Anger over delay to A120 link

A VITAL link road needed to cope with increasing traffic on an expanding route has been delayed until at least 2018. The A120 between Braintree and the A12 at Marks Tey is already over-congested and, according to the Highway Agency, is likely to be operating at well over maximum capacity by 2012.

A VITAL link road needed to cope with increasing traffic on an expanding route has been delayed until at least 2018. The A120 between Braintree and the A12 at Marks Tey is already over-congested and, according to the Highway Agency, is likely to be operating at well over maximum capacity by 2012.

The planned expansion of Stansted Airport and the creation of a massive new container port at Bathside Bay in Harwich are also expected to provide a massive additional strain on the existing single-carriageway road.

But the Highways Agency has confirmed that, despite publishing an earlier timetable suggesting the provisional opening date was 2013, it was unlikely to be completed until 2018 “at the earliest.”

The agency claimed the delay is necessary because of the amount of public consultation required and new procedures regarding the funding of roads.

Graham Butland, leader of Braintree district Council, said: “I am absolutely flabbergasted. We might as well put up the 'Braintree is closed' signs now.

“By 2018 we will be absolutely gridlocked - well before then, in fact.

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“We will be making the strongest possible representations we can about this. It is very, very bad news for Braintree, but also for Colchester.”