COSTLY plans to dual the A120 between Braintree and Marks Tey have been scrapped.

The decision to shelve the half a billion pound scheme after years of stalling has caused a mixture of anger and delight among residents and politicians.

Public consultations were held back in February 2005 to consider five potential routes for a new dual carriageway.

But since then, alternatives have been drawn up but never made public, costs have escalated, and the start date for the building work has been delayed numerous times.

The East of England Regional Assembly (EERA) and East of England Development Agency (EEDA) have dropped the scheme, with the blessing of the Department for Transport (DfT).

A spokesman for both EEDA and EERA said: “The unanimous decision reached by many partners from across the region after an eight-month period of consultation and evidence-based analysis by both local councillors and independent transport experts, was that the dualling of the A120 from Braintree to Marks Tey should not be prioritised for funding from the limited Department for Transport pot for the region.

“This particular scheme suffers from the ‘whale in the pond’ syndrome and is simply unaffordable given the current levels of funding for transport the region receives from central government.

"To dual the A120 would commit over one third of the total regional funding pot for the next ten years, currently £1.2billion, to a single project."

See today's Braintree and Witham Times for full story.