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ESSEX Council is seeking a contractor to carry out improvements around the Fairglen Interchange, to alleviate chronic traffic problems.
Plans improve widening roads, creating a new slip road and expanding the Rayleigh Spur roundabout with extra circulatory lanes.
County Hall wants to fix ‘significant congestion and delays’ at the A127/A130/A1245 interchange near Rayleigh.
Council documents said improvements to the junction were needed because 90,000 new homes were due to be delivered in south Essex by 2037.
Proposals include a new one-way link road, which would allow traffic to join the A127 towards Southend from the A130 without having to navigate the Fairglen and Rayleigh Spur roundabouts.
Entry and exit lanes onto the Rayleigh Spur roundabout would be widened from two lanes to three, while the off-slip road from the A127 to the northbound A130 would be widened from two lanes to four.
Essex Council’s cabinet approved plans this morning, November 26, to use a ‘mini competition tendering process’ to ‘procure a construction contract’.
Tory councillor Malcolm Buckley told the YA: “It’s something that’s so strategically important to the south of Essex. We are all dependent on the A127 and it’s at full capacity, and that capacity is especially diminished where those junctions are.
“If this achieves the results predicted for it, it will certainly help the situation considerably. Will it resolve it totally? Probably not. But we need to see it flowing far better.
“There are 40-odd thousand jobs in the Basildon area alone. All those people have to get to work. Then those businesses have to be able to move their goods around.
“The big problem is going to be while the works are being undertaken. The issue is managing that. In the discussions I’ve had with the cabinet member, Kevin Bentley, I have asked how they will keep traffic moving during the works.
“The traffic is predominantly westbound in the mornings and eastbound in the evenings. So Cllr Bentley has told me he will endeavour, wherever possible, to ensure that the westbound carriageway is open during the mornings and the eastbound is open during the evenings.
“I think the council is hoping to get the contracts sorted early next year. But work, I think, won’t start for some time after that because there will be a lot of preparatory work to be done – surveys and things like that.
“So you probably won’t see the workforce on the ground for a year – or it could even be a bit longer than that.”