A12 Chelmsford to A120 widening scheme (junctions 19 to 25)

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

Start date 2023-24
End date 2027-28
Cost £1045m - £1268m (£1.045 - £1.268bn)

Latest updates

  • 12 January 2024

    Planning decision is granted

    We’ve been informed on 12 January 2024, that the Development Consent Order (DCO planning application for this scheme has been granted. View the decision letter.

    The granting of the DCO marks a significant step towards the future delivery of this important road project. The scale of our work here on the A12 will help improve safety for drivers, especially at the junctions and slip roads, reduce traffic congestion by increasing capacity, and make journey times more reliable.

    Our plans will see the current four-lane carriageway widen to six lanes (three in each direction). Other major improvements include the construction of two major bypasses at Rivenhall End and to the north of Kelvedon. These changes will help to take heavy goods vehicles away from minor roads and local villages. Junctions will also be upgraded to help traffic enter and exit the A12 safely. Public transport users will also benefit with access to additional bus stops, making their journeys quicker, safer, and more convenient.

    Away from the road itself, a series of additional separate routes for walkers, cyclists and horse riders will also be created to help improve health and maximise the use of non-motorised forms of travel.

    All our schemes from 2025 onwards are designed to provide an overall ‘biodiversity net gain’. That means a real emphasis is placed on retaining existing habitats and ensuring a greater amount of biodiversity is left when the project is completed than what was there previously.

    You can read about the work we are already doing for badgers, and water voles and reptiles along the A12 in the Advanced Work factsheets towards the bottom of this webpage.

  • 20 October 2023

    Upcoming roadworks in October 2023

    Monday 30 October only

    Daytime 3-way traffic lights on B1023, Inworth Road in Feering.

  • 12 October 2023

    Planning decision recommendation is submitted

    Our plans to improve the A12 between Chelmsford and Colchester reached a significant stage on 12th July 2023 when the Planning Inspectorate’s six-month examination of our proposals and public representations ended.

    The evidence gathered – which has come from a variety of interested parties including the public and local authorities – has now been considered by the Examining Authority. 

    The Examining Authority then issued a Recommendation Report to the Secretary of State on 12 October 2023.

    The Secretary of State, The Rt Hon Mark Harper MP, now has three months in which to make the final decision on whether to grant or withhold consent for the project to progress to the construction stage. The deadline for Secretary of State to make decision is 12/01/2024.

    The decision letter and Recommendation Report will be published on this project page once a decision has been made.

    This permission is known as a development consent order (DCO) and is a way of obtaining planning permission for a development which is seen as nationally important for the infrastructure of the country.

    If consent is granted, construction will begin in 2024 and the road is expected to be open to traffic in 2027/28.

  • 16 August 2023

    Upcoming roadworks in August

    There are no planned road closures from Monday 14 August to Sunday 3 September for this scheme. However there are planned road closures for our other project to replace the concrete road surface on the A12. Please check our work on rebuilding the A12 between junction 25 at Marks Tey and junction 26 at Stanway, and the Margaretting Bypass (A12 junctions 13 to 15).

  • 14 August 2023

    End of Examination and what happens next

    Our plans to improve the A12 between Chelmsford and Colchester reached a significant stage on 12th July 2023 when the Planning Inspectorate’s six-month examination of our proposals and public representations ended.

    The evidence gathered – which has come from a variety of interested parties including the public and local authorities – is now being considered by the Examining Authority before a recommendation is made to the Secretary of State for Transport, in early October 2023. 

    The Rt Hon Mark Harper MP will then have a further three months in which to make the final decision on whether to grant or withhold consent for the project to progress to the construction stage. 

    This permission is known as a development consent order (DCO) and is a way of obtaining planning permission for a development which is seen as nationally important for the infrastructure of the country.

    If consent is granted, construction will begin in 2024 and the road is expected to be open to traffic in 2027/28.

  • 15 June 2023

    Upcoming roadworks

    Road closures

    We are doing surveys and ground investigations to provide technical information, ahead of the next phase of more detailed scheme design.

    We'll be making sure that we know where all the utility pipes and cables are. We'll also be looking at the drainage, as well as surveying the condition and make up of the existing tarmac on the A12. And we'll be making boreholes along where the new road will be built to get geotechnical information on the type of soil and rocks, and to locate the groundwater levels. 

    To do this work, we'll need to have some traffic lights and road closures on the A12. (Note: Night time working is 9pm to 6am, and daytime working is 9:30am to 3:30pm)

    There are no planned closures from Saturday 17 June to Sunday 9 July 2023 for this scheme. However there are planned road closures for our other project to replace the concrete road surface on the A12. Please check our work on rebuilding the A12 between junction 25 at Marks Tey and junction 26 at Stanway, and the Margaretting Bypass (A12 junctions 13 to 15)

  • 19 April 2023

    Join our webinars to hear about our consultation proposals

    We are proposing to make six changes to the DCO application. We want your feedback to help us improve our DCO submission. Our consultation runs until Sunday 14 May 2023.

    The proposed changes affect:

    ·     Junction 19 Slip Road

    ·     Anglian Water Pumping Station (Bury Lane, Hatfield Peverel)

    ·     Replacement land South of Witham

    ·     B1023 Flood Mitigation and Drainage

    ·     B1023 Roundabout Design

    ·     Junction 25

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

    You can 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 11:59pm on Sunday 14 May.

    Webinars

    We’re also holding the following online sessions where the project team will explain the changes and you will be able to ask questions. These live events are free and open to everyone.

    Date

    Time

    To register

    Wednesday 19 April 2023

    2pm - 3:30pm

    Click here to register

    Friday 21 April 2023

    10am - 11:30am

    Click here to register

    Tuesday 2 May 2023

    6:30pm - 8pm

    Click here to register


    You can also get in touch with our project team at A12chelmsfordA120wide@nationalhighways.co.uk or by calling 0300 123 5000.

    Consultation documents

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

  • 13 April 2023

    We're consulting on our proposals

    We are proposing to make six changes to the DCO application. We want your feedback to help us improve our DCO submission. Our consultation is now open until Sunday 14 May 2023.

    The proposed changes affect:

    ·     Junction 19 Slip Road

    ·     Anglian Water Pumping Station (Bury Lane, Hatfield Peverel)

    ·     Replacement land South of Witham

    ·     B1023 Flood Mitigation and Drainage

    ·     B1023 Roundabout Design

    ·     Junction 25

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

    You can 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 11:59pm on Sunday 14 May.

    Webinars

    We’re also holding the following online sessions where the project team will explain the changes and you will be able to ask questions. These live events are free and open to everyone.

    Date

    Time

    To register

    Wednesday 19 April 2023

    2pm - 3:30pm

    Click here to register

    Friday 21 April 2023

    10am - 11:30am

    Click here to register

    Tuesday 2 May 2023

    6:30pm - 8pm

    Click here to register


    You can also get in touch with our project team at A12chelmsfordA120wide@nationalhighways.co.uk or by calling 0300 123 5000.

    Consultation documents

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

     

  • 22 September 2022

    Planning Inspectorate Acceptance of Scheme Submission

    We are pleased to announce that our Development Consent Order Application was submitted to the Planning Inspectorate on 15 August 2022. It has subsequently been accepted on 12 September 2022, allowing us to progress through to examination.

    The Section 56 Notice notifies the public that the A12 Chelmsford to A120 Widening Scheme Development Consent Order application has been accepted for examination. Read the Section 56 Notice.

    The next steps in the process are shown in the diagram below:

    Steps in the DCO process diagram

    Prior to the Planning Inspectorate starting the full examination period, members of the public are now able to register to participate in the examination and provide a response to our application during the Relevant Representation period, which commenced on 22 September 2022. Details are available on the website https://infrastructure.planninginspectorate.gov.uk/projects/eastern/a12-chelmsford-to-a120-widening-scheme/ 

    We are continuing to carry out ground investigations and other survey works to progress a more detailed design for this scheme.

  • 20 July 2022

    Information about our construction approach at Hatfield Peverel

    If our proposals for improving the A12 between Chelmsford and Colchester get planning approval, the bridges at Station Road, Bury Lane and Wellington
    Bridge in the village of Hatfield Peverel will need to be closed temporarily, at separate times.

    Each of the road closures will affect road users differently, so our proposals will suit pedestrians and cyclists, as well as motorists. We will ensure that people with additional accessibility needs are not restricted and that emergency services can always get to every property. We’ve also considered services such as refuse bin collections and mail deliveries.

    We held a public event at Hatfield Peverel on 19 July 2022. We produced an accompanying leaflet and frequently asked questions which explain how we will provide alternative routes to and from the village centre, the train station and the wider road network during these closures.

    Next steps

    National Highways will shortly be seeking approval for the overall A12 proposals by applying for a Development Consent Order (DCO). Information about this process is on the Planning Inspectorate’s website.

    As part of the DCO application, an Outline Construction Traffic Management Plan will be published, providing details about our proposed roadworks and diversions. A Register of Environmental Actions and Commitments, as well as the draft DCO and associated plans, will be published as part of the DCO process.

    If the DCO application is approved, these documents will commit National Highways to follow these arrangements during the road closures.

  • 20 December 2021

    Consultation update

    Consultation on the A12 Chelmsford to A120 widening scheme ran until Sunday 19 December and is now closed.

    As part of this consultation, we held three public events. This saw over 230 people join us to talk to project experts and share their views and ideas. We also held three online drop-in events with the project team and hosted a virtual exhibition room.

    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.

    All feedback we have received during the consultation period will be reviewed by the project team and put together in a consultation report. This report will form part of our planning application for a Development Consent Order (DCO), which we expect to submit in 2022.

     

     

  • 09 November 2021

    We're consulting on our proposals

    Following on from the Statutory Consultation held this summer, we have looked at your feedback and made some further changes to our proposals. Our supplementary consultation brochure explains our updated proposals for the proposed scheme. We also provide you with details of how you can give us your feedback during our public consultation. A digital version of the brochure is available to view and download from the Documents section below. 

    Your responses will help us shape the proposals before we submit our Development Consent Order application. This is your opportunity to have your say on those changes before we submit our planning application in 2022.  

    Visit our virtual room and see our latest updated design, or attend one of our events or webinars to learn more.

    Then take part in our A12 Chelmsford to A120 Widening supplementary design consultation  and give us your feedback by filling in our questionnaire which is open until 23:59 on Sunday 19 December 2021.  

    Online Drop-in events

    We're also hosting a series of online drop-in events. These will be online events where you can drop into a session at any time during the allocated slot. Technical experts will talk you through our proposed updates and answer any specific questions. These live online events are free and open to everyone:

    To register to attend, please click on the links on the dates above, 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. Here you can find out more about the proposed scheme and speak to members of the project team who will be happy to answer any questions you may have. We will be at the following venues:

    • Hatfield Peverel Village Hall, Maldon Rd, Hatfield Peverel, Chelmsford CM3 2HW: Tuesday 23 November, 2pm – 6.30pm
    • Messing Village Hall, The St, Messing, Colchester CO5 9TN: Thursday 25 November, 4pm – 6.30pm
    • Spring Lodge Community Centre, Powers Hall End, Witham CM8 2HE: Friday 26 November, 3pm – 7pm.

    If you require an accessible version of the brochure or additional materials, or need to have one posted to you, please contact our project team at A12chelmsfordA120wide@highwaysengland.co.uk or call 0300 123 5000.  

  • 04 November 2021

    Historical discoveries found on A12

    Historical discoveries have been found along the area of our widening scheme as part of our archeological surveys.

    A possible Romano-British settlement, Bronze Age cremations and a prehistoric millstone are among the early archaeological discoveries that we found whilst we excavated a series of archaeological trial trenches to learn more about what life was like in the area during early prehistoric period through to post medieval times.

    Over the last five months, over 80 archaeologists investigated an area of 1039 hectare - the equivalent of around 1,445 full sized football pitches. This involved excavating and surveying 2,117 trial trenches.

    Trial trenching is a method of archaeological evaluation used to characterise and determine the archaeological potential of a site. This is all part of the work we’re doing to respect the area's cultural heritage. A mechanical excavator is used to trenches to expose archaeological features deposits and any archaeology encountered is excavated by hand and recorded. The results of the trial trenching are used to inform the future stages of work.

    By analysing early historical records and digging more than 2000 trial trenches, the archaeological consultants and contractors made some interesting finds:
    • Evidence of numerous ditches, refuse pits and postholes indicated a Romano-British settlement.
    • Other Romano-British items identified included pottery, consistent with storage jars which would have been used to store wine, milk and vinegar.
    • ‘Samian Ware’ was also found, a type of valuable tableware glazed to a bright red-brown glow and often decorated ornately with pastoral, mythological or pornographic themes.
    • Sites across the route revealed evidence of building materials including fired clay daub and the remains of both an ‘imbrex’, a raised Roman roofing tile, and a ‘tegulae’, a flat Roman roofing tile.
    • Recovery of animal bones, including the remains of horses, cows, sheep, goats and rabbits gives an insight into the ancient diets. There was also evidence of emmer, the main cereal grown and consumed in the Bronze and Iron Ages and an ancient millstone.

    Tiles Fishbourne

    Tiles Fishbourne

    samian ware bowl

    Samian ware bowl

    The archaeological evidence will be combined to produce a report, which will provide site-by-site information on the excavations and ultimately inform the next stages of archaeological work. These later stages may comprise bespoke packages of large-scale archaeological excavation ahead of the construction works or archaeological monitoring during the works themselves.

  • 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

    Update 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 is one of the busiest roads in the east of England and provides a strategic connection between Chelmsford and Colchester, as well as the ports of Harwich and Felixstowe and nearby Stansted Airport. It provides the main south-west/north-east route through Essex and Suffolk, connecting Ipswich to London and the M25.

The section between Chelmsford at junction 19 (Boreham Interchange) to junction 25 at Marks Tey Interchange (near Colchester) 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 (almost double the national figure of 5% on most routes). 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

Watch our videos

Find out more about the proposed changes to the road layout and junctions by watching our three videos below.

Please note that these videos are an artist’s impression of the scheme, based on the proposed road layout that was consulted on in our Preliminary Design consultation which ran from June to August 2021. We have since continued to refine our design proposals. As such, the videos are not intended to be an accurate depiction of the final scheme once operational.

Videos:

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 2023 Design consultation can be found at the bottom of the consultation page. Read a copy of our consultation notice.

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.

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