A12 Chelmsford to A120 widening schemeRecently updated

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

Region:  East
Start date:  2020/21
Cost:  ¬£100 to ¬£250 million
Status:  PLANNED
Type:  Major Scheme
End date:  TBC

Progress report

The consultation period is now closed for this scheme; we'd like to thank everyone who took part and gave feedback on our proposals. We received over 900 responses and public exhibitions were attended by over 1,800 people, with nearly 90% of those who attended rating the events as positive.

The purpose of the early consultation was to understand the concerns of the local community and road users. We wanted to understand which option gained the most support and to listen to suggestions before any detailed design or preferred route is selected. We received valuable feedback on the route options presented, along with suggestions about the junctions along this stretch of the road. Other issues raised included:

  • environmental impacts
  • other key developments proposed for the area
  • existing rat runs in the area
  • non-motorised user services such as cycle paths
  • improving safety

What's next?

As a public body we have a responsibility to ensure that any emerging plans are considered carefully and that the scheme we develop and the way it is delivered will serve the needs of the region. It's important that we get this scheme right, not just in the short term but for the long term.

We're working closely with Essex County Council, Braintree District Council and Colchester Borough Council to understand the impact of the proposed North Essex Garden Community at Marks Tey.

The proposed development may affect the alignment of the A12 between junctions 24 and 25, but is subject to a Planning Inspectors' decision. This decision is expected to be released in Summer 2018.

If the development goes ahead then we may need to put forward new plans that reconsider the road alignment between junctions 24-25. In this case, we'll consult with those affected, and anyone living or working in the area will have the opportunity to share their views with us.


Date Event
March 2016  Feasibility assessment
December 2016  Identifying options
Spring 2017 Have your say
TBC Preferred route announcement
TBC Public consultation expected to take place on developed route option
TBC Submit application for a Development Consent Order
TBC Start of works

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

Project media files and documents

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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 southbound between the A120 Colchester West and the junction with the A130 Chelmsford North. Lane Closures : Lane two will be closed. Reason : Roadworks are planned. Status : Pending. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 20:00 and 05:00 from 29 May 2018 to 2 June 2018. Lanes Closed : There will be one of two lanes closed.
Posted: May 25, 2018, 12:30 pm
Location : The A12 southbound between the A120 Colchester West and the junction with the A130 Chelmsford South. Reason : Roadworks scheme is planned. Status : Pending. Schedule : From 20:00 on 29 May 2018 to 05:00 on 2 June 2018.
Posted: May 25, 2018, 12:30 pm


Breaking News: Traffic Information

Breaking News

The latest current breaking news items for England's motorway network

The M11 in Essex is experiencing long delays southbound between J10 and J8
Posted: January 1, 1970, 12:00 am
Long delays on the M5 southbound due to bank holiday getaway traffic
Posted: January 1, 1970, 12:00 am

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