Essex road holds the key to post-Brexit gateway
A dual carriageway upgrade of the A120 is vital to establish a post-Brexit gateway between the UK and the rest of the world.
With the road serving the international port of Harwich as well as Stansted Airport, Essex County Council says there must be no delay in starting the improvement scheme, from Braintree to the A12, which would bring huge economic benefit to the county.
Current estimates put this at £2.2 billion in gross value through new jobs, business and housing with the dual carriageway dramatically improving journey times and road safety.
The council itself drew up plans for the upgrade of the A120 between Braintree and the A12 with a favoured route from Galleys Corner, near Braintree, joining the A12 just south of Kelvedon.
Highways England is now progressing the proposals after a campaign by MPs, politicians, businesses and road users successfully secured Government funding to fully develop the project.
The campaign saw overwhelming public support for an improvement scheme with four out of five of the 2,795 responses to public consultation agreeing that there was a need to upgrade the A120 to a dual carriageway.
Cllr Bentley said: “I am pleased that there is now a dedicated team at Highways England working towards announcing a preferred route for the road at the end of 2021/early 2022.
“We are giving that team all the support we can, including handing over our work to date, so it can be validated and then progressed as quickly as possible.
“Post-Brexit, it is even more important that we make sure the scheme is in the strongest possible position ahead of a recommendation to the Department for Transport and Transport Minister to move towards actual construction of a fit-for-purpose A120 between Braintree and the A12.”
Meanwhile, Brexit has also re-highlighted the need to upgrade the A120 heading into Harwich from Hare Green.