2nd March

Dear Mr Warren,

A120 Extension
As you suggested I have spoken to Stanley Haynes and he asked me to put our views on paper.

We are planning to form a Blackwater Valley Preservation Society, as we believe it is a very beautiful area that should be preserved for future generations. Once lost it is gone forever.

The new preferred route is flawed in the following areas:

(1) It would desecrate the Blackwater valley between Coggeshall and Kelvedon.
(2) It would destroy a significant stretch of open countryside.

Coggeshall, Kelvedon and Feering are already areas of high flood risk. The new road would only exacerbate the situation as it is a vast area of hard surface much of which would drain into the River Blackwater. If global warming and climate change are taken into account the outlook becomes even worse. The Highways Agency admit that they have not yet examined this problem in depth.

The Highways Agency's proposals would cause serious consequences to the traffic flow in and around Coggeshall. Of the three options put forward, the Agency's preferred "Southern/Feering North" route would not and could not have a junction for Coggeshall and Earls Colne traffic, unlike the current A120 and the two "Northern" A120 options which they recognise as inappropriate for other reasons. This would mean that the "Southern/Feering North" route would have no junction between Braintree and the A12 near Feering and have the effect of encouraging traffic from the Ear;s Colne area to cross Coggeshall to pick up the new A120 at Feering. The Coggeshall traffic and that on the Coggeshall to Feering road which is fast and dangerous with a mixture of straight sections and Z-bends would be worse than the current A120.
The Highways Agency's preferred "Southern/Feering North" route would also do nothing to solve the chronic traffic problems that increasingly cause gridlock in Kelvedon and Witham.

The actual cost of the new A120 could be reduced if the route described in the following paragraph were adopted because of the shorter distance and no bridge being required over the River Blackwater.

Proposed Alternative Strategy:
Essex County Council is in discussion with the Highways Agency as per Nigel Edey's proposals which are attached. We strongly support his suggestion that the route referred to as "Kelvedon South" should be investigated immediately.
Such a route would follow the same line from the Braintree by-pass as the preferred southern route but would turn south-east in the region of the old airfield to join the A12 between the north end of the Witham by-pass and the Kelvedon south turn off. There would then be the need for only one intersection with the A12 serving Witham, Kelvedon and Tiptree. We understand that Witham would welcome such a route as it would take industrial traffic out of Witham centre and relieve the B1018. This proposal would be substantially shorter than the Highways Agency's preferred "Southern/Feering North" route and environmentally do less damage. We believe that Nigel Edey's proposals are totally sound and we urge the Parish Council, individuals and preservation groups to support them.
If we speak with one voice, our chances of success are greater. Protest does work - a fine example is the Stop Stansted Expansion protest in which Essex County Council played a major role.

Roger Hadlee and Alan Willis