A120

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Route of the A120

Essex is quite big. If you don't regularly go there, you might not notice. It doesn't have any cities and it's not famous for taking up a lot of space. But it does have an astonishing array of very big towns, and in between them it has an awful lot of countryside. It's with this in mind that, in recent years, Essex County Council has attempted to help people cover those distances more quickly.

The A120 is part of that strategy. It forms an east-west route across the middle of the county, and links Stansted Airport with Colchester, the port of Harwich and the vital M11 and A12. If you're not from the area you probably won't know it and you almost certainly wouldn't be aware that, in 2003, Essex County Council opened the first phase of their improvement works: 20 miles of brand new dual carriageway, on a completely new line, to replace the existing road between Stansted and Braintree.

There was no fanfare when it opened, but this is, in all but name, the first link of a brand new cross-country motorway: it covers a huge distance (in fact it goes most of the way to linking the M11 and A12 in one shot), has only a few grade-separated junctions miles and miles apart, and even has its own motorway-style rest area near Great Dunmow. This is big thinking for a local authority scheme. And it's a brilliantly fast, smooth ride.

When it opened in 2003 it was hoped that it would soon be extended east on a new line to the A12, and connected to an upgrade of the A130 from Chelmsford to Great Dunmow. Those have not, of course, happened; the first of those schemes was knocked back in a public inquiry and is effectively shelved while the second has never really got off the ground. It's a shame, because Essex really is a big place, and this sort of visionary thinking is a rare commodity.

Factfile

Start Bishop's Stortford (M11)
Finish Braintree (A131)
Passes Stansted [air]
Length 20 miles
Connects to M11

There are no photos in this section yet.

Exit List

All the junctions and destinations along the route.

Junction   Westbound               Eastbound
(M11 J8) London
Harlow
M11 (S) Link (M25 Link)
Bishop's Stortford
A120
Cambridge
M11 (N) Link
Services Birchanger Green






M11
(M25)

B1256
WEST
A120
(Non-standard interchange)




M11
N/A More information about this junction
LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes
1 mile, 3 lanes Up   Down 1 mile, 3 lanes
21.2 km Stansted Airport
Terminal
Mid & Short Stay Parking
Air Cargo
(Non-standard interchange) Airport

Stansted Airport More information about this junction
LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes
4.5 miles, 2 lanes Up   Down 4.5 miles, 2 lanes
26.4 km Takeley
B1256
B1256 (Dumbbell) B1256 Thaxted
Great Dunmow
Takeley
B1256
More information about this junction
LanesLanesLanesLanes LanesLanesLanesLanes
1 mile, 2 lanes Up   Down 1 mile, 2 lanes
Rest Area Rest Area Great Dunmow Rest Area (Rest area)Great Dunmow Rest Area (Rest area) Rest Area Rest Area More information about this junction
LanesLanesLanesLanes LanesLanesLanesLanes
2.5 miles, 2 lanes Up   Down 2.5 miles, 2 lanes
30.9 km Great Dunmow
B184
B1008 (Dumbbell) B184 Great Dunmow
B184
More information about this junction
LanesLanesLanesLanes LanesLanesLanesLanes
5 miles, 2 lanes Up  
Felsted
B1417
Stebbing
B1256
B1417



(Dumbbell) B1256



More information about this junction
LanesLanesLanesLanes
3 miles, 2 lanes Up   Down 8 miles, 2 lanes
42.2 km Chelmsford
A131
Rayne (B1256)
Braintree
A131


(Non-standard interchange) B1256


Chelmsford
A131
Braintree
More information about this junction
LanesLanesLanesLanes
LanesLanesLanesLanes
LanesLanesLanesLanes
2 miles, 2 lanes Up   Down 2 miles, 2 lanes
45.8 km Witham
East Braintree Ind. Est.
Business Park
B1018
Braintree College
B1018



Fowler's Farm Roundabout (Roundabout) Braintree College
Witham
East Braintree Ind. Est.
Business Park
B1018
More information about this junction
LanesLanesLanesLanes LanesLanesLanesLanes
1 mile, 2 lanes Up   Down 1 mile, 2 lanes
47.2 km N/A Marks Farm (Roundabout)
A120
EAST
B1256

A131
(A1017)










Braintree
B1256
Sudbury
Halstead
A131
Haverhill (A1017)
Colchester
Coggeshall
A120
More information about this junction
LanesLanesLanesLanes LanesLanesLanesLanes

With thanks to Clive Jones for information in this section.