A12 widening wins government consent

The road is regarded as an important freight connection

The A12 is to be widened to three lanes between Hatfield Peverel and Marks Tey.
Huw Merriman, Minister of State for Transport, has granted a Development Consent Order (DCO) for the widening between junctions 20a and 25. His decision and reasons were announced this month (Friday, January 12) in a 78-page letter.
CPRE Essex was a registered as an Interested Party for the DCO examination and, in addition to responding to earlier consultations on the scheme, submitted a representation to the examining authority focusing on the proposals for junction 24.
While CPRE Essex recognises the need for improvements to the A12 and supports the objectives of the overall scheme, our concerns centre on the likely impact on the natural environment, notably hedgerow loss; heritage, especially the effect on the villages of Messing and Inworth; and road-safety issues. Click here to read the CPRE Essex submission to the DCO inquiry.
The widening, which will stretch for some 15.5 miles, was cited by National Highways as necessary to support growth in housing and jobs in the area, while it was presented as an important economic link for eastern England and an important freight connection.
Merriman wrote that the widening would result in “improvements to air quality at a number of locations due to either changes in traffic flows or as a result of the realignment of the main carriageway”.
Granting the DCO, Merriman concluded that the “potential negative impacts are substantially outweighed by the benefits of the proposed development”.
The decision had been delegated to Merriman by Mark Harper, Secretary of State for Transport, and followed the recommendation of the Planning Inspectorate.

  • You can read the minister’s decision and reasoning here