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Chelmsford North East Bypass

Latest News - 28 August 2019: Largest ever infrastructure boost for Essex will unlock growth in Colchester and Chelmsford

The leader of Essex County Council, Cllr David Finch, has welcomed a £318 million government infrastructure funding boost which will bring road and rail transport benefits including a new railway station for Chelmsford and a rapid transport system for Colchester.

Two multi-million-pounds projects – covering the North East Bypass and Beaulieu Railway Station in Chelmsford, and the A120/A133 link road and rapid transit system in Colchester and north east Essex, will help ensure growth and improve connectivity across the county, region and beyond.

Both projects were the subject of Housing Infrastructure Funds bids, supported by the County Council and City, Borough and District Councils and local MPs.
Cllr David Finch, Leader of Essex County Council, said: “We are delighted that the Government has recognised the value of these projects and confirmed we will have much needed investment to support vital infrastructure and unlock housing growth.

“The announcement is truly reflective of just how key road, rail and public transport networks are for Essex’s growth, helping create the conditions for our economy and communities to grow in a sustainable way. We are pleased that Government has recognised this with over half of the £600m HIF money being directed to Essex.
“Chelmsford and Colchester are already great places for people to live and for businesses to thrive and this funding will help grow the attraction of both places for generations to come.

“I would like to thank all those involved in preparing the bids across Essex. This investment today is an excellent demonstration of value for money for the £2m we invested to develop these bids."

The new Beaulieu railway station on the outskirts of Chelmsford will provide access to the Great Eastern Main Line, relieve crowding at Chelmsford station (the country’s busiest 2-platform station) and support the construction of thousands of new homes at Beaulieu Park and the Channels estate.

Combined with the Chelmsford North East Bypass, which will run between the A12 and A131, this will help to relieve traffic congestion on local roads, providing a strategic link between Chelmsford, Braintree, London Stansted Airport and the wider east and southeast of England, including South Essex and the Lower Thames Crossing.
Currently, there is only 4% space left on Chelmsford’s roads during the morning and evening peak periods.

North-east of Colchester, a new rapid transit system will keep the town moving by providing fast access to the centre and the railway stations, helping commuters and taking traffic off the already congested local road network.

A new road linking the A120 and A133 will also unlock land to provide up to 7,500 new homes and will improve connectivity locally and within the wider region.

This infrastructure will enable the network to be more flexible and resilient for new and existing residents, which will help Essex to continue to be an effective gateway to Europe through its ports and airports in the years to come.

The business cases for the successful bids have been uploaded to the documents section of this page. 

Highway Schemes Homepage

Chelmsford North East Bypass

The mid and north Essex strategic road network has an essential role in supporting our businesses, jobs and future. That is why we are aiming to create a final strategic link to connect the network across the north of Chelmsford.

In 2007, Essex County Council and its partners laid out a long-term plan for a Chelmsford North East Bypass and safeguarded the land. Safeguarding is part of the planning process and helps protect land set aside for infrastructure projects such as this one from being used for other purposes.

In 2008, due to economic challenges and reduced funding for local authorities, the scheme was put on hold. However, the corridor has been safeguarded since then, and updates to the safeguarded corridor were presented in the Draft Local Plan consultation held in early 2018. The updates ensure there is sufficient space for the scheme and that no land is safeguarded unnecessarily.

The consultation ran for six weeks, from Wednesday, 31 January 2018, and was the last opportunity to comment on the proposal for the safeguarded corridor updates before the process of seeking legal powers to safeguard the land commences.


The safeguarded corridor

The corridor generally reflects a 100m boundary, which is wide enough to ensure the bypass can be built, connect to the local road network, and provide land for environmental mitigation. The land required for junctions, structures and other key highway features, such as local road diversions, has also been updated. 

The leaflet presented at the 2018 consultation is available below. The map of the updated corridor is included in this document.


Next steps

At a later date, after the corridor is safeguarded, there will be further engagement and consultation on the Chelmsford North East Bypass as part of the statutory planning process before the scheme is finalised. The scheme will be presented in detail as part of any formal planning application, providing the opportunity for further comments to be made and assessed.


Housing Infrastructure Fund 

In March 2019, Essex County Council submitted a Housing Infrastructure Fund bid titled ‘Chelmsford North East Bypass & Beaulieu Railway Station’ in relation to this project. You can find out more by viewing our bid summaries .