A127 road

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A127 road shield

A127 road
A127 road map.jpg
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Major junctions
West end: London (Romford)
  [ M 25  ] M25 motorway Junction 29
A12 A12 road
A128 A128 road
A130 A130 road
A1245 A1245 road
A13 A13 road
East end: Southend-on-Sea
Location
Primary
destinations
:
Basildon
Road network
The A127 looking Eastbound (Southend-bound)

The A127, also known as the Southend Arterial Road, is a major road in London and Essex, England. It was constructed as a new arterial road project in the 1920s, linking London with Southend-on-Sea, replacing the older A13. Formerly classified as a trunk road, it was "de-trunked" in 1997.[1] It is known as the Southend Arterial Road except for part of its length in Southend-on-Sea. It is also streetlit for its whole length despite its majority coverage through rural land.

Route[edit]

The A127 starts as a turning off the A12 at Gallows Corner in the London Borough of Havering. Traffic heading towards London goes over a flyover and joins the A12 traffic which merges onto the slip-road from the roundabout below, which is where the A127 ends. Traffic heading towards Southend also uses the flyover as well as slip roads. Its first significant junction is a crossroads after 12 mile (0.80 km) (Squirrels Heath) with Squirrels Heath Road and Ardleigh Green Road. There are traffic lights here, but after that, there are no traffic lights or roundabouts until it enters Southend-on-Sea, though there are a few side turnings. Major junctions follow the layout similar to motorways, being served by high-level or low-level roundabouts accessed via slip roads.

4 miles (6.4 km) after Gallows Corner the A127 crosses the M25 motorway at M25 Junction 29 - the start of slip-roads on the A127, and then immediately crosses into Essex. After a couple of minor side road exits, the next major junction is with the A128 Brentwood exit at the Halfway House (pub) near West Horndon, 3 miles (4.8 km) east of the M25.

It continues through southern Essex and into the Basildon district. The next junction is 2 miles (3.2 km) east of the Halfway House, for the Dunton (Ford centre) and Laindon exit.

1 mile (1.6 km) further on there is a bizarre junction called the Fortune of War. Originally this site was a fully fledged roundabout with a couple of exits for local routes around Laindon, with a Happy Eater and the Fortune of War pub (where the junction name comes from) adjacent to the roundabout. Some years ago, Essex County Council tried to improve safety on the route by filling in the middle of the road so the junction was a 'half' roundabout on either side. This has arguably made the junction more dangerous rather than less, with many lorries from further afield not understanding the junction and overturning. There have been numerous campaigns to ditch the roundabout completely and straighten the road. However the County Council says it cannot afford to do this, mainly because a large number of utilities are sited in the middle of the junction, which would all have to be moved. The landscape of the junction has also changed, with the Happy Eater long since demolished and rebuilt as a McDonalds. Even the Fortune of War pub has now been demolished and replaced with housing, although the loss of the pub has had no effect on the junction name. As of 2007, the Fortune of War junction had 40 miles per hour (64 km/h) Gatso cameras on the east- and west-bound approach to this junction although during 2008 these were decommissioned. Towards the end of October 2009 these were recommissioned.

After the Fortune of War, the first of the Basildon exits appears immediately, for the A176 to Basildon town centre and hospital, and Billericay. After a couple of exits to Crays Hill, the next junction is over 2 miles (3.2 km) on for the A132 Basildon and Wickford exit. London bound there is an exit for the Mayflower Retail Park just past the A132, so traffic Southend bound needs to use the roundabout to head the other way briefly to the Mayflower exit.

A127/A1015 looking London bound

2 miles (3.2 km) on Southend bound is the junction with the A1245 (old A130) and new A130 Chelmsford/Canvey Island exit. Indeed the new A130 bridge over the A127 just before this exit is one of only two non-junction bridges on the entire stretch of road (the other being between the Fortune of War and A176, a minor road to Steeple View). 2 miles (3.2 km) further on is the A129 exit to Rayleigh and Hadleigh (Rayleigh Weir underpass, built 4 December 1989 to early 1992), which is often the start of congestion in the evenings into Southend. After this, the road soon enters into Southend-on-Sea.

In Southend, at the Kent Elms junction with the A1015 Rayleigh Road, there are traffic lights. The A127 changes its name to Prince Avenue. There is a roundabout (the first since Gallows Corner) and a turn-off for a shopping centre (Tesco). The next roundabout is Cuckoo Corner. The exits to the north and east are both the A1159, to London Southend Airport and Thorpe Bay respectively. However, the A127 turns south and becomes Victoria Avenue.

The A127 terminates in the centre of Southend-on-Sea at a junction with the A13 immediately next to Southend Victoria Station.

History[edit]

The A127 was designed as the eastern part of a major new road for vehicular traffic between Wanstead and Southend, the other section being the Eastern Avenue (now the A12). It opened in stages between June and September 1924.[2] Due to initial problems with newly constructed embankments along the line of the road, there were problems with surfacing which subsequently led Clement Attlee to complain that it was "one of the worst pieces of main road in West Essex."[3] The road was not originally dual carriageway in places, but following concerns about safety, the remainder was dualled in the late 1930s.[4]

The Gallows Corner Flyover, providing a free-flow link between Eastern Avenue and Southend Arterial Road, opened as a temporary link in 1969.[5] The eventual assumption was that the flyover would be replaced by the M12 motorway, which was never constructed.

Future developments[edit]

A127/A1159 Cuckoo Corner & Priory Crescent[edit]

In 2000 plans were announced to dual an 800 m stretch of the A1159 comprising Priory Crescent and upgrade the Cuckoo Corner junction connecting it to the A127.[6] The road scheme has faced controversy due to its location over the Royal Saxon tomb in Prittlewell grave site and environmental loss and has been the site of an anti-road protest camp known as Camp Bling.[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "the A127 Trunk Road (M25 to Rayleigh Section and Slip Roads) (Detrunking) Order 1997". legislation.gov.uk. Retrieved 7 March 2012. 
  2. ^ "Wanstead - Southend Road". Hansard Parliamentary Archive. 23 July 1924. Retrieved 21 December 2012. 
  3. ^ "Southend Arterial Road". Hansard Parliamentary Archive. 24 November 1926. Retrieved 21 December 2012. 
  4. ^ "London-Southend Road". Hansard Parliamentary Archive. 27 March 1935. Retrieved 21 December 2012. 
  5. ^ "A12 road roundabouts". Hansard Parliamentary Archive. 11 November 1968. Retrieved 21 December 2012. 
  6. ^ "LTP2: A Strategy for Southend-on-Sea". County Borough of Southend-on-Sea. Retrieved 2008-11-24. [dead link]
  7. ^ "The battle for the 'King of Bling'". BBC News. 2006-02-06. Retrieved 2008-11-24. 

Coordinates: 51°35′26″N 0°28′12″E / 51.59064°N 0.47001°E / 51.59064; 0.47001