A120 road

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A120 road shield

A120 road
Route of the A120 from OpenStreetMap
Route information
Part of Tabliczka E32.svg
Major junctions
West end: Puckeridge
  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 end: Harwich
Stansted Airport
Road network

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 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 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.
    • The A120's M11 to Braintree bypass replaced a previous bypass of the A120 around Great Dunmow, which stopped traffic heading to the ports of the east coast from passing directly through the historic town centre.
  • 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.

Other information[edit]

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[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. [1]

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.[2] In July 2009 the proposed improvements were 'scrapped'.[3]


  1. ^ "Public Consultations and Preferred Route". Highways Agency. Archived from the original on 1 December 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-07. 
  2. ^ "A120 Braintree to Marks Tey". Archived from the original on 20 July 2008. Retrieved 2008-07-11. 
  3. ^ "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