional capital delivery team leader Aran Nugent said: “This work will improve safety and provide smoother journeys for the millions of drivers that use our road network across the East of England every day.

“We care about drivers’ journeys and we understand roadworks can cause some disruption, so we have planned the work carefully and closely with local authorities, parishes and other transport services to reduce its impact as much as we can.

“While we are carrying out this essential work, I would urge motorists to plan their journeys ahead and allow extra time where needed.”

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