M11 Junction 7a

Scheme overview

M11 Junction 7A is a critical infrastructure project funded through National Highways and Essex County Council. Opening to traffic in June 2022, the junction, link road and upgraded Gilden Way provide improved access to Harlow’s road network, helping facilitate growth and creating better connectivity for residents, businesses and visitors.

The new M11 Junction 7A and widening of Gilden Way:

  • Creates a new east-west link, which will move traffic smoothly out of Harlow onto the M11.
  • Will reduce congestion on the north-south links through Harlow and towards Junction 7.
  • Offers new public transport and sustainable travel opportunities.
  • Provides new opportunities for housing and business development.

Undertaken by GRAHAM Construction the main works began in Summer 2020 with the widening of Gilden Way. Widened from the London Road roundabout to Marsh Lane to create a three-lane road this has created an extra lane for traffic approaching Harlow as well as improved walking and cycling access.  

M11 Junction 7A aerial view

From close to the junction with Marsh Lane, a new road to the east has been built, linking Gilden Way to the M11 via a new roundabout called 'The Campions Roundabout'. As it passes The Campions a section of the old Sheering Road has become access-only for residents, while access to Mayfield Farm has also been improved. 

From the Campions Roundabout, the link road continues towards the new motorway roundabout junction on the western side of the M11. This is where two new roundabouts have been built, connected by a bridge over the motorway and slip roads on and off the M11 for both northbound and southbound traffic. 

The new junction opened to traffic in June 2022.

How the Link Road has evolved

Original planning permission for the M11 Junction 7A scheme was granted in July 2017. This permitted the construction of Junction 7A with the scheme set out in three phases: 

  • Phase 1: to widen and improve Gilden Way;
  • Phase 2A: to provide the new motorway junction, together with the southern arm of the link road and the new Campions Roundabout that connects the new junction to Lower Sheering Road;
  • Phase 2B: to provide the northern arm of the link road, between Campions Roundabout and Junction 7A, and the new Pincey Brook roundabout, which forms part of that northern arm.

The southern arm of the link road was originally designed to carry westbound traffic along a two-lane road from the new Junction 7A towards Harlow, with the northern arm carrying eastbound traffic from Harlow towards the new junction.

Advanced works and services diversion for Phase 1 of the scheme commenced on Gilden Way in May 2018 and were completed in November 2019. 

However, the development requirements set out in the emerging ‘local plans’ of the surrounding district council areas are now such that Phase 2B, which enables the later connection of the new Junction 7A to a Northern Bypass road to north Harlow, is not required in the short-to medium-term.

As such Phase 1 and Phase 2A of the scheme have been constructed, except for the southern arm of the Link Road; which has been replaced by an alternative dualled Link Road scheme (two lanes in each direction) that facilitates two-way traffic.

This will enable the Junction to operate effectively until such a time as there is more certainty over planned growth to require Phase 2B. 

latest phasing plan

Walking and Cycling provision

While the focus of the M11 Junction 7A has been the creation of a new motorway junction to help alleviate traffic within Harlow, walking and cycling provision is an important part of the wider scheme.

Travelling from the London Road roundabout along the widened Gilden Way, new segregated provision is being provided to the Churchgate Roundabout. From this point cyclists can connect into the wider network or continue along a new Gilden Way cycleway constructed as part of the Gilden Park development.

Once operational, cycling will not be permitted along the newly created link road which will be carrying traffic directly from the M11 and as such no walking and cycling provision has been provided through Campions Roundabout itself. However, cyclists looking to continue their journey along Sheering Road will be able to connect to Sheering Road via a short link to the Sheering arm of the roundabout.

See the scheme walking and cycling provision in more detail


Contact us

 If you have any questions about the scheme please contact the GRAHAM construction team at m11j7a@graham.co.uk or by phone at 0121 362 4715. Alternatively, contact Essex County Council at activetravel@essexhighways.org.