A12 Chelmsford to A120 widening scheme

We’re widening the A12 between junction 19 (Chelmsford) and junction 25 (A120 interchange) to ease congestion and cope with increasing traffic demands.

Start date 2023-24
End date 2027-28
Cost £1045m - £1268m

Latest updates

  • 28 August 2020

    Preferred route announcement - junctions 23 to 25

    We made a Preferred Route Announcement in October 2019 confirming our plans for the first section of the scheme, from junction 19 (Boreham interchange) to junction 23 (Kelvedon south).

    We held a public consultation on four new route options between junctions 23 and 25 between 21 October and 1 December 2019. These new potential routes were to be considered if the proposed Colchester Braintree Borders Garden Community was given the go ahead. We stated in our 2019 consultation that, if the proposed garden community did not go ahead, our preferred route would be based on our 2017 consultation.

    In May 2020, the Planning Inspector made his recommendation that the proposed garden community should be removed from the joint Local Plan. Therefore, as promised, our preferred route is based on our 2017 consultation routes and has been selected based on several factors including environmental impact, journey times, complexity of build, affordability, and feedback from the public.

    View our preferred route announcement brochure.

    Visit the consultation page to read more about the preferred route announcement.

    You can also view the relevant documents in the 'Preferred route announcement - junctions 23 to 25' section below.

    We have also produced three summary videos to provide information about the work that has taken place on this scheme so far as well as what is happening next:

    Why we're widening the A12

    Preferred route announcement details

    You said, we did, and next steps

    Now we have announced our preferred route between junctions 19 and 23 and from junctions 23 to 25, we will continue to develop our designs for the road in more detail.

    We will be holding another public consultation to get feedback on more detailed designs for the overall project (between junction 19 and 25) and plan for that to happen in 2021.

    In the meantime, we will continue to engage with our stakeholders and the local community to help us refine the design, before inviting the public to submit further feedback.

    In line with other transformative infrastructure projects, the government will be seeking to ensure that the benefits unlocked by the A12 improvements are felt by local communities and are appropriately captured. This includes funding contributions and developer contributions in some cases. We have started working with local authorities and key stakeholders to capture value generated appropriately.

  • 18 May 2020

    Updated 28 August 2020 - Ground investigations and surveys

    We are now doing some important surveys and ground investigations in the area between A12 junctions 19 and 25.

    These tests will give engineers a clearer picture of the type of soils, rock and groundwater beneath the broad area of the proposed new road. You can expect to see survey vehicles and equipment in operation on and close to the A12, but this is not the start of any construction work.

    These surveys started in November 2019, and will carry on until the end of Autumn 2020, involving overnight road closures on the A12 between junctions 18 and 25.

    Structural survey at Olivers Bridge on the B1018, Maldon Road has been completed.

    The next phase of surveys is currently provisionally planned for:

    • November / December 2020, for completion of the ground investigation between junctions 23 and 25
    • January / February 2021, for completion of utility survey
    • We are also continuing surveys such as ground investigations, archaeological geophysical surveys and environmental surveys.

    Live traffic information can be found on the Traffic England website or on Twitter: @highwaysEAST. Drivers should plan ahead and allow more time for their journeys.

  • Design development - junctions 19 to 23

    Now we have announced our preferred route between junctions 19 and 23, we will continue to develop our designs for that section of the road in more detail.

    We're carrying out more surveys and ground investigations between November 2019 and August 2020, involving overnight road closures on the A12 between junctions 18 and 25. For details, please see 'A12 Surveys 2019 to 2020' in the 'Project background' area of the Documents area below.

    We expect to announce our preferred route between junction 23 and 25 in 2020.

    Following that, we will hold another public consultation to get feedback on more detailed designs for the overall project (between junction 19 and 25).

    In the meantime, we'll continue to engage with our stakeholders and the local community to help us refine the design, before inviting the public to submit further feedback.

    In line with other transformative infrastructure projects, the government will be seeking to ensure that the benefits unlocked by the A12 improvements are felt by local communities and are appropriately captured. This includes funding contributions and developer contributions in some cases. We'll be working with local authorities and key stakeholders to appropriately capture value generated and will start the process with conversations in 2020.

  • Design development - junctions 23 and 25

    Our ambition is to make improvements along the A12 stretching from junction 19 (Boreham interchange) to junction 25 (Marks Tey interchange).

    We made a Preferred Route Announcement in October 2019 confirming our plans for the first section of the scheme, from junction 19 (Boreham interchange) to junction 23 (Kelvedon south).

    We held a public consultation on four new route options between junctions 23 and 25 between 21 October and 1 December 2019. These new potential routes will be considered if the proposed Colchester Braintree Borders Garden Community is given the go ahead. If the proposed garden community does not go ahead, we will consider the route options presented in our 2017 public consultation.

    It’s important to ensure that our plans for the A12 meet the future needs of the area. We're now analysing all the consultation responses and thank all those who submitted their views on the route options presented.

    Once the position on the garden community is clear, we will announce a further preferred route between junction 23 (Kelvedon south) to junction 25 (Marks Tey interchange).

    We're now conducting surveys in the area of the preferred route between junctions 19 and 23, and in the area of the various route options being considered between junctions 23 and 25. There will be a series of temporary lane closures and overnight road closures between junctions 18 and 25 while these surveys take place between November 2019 and April 2020.

Project information

Overview

The A12 Chelmsford (junction 19) to A120 (junction 25) is part of the strategic road network and supports national and regional economy by connecting Felixstowe and Harwich ports to London. It links the towns of Chelmsford, Witham, Marks Tey and Colchester. 

This road struggles to cope with existing peak traffic levels, resulting in delays and reduced speeds. With few available diversions, accidents lead to traffic disruption over a wide area. 

The projected growth in population and local development in the area will only increase the pressures on this road. 

To ease congestion and cope with increasing traffic, we’re widening the A12 between junction 19 (Chelmsford) and junction 25 (A120 interchangeMarks Tey). 

This project aims to: 

  • improve safety by closing-off private access onto the A12 and providing alternatives 
  • reduce congestion and make journey times more reliable 
  • smooth traffic flow by helping the road to cope with incidents such as breakdowns and accidents 
  • support planned economic and housing growth in Essex and the surrounding region 
  • provide safer alternative routes away from the A12 for cyclists, walkers and horse riders 

Documents

Traffic information

Information about scheduled roadworks and events on our motorways and major roads.

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