Construction of the A120 Little Hadham bypass and flood alleviation scheme officially started on 23 July.

Representatives from Hertfordshire County Council, Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), Environment Agency, Department for Transport and East Herts Council gathered at the site to celebrate the start of works, which are being carried out by the county council’s contractor, GRAHAM.

The new 3.9km bypass, to the north of Little Hadham, will alleviate congestion along the route caused by the Little Hadham traffic lights and provide more reliable journey times. As part of the scheme, new road embankments along the River Ash and Albury Tributary will act as flood defences to reduce risk to the village and other nearby communities.

The scheme will improve air quality and also ultimately benefit the county’s economy, with quicker transport links to Stansted Airport among the long-term advantages for Hertfordshire. The works are expected to take around 18 months with the new bypass opening to traffic at the end of 2020.

Adam Wood, Head of Infrastructure and Regeneration at Hertfordshire LEP, said: “It is vital when faced with such unprecedented growth that we put in the right infrastructure now to benefit our people and places. The new Little Hadham bypass will provide lasting benefits to local residents, businesses and commuters, including significantly reduced journey times and improved air quality. We are pleased to support this scheme with an £8.26m investment from the Local Growth Fund, in addition to helping secure a further £27.4m funding from the Department for Transport, as part of a wider funding package with Hertfordshire County Council and the Environment Agency.”

Minister for Local Growth, Jake Berry MP, said: “This Government is committed to boosting economic growth across the whole of the UK and building a Britain fit for the future. I am delighted that £8.26m of Local Growth Funding is being used to support this important new bypass which will benefit road users and residents by alleviating traffic, improving air quality and providing more reliable journey times along this vital east-west link across Hertfordshire.”

Phil Bibby, Cabinet Member for Highways and Environment, said: “It’s great news that works are getting underway on this long-awaited scheme. The A120 is a vital link in Hertfordshire, connecting the A10 to Stansted Airport, and it’s important that we invest in improving the route. The Little Hadham bypass will help support the growth we’re expecting in the county while improving quality of life in the village.

"With around 100,000 new homes expected in Hertfordshire by 2031, it’s vital that we invest in key schemes to improve the road network to keep the county moving and our economy thriving as the population grows.”

Jonathan Kerr, director for GRAHAM’s civil engineering division, said: “We’re very pleased to be officially starting work on the new A120 Bypass (Little Hadham Bypass) & Flood Alleviation scheme. This is a scheme our team is proud to be delivering and we recognise the importance it will have for residents and the local community once complete, providing faster journey times and also reducing flood risk in the area.

“We are looking forward to working collaboratively with Hertfordshire County Council, the Environmental Agency, their stakeholders and the local community throughout this vital highway project for the village of Little Hadham and the wider area.”

To learn more about the project, visit www.hertfordshire.gov.uk\a120bypass.