A12: £1bn upgrade to major route in Essex approved by government

Credit: National Highways

A12 £1billion improvements Essex Chelmsford Colchester
The section of the A12 is used by up to 90,000 vehicles a day. Credit: National Highways/YouTube

The government has approved billion-pound proposals to improve a major A-road which carries nearly 100,000 vehicles a day.

National Highways plans redevelopment of a busy section of Essex's A12 between Chelmsford and Colchester which could cost between £1bn and £1.3bn.

The scheme would add a third lane in both directions between the junction 19 Boreham Interchange and junction 25 at Marks Tey, enabling a 50% increase in capacity.

National Highways said the improvements could save as much as 1.5 hours a week for motorists travelling on the road each day, as well as increases to safety and boosts to the region's economy.

The section of the A12 is used by up to 90,000 vehicles a day.

On Friday, the plans were granted a development consent order by Transport Minister Huw Merriman MP on behalf of Transport Secretary Mark Harper.

As well as an additional lane, two major bypasses will be constructed at Rivenhall End and north of Kelvedon, aiming to help take HGVs away from small villages and roads.

Improved routes for walkers, cyclists and horse riders are to be created, while environmental concerns over the proposals will be tackled by ensuring more biodiversity is left when the project is completed, National Highways said.

Philip Davie, project director for National Highways, said: “We are delighted with today’s announcement, which is great news for Essex and those who regularly use the A12.

“This is one of the busiest roads in the east of England which provides a strategic connection between Chelmsford and Colchester as well as the ports at Felixstowe and Harwich and nearby Stansted Airport.

"The scale of our work here will increase safety and capacity, saving people significant amounts of time on their journeys.

“There is rapid growth in this part of the country, and our plans will help to future-proof the area in terms of additional housing and supporting continued economic development."

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