A NEW bypass should be built to ease congestion in a village and create greater links between the Braintree and Maldon districts, it is claimed.

Hatfield Peverel district councillor David Bebb made the call at a Braintree Council cabinet meeting last week where he revealed his concerns over Highways England’s latest plan to upgrade the A12 between Chelmsford and Marks Tey.

The proposals would see both carriageways widened to three lanes, the road moved south of Rivenhall End and new junctions built at Witham.

Junctions 20A and 20B at Hatfield Peverel would meanwhile be axed completely.

Mr Bebb said the removal of the junctions would have a “profound effect” on the village due to the amount of traffic heading to and from the Maldon district.

He said: “Those two junctions are notorious in terms of being unsafe but also there are wider congestion problems in the village.

“The announcement document from Highways England made a bold statement about what is going to happen, but they didn’t give any information in terms of how the residents in my ward and Maldon would then actually access the A12

“In correspondence since, it has been ascertained that they would provide a new road parallel to the A12 from Hatfield Peverel up to the new super junction at Junction 21 Witham.

“That’s OK but it overlooks a major residual problem we’ve had for some considerable years that with the development in Maldon that is going to cause considerable congestion problems in the village.”

Mr Bebb went on to suggest a new bypass linking the B1019 Maldon Road with Junction 21 at Witham was the only way of solving traffic problems which could be caused by the revamped A12.

He added: “There is now a wonderful opportunity with a bit of lateral thinking for that parallel road alongside the A12.

“Rather than go up from Hatfield Peverel to Witham, it would be better for the same length of road to go diagonally from Junction 21 to the junction for the B1019 with Wickham Bishops Road.

“That would give a bypass so that Maldon traffic would divert up this new road up to Junction 21 and stay out of the village.

“It would be a major improvement and solve the problems that have been sitting there for some time.”

Highways England would be unable to build the new road but Mr Bebb said the government body could provide funding to Essex Highways who would be in charge of the project.