A127 Network Resilience, Essex
- Capital Investment - Essex, Southend & Thurrock, More than £2m, LGF1
LGF project delivered
Project completion date
The A127 corridor is an important primary route for the South Essex area which connects the M25, Basildon and Southend. During peak periods the A127 carries traffic volumes which exceed those on many urban motorways elsewhere in the United Kingdom.
The route is heavily congested, especially during peak periods, and is extremely sensitive to incidents and collisions which results in unreliable journey times. Realising much of the proposed growth in the area is dependent upon addressing the significant reliability and capacity issues on this corridor.
This project seeks to address these issues through the delivery of four interventions:
- Nevendon Interchange (A127/A132) – capacity improvements to the grade separated junction;
- Rayleigh Weir Interchange (A127/A129) – traffic signal upgrade and linkage through Split Cycle Offset Optimisation Technique (SCOOT) to prevent vehicles backing up onto the A127;
- Warley Interchange (A127/B186) – installation of signals on slip roads, slip road widening, speed limit reduction and improvements to pedestrian footways; and
- Signing improvements – delivery of directional and telematic signage improvements.
This project is seeking to meet the following objectives:
- To support housing and job growth;
- To support current and emerging Local Development Plans;
- To make best use of the existing highway network;
- To reduce congestion at key pinch-points on the network;
- To improve resilience of the corridor; and
- To improve journey time reliability.
The project was considered by Accountability Board on 7th June 2019 and a change in project scope and total cost was agreed.
To date three of the four proposed interventions have been delivered, with the improvements to the Warley Interchange being the only outstanding element of the project. Design, consultation and tendering activities have been undertaken for the Warley Interchange improvements, however, this has demonstrated that the costs for these works significantly exceeds the amount of funding which is available to complete the project. The LGF funding has been spent in full, with the remaining project budget consisting of a financial contribution from Essex County Council.
Essex County Council has actively sought alternative sources of funding in order to bridge the funding gap which now exists, but no suitable alternatives have been identified. Following a recent comprehensive review of their capital programme, which focused on reducing capital spend and borrowing, Essex County Council are not in a position to commit any further funding to the project themselves.
As a result of the ongoing funding gap Essex County Council requested that the Warley Interchange improvements be removed from the project scope, thereby releasing the remainder of the Essex County Council financial contribution and allowing it to be returned to the County Council Treasury.
Essex County Council remain committed to delivering the improvements to the Warley Interchange and are continuing to seek alternative funding sources in order to bring forward these works. At this stage, Essex County Council are unable to provide a delivery programme for the improvements as no other funding contributions have been secured, and as a result there will be a delay in realising the full benefits outlined within the project Business Case.
Whilst the Accountability Board approved the change in total cost and scope of the project, it was noted that the decision to agree the change to project scope was made on an exemption basis and should any other similar requests be submitted to the Board these will be considered on a case by case basis.
Capital Programme delivery update
Take a look at our update on the delivery of the Local Growth Fund (LGF) and Growing Places Fund (GPF) capital programmes.
£570m of investment to East Sussex, Essex, Kent, Medway, Southend and Thurrock
In total the SELEP Growth Deal with Government has brought £570m of investment to East Sussex, Essex, Kent, Medway, Southend and Thurrock. Over the lifetime of the Growth Deal (2015-2021) we aim to deliver 78,000 jobs and 29,000 homes across the SELEP area, with the Deal set to attract a further £960m of investment into the South East over the six year period.