M11 Junction 7a

Update - Brand new M11 junction to open in 2021

Work to create a brand new junction on the M11 to support economic and housing growth in Essex is set to begin this winter.

Planning permission has now been granted to allow Junction 7a and improvements to Gilden Way in Harlow.

Preparation works for the junction are set to start this winter with cars and commuters set to feel the benefits when it opens in 2021. The initial works will be concentrated away from the current road and will therefore cause minimal disruption to motorists. 

The plans for Junction 7a along the M11 aim to:

  • create a key east/west link to help move traffic smoothly out of Harlow onto the M11
  • reduce congestion on the north/south links through Harlow and towards Junction
  • support housing and business development

We will continue to actively engage with local communities, land owners and businesses as this scheme progresses. All further updates will be posted on this webpage. 


Essex County Council is committed to supporting local and regional growth through the improvement of local infrastructure.   While improving the local road network for existing residents, commuters and businesses we also aim to leave a long term legacy of new jobs and homes, and strong communities for future generations.

ECC has spent more than four years investigating options to improve access to Harlow’s road network. A strategic options appraisal study concluded that a new junction on the M11, known as Junction 7a, was the optimum solution.

The M11 Junction 7a and widening of Gilden Way proposal will:

  1. Create a key east/west link, which will move traffic smoothly out of Harlow onto the M11
  2. Reduce congestion on the north/south links through Harlow and towards Junction 7 and
  3. Provide opportunities for home and business developments.


The Proposed Scheme

The scheme begins by widening Gilden Way from the London Road roundabout to Marsh Lane to create a three lane road. This would provide an additional lane for traffic approaching Harlow. The widening will all be accommodated within the existing highway boundaries or on land owned by Harlow District Council.

From the end of Marsh Lane a new road to the east will be built, replacing part of the existing road, to link the improved Gilden Way to the M11 via a new Sheering Road roundabout. A further new stretch of road will be built from this roundabout northwards to reconnect to Sheering Road just south of Pincey Brook.  This will leave a stretch of the old Sheering Road, as it passes The Campions, which will become access only for these residents. Access to Mayfield Farm will also be improved.

From the new Sheering Road roundabout, the link will continue in a north easterly direction to a second roundabout located south of Pincey Brook. The road then continues and rises gradually to the new motorway roundabout junction on the western side of the M11. Two new roundabouts will be constructed on either side of the M11 and connected by a new bridge over the M11. There will be slip roads on and off the M11 for both north-bound and south-bound traffic.  

Traffic travelling from the new M11 junction towards Harlow will use the new roundabouts, on either side of the M11, and travel along a new wide two lane link road to the new Sheering Road roundabout.


Public consultation on the proposals for M11 Junction 7a and the widening of Gilden Way started in July 2016 and 149 responses were received including one petition with 155 signatures. These consultation responses received were read and recommendations on each of the issues raised have been proposed by the project team/promoter.

A Preferred Route was approved by ECC Cabinet and announced on the 13th December 2016.

Evidence has been prepared for inclusion into a planning application for the M11 Junction 7a and the widening of Gilden Way. The link below will direct you to Essex County Council’s Planning Application website.

View the Essex County Council M11 J7a Planning Application 


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