BUSINESS leaders are putting together a new team to press for urgent improvements to the A127.

Essex Chambers of Commerce, which represents businesses countywide, is bringing together politicians and captains of industry to lobby the Government for funding to upgrade the area’s traffic-clogged main artery.

Chambers’ chief executive Denise Rossiter said: “The A127 is a vital road, linking Southend Airport to the rest of the county.

“Our members want to see substantial investment in this road to reduce delays and congestion, and help support economic growth.”

The make-up of the team has yet to be finalised but the chambers hope it will include county and district councils, along with business leaders.

The group will aim to highlight the importance of the creaking 90-yearold trunk road and the problems it has.

It may also bid for funding and develop a business plan of its own to get the road improved.

The business group was due to meet today to work out the details of the task force.

Essex County Council and Southend Council have already put in a joint bid for £44.24million of Government cash to improve four key junctions – the A130 Fairglen interchange, the Nevendon junction near Basildon, and the Kent Elms and Bell junctions, in Southend.

The councils want a new slip road between the A127 and the A130 at the Fairglen interchange and extra lanes at the Kent Elms, Bell and the Nevendon junctions.

The improvements are on a £76million wish list of improvements for the A127.

The Government is due to make an announcement next month allowing any work to be factored into council budgets from next year.

Southend Airport operations director David Lister said: “With the popularity of London Southend Airport increasing all the time, connectivity to the airport by road and rail is a key element.

“This is a great opportunity to bring all the key players together to ensure they create a better environment for local businesses and residents.”