A127: Don’t Lower the Speed Limit – Straighten the Road! Says Mark Francois MP

Rayleigh and Wickford MP, Mark Francois, has responded to Essex County Council’s consultation exercise on their proposals to reduce the speed limit on part of the A127, from 70mph to 50mph, by arguing that a better alternative would be to straighten the road at the old Fortune of War Roundabout in Laindon.

The consultation came about following Government concern about excessive levels of vehicle emissions on the stretch of the A127 between the old Fortune of War Roundabout in Laindon and the Pound Lane Junction, further to the East. The Government were initially contemplating some form of congestion charging – which would likely be highly unpopular with Essex residents – and instead ECC have proposed reducing the speed limit along that stretch of road from 70mph to 50mph.

Mark responded to the consultation (which closes on the 12th August) by arguing that he is completely opposed to any form of congestion charging along the A127 and, if it were an acid choice between that and lowering the speed limit, he would reluctantly accept the latter. Nevertheless, Mark argued that a better alternative than either of those, would be to straighten out what is left of the old roundabout at the Fortune of War in Laindon, which causes tens of thousands of cars to deaccelerate and then accelerate away, every single day – thus being responsible for a large increase in emissions in the first place.

Commenting on the consultation exercise and his response, Mark Francois MP said:

“I am absolutely opposed to any form of congestion charging on the A127 and I suspect that many of my constituents would feel the same. Nevertheless, rather than reduce the speed limit, I think a better option here, at least in the first instance, would be to straighten out the road at the old Fortune of War Roundabout, thus reducing a major reason for increased emissions in the first place! I have written to Essex County Council to this effect and I do believe that we should try this method first, before restricting the speed at which Essex residents can drive along this already very well used road. I would encourage all South Essex residents, whatever their view on the matter, to respond to the consultation exercise by the 12th August and details can be found on the Essex County Council website.”