A MULTIMILLION pound project to ease congestion at a notorious blackspot has stalled after a bid for government funding failed.

Braintree Council has said £1.6 million of its £2.5 million allocated towards the A120 Millennium Way slips project could be reallocated after an unsuccessful bid to central government’s Levelling Up Round 2 Fund.

The plans would have created two new slip roads on the A120 at Millennium Way to allow direct access to the B1018 and relieve congestion further along at Galleys Corner roundabout. 

Braintree and Witham Times: The A120 at Braintree looking westbound, a usual spot for heavy congestionThe A120 at Braintree looking westbound, a usual spot for heavy congestion (Image: N/A)

However, after failure to secure funding, Braintree Council said they were advised by Essex County Council the project is unlikely to be included in their programme “in the near future”.

The council is now proposing to relocate funding to a £25 'New Homes and Growth Dividend', providing extra support for residents and households across the district during the cost of living crisis.

It would use £1.6 million of Braintree Council’s funds set aside for the A120 project, which is estimated to benefit about 64,000 eligible council taxpayers.

Braintree and Witham Times: Braintree Council leader Graham Butland has said the plans stalling is disappointing newsBraintree Council leader Graham Butland has said the plans stalling is disappointing news (Image: N/A)

Braintree Council leader Graham Butland said: “It is disappointing news about the Millennium Way Slips project.

“Improvements to the A120 are important for the district, helping to alleviate traffic congestion for road users and making the network safer, however as a partner local authority, we understand the difficult financial position Essex County Council is in and recognise they need to prioritise their current capital funding.

“Given Essex County Council highlighting to us it is unlikely they will be able to fund their contribution to the project in the short term, we have taken the opportunity to reprioritise our capital contribution and instead of keeping it in reserves, to use this funding to be able to provide help for all households with the current challenges they are all facing from the cost of living crisis.

“Improving the A120 is a project we remain committed to seeing being delivered.

“We will continue to work to promote and lobby for improvements to the A120 which are long overdue and play our part in its delivery when a financially viable project is finalised.”

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Essex County Council infrastructure and planning boss Lesley Wagland added: “It is unfortunate the scheme is unable to go ahead at this time after the bid was unsuccessful.  

“We will continue to work with partners including Braintree Council to lobby National Highways and the Department for Transport for the much-needed upgrade works on the A120 which would provide significant benefits to both local communities and strategic traffic.”