A12 Chelmsford to A120 widening scheme

Widening the A12 between junction 19 (Chelmsford) and junction 25 (A120 interchange)

Region:  East
Start date:  2023-24
Cost:  £1045m - £1268m
Status:  PLANNED
Type:  Major Scheme
End date:  2027-28

Progress report

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.

We started our surveys in late November 2019, and these will carry on during 2020. So far, we have completed the following initial surveys:

  • phase 1, Eastbound junctions 19 to 23: completed 24 January 2020
  • phase 2, Westbound junctions 22 to 19: completed 6 March 2020
  • phase 3, Eastbound junctions 23 to 25: completed 27 March 2020
  • phase 4, Westbound junctions 25 to 22: completed 1 May 2020

However, we still have some more investigations to make.

For safety reasons, this work may need lane restrictions on the A12 from junction 18 to 25, as well as overnight road closures There will be overnight road closures from 8pm to 6am on the A12 to allow the following work to be carried out (dates subject to change):

  • Side Roads: Work started on 4 May 2020 and runs for approximately 3 weeks
  • Eastbound junctions 19 to 25: from Monday 18 May to Friday 12 June 2020
  • Westbound junctions 19 to 25: from Monday 8 June to Friday 26 June 2020
  • Side roads and junctions: Planned from Monday 29 June to Friday 10 July 2020
  • Structural survey of Olivers’ Bridge on the B1018, Maldon Road (date tbc)

Additional survey phases will run until the end of Autumn 2020. 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.

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.

What's next?

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 tab 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.


Date Event
October 2019 Preferred route announcement on junctions 19 to 23
October/November 2019 Public consultation on junctions 23 to 25
2020 Preferred route announcement on junctions 23 to 25
2020 Public consultation junctions 19-25 (the whole route)
2021 Application for Development Consent Order junctions 19-25
2023 Development Consent Order secured for junctions 19-25
2023-24 Start of works junctions 19-25
2027-28 Open for traffic junctions 19-25

Why we need this scheme

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 demands, resulting in delays and reduced speeds. With few available diversions, incidents and accidents result in disruption over a wide area.

Without intervention things will get much worse. Projected growth in population and local development will only increase the pressure on this road.


With this scheme, we aim to:

  • make the network safer by closing-off private accesses on the A12 and providing alternative accesses
  • improve user satisfaction by reducing congestion related delay and improving journey time reliability
  • support the smooth flow of traffic by providing greater resilience to cope with incidents
  • encourage economic growth by supporting planning, economic and housing growth in Essex and the surrounding region
  • deliver better environmental outcomes by reducing the impact of new infrastructure on the natural and built environment
  • help cyclists, walkers and other vulnerable users of the network by providing safer alternative routes away from the A12

If your property may be affected by one of our schemes

Sometimes the development of one of our road improvement schemes creates an impact on the properties of people living along or close to the route of the scheme. There are a number of examples where this may be the case – for instance, the sale value of a property may be adversely affected by the change in the environment around it. This could be because of additional noise from a new road, or a significant change in view from the property.

There are a number of documents that explain your rights in circumstances such as these, and set out examples in which you may be entitled to compensation:

Project media files and documents

There are no images for this project

Project timeline

Planned roadworks

Roadworks and Events for England

The latest incident information for England's motorway and trunk routes provided by Highways England

Location : The A12 northbound between the junctions with the A130 Chelmsford North and the A120 Colchester West. Lane Closures : Lane two will be closed. Reason : Roadworks are planned. Status : Pending. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 21:00 and 05:00 from 30 May 2020 to 1 June 2020. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 21:00 and 05:00 from 6 June 2020 to 8 June 2020. Lanes Closed : There will be one of two lanes closed.
Posted: May 23, 2020, 8:12 pm


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