HOME Secretary Priti Patel has welcomed the announcement of a new bypass along the A12 claiming it will boost the region’s economy, reduce congestion and improve safety.

Highways England plans to move the notoriously busy stretch of road between Marks Tey and Kelvedon south, both communities in the Witham MP’s constituency.

The new three-lane road will run parallel with the existing A12 before reconnecting with junction 25 at Marks Tey whilst Junction 24 will be moved west, linking up with Inworth Road, which connects Kelvedon and Tiptree.

A number of other options for the route have been scrapped following the ruling on the north Essex garden communities, where planning inspector Roger Clews said the 24,000 home garden community at West Tey was “undeliverable”.

Ms Patel said: “This decision could have been made three years ago but for unacceptable delays created by Colchester Council, which caused uncertainty, rising costs and put the scheme at risk.


“The widened A12 is funded by the Conservative Government and will be a boost for the economy, reduce congestion and improve safety.

“It also paves the way for further infrastructure investment, including the A120 dualling scheme.”

Colchester Council was working on the garden community plans with Conservative-run Braintree Council, Tendring Council and Essex County Council, but Ms Patel only mentioned Colchester Council by name.

Will Quince, Colchester’s MP, added: “It is much needed and this big scale investment in roads and infrastructure will help unlock business growth in our area. It also makes people’s lives a lot easier and residents and businesses will very much welcome the upgrade.”


Planning campaigner Rosie Pearson also welcomed the announcement of the route, saying the options considered in conjunction with West Tey were “destructive, pointless and expensive”.

She said: “They caused unnecessary worry to those living in the vicinity. The delay in the route decision was wholly avoidable.

“The 2019 routes should have been put to bed the minute someone suggested them. Who on earth thought it was a good idea to move a road on the false premise that more houses could be squeezed in?”

The existing A12 stretch will be retained whilst the new road could be completed by 2028.

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