Letter to Highways Agency 12th April 2005

Dear Mr Shuker,

A120 Braintree to Marks Tey

In the whole of this debate, it seems that one simple fact is often overlooked. The A12 and the A120 are totally separate roads serving separate routes and traffic streams and they CROSS at Colchester. Actually, of course, the “crossing” now involves the A12 and the A120 “sharing” from Marks Tey to the end of the Colchester by-pass. Both roads are prone to accidents; but it is unusual for both roads to be closed at the same time. The greater the distance that they share, the greater the risk that both routes are closed to through traffic. Ergo, the nearer to Marks Tey that the A120 joins the A12 the better – the safer.

Although the proposed southern route could easily, and, as I have suggested, with advantage, join the A12 nearer to Marks Tey (thereby relieving much of the Feering anxiety, but not that of Coggeshall), it would be better still, in my view, were you to go for an on-line route. This is the only solution that I believe will have almost universal support in that it will solve the A120 problems with minimum disruption to everybody else and, particularly, with minimum disturbance to some of the most beautiful countryside in Essex (goodness knows, we have little enough of it as it is!)

Kelvedon South – the non-solution

Living as we do at the top of the Rivenhall Valley we listen with amazement to the arguments for bringing the new A120 down our valley – the solution apparently to so much. Never, I would hazard, have so many diverse lobby interests with different and often conflicting agendas, imputed such miraculous properties to such a small and so beautiful a valley as that which runs from Silver End, past Rivenhall and its outstanding Saxon Church, to the A12 at Rivenhall End. It is in every way as beautiful as the Blackwater Valley; but the damage to a valley by going down it is considerably greater than the damage to a valley by going across it; ours would simply be ruined in its entirety.

Coggeshall and Feering would be happy for any inconvenience to be at the other end of Kelvedon – I do not blame them; indeed I share their views on the beautv of their valley. Some in Witham would appear to seek to solve their daily influx of local traffic by routing through traffic down this valley to enter Witham from the A12 in the south rather than from the A120 in the north. Is the new A120 really to be the Witham-North-South-By-pass? I think not. Others would seem to find a solution to the Inworth Road Tiptree traffic this way. And, of course, it would increase the shared section of A12/A120 and increase the risk to through traffic on both roads.

I will not list all the problems that need solutions; you know them all, only too well!

I would just repeat that the one solution to the A120 which would command almost universal support is on-line.

We, the locals round and about, are the people caught up in the problems; you are the man looking for the solution. I do not envy you; but I would just like to thank you for trying to find the right one.

Yours sincerely,
David Starling.
Kelvedon Resident