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A120 to A133 Link Road and Rapid Transit System

Latest News - 01 June 2020: A120-A133 Link Road - Preferred route announcment

The route for a vital new link road to support the future growth of Colchester has been agreed at a meeting of Essex County Council’s Cabinet (26 May).

A key infrastructure requirement of proposals for future housing and employment space,  the road will be completed by 2024.

Link Road Route

Announcing the route, a variant of Option ‘1C', Leader of the Council David Finch said: “Within the consultation last year we set out a number of feasible options for the new road.  We have looked closely at the comments given, as well as the environmental, cost and engineering considerations, all of which form an important part of the decision-making process.

“Option 1C was the most popular option, and through slightly amending the route, we have been able to lessen the impact on Strawberry Grove, Turnip Lodge Lane (a protected lane) and nearby communities, while still meeting the objectives of the scheme, which is important.”

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

Funded through a £99million investment from the Government’s ‘Housing Infrastructure Fund’, the dual-carriageway will support the proposed new Garden Community on the east of Colchester. Helping reduce congestion on local roads, it will enable traffic travelling along the A133, or from the new community, to access the A120 and A12 without travelling into Colchester. 

Located on the Colchester Tendring border, the Garden Community received the backing of an independent planning inspector last week, with the Link Road a key component of ensuring any new community is both viable, and supported by the necessary infrastructure.

The funding will also provide elements of a new Rapid Transit System for the town,  further helping reduce the need to access the town centre by car.

Work will now be progressed on the design of the road, with a planning application expected at the end of the year.

Cllr Finch added: “When completed, this road will be hugely beneficial to local people and those travelling west looking to access the major road network. This will help tackle congestion and through enabling traffic to keep moving,  help reduce air pollution across wider Colchester. 

"We also want to look closely at how public transport, through the proposed rapid transit system, as well as walking and cycling can be incorporated into the plans.  

"This supports our district and borough council partners ambition for the creation of sustainable infrastructure led development and we will continue to work closely as both the housing and road plans continue to develop."


Earlier this year Essex County Council successfully bid for funding to help support planned housing growth across the county.

Essex’s bids total more than £500 million and cover vital transport infrastructure improvements across Essex.

To enable Essex County Council to support sustainable planned growth, it is necessary to provide improved transport infrastructure to support the additional traffic flows and to enhance the connectivity of future developments.

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

 Following assessment of route options, a consultation was held in November 2019.

Our Proposal

We are proposing:

Linking the A120 and A133 with a new road will unlock land to provide housing and business space, improving connectivity locally and within the wider region. It will serve a new Park and Choose site and manage traffic congestion going to Colchester Town Centre, the University of Essex and its Knowledge Gateway Technology and Research Park.

A Rapid Transit System that will prioritise public transport on a key route through Colchester. It will enable housing and business growth, allowing new and existing residents to benefit from frequent, high-quality, reliable transport connecting to the key destinations within the town. These types of system have proved successful in other towns and cities, helping create a shift away from car travel. A recently implemented example of this is the Belfast Rapid Transit Glider.

The system will service a new Park and Choose site on the proposed new community east of Colchester and help to better connect future growth areas with the rest of the town.

Need for the scheme

Investing in infrastructure in North Essex will enable future sustainable growth and greater connectivity within Essex and beyond.

  • Significant levels of housing growth in the area
  • Increase in employment opportunities
  • Congestion, Connectivity and Commuting
  • Transformational modal shift

How do I get involved?

The route consultaton ended on the 16th December.

For enquiries email:

What is happening next?

Bid announced – August 2019

Public Consultation – Autumn 2019

Planning Application – Winter 2020

Construction Start – Target 2022

Project completion – Target 2024