A12 widening project in Essex plans revealed | Echo
Once completed, motorists travelling on this section of the A12 each day are expected to save as much as 1.5 hours every week.
The government adds that with capacity increased by 50 per cent, the impact on other road users of incidents like breakdowns or collisions – that can lead to delays – will also be reduced.
Other major improvements include the construction of two major bypasses at Rivenhall End and to the north of Kelvedon.
These will help to take heavy goods vehicles away from minor roads and local villages. Junctions will also be upgraded to help traffic enter and exit the A12 safely.
Traffic modelling data shows the section of the A12 between J19 at Boreham Interchange to Junction 25 at Marks Tey carries a very high volume of traffic with up to 90,000 vehicles using it every day.
The connection to the major ports at Harwich and Felixstowe also means heavy goods vehicles account for a higher proportion of traffic than on most major roads.
Freight makes up between nine per cent and 12 per cent of all traffic on this part of the A12 – that is almost double the national figure of five per cent on most routes.
The National Highways website suggests work on the project could start this year and be finished in 2027-28.
Marks Tey and Layer councillor Kevin Bentley, who is also the leader of the county council, praised the efforts of Witham MP Dame Priti Patel who fought to secure funding to widen the A12.
“We’ve done lots of campaigning in Messing and Marks Tey,” he said. “Whatever happens, we must make sure there’s as little disruption as possible to residents in the area.”
It is thought the project could slash as much as 90 minutes off commuters’ journeys over a week.
Kelvedon and Feering councillor Paul Thorogood, however, isn’t so optimistic.
He said: “I’ve driven all over the world including in Los Angeles and Toronto where they keep adding new lanes to their main highways and it doesn’t get rid of the traffic problems.”
Mr Thorogood admitted “the existing junctions need improving” but feels widening the road is a move in the wrong direction.
“We should be investing more into public transport to get people out of their cars and into trains and buses,” he added.