The 90,000 drivers who use the A12 in Essex every day are set to benefit from a major upgrade to the road, Highways England has announced today (Friday 28 August).
The plans will reduce congestion and accidents on the route – a key link between the East of England and London – by widening the existing A12 between junctions 23 (Kelvedon) and 24, and constructing a new, three-lane bypass between junctions 24 and 25 (Marks Tey).
With today’s announcement there is now a preferred route for the whole of the A12 scheme, from Chelmsford to the A120 (junctions 19 to 25), following the announcement of the preferred route for the western section last October.
The A12 is a key route connecting the East of England to London. With the high levels of congestion, it’s a route that Highways England and the Government are committed to improving.
Stephen Elderkin, Highways England project lead for the A12, said: “I am delighted to be able to make today’s preferred route announcement for the A12 Chelmsford to A120. Together with the announcement we made last year for junctions 19 to 23, we now have announced our preferred routes for the whole project.
“We said in our 2019 consultation that, if the proposed garden community homes did not go ahead, that our preferred route would be based on our 2017 consultation. The second choice from the 2017 consultation has been selected, as a bypass had the most support from respondents. Our selection considered several other factors, including environmental impact, journey times, complexity of build, affordability, feedback from the public and of course the recent advice given by the planning inspector on the joint local plan”
Roads Minister, Baroness Vere said: “The A12 is a vital route for people commuting between Suffolk, Essex and London, and for businesses that rely on the ports of Felixstowe and Harwich.
“These upgrades clearly demonstrate that the Government is delivering on its levelling-up agenda for transport. They’ll help boost local economies, improve journeys for commuters and link up businesses.”
The section of A12 between Chelmsford and Colchester (junction 19, Boreham, to junction 25, Marks Tey and A120) carries high volumes of traffic, with up to 90,000 vehicles every day.
The proposed improvements will increase safety and average speeds, so that someone travelling on the A12 daily can expect to save over an hour of travel time each week.
Currently, rush hour congestion increases journey times by half, and the various local access points onto the road raise safety concerns, as collisions on this road are 20 per cent more likely to result in death or serious injury.
The upgrade will also deliver a new junction 24, with a connection to Inworth Road, serving traffic in all directions. At junction 24, the road will leave the existing A12 road and instead a new bypass will run in parallel south of it, before re-joining the existing A12 road at junction 25. Once the new bypass is open, the previous part of the A12 road will be de-trunked and retained for use by local traffic.
Highways England will continue to develop the proposed improvements for the A12 in more detail, carrying out further surveys and investigations. It will also continue to engage with stakeholders, landowners and the local community to help refine the designs before inviting the public to submit feedback in a statutory consultation next year. Highways England then plan to submit one development consent order application which covers both sections of the A12 road improvements in early 2022.
Full details of the announcement can be found at www.highwaysengland.co.uk/A12