A leading government figure has admitted there is a "compelling case" to fund a major revamp of the A120.

Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond made the call during treasury questions in Parliament on Tuesday.

Mr Hammond had been asked to push for funding for the scheme by Witham MP Priti Patel, who argued the widening of the road would assist businesses in both Essex and around the country.

Braintree and Witham Times: How the new junction joining the A120 with the A12 near Kelvedon would lookHow the new junction joining the A120 with the A12 near Kelvedon would look

In response to Ms Patel's request, Mr Hammond told the House of Commons: "Never a treasury questions goes by without Ms Patel raising the issue of the dualling of the A120.

"Of course we do have a very large fund available - £25.3billion - for strategic growth and I'm sure the secretary of state for transport is well aware of the compelling arguments in favour of the A120."

Essex County Council has revealed its preferred route for the new A120 west, which would see the road rerouted from Galleys Corner at Braintree and run down to a junction with the A12 to the south of Kelvedon.

Braintree and Witham Times: An aerial view of how the new A120 will look at Galleys Corner in BraintreeAn aerial view of how the new A120 will look at Galleys Corner in Braintree

It is hoped the new road would not only improve safety, but also unlock new opportunities for jobs, business growth and housing in Essex.

Following Mr Hammond's announcement, Ms Patel said she would continue to push for funding to be made available for the project, which County Hall says could be completed by 2026.

Ms Patel added: "“The A120 between Braintree and Marks Tey is not fit for purpose and needs dualling to make it safer and to support economic growth.

"A proposal has been developed by Essex County Council and now needs Government support to progress it further.

"I am pleased that the Government is aware of the strength of the case being put forward and I will keep calling for investment to be committed to dualling the A120, an improvement that is long overdue."