A THIRD lane must be added to the A127 to bring the road up to motorway standard if thousands of homes are going to be built across south Essex, an MP has insisted.

Mark Francois, MP for Rayleigh and Wickford, has written a furious letter demanding the government coughs up almost £1billion to extend the road before any homes are built.

The A127, one of the key routes through south Essex, has been plagued by long queues and traffic for years with the prospect of widening the road regularly touted.

The Tory MP has written to both Rochford Council and governments ministers outlining his demand for improved infrastructure.


Under the Rochford local plan, 7,200 homes must be built over the next 20 years.

He said: “Unless the Government is seriously prepared to finance a major upgrade of the A127, to a largely three-lane M127 standard, which would likely require upwards of a billion pounds, then major house building in the Rochford District should be strongly constrained.

“Our local roads are extremely busy too.

“Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, all five [Essex] hospitals were already under pressure, and the pandemic has obviously exacerbated these problems.

“Despite the best efforts of dedicated NHS staff, pressure on our hospitals, and in the case of Rochford Council on Southend Hospital, is only likely to exacerbated by further major house building in south east Essex.”

As part of the plan, thousands of homes could be built on green belt land.

Hockley Woods was also earmarked as land that could see more than 1,000 homes built.

Mr Francois also raised concerns around flooding.

He added: “Building major housing estates only increase these (flooding) risks and adds to pressure on the already pressurised drainage network.

“Clearly, there has to be some limited future housing building in the Rochford district, as young people cannot be expected to live at home with their parents into their 50s.

“Nevertheless, any such development has to be sustainable, both environmentally and economically.”