A120 road

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A120 shield
Route of the A120 from OpenStreetMap
Route information
Part of E32
Major junctions
West endPuckeridge
Major intersectionsA10
M11 Junction 8
A12 Junctions 25 and 29
East endHarwich
CountryUnited Kingdom
Stansted Airport
Road network
A119 A121

The A120 is an important trunk road in the East of England. It follows the course of the Roman established road of Stane Street, from Puckeridge, 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:

  • In December 2021 the A120 was rerouted north of the village of Little Hadham in order to get rid of a bottleneck involving the Little Hadham traffic lights, as well as improving flood defences along the nearby rivers.[1]
  • 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 to provide a high quality direct link between Stansted and the A12, a major road connecting London with the ports of Felixstowe and Harwich.[2]
  • 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. [3]

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.[4] In July 2009 the proposed improvements were 'scrapped'.[5]


  1. ^ Corr, Sinead (23 December 2021). "New A120 Little Hadham bypass opens to traffic". Bishop's Stortford Independent. Retrieved 21 April 2022.
  2. ^ "A120 Stansted to Braintree Five Year After Study" (PDF). Highways England. January 2011. Archived from the original (PDF) on 27 November 2015. Retrieved 26 November 2015.
  3. ^ "Public Consultations and Preferred Route". Highways Agency. Archived from the original on 1 December 2008. Retrieved 7 November 2008.
  4. ^ "A120 Braintree to Marks Tey". Archived from the original on 20 July 2008. Retrieved 2008-07-11.
  5. ^ "Road schemes dropped as RFA allocations refined". Retrieved 23 July 2009.

External links[edit]

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