DELAYS in addressing jams along the A120 between Colchester and Braintree have been branded a “disgrace”.

While traffic can move relatively smoothly along the dualled section between the M11 and Braintree, there remains a ten-mile stretch between Braintree and Marks Tey that suffers heavy daily congestion.

Graham Butland, Braintree Council’s leader, told an Essex County Council scrutiny committee meeting that the severe congestion between Braintree and the A12 was like turning the stretch of road into a car park.

Essex County Council and the Government has agreed the A120 is not fit for purpose.

But plans to dual the road between Galleys Corner and the A12 have long been delayed and is unlikely to be considered for moving forward by National Highways until after 2030.

The delays to the work has prompted frustration from Mr Butland, who is also a county councillor.

He told a corporate policy and scrutiny committee the connection between the capital programme of county and that of national government was key.

Boss - Braintree Council leader Graham ButlandBoss - Braintree Council leader Graham Butland (Image: N/A)

He said: “It’s an absolute disgrace that every day that part of the county becomes a car park.”

Fellow county councillor Chris Siddall said: “Everywhere I went I championed the dualling of the A120 from Braintree to Earls Colne. It was £500million investment at that time. It generated £1.3billion in improvement in GDP.

“If you’re a businessman there was absolutely no reason not to do it, but we are now ten years down the road and we’re still not seeing any sight of it.

“We really need to champion those things. It is a benefit for people north and south of the A12 and the A14.”

The frustrations around the A120 dualling project come after work to improve Galleys Corner was paused.

This improved access would help to accommodate further growth in the local area, stimulating additional commercial investment and job creation along the A120 in Essex.

However this has been pushed back following funding issues.

A spokesman for Essex County Council said: “Following an unsuccessful bid to the Government’s Levelling Up Round 2 Fund, we confirmed in 2023 that the Millennium Way Slip Roads project, while still an ambition of the council’s, could not be included in the current capital programme.

“We will continue to consider other Government funding streams and whether we can bid for support for this project.”