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Chelmsford North East Bypass

Highway Schemes Homepage

Chelmsford North East Bypass and Beaulieu Station

Chelmsford is one of the UK’s newest cities and plays a vital role in the heart of Essex providing homes, jobs, shopping, healthcare, education, leisure and recreational opportunities.

As a driver of the regional economy, Chelmsford needs a transport network to match if it is to properly facilitate future development and economic growth.

As a result, Essex County Council, in partnership with the City Council, and in collaboration with Network Rail, is behind a scheme to deliver a North East Bypass of Chelmsford and a new railway station at Beaulieu.

This transformational road and rail upgrade is being delivered with nearly £218m in funding from the Government’s Housing Infrastructure Fund, plus £34m of other funding from the South East Local Enterprise Partnership and developer Countryside Zest.

The existing A130 between the Boreham Interchange and the A131 was originally built in the 1980s. It needs to be fit for purpose, particularly as Chelmsford continues to grow, catering for increased walking, cycling and public transport.

The new 8km bypass, running between the A131 and the A12 at Boreham will help provide this, bypassing residential areas and relieving high levels of traffic congestion in Chelmsford. 

Chelmsford station, meanwhile, is the busiest two platform station outside London with 8.5 million passenger trips per year.

The new Beaulieu station, at the southern end of the NE Chelmsford Garden Community, on the Great Eastern Main Line (GEML) from London to Norwich, will relieve crowding at Chelmsford.

It will also act as a transport interchange to encourage sustainable travel by bus, cycle, electric vehicles and on foot.

Background to the North East Bypass

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 proposed bypass would go from Boreham Interchange on the A12 to the Deres Bridge junction on the A131

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. 

Housing Infrastructure Fund 

In March 2019, Essex County Council submitted a Housing Infrastructure Fund bid titled ‘Chelmsford North East Bypass and Beaulieu Railway Station’ in relation to this project.

This set out how investment into the bypass and the railway station would enable the new development at Beaulieu to reach its full potential. It also demonstrated how the new bypass will help relieve congestion on local roads.

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In August 2019 it was announced that the Council had been successful in its bid, recieveing £218million to take forward the plans alongside £99million to take forward the A120-A133 Link Road and Rapid Transit System project

You can find out more by viewing our bid summaries.