A SET of junctions on the A12 could be removed under plans to widen a key part of the road in mid Essex.

Highways England is looking to make the 15-mile stretch between Chelmsford and Marks Tey three lanes in both directions in a bid to ease congestion and reduce the number of accidents.

Last month, it was revealed the latest proposals could see the A12 redirected south of Rivenhall End, near junction 22, to avoid the busy road running directly though the middle of the village.

New details have now emerged suggesting Highways England will look to remove junction 20A and 20B at Hatfield Peverel altogether.

Bridges in the village which run over the A12 will need to be modified to accommodate the extra lanes planned by road bosses.

Junctions 21 and 22 at Witham will both be completely redesigned and reconstructed to serve traffic moving in all directions, meaning motorists will be able to both get on and off the A12.

Junction 23 at Kelvedon is another which could be scrapped under the proposals, with Highways England instead providing access roads to the village at Witham.

This idea however is uncertain due to the ongoing debate around the Marks Tey garden community and whether the A12 between Kelvedon and Marks Tey will need to be moved.

A consultation is underway over four proposals for a new route which would be needed if the garden communities scheme is approved next year.

A spokesman for Highways England said: “Our preferred route widens the existing A12 corridor between junctions 19 and 23 to three lanes in each direction where required and creates a three-lane bypass in each direction at Rivenhall End.

“This decision takes into account the feedback we received on junctions, as well as concerns expressed about a Rivenhall End bypass being close to a scheduled monument.

“We carefully considered many factors when we selected this preferred route, including safety, value for money, environmental impacts and the overwhelming support for creating a bypass at Rivenhall End received in the 2017 consultation.”

Hatfield Peverel Parish Council declined to comment on the proposals but said it would be discussing them at a future meeting.