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A120 to A133 Link Road and Rapid Transit System

Latest News - 13 August 2020: A120-A133 Ground Investigation work

Following the confirmation of a preferred route for the new link road, Essex County Council have appointed Ringway-Jacobs and Nicholls-Colton as contractors to undertake ground investigation works in the vicinity of the A133 and A120 highways and in the fields between these roads.

This is an important part of the process in helping to inform the design of the road. The work is due to commence in early August and will last for approximately 12 weeks with working hours planned for 8am to 6pm Monday to Friday, although some evening work close to the A120 may be required, depending on access routes.

The ground investigation work will comprise of topographic and geophysical surveying, while a number of boreholes and trial pits will be created.  Pipes will also be installed in some boreholes to help measure groundwater levels, with the team making return visits to assess these on a monthly basis.

For any queries on the works or the wider scheme please email     


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

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

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

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 £99milion.

Following 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.

Need for the Scheme

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.

Concept drawing submitted as part of the bid

There will be approximately 25,000 new homes built within Tendring and Colchester by 2033 including a proposed new garden community settlement to the east of Colchester.

Alongside this, Colchester continues to see significant economic growth and there have been over 1,500 businesses created in the last year.

By 2033 the level of traffic growth on local roads in the area will be unsustainable without investment into the Colchester network. 

This investment will ensure that access becomes easier to strategic roads (A12, A120) therefore reducing use of more local roads (CymbelineWay, Cowdray Avenue, Ipswich Road, Harwich Road).

What is being proposed

The Link Road will create a new dual-carriageway between the A133 and A120, enabling traffic to more easily access the A12 and A120.

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 Strawberry Grove.

The next steps will see the route progress through preliminary design ahead of a planning application later in the year.

The Link Road will likely be submitted for planning in November/December of this year with construction due to begin in 2022.



For any enquiries about the scheme or the proposal for the Colchester Rapid Transit System please email:

Scheme timeline

Bid announced – August 2019

Public Consultation – Autumn 2019

Planning Application – Winter 2020

Construction Start – Target 2022

Project completion – Target 2024