A12 Chelmsford to A120 widening schemeRecently updated

Widening the A12 between junction 19 (Chelmsford) and junction 25 (A120 interchange)

Region:  East
Start date:  2020-21
Cost:  £100 to £250 million
Status:  PLANNED
Type:  Major Scheme
End date:  TBC
Programme:  

Progress report

The consultation period is now closed for this scheme; we would like to thank everyone who took part and gave feedback on our proposals. We received over 900 responses and public exhibitions were attended by over 1800 people, with nearly 90% of those who attended rating the events as positive. The purpose of the early consultation was to understand the concerns of the local community and road users. We wanted to understand which option gained the most support and to listen to suggestions before any detailed design or preferred route is selected. We received valuable feedback on the route options presented, along with suggestions about the junctions along this stretch of the road. Other issues raised included:
  • environmental impacts
  • other key developments proposed for the area
  • existing rat runs in the area
  • non-motorised user services such as cycle paths
  • improving safety
Alongside factors such as value for money, constructability, safety and meeting the scheme’s objectives, the consultation responses will assist us in identifying the preferred route option. We will complete our assessment work then refine the options, incorporating the comments provided where practical.

What next?

The Project team is continuing with further investigations to ensure that the scheme we develop and the way it is delivered will serve the needs of the region. It is important that we get this scheme right, not just in the short term but for the long term. Therefore, we have extended our options selection assessment and expect to announce the preferred route in winter 2017/18.

We will continue to gather further information about the local environment to ensure we minimise or mitigate any negative effects of the scheme. This survey work includes:

  • identifying protected species
  • landscape and habitat assessments
  • flood and drainage surveys
  • archaeology
  • measuring noise and pollution levels
It is important to note that the location of any survey work should not be taken as an indication of where any future route might run and does not reflect land on which the final scheme may be.

We intend to hold a second public consultation in spring 2018 following the preferred route announcement. We will provide further details early next year.

Timeline

Date Event
March 2016  Feasibility assessment
December 2016  Identifying options
Spring 2017 Have your say
Winter 2017/18 Preferred route announcement
Spring 2018 Public consultation expected to take place on developed route option
Autumn 2018 Submit application for a Development Consent Order
2020-21 Start of works

Why we need this scheme

The A12 Chelmsford (junction 19) to A120 (junction 25) is part of the strategic road network and supports national and regional economy by connecting Felixstowe and Harwich ports to London. It links the towns of Chelmsford, Witham, Marks Tey and Colchester between junctions 19 and 25. This road struggles to cope with existing peak traffic demands, resulting in delays and reduced speeds. With few available diversions, incidents and accidents result in disruption over a wide area. Without intervention things will get much worse. Projected growth in population and local development will only increase the pressure on this road. Essex County Council is leading a feasibility study for long term improvements to the A120 between Braintree and A12. For more information about the scheme, please visit the Essex County Council website.

Aims

With this scheme, we aim to:
  • reduce congestion and delays
  • increase road capacity
  • improve journey time reliability
  • supports the growth identified in Local Plans
  • improve safety
  • provide alternative access to local roads
  • help the transport network to better cope with road maintenance and with incidents such as collisions, breakdowns, maintenance
  • improve the environmental impact of transport on communities along the existing A12 route
  • reduce the impact of new infrastructure on the natural and built environment
  • provide improved routes between communities for cyclists, horse riders and pedestrians
  • reconnect communities
  • improve safe and effective access for public transport users
  • improve road user satisfaction

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