Widening of A12 to slash journey times between East Anglia and London
- Credit: Archant
Business leaders say widening the A12 through Essex will slash journey times and be good news for the economy – as the government confirmed funding for the project.
The announcement is part of a £1.3billion programme unveiled by the Department of Transport – a fund exclusively for major roads and motorways in the East of England.
A scheme to make the A12 route three lanes between the Boreham Interchange at Chelmsford and the A120 junction at Marks Tey was included in the 2014 Roads Improvement Strategy.
Since then, Highways England has held a public consultation on four route options for the road, including the potential for new bypasses around Rivenhall and Marks Tey to the south of the existing road.
Yesterday the government confirmed cash was available for the project, which will cost between £100million and £250m.
You may also want to watch:
Iain Wicks, development manager at the Essex Federation of Small Businesses, said: 'From a small business perspective, improving that road is very welcome and it's a vital link between the north, south and east.
'Anyone that travels on it knows it suffers from congestion almost every day and when it does around Colchester, it means the town can become very congested and it puts people off travelling to the town and using businesses there. It also means it's very difficult for businesses to move people and goods efficiently and quickly.
- 1 Tax inspectors probe 240 furlough fraud cases in Norfolk and Suffolk
- 2 Norfolk campsite voted third best in UK
- 3 Driver in hospital after BMW car ends up in ditch
- 4 'Very small' number of Indian Covid variant cases in Norfolk
- 5 9 pubs and restaurants which have had lockdown makeovers
- 6 Lorry driver admits causing deaths of two people in A47 crash
- 7 Social distancing stops fish and chip shop's restaurant opening on May 17
- 8 Hospital opens new £625,000 cancer wellbeing and support centre
- 9 Norfolk covid levels below national average but concerns raised about variants
- 10 Norfolk lorry drivers clocked for nearly 200 traffic offences in three days
'What's important though, is that when work does start that Highways England is mindful that it will cause significant disruption and they need to work hard to minimise disruption so businesses can continue to function.'
He added: 'The roads in Essex are massively under invested in and we need to see the A12 upgraded as soon as possible.'
The news was also well-received by Suffolk Chamber of Commerce.
Nick Burfield, policy director, added: 'This is welcome news. The A12 is an important highway for many Suffolk businesses, both to transport goods along and as the journey to work route for their employees, so any improvements which lessen delays is a good thing.'
Another consultation on the preferred route option is due in the next six months.
Work is expected to start by 2020.