Proposed Improvements to Bentley Road

North Falls is proposing to use Bentley Road to transport plant and materials needed to build its onshore substation and onshore cable route.

To reduce the amount of construction traffic on the local road network, the Project is proposing to use a temporary construction haul road to route as much traffic as practicable along the onshore cable corridor. Bentley Road will be used as the access point to this temporary construction haul road.

In preparation for this work to take place, a number of alterations to Bentley Road are required. The overarching need being to allow the safe passing of two way heavy goods vehicle (HGV) traffic. Bentley Road – approximately 5.15m wide at its narrowest point – is currently not wide enough to allow two HGVs to pass each other safely.

Proposed alterations to Bentley Road are explored in more detail in our PEIR Addendum. The extent of the main alterations we would need to make to Bentley Road would fall within the shaded areas shown on the map below.

Our proposed plans for altering Bentley Road are being developed together with Five Estuaries and NGET, who may need to use Bentley Road to construct their own projects, and will be developed in collaboration with Essex County Council.

We would value your feedback on our Bentley Road proposals if you are someone who lives near Bentley Road or uses Bentley Road regularly.

Indicative computer-generated image of the extent of works proposed on Bentley Road.
Indicative computer-generated image of the extent of works proposed on Bentley Road. Pinch to zoom
Indicative computer-generated image of the extent of works proposed at the Bentley Road / A120 junction.
Indicative computer-generated image of the extent of works proposed at the Bentley Road / A120 junction. Pinch to zoom

Why Bentley Road was chosen

The Project considered three other options in its PEIR before identifying Bentley Road as the preferred option.

Option Reasons for discounting

New temporary construction haul road from Harwich Road roundabout.

These options would have required approximately 2.4km of new temporary construction haul road, which would have resulted in greater environmental effects, including negative effects on agricultural land and greater visual impacts from adjacent residences.

New temporary construction haul road from Park Lane.

Accessing the onshore cable corridor from the B1035 at Horsley Cross.

This would have negatively affected an additional five to six agricultural fields and resulted in around 12 months of additional disruption. It would have also needed two watercourse crossings, adding significant engineering complexity.

Following assessments and consideration of the three alternative options outlined above, the use of Bentley Road was considered the option most likely to reduce engineering complexity and have the lowest overall impact. This was therefore taken forward as the preferred option.

What potential effects will there be?

North Falls will use Bentley Road for HGV and Abnormal Indivisible Load (AIL) movements for the purposes of the Project, the effects of which are described in more detail in our PEIR Addendum.

The cumulative effects of North Falls, Five Estuaries and NGET’s project have also been considered in the PEIR Addendum and we will collaborate with these two projects to seek to mitigate traffic movements on local road networks.

All construction traffic will be governed by a Construction Traffic Management Plan, developed in collaboration with Essex County Council.

To zoom in and view this map in more detail, you can view it as PDF

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Proposed improvements to Bentley Road: overview map.
Proposed improvements to Bentley Road: overview map Pinch to zoom

What work will be undertaken and how will we mitigate effects?

Proposed alterations to Bentley Road and the reasons for them are outlined in the following table.

The final details of these alterations are subject to the feedback we receive during this targeted consultation, as well as further technical, engineering and environmental work.

Alteration Why it’s needed

Widening the carriageway from 5.15m-5.5m currently to 6.5m, along the length of Bentley Road from the A120 to the access to the proposed temporary construction haul road to the west of Bentley Road.

To allow two HGVs to safely pass each other. Widening the road will also broadly straighten it in places, again improving visibility and safety for road users.

Addition of two access points.

To allow temporary access to a proposed temporary construction haul road, as well as North Falls' and Five Estuaries’ onshore cable corridors.

Addition of a new merging lane off the Bentley Road / A120 junction.

To allow construction traffic to more easily and safely filter on to the A120 and to minimise the possibility of traffic queuing on Bentley Road.

Addition of a new temporary cycleway and footway, located in parallel to, but separate from, Bentley Road.

To make travelling along Bentley Road safer for pedestrians and cyclists during the construction period.

As well as the work outlined, we will also need to undertake more minor alterations. This may include, but is not limited to, the inclusion of footways, verges, culvert crossings, and the diversion of utilities.

We currently anticipate that the alterations needed to prepare Bentley Road to facilitate construction could take between six and nine months, although this could be subject to change following further assessment and liaison with Five Estuaries, NGET and Essex County Council’s highways department. These works, with the exception of the temporary cycleway and footway, are proposed to be handed over to Essex County Council for adoption following the completion of construction, subject to agreement from Essex County Council.

Greater Gabbard

We are proposing a number of measures to mitigate any potential negative effects and safeguard those that use Bentley Road – whether by vehicle, cycle, or on foot – before and during construction. These are outlined below:

  • The Project, in collaboration with Essex County Council, is considering imposing a reduced speed limit along Bentley Road to safeguard road users before and during construction
  • While implementing alterations to Bentley Road it’s likely that one lane will need to be closed at a time. If so, two-way temporary traffic lights could be used to keep the road open, although the road may need to be completely closed for short periods
  • Roadside trees will be retained and protected as far as practicable, and any roadside hedgerows will be replaced following the completion of the construction works

The Project may also implement a range of other measures to mitigate potential effects, including temporary noise screening and the stockpiling of materials to reduce peak daily HGV demand.

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