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News of millions for major transport improvements in Essex has been welcomed, as a big boost to the economy.
£318 million will go towards building a North East Bypass for Chelmsford together with a new railway station at Beaulieu on the outskirts of the city.
There'll also be a A120/A133 link road and rapid transit system in Colchester and north east Essex, to will help ensure growth and improve connectivity across the county, region and beyond.
Chelmsford MP Vicky Ford said the new train station at Beaulieu, together with fresh road links, would ease congestion.
Both projects were the subject of Housing Infrastructure Funds bids, supported by the County Council and City, Borough and District Councils and local MPs.
Cllr David Finch, Leader of Essex County Council, said the council was delighted at the money.
“The announcement is truly reflective of just how key road, rail and public transport networks are for Essex’s growth, helping create the conditions for our economy and communities to grow in a sustainable way. We are pleased that Government has recognised this with over half of the £600m HIF money being directed to Essex. >
Mr Finch said Chelmsford and Colchester were already great places for people to live and for businesses to thrive and the funding would help grow the attraction of both places for generations to come.
The new Beaulieu railway station on the outskirts of Chelmsford will provide access to the Great Eastern Main Line, relieve crowding at Chelmsford station (the country’s busiest 2-platform station) and support the construction of thousands of new homes at Beaulieu Park and the Channels estate.
Combined with the Chelmsford North East Bypass, which will run between the A12 and A131, this will help to relieve traffic congestion on local roads, providing a strategic link between Chelmsford, Braintree, London Stansted Airport and the wider east and southeast of England, including South Essex and the Lower Thames Crossing.
Currently, there is only 4% space left on Chelmsford’s roads during the morning and evening peak periods.
North-east of Colchester, a new rapid transit system will keep the town moving by providing fast access to the centre and the railway stations, helping commuters and taking traffic off the already congested local road network.
A new road linking the A120 and A133 will also unlock land to provide up to 7,500 new homes and will improve connectivity locally and within the wider region.