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.
new preferred route is flawed in the following areas:
(1) It would desecrate the Blackwater valley between Coggeshall
(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.
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.
Hadlee and Alan Willis