The Government is looking at a major upgrade of the A120 in Tendring between 2020-25 it was revealed at a full Council meeting last night.
Responding to a question about the state of the route from Horsley Cross to Harwich, Tendring District Council (TDC) Leader Neil Stock said he could confirm after discussions with the local MP and Highways England that an already planned £800,000 scheme to carry out vital repairs had begun this week.
This includes three crews working to patch the carriageway and give an immediate fix to some of the worse potholes along the road.
Cllr Stock also revealed that Highways England was looking to carry out a major upgrade of the road – costing tens of millions of pounds – in the Government’s Road Improvement Strategy 2 (RIS2) from 2020-2025. This is because the concrete base of the A120, laid some 50 years ago, is reaching the end of its life.
But the Leader said this should be seen as an opportunity to potentially aim for something even better for the key route.
“It is an opportunity to develop a proper A120 development strategy, which is integrated with the plans for economic development along the A120 corridor,” he said. “This would involve a full traffic study, to establish future traffic growth, and to ensure the new road is of sufficient capacity.
“If we want to consider an entirely different line of route, or dualling in the longer term, now is the time to develop these proposals.
“Much of this section of the A120 is laid on concrete slabs, which are simply reaching the end of their life.
“The substructure is failing. Some of them have moved, the joints between the slabs are more and more evident, particularly down the middle of the carriageway, and some gullies are collapsing.
“This work is regarded as imperative and will need to be addressed in the next forward programme as part of RIS2.”
Also at the meeting a motion was passed empowering the Leader to continue discussions with Essex County Council with a view to devolving highways powers – and funding – to TDC.
Cllr Stock said any such potential agreement would undergo full TDC scrutiny before going ahead.