Tender process underway for proposed A120 / A133 Link Road

Progress Update

The A120-A133 Link Road will see the creation of a new dual carriageway between the A120 and A133 to the east of Colchester.

Helping people to more easily access the A120 and A12 and reducing the need to travel directly into Colchester, the new Link Road is an important part of the plans for growth in the area, and in particular the creation of the new Colchester Tendring Garden Community.

Following consultation with local residents in 2019/20 the final route for the Link Road was granted planning permission by Essex County Council’s Development and Regulation Committee in November 2021. A tender for the main construction works was published in March of this year, with responses due to be submitted later this summer.

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A120 to A133 Link Road and Rapid Transit System


In 2019 Essex County Council successfully bid for funding to help support planned housing growth across the county.

Essex’s bids to the Government's Housing Infrastructure Fund totalled more than £500 million, covering vital transport infrastructure improvements in Colchester, Harlow and Chelmsford.

To enable Essex County Council to support sustainable planned growth, there is a necessity for high-quality transport infrastructure.

This will help manage additional traffic and enhance the connectivity of future developments as well as supporting the provision of public transport.

In August 2019 it was announced that the A120/A133 Link Road and the Colchester Rapid Transit System (RTS) scheme had been successful in securing funding, receiving £99million. 

Following an assessment of route options, a consultation was held in November 2019, leading to Essex County Council's Cabinet approving a preferred route in May 2020. On approval of the route, the team undertook more detailed design, leading to a planning application being granted by Essex County Council’s Development and Regulation Committee in November 2021.  The detailed plan of the scheme can be seen here. 

For more information on the scheme visit our frequently asked questions or contact the project team by email.

Need for the Scheme

Linking the A120 and A133 will enable people to more easily access the A120 and A12, reducing the need to travel directly into Colchester and helping to manage congestion on more local roads.

The Link Road will also play a direct link in helping to unlock land to provide housing, business and leisure space. 

There will be approximately 25,000 new homes built within Tendring and Colchester by 2033, including the new Tendring Colchester Garden Community.

This development will see 7,500 - 9,000 new homes as well as business, leisure and recreational spaces created over the coming decades. 

Ultimately forming part of the Garden Community as it develops the Link Road will create accesses into and from it, creating easy access to the A120, while also providing a connection to the new Rapid Transport System.

To read more on the Garden Community plans visit tcbgardencommunity.co.uk/

What is being proposed

The Link Road will see the creation of a 50mph dual-carriageway between the A120 and A133. Walking and cycling facilities will also be provided, which will ultimately join up with the Garden Community facilities once developed.

Following consideration of consultation responses, engineering, environmental and design, it was agreed to adopt ‘Option 1C variant’ as the preferred route for the Link Road.

Option 1C was the favoured route option in the consultation and the amendments made will lessen the impact on existing properties, Strawberry Grove, Turnip Lodge Lane (a protected lane) and nearby communities, while still meeting the objectives of the scheme.

The planned route will leave the A133 via a roundabout east of the University of Essex, joining the A120 via a junction east of Bromley Road. 

The proposals have now reached a stage in which they are being submitted to planning. If approved, the aim is for works to begin in 2022 with the road due to be completed in 2024.


Scheme timeline

Rapid Transit System proposals

The successful Housing Infrastructure Fund bid also saw funding provided for the first elements of a new Rapid Transit System for Colchester.

This will see the development of a route running from the existing Park and Ride on the A12, through the town centre, heading east to the Tendring Colchester Garden Community and a proposed new 'park and Choose' site. 

Park and Choose is an evolution of Park and Ride, creating a transport hub for people looking to access other forms of transport. For example, it could offer cycle storage and lockers, electric bikes, connections into the wider bus network as well as parking facilities.

What makes an RTS unlike other public transport is that will see high frequency (every ten minutes or less) services on segregated or priority corridors, so meaning it takes priority over other traffic. 

For the purpose of delivery, the RTS proposals have been split into four sections. Section A uses an already approved route between the Park and Ride site on the A12 and the Albert Roundabout. 

Section D covers the section within the Garden Community itself and would be considered as part of the masterplanning process. The consultation held in 2019, therefore, looked at Section B from the Albert Roundabout to the Greenstead Roundabout and Section C from the Greenstead Roundabout to the Garden Community.

Within the consultation, several route options were set out. The comments and views given were assessed alongside the engineering feasibility and the ability to meet the overall objectives.

It has been agreed that Options B2 and B5 and Options C1 and C2 along with the route through the town centre will now be further developed ahead of a final route selection.