Work starts on new A120 Hare Green roundabout to improve safety

Artist's impression of the new A120 roundabout at Hare Green. Picture: HIGHWAYS ENGLAND

Artist's impression of the new A120 roundabout at Hare Green. Picture: HIGHWAYS ENGLAND - Credit: HIGHWAYS ENGLAND

Work to build a new £3 million roundabout on an accident-prone stretch of road in north Essex has begun.

The construction is taking place on the A120 in Hare Green at the junctions for Harwich Road and Pellens Corner in a bid to improve safety and reduce the number of collisions at that spot, near Colchester.

Highways England project manager Geoff Chatfield said: “Safety is a top priority for Highways England, and once complete, this roundabout will help to make the road safer for drivers on the A120.

“Three people have died and a further 68 been hurt in 64 collisions at this junction in recent years, so it’s vital that we work to reduce those numbers as no amount of crashes or casualties are acceptable.

“This new roundabout will also improve the A120 as a whole, benefitting not just the 12,000 vehicles a day that use this stretch near Harwich but also the 15,000 that use the length of the road.”

The project will happen in phases, the first of which will run until late May. This will see two-way traffic lights installed in Harwich Road and some overnight closures of the A120 westbound.

In the second phase between May and September, the right turn facility from Harwich Road onto the A120 will be closed and there will be a lane shut in both directions. There will be closures of Harwich Road, and overnight closures of the A120 entry and exit roads to the roundabout.

The final stage of the work will involve a couple of overnight closures of the A120 at the Little Bromley and Bentley Road junctions.

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Preliminary work began on the roundabout last autumn, and the scheme is expected to be finished before 2019.

Between 2011 and 2016, there were 23 recorded collisions at the Harwich Road junction involving 52 victims, three of whom died.

There were a further 12 reported collisions at Pellens Corner junction, with 19 casualties.

Over the last two years, 5,793 vehicles per day drove west through the Harwich Road/Pellens Corner section towards Stansted Airport and Braintree, while 6,468 vehicles headed east towards Harwich through the junctions. Some 14,508 vehicles use the A120 route each day.

New trees will be planted once the roundabout is complete to replace those removed, Highways England has confirmed.