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

  • 17 August 2021

    Consultation now closed

    Our consultation has now closed.

    All the consultation documents are still available to read on our consultation website. 

    Many thanks to everyone who attended one of our online or in-person events, and who took the time to give us your thoughts on our proposals. 

    We will now read and assess your feedback. 

  • 30 July 2021

    Meet the A12 team

    Our consultation on plans to widen 15 miles of the A12 from Chelmsford to Marks Tey is still open until just before midnight on 16 August.

    Find out more by meeting the team in our mobile van on Thursday 5 August from 11am to 2pm at Messing-cum-Inworth Primary School, Messing, CO5 9TH.

    We'll then be at Boreham Village Hall on Friday 6 August from 11am to 2pm at Main Road, Boreham, Chelmsford, CM3 3JD.

    Or access our consultation page to visit our virtual exhibition or watch a mock-up video flythrough of what the new road layout will look like.

  • 22 June 2021

    We're consulting on our proposals

    Our consultation is now open until 23:59 on Monday 16 August 2021.

    Visit our consultation page to find out more about our proposals.

    You'll be able to visit our virtual exhibition room to see our latest designs, watch our video fly-throughs of what the new road and junctions will look like, and get information on the measures we're taking to protect the surrounding environment. You can also listen to an audio description of the A12 exhibition boards. 

    You can then take part in the consultation by giving us your thoughts and leaving your feedback by filling in the questionnaire on our consultation page. Please respond by 23:59 on Monday 16 August 2021.

    Webinars

    We're also hosting a series of webinars. These live events are free and open to everyone:

    • Monday 28 June 2pm to 4pm -  junction 19 (Boreham Interchange) to junction 21 (between Hatfield Peverel and Witham) Sign up
    • Thursday 1 July 6pm to 8pm – junction 21 (between Hatfield Peverel and Witham) to existing junction 23 (Kelvedon South Interchange) Sign up
    • Tuesday 6 July 2pm to 4pm – existing junction 23 (Kelvedon South Interchange) to junction 25 (Marks Tey Interchange) Sign up
    • Wednesday 4 August 6pm to 8pm – junction 19 (Boreham Interchange) to 21 (between Hatfield Peverel and Witham) Sign up
    • Monday 9 August 10am to 12pm – junction 21 (between Hatfield Peverel and Witham) to existing junction 23 (Kelvedon South Interchange) Sign up
    • Thursday 12 August 6pm to 8pm – existing junction 23 (Kelvedon South Interchange) to junction 25 (Marks Tey Interchange) Sign up

    To attend, please sign up above or email A12chelmsfordA120wide@highwaysengland.co.uk, or call 0300 123 5000.

    Meet the team

    Subject to the government’s COVID-19 guidelines, we plan to hold public information events during July 2021.

    Please note that due to the ongoing pandemic, our face to face events are subject to government guidelines and last minute cancellation therefore, prior to attending any of our public exhibitions, please contact a member of our project team in advance of attending by calling our Customer Contact Centre on 0300 123 5000 or by emailing A12chelmsfordA120wide@highwaysengland.co.uk.

    Due to COVID restrictions, the first three events below will only allow for 30 people (including staff) to gather in our outdoor exhibition at any one time. As such, you may be asked to wait in a socially distanced way before you can join the event. We thank you for your understanding.

    We will continue to hold all these events in accordance with government guidelines at the time.

    Date Time Location
    Thursday 8 July 2021 2pm to 8pm Rivenhall Hotel, Rivenhall End, Witham, CM8 3HB
    Saturday 10 July 2021 12pm to 5pm Spring Lodge Community Centre, Powers Hall End, Witham, CM8 2HE
    Thursday 15 July 2021 2pm to 8pm St Andrew’s Parish Church, Church Road, Hatfield Peverel,CM3 2LE
    Friday 23 July 2021 2pm to 8pm Marks Tey Village Hall, Old London Road, Marks Tey, Colchester, CO6 1EJ
    Saturday 24 July 2021 12pm to 5pm Springfield Parish Hall, St Augustine’s Way, Springfield, Chelmsford, CM1 6GX
    Tuesday 27 July 2021 2pm to 8pm Feering Community Centre, Coggeshall Road, Feering, Colchester, CO5 9QB

     

    Consultation documents

    All documents relating to the consultation can be found at the bottom of the consultation page.

    Subject to COVID-19 restrictions, hard copies of the Consultation Brochure and Response Form will be available for eight weeks at the pick up locations as shown on the consultation page. Venues will also have memory sticks with copies of the Preliminary Environmental Information Report (PEIR).

  • 17 May 2021

    A12 Archaeological Trial Trenching

    Before any construction work can begin on the A12 Chelmsford to A120 widening scheme, the length of the proposed route needs to be investigated for undiscovered archaeology and evidence of local cultural heritage buried in the earth.

    Around 28 archaeological sites have been identified within the 15mile footprint of the proposed scheme between Chelmsford and Marks Tey. These include Roman farmsteads, an early medieval field enclosure at Rivenhall End and other medieval sites such as a possible deserted medieval settlement near Hatfield Peverel, as well as several post-medieval and more modern buildings. Another 35 sites from earlier periods have also been identified, ranging in date between the Mesolithic and Iron Ages.

    Between May and mid-November we will have a team of 100 archaeologist out looking for archaeology from all periods, including medieval sites near Rivenhall End as well as Mesolithic to the Iron Age activity near Hatfield Peverel. They will be using a mixture of traditional archaeological excavation, geophysical surveys and boreholes. Soil sampling surveys which are done on foot are already underway and progressing well.

    You can read more about the A12 widening project in our newsletters.

  • 11 January 2021

    Updated January 2021 - Ground investigations and surveys

    We are continuing with important surveys and ground investigations in the area between junctions 19 and 25 of the A12.

    The investigations 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 to widen the A12.

    The surveys started in November 2019. The next phase of ground investigation and utility surveys started on Monday 7 December 2020, and will carry on until the middle of January 2021.

    For the safety of our workers and motorists, we will need to close the road overnight for some of these surveys. The A12 road will be closed overnight between junctions 19 and 25 on the following dates:

    Northbound closure between junctions 19 and 25

    Night time northbound carriageway closures between 21:00hrs and 05:00hrs in the morning every day from Monday 4 January to 05:00 hrs on Friday 15 January 2021.

    A diversion route will be in place along the A120/ A131/ A130. Traffic can still travel southbound on the A12.

    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.

    The next phase of surveys will be to carry out archaeology trial trenching, which is planned for March 2021. We will contact affected landowners in early 2021. 

    You can read more about the A12 widening project in our newsletter.

     

     

  • 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.

  • 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 road is an important economic link. It provides the main south-west/north-east route through Essex and Suffolk, connecting Ipswich to London and the M25.

The section between Chelmsford and Colchester (junction 19 Boreham Interchange to junction 25 Marks Tey Interchange) carries high volumes of traffic, with up to 90,000 vehicles every day. Heavy goods vehicles are between 9% and 12% of the traffic on this section due to its important freight connection, especially to Felixstowe and Harwich ports. This section of the A12 is also an important commuter route. The resulting congestion leads to delays and means that, during the morning commute, a driver’s average speed is particularly slow in both directions for a dual carriageway A-road of its kind.

The proposed changes to this stretch of the A12 road will:

  • improve safety for road users, especially at the junctions and slip roads through better design while also removing the current direct private accesses onto the A12
  • reduce traffic congestion by increasing the capacity of the road, making journey times more reliable. The proposed scheme will save motorists as much as 1.5 hours in a working week if they travel daily between junctions 19 and 25
  • take long-distance traffic off the local roads and put it back onto the A12 where it belongs, so that local roads aren’t used as rat runs, affecting local villages and their communities
  • ensure that the road can cope with the predicted increase in traffic from more jobs and homes in the area
  • make improvements for walkers, cyclists, horse riders and public transport users, to give them better connections and safer, more enjoyable journeys

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

All documents relating to the 2021 Preliminary Design consultation can be found at the bottom of the consultation page.

Traffic information

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

Sign up for updates!

Keep up to date with what's happening on this scheme by signing up to our updates.

Feedback