MPs united in calls for dualling of A120 to gain Government funding
PUBLISHED: 14:41 20 June 2018 | UPDATED: 14:41 20 June 2018
A Parliamentary debate on the dualling of a key Essex transport route saw MPs across the region united in their calls to tackle congestion and aid the economy.
The A120 debate heard from Essex and Suffolk MPs who emphasised the importance of gaining funding in the next round of investment.
Earlier this month, Essex County Council announced its preferred option for the A120 dual carriageway between Braintree and the A12 – and urged people to support the “shared vision”.
In Parliament on Tuesday, James Cleverley MP led the debate, saying his Braintree constituency was “regularly blighted by heavy congestion”.
Mr Cleverley highlighted the importance of the road to Stansted Airport and Harwich Port, as well as plans led by local government to “unlock” the region’s economic potential.
He said residents, local government and businesses “speak with one voice on the issue” and were keen not to miss the chance for funding to relieve the pressure on a “congested and often dangerous road”.
Witham MP Priti Patel said the favoured route would provide £1.1billion for the region in new jobs businesses and housing. She said investment in roads will “enormously benefit” Suffolk, Norfolk and Essex and called on the transport minister to also consider widening the A12
“When it comes to the A120, this is a huge, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to use [funding] to be much more strategic and to have an integrated roads strategy for the east of England and for Essex,” Ms Patel added.
James Cartlidge MP also pressed the case for his South Suffolk constituency, saying the A120 was a “critical road” for the region’s economy. He reiterated calls for the A12 to be widened, claiming that its stretch through South Suffolk had “possibly the worst junctions” in the UK.
Colchester MP Will Quince said the A120 was “hugely important to so many of our constituencies across the eastern region”.
Speaking after the debate, he said he had written to the leader of the Labour Group at Colchester Borough Council to “convince his leadership of the importance of this scheme.”
Clacton MP Giles Watling said the favoured route was “not ideal for me, but light years ahead of what we have to put up with now.”
An announcement on whether the scheme has been successful is expected next year.