Highways England will soon progress with a major upgrade to the A120 in Essex, it has been announced.
Essex County Council said campaigners for the project say the upgrade of the A120, from Braintree to the A12, to a dual carriageway will deliver a valuable boost to the county economy, benefiting businesses, creating jobs and unlocking growth in the area.
Cllr Kevin Bentley, Deputy Leader of Essex County Council and Cabinet Member for Infrastructure, said it remained crucial that the A120 was upgraded as soonas possible.
He said: “The A120 is the only single-carriageway road in the UK with a major international airport, Stansted, at one end and a major international seaport, Harwich, at the other.
“It is, therefore, in urgent need of an upgrade, a project that will add £2.2 billion in gross value to the local economy through new jobs, business and housing while dramatically improving road safety. I am, therefore delighted to see Highways England’s commitment to including the road in their programme.”
Together with Witham MP, Priti Patel, Cllr Bentley headed the campaign to secure funding for the road. This was supported by local businesses with more than 500 signing a petition to back investment in an upgraded A120.
In addition, the campaign saw overwhelming public support for an improvement scheme with four out of five of the 2,795 responses to public consultation in 2017 agreeing that there was a need to upgrade the A120 to a dual carriageway.
Priti Patel MP said: “The case for dualling the A120 is strong and compelling and I have raised it directly with Ministers in Government.”
“Upgrading the A120 will provide huge economic benefits to the region, will reduce congestion, improve journey times and make this road safer.”
“I have been pleased to work with Essex County Council to get this scheme brought forward and will continue to work with them and Highways England to develop the plans further. We will carry on working with businesses and local communities to highlight the importance of this infrastructure improvement and to get the funding for the scheme secured.”
In conjunction with Highways England, Essex County Council developed the A120 improvement plan, while campaigning for Government funding for the work.
Essex County Council is currently in the process of handing over to Highways England all work to date on the project, including the authority’s favoured route option for the new road, known as Option D, running from Galleys Corner at Braintree to a new junction with the A12, south of Kelvedon.