£1bn project which would completely transform the A12

A £1bn project is being proposed to completely transform a section of the A12.

The A12 is one of Essex’s most important routes and spans the breadth of Essex, connecting London in the south to Felixstowe in Suffolk in the north.

It’s used by more and more motorists each year – 90,000 a day – and because of this, there are new plans to upgrade the dual carriageway.

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If approved, Highways England upgrades to the road could be completed by the end of 2028, even reducing journey times by 12 minutes.

The plan is to introduce a third lane in both directions between Hatfield Peverel to Marks Tey.

Walking, cycling and horse-riding routes will be improved, as well as upgrades and removals of various junctions on the road.

Today (Tuesday, June 22) an eight-week consultation begins and drivers are being invited to have their say on the potential changes to the A12.

It’s currently expected that construction would begin at the end of 2023.

Stephen Elderkin, project director, said: “The A12 is a key route connecting London and the Port of Felixstowe, and upgrading this section to three lanes will help with economic growth of the region and keep the county connected.

“The upgraded road will improve safety by connecting local roads via the new junctions rather than turning directly on to the A12, and increase capacity, making journey times shorter and more reliable.

“The existing A12 will be kept open for local traffic, and there will be new routes and crossings for walkers, cyclists and horse riders.”

In 2019 and 2020 Highways England announced its preferred option for adding an extra lane to the 15 miles of the A12 between Chelmsford and Marks Tey as part of a billion-pound upgrade of the road.

Mr Elderkin said the feedback from this announcement has helped shape the latest proposed plans.

“We have used feedback from consultations that we carried out in 2017 and 2019 to refine our plans”, added Mr Elderkin.

“We know that there is a lot of support for these improvements, and we hope everyone with an interest in this scheme will take part in this next stage consultation to help refine our plans further and deliver the best possible road improvements.”

What will change on the A12?

In full, the proposed changes to the A12 include:

  • improvements to junctions 19 and 25
  • widening the dual carriageway from two to three lanes in each direction from Hatfield Peverel to Marks Tey
  • removal of existing junctions 20a, 20b and 23
  • construction of new junctions 21, 22 and 24 providing access to the A12 in both directions
  • creation of two bypasses, one between junctions 22 and 23 and another between junctions 24 and junction 25
  • new and improved existing walking, cycling and horse-riding routes
    A map of the A12 road, with colours indicating where upgrades will be completed.
    A map showing the A12 upgrade.
    (Image: Highways England)

Have your say:

You can share your views on the A12’s upgrade by visiting www.highwaysengland.co.uk/A12 or by e-mailing A12chelmsfordA120wide@highwaysengland.co.uk.

There will also be six public exhibitions, subject to Government Covid-19 guidelines, at which people can have their say and speak with members of the team.

Highways England say people can also have their say by completing forms available at the public events and collection points.

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