A120 road

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A120 shield

Route of the A120 from OpenStreetMap
Route information
Part of Tabliczka E32.svg
Major junctions
West endPuckeridge
 A10 A10 road
A1184 A1184 road
A1250 A1250 road
[ M 11  ] M11 motorway Junction 8
A130 A130 road
A131 A131 road
A12 A12 road Junctions 25 and 29
A1232 A1232 road
A133 A133 road
A136 A136 road
East endHarwich
Stansted Airport
Road network

The A120 is an important trunk road in the East of England. It follows the course of Stane Street, a Roman road from Standon, Hertfordshire at its western terminus to Colchester. From Colchester the A120 leads roughly east to the Essex port of Harwich.

The road forms part of the unsigned Euroroute E32.

Bypasses along the A120[edit]

The old A120 has been bypassed in several places, such that the old Roman road can be easily traced on a map, with the current designated A120 being less straight. From west to east, the A120's bypasses are:

  • Bishop's Stortford - the old A120 passes through the centre of town as the A1250, while the A120 now forms a semicircular bypass to the north of the town before rejoining its old course just before crossing the M11 motorway.
  • M11 to Braintree - the old A120 was bypassed in 2004 as part of a scheme organised by the Highways Agency to provide a better link to Stansted Airport from East Essex, avoiding several settlements including Takeley and Great Dunmow. The ultimate strategic aim is provide a high quality direct link between Stansted and the A12, a major road connecting London with the ports of Felixstowe and Harwich.[1]
  • A few miles east of Braintree at the small town of Coggeshall, the A120 takes a large semicircular detour to the north of the town. This is a particularly large deviation, as the original route passed through the south of the town, but the land to the south is marshy and thus the northern bypass was constructed.
  • To the east of Colchester the A120 intersects the A12, and joins the route of the A12. This passes to the northwest of Colchester, before the A12 splits off and heads north-northeast, whereupon the A120 re-emerges, heading roughly east. The £22.7m eight-mile Colchester Eastern Bypass opened in June 1982.
  • The section East of Colchester was previously numbered the A604
  • At Harwich the A120 passes to the north of the town, heading straight for the cargo ports, whereas the old route can be seen on a map clearly passing through the centre of the town.


M11 and A120 Stansted Generation 2 Airport Access[edit]

As part of the application to add a second runway at Stansted, it was proposed that a new junction on the A120, replacing two existing ones, would be built to improve access to Stansted Airport. The proposal lapsed when the application for a second runway was withdrawn by BAA in 2010. [2]

A120 Braintree to Marks Tey[edit]

There were proposals to turn the A120 into a dual carriageway between Braintree and the junction with the A12.[3] In July 2009 the proposed improvements were 'scrapped'.[4]


  1. ^ "A120 Stansted to Braintree Five Year After Study" (PDF). Highways England. January 2011. Retrieved 26 November 2015.
  2. ^ "Public Consultations and Preferred Route". Highways Agency. Archived from the original on 1 December 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-07.
  3. ^ "A120 Braintree to Marks Tey". Archived from the original on 20 July 2008. Retrieved 2008-07-11.
  4. ^ "Road schemes dropped as RFA allocations refined". Retrieved 2009-07-23.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°52′35″N 0°40′26″E / 51.87626°N 0.67381°E / 51.87626; 0.67381