A new motorway junction will open to motorists on the Hertfordshire-Essex border tonight.

Essex County Council and National Highways spent £39.5 million building junction 7A on the M11 motorway at Harlow - between Cambridge and London.

%image(15403017, type="article-full", alt="Essex county councillor Lesley Wagland and Robert Halfon MP cut a ribbon to celebrate the completion of M11 junction 7A")

%image(15403022, type="article-full", alt="The new M11 junction 7A slip road")

Robert Halfon, MP for Harlow, and Essex councillor Lesley Wagland cut a ribbon at an official opening event at the junction yesterday (Thursday, June 9).

Mr Halfon hailed the opening of the new junction an "incredible moment" in the history of Harlow and the M11.

He said: "It's something which residents have been battling for for more then 30 years.

"I promised when I was elected to lobby the government to get this junction in place, and I'm proud to have delivered on that promise.

"I want to give huge thanks to Essex council for all their funding, and to Epping Forest, Harlow and Hertfordshire councils for making it possible."

%image(15403028, type="article-full", alt="Robert Halfon MP")

%image(15403035, type="article-full", alt="The new junction "unlocks" the east-west corridor in Essex and Hertfordshire, said Cllr Lesley Wagland")

The junction features a new A1025 road which connects the M11 with the A414 for Hertford.

Mr Halfon said the junction will prevent motorway crashes from creating "gridlock" in Harlow, and that it "unlocks" land for new developments, such as a new hospital to serve west Essex and east Hertfordshire.

Cllr Lesley Wagland, Essex County Council's cabinet member for economic renewal, infrastructure and planning, said: "Junction 7A is going to be hugely important for Harlow and the surrounding area.

"It supports the east-west corridor through Harlow, between the M11 and Hertford and beyond to places like Hatfield.

"It will support new housing and a garden community at Gilston.

"It will ultimately unlock jobs and prosperity which is held up by the congestion which would build if we don't have the junction."

%image(15403036, type="article-full", alt="Councillor Lesley Wagland")

%image(15403037, type="article-full", alt="A new roundabout between the M11 junction 7A and the A414 at Harlow")

Permission to build junction 7A was granted in July 2017, and after five years of construction, the junction is due to open to the public from around 8pm tonight (Friday, June 10).