Plans to create a new M11 junction at Harlow aimed at unlocking the town’s potential were unveiled today (Wednesday 11 May) at the launch of a consultation into the proposals.
Essex County Council is proposing to create a new junction, known as 7a in order to improve congestion and access to Harlow – and is asking the public to have their say about the plan.
Cllr Rodney Bass, Essex County Council Cabinet Member for Infrastructure, said: “Harlow is severely limited by the lack of road capacity and connectivity, restricting growth that is essential to provide the platform for regenerating the area.
“To make the most of the town’s opportunities we need to make improvements and investment in roads and infrastructure. This is essential to provide homes and jobs for today’s young adults, our children and future generations.
“It is a big change, but it is necessary, and will benefit everybody in years to come. Planned strategic improvements are necessary to support this economic growth. By acting now, we can ensure that the area continues to prosper and provide opportunities for years to come.”
Highways engineers have spent four years investigating options to improve Harlow’s road network. They concluded a new junction on the M11 is the best solution.
Initial designs were shown to the public in 2013 and 2015. These have been developed further into the scheme unveiled at Harlow Civic Centre today.
A consultation on the plan will run until Wednesday 6 July. A series of public exhibitions will take place along the Gilden Way /Sheering Road route and also in the town centre library during June where the information on the website will be displayed.
The M11 Junction 7a and upgrading of Gilden Way proposals will create a key east /west link, which will move traffic smoothly out of Harlow onto the M11.
They will also reduce congestion on the north/south links through Harlow and towards Junction 7.
The tightly packed road network in Harlow with only one local access to the motorway network causes congestion on the local roads, which will continue to increase.
This situation will continue and is likely to get worse as local councils work to fulfil the Government’s focus on generating economic growth and housing development.