M11 Junction 8 Improvements

Latest News - 01 October 2018: Scheme Update

Website updated following information events. Our plans have now been updated to include an additional spur road for buses.

What is happening?

The area around Junction 8 of the M11 is increasingly congested and lacking capacity at peak times. Planned developments in the north of Bishop’s Stortford and local growth planned in East Herts and Uttlesford will lead to an increasing amount of traffic using the junctions in the years ahead as London Stansted Airport continues to grow.

Since 2015, we have been investigating improvements to the A120 and slip road access to Junction 8 of the M11. Our studies show that the best short- to medium-term solution would be to improve off-slip lane capacity onto Junction 8 of the M11 with a widened A120 signalised junction, to help meet future network demand.

Following a successful bid in 2017 for the Department for Transport’s National Productivity Investment Fund, we are now in a position to move forward with our plans to improve Junction 8 of the M11 and A120 West. 

The scheme will:

  • Improve access between the M11 and A120 with London Stansted Airport, Bishop's Stortford, Birchanger Services and Takeley
  • Reduce congestion and improve capacity on the M11 Junction 8 exit slips and the A120
  • Support future plans for housing, employment and business developments

What is planned?


Details of the improvements

South-west of M11 Junction 8


  • Add an additional approach lane from the M11 Junction 8 northbound exit slip onto the A120, with dedicated access into Birchanger Green Services, to increase capacity and reduce queuing
  • Install upgraded traffic signals to better manage traffic and reduce queuing on the slip road

North-east of M11 Junction 8


  • Add an additional approach lane on the M11 Southbound slip road to separate traffic to Stansted Airport, the A120, Takeley, motorway services, and Bishop’s Stortford
  • Upgrade traffic signals and overhead signage to improve traffic movement
South-west of M11 Junction 8
North-east of M11 Junction 8

West of M11 Junction 8 / Junction of A120 with A1250 (Dunmow Road) - (Updated 1/10/18)


  • Replace the existing A120/A1250 (Dunmow Road) roundabout with a signalised junction to address congestion issues and meet forecast traffic demand up to 2036.
  • Widen the A120 eastbound and westbound to three lanes on the approach to the new junction with the A1250, and introduce a dedicated lane westbound for A1250 traffic as well as a new right-turn lane for traffic for Birchanger Lane.
  • A permanent spur road off Birchanger Lane for buses, taxis and emergency services that allows direct movements to Bishops Stortford and A120 west. Local traffic will be allowed to use this spur road upon opening, however, traffic will be monitored. When local traffic starts to impact the junction signalisation effectiveness (reduction of A120 / A1250 queuing) a decision will be taken whether to revert to bus, taxi and emergency vehicles only. Birchanger traffic for Bishop’s Stortford would then be directed via the M11 Junction 8 roundabout. 
  • Create a new footway to Birchanger Village with on-road cycleway to improve facilities for people who walk and cycle. This will provide improved connections to the National Cycle Network (NCN). 
  • Install toucan crossings to connect both sides of the A120 to allow people who walk and cycle to pass more safely between Birchanger Lane and the A1250 Dunmow Road. 
  • Realign Birchanger Lane at the new A120 junction within the highway boundary and a safe staggered distance between the A1250.
  • To improve safety, the crossing points on the Junction 8 slip roads will be removed. Non-motorised users can instead use the recently upgraded bridleway overbridge to the north and underpass to the south of Junction 8.
  • Install a new crossing for pedestrians to make access to bus stops safer on Dunmow Road.
Proposal Plan for the M11 J8 Improvement Scheme (a pdf copy is available in the docuements section below)

Bus Services

Our studies have shown that there will be a modest reduction in journey times for some of the bus services using the new A120/A1250 junction in comparison with the existing roundabout. The new spur road will provide a bus link between Birchanger Lane and Dunmow Road, Bishop's Stortford to help maintain reliable bus journey times across the junction. 

Potential private development of access road from Birchanger Services to A1250 Dunmow Road

The owner of Birchanger Green Motorway Services has applied to create an HGV only exit road which would provide a direct link for service vehicles and Days Inn hotel traffic from Birchanger Green Services to the A1250. 

Whilst this scheme is not connected to our improvements at M11 Junction 8, the access road would contribute to a reduction of traffic exiting directly onto M11 Junction 8, and would be complimentary to the aims of our scheme. Details of this application can be viewed here.

Construction status

We anticipate that advance works will commence this Winter, with full construction phase commencing in Spring 2019. This is expected to last for two years, however the start dates and duration of works may be subject to change.

Before construction starts, we will contact local groups, residents and businesses who may be affected by the scheme. Information will also be published on this webpage; this will include work phases and plans for traffic management as details become available.

Further information and public events

We held two public information events in September. There are no further events planned.

Information events – updated

Thank you to all those who were able to attend our information events on 13 and 14 September 2018. The chance for us to talk to local residents about their issues and concerns is really important to the project and from this we have been able to further implement changes to the scheme.

From our discussions with local residents, as well as the comments submitted to our online form we understand that in particular the limited movements out of Birchanger Lane was of concern to many residents, and specifically how this may affect emergency vehicles, the local bus service, commuting to work and school / doctor visits, etc. We hope that after having taken your comments and thoughts on board the updated scheme will go some way to addressing these concerns.

The changes we are seeking to incorporate are as follows: 


  1. A permanent spur road off Birchanger Lane for bus, taxi and emergency services that allows direct movements to Bishops Stortford and A120 west. Due to being infrequent in nature (e.g. 40 – 60mins) this does not disrupt the junction timings or effectiveness.
  2. Subject to further traffic modelling and analysis, at scheme opening we will potentially allow all traffic to use the link under monitoring. At a future date if traffic on this spur road starts to impact the junction signalisation effectiveness (reduction of A120 / A1250 queuing) a decision will be taken whether to revert to bus, taxi and emergency vehicles only (subject to Cabinet Member and Statutory Traffic Regulation Order approval).

Thank you for giving us the opportunity to speak with you and for responding to our scheme plans.

Useful documents and links