Challenge Fund

Essex County Council submitted a bid in February 2015 for funding of the A127 Major Maintenance scheme (below) from Tranche 1 of the government’s Local Highways Maintenance Challenge Fund.

This fund is designed to help maintain existing highways infrastructure, and will enable successful applicants to undertake major maintenance activities which it would otherwise find difficult to fund, and which would assist in the release of economic and housing growth.

An announcement by the government on which bids are to receive funding awards is expected before the end of March 2015, with funding for successful schemes to be provided over the 2015/16, 2016/17 and 2017/18 financial years.

A127 Major Maintenance Scheme

This £58m scheme comprises a ‘total maintenance’ programme within the boundaries of the A127 primary route between the M25 and the Southend-on-Sea boundary, thereby improving reliability of the asset and ensuring the long-term resilience of this critical route in south Essex. 

The A127 is one of the busiest non-trunk roads in the Country.  Lane or carriageway closures along the route cause extensive and widespread delay and disruption to traffic on the A127 and on the local road network.  A long term forward programme of small scale piecemeal asset maintenance and renewal projects along the route would be highly disruptive to travel and the local economy over a sustained period. The preference is to carry out work in one carefully planned end to end scheme, with extensive stakeholder consultation, and within a well-publicised traffic management plan to mitigate disruption, but this is expensive and beyond the budget normally available to the County Council for capital highway maintenance.

The scheme will primarily include carriageway reconstruction, repairs to joints, and re-surfacing together with the replacement of signs, safety barriers and lighting columns, and the maintenance of the footways and cycleways.  Collectively these proposed works will support capacity enhancement schemes which have already received provisional Local Enterprise Partnership funding. These enhancement schemes have been identified jointly between Essex County Council and Southend Borough Council in order to support plans for growth and regeneration for the entire A127 corridor.

Please see the document below to view the Challenge Fund Bid Application.