Anger at Colchester Borough Council over A12 consultation delay
Witham MP Priti Patel has criticised Colchester Borough Council as Highways England launch a further consultation on the A12 widening scheme. The further consultation covering route alignment between junctions 23 and 25 has been forced upon residents as a direct consequence of the controversial housing and development plans proposed by Colchester Borough Council. Highways England has announced a preferred route alignment for the section of the A12 between junctions 19 and 23, proposing how the road will be widened into a three-lane carriageway and the future of the junctions.
However, the further consultation for junctions 23 and 25 has led to the scheme being delayed by at least three years and is effectively being made as a contingency provision dependent on the outcome of the local plan process. Priti, who has been in contact with Government Ministers about the proposals and to express her concerns over the delays, said:
“While it’s pleasing to see progress being made with taking this vital scheme for our economy forward, it is a huge cause of frustration that local communities, residents and businesses have faced severe delays. Highways England’s approach is a pragmatic way to make as much progress as possible but the fact remains that Colchester Borough Council’s incompetence has led to this appalling situation arising. The A12 widening scheme was never intended to be directly linked into a particular housing plan but Highways England have now had their hands tied in this process.”
“Colchester Borough Council’s ill thought through housing plans desecrate Copford and were put forward with no proper consultation taking place. Had this rotten Council not changed its housing proposals, we’d be getting ready to see diggers in the ground next year. Instead, we need a further consultation and face a longer wait to see the outcome of the local plan process. I would encourage all residents and businesses to respond to the current consultation.”