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Route of the A120 from OpenStreetMap
| A10 road
M11 motorway Junction 8
A12 road Junctions 25 and 29
The A120 is an important trunk road in southern 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 Harwich, on the way carrying much traffic from Stansted Airport.
Bypasses along the A120
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 has been bypassed significantly in a recently finished building project which has created the new A120, a dual-carriageway road from the M11 at junction 8 all the way to the Braintree bypass. This bypass avoids the village of Takeley and the town of Great Dunmow.
- Braintree - a dual-carriageway carries the A120 around the south of Braintree, rejoining its old route on the eastern edge of the town.
- 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.
The A120 was, at one point in the Ringway scheme of London roads, going to be part of an outer ring road for London. However, the Ringway projects were scrapped, and the implications of extending the A120 to the west were too great.
The western end of the A120 terminates at the A10, which was recently upgraded such that the route from the A120 south to the M25 motorway is all dual-carriageway road (although some of this passes through Broxbourne and Cheshunt). As such, the A120 is now carrying more traffic from the M11, that wishes to avoid the heavily-congested M25.
M11 and A120 Stansted Generation 2 Airport Access
A120 Braintree to Marks Tey
- Sabre Roads' page on the A120
- Opening of the improved A120 between the M11 and Stansted
- Highways Agency - proposals to improve the A120 between Braintree and the A12
- South East England Road Photos: A120 changes