Tuesday, February 25, 2014
New projects to ease traffic to and through Essex are set to be discussed by the county council’s cabinet today.
It is discussing the Essex Transport Plan 2015-21, which looks at various projects that may be completed or started across the county.
Some are major projects that are on the agenda for other authorities. The county council is set to give its backing to Network Rail proposals to improve the Great Eastern Main Line through Essex and build a new station at Beaulieu on the edge of Chelmsford.
It is also expected to back Highways Agency aims to improve the A12 through the county and to dual the A120 between Marks Tey and Braintree and the last few miles from Hare Green to Harwich.
The A12 work is due take place in stages over the next few years and should see improvements to the road enable traffic to travel more freely.
The improvement work to the A120 is likely to be dependent on contributions by developers, but the Agency hopes to be able to draw up firm plans from 2019 onwards.
In the longer term the Agency is looking at rebuilding the junction between the A12 and the M25 and to build a new lower Thames crossing to ease congestion on the Dartford bridge and tunnel.
The council itself is hoping to develop smaller schemes over the six years of the plan period.
These include easing congestion on the A137 between Colchester and Manningtree and taking similar measures to improve traffic flow on the A134 between Sudbury and Colchester.
The plan also includes a package of measures aimed at improving traffic around Colchester, including the introduction of new bus lanes for park and ride, which are due to be introduced between 2015 and 2017.
Today’s cabinet is expected to approve the plan, but is being asked to give the portfolio holder – currently Rodney Bass – the authority to decide the priority of individual projects as finance becomes available.