A scheme to unlock the multi-billion pound regeneration of the Lower Thames Valley is due to get off the ground this autumn.
The investment will increase capacity and relieve congestion at the M25 junction with the A13 in Thurrock, Essex making journeys more reliable and significantly improving safety.
The project will also see the A13 widened to four lanes in each direction between the M25 and the A126.
To enable the new road layout, and to improve safety on a section of the A13 either side of junction 30, it is proposed to introduce a permanent 50mph speed limit on a four mile section of the A13. The speed limit on the M25 is unaffected. A consultation into the proposed speed limit is launched today.
Wole Odetola, Highways Agency Project Manager said:
This scheme is part of the government’s long term economic plan which will see up to £3 billion a year pumped into improving the roads by 2021; it will support the creation of jobs and development in the Thames Gateway area and keep drivers moving.
To enable the changes to the road layout at the same time as improving safety, we need to introduce a 50mph speed limit on a short section of the A13. We expect this to reduce accidents by 18 per cent - almost one in five. This speed limit reduction is a unique solution for this particular part of our network.
We welcome the views of road users, local residents and businesses about the proposal.
The increased capacity on the A13 will enable an extra 381 vehicles to use the A13 in the morning peak period, between 7am and 10am, with a reduction in journey times by just over 2 minutes.
As well as the widening, new dedicated left turns will be introduced and the slip roads improved.
The 50mph speed limit is proposed to be introduced on the A13 between the A1306 at Wennington, and the A1012 east of the A126.
The consultation, which runs for three weeks, is required as the changes will need new regulations.
Further information about it and how to respond can be found by visiting the Highways Agency’s website..
Advance, reversible work to conduct surveys and prepare the road for these improvements begun in August. Information about the work, which may include lane closures and full carriageway closures, will be publicised as it progresses.
Members of the public should contact the Highways Agency Information Line on 0300 123 5000.
Journalists should contact the Highways Agency press office on 0844 693 1448 and use the menu to speak to the most appropriate press officer.