A CAMPAIGNER has accused Highways England of failing to provide enough detail on its proposals for the A12.

Highways England has announced its preferred option to widen the A12 between Witham and Rivenhall to three lanes and move the road south at junction 22.

However, it says it remains no further forward with plans to improve the stretch between junction 23 at Kelvedon and junction 25 at Marks Tey due to the ongoing delays over the garden communities scheme.

Highways England launched a six-week public consultation today over four possible new routes the A12 could take between Kelvedon and Marks Tey.

All four routes would see the road moved south and widened to three lanes to make space for the West Tey garden community, which could contain 24,000 new homes.

It is hoped a decision over the preferred route will be made next summer, once a planning inspector has ruled on the garden communities scheme.

Neil Gilbranch, who is from Copford, is a member of Campaign Against Urban Sprawl in Essex.

He has suggested the latest consultation on the four options to re-route the road between Kelvedon and Marks Tey prejudges the decision on the garden communities project.

He said: “Highways England has thrown out an unclear map which shows little detail about where these routes will go.

"One of the routes would be less than 200 metres away from houses.

"It seems like nothing more than PR exercise with North Essex Garden Communities Ltd, sending the message the garden communities are going ahead.”

Braintree Council leader Graham Butland has refuted the claims and insists the latest plans do not predetermine a decision.

He said: “Whether the garden communities get the go ahead or not, it is vital the A12 is improved and I believe there is a better chance than ever to get significant Government funding for projects like this.”