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A13 Traffic News

Not only does the A13 have a place in popular culture, it’s also a very busy route linking Central London to Essex. The road inspired Billy Bragg’s rock song ‘A13, Trunk Road to the sea’ and was also featured in the Underworld music video for their song Scribble. 

The major road stretches just 42 miles from Central London at the junction with the A11 in Aldgate through to Shoeburyness in southeast Essex. The route the road takes is similar to that of the London Tilbury and Southend Railway. The line starts at Fenchurch Street station and runs through Barking, Upminster, Basildon, Grays, Tilbury and Southend on its way to Shoeburyness. These are also the primary destinations along the A13.

The history of the A13 pre-dates the 1922 roads list and the latest grade-separation on the road was completed in 2013. The route once began at Aldgate Pump which is a historic water pump located at the Aldgate-Fenchurch Street-Leadenhall Street junction.

Any route starting in Central London will be a busy one, but the A13 also shares junctions with many important A roads including the A11 and A12 and also a motorway in the M25.

Interestingly, the A13 is a trunk road between Central London and Tilbury, then a primary route between Tilbury and Sadlers Farm and a non-primary route onwards to Shoeburyness.

Due to the busy route the A13 takes, it’s important to be mindful of any traffic-induced delays on your journey. Check for any A13 traffic updates before you travel along the route.

Worst Junctions on the A13

If you’re planning to travel along the A13, keep in mind that this route encounters many busy junctions. It’s best to look up the latest A13 traffic updates to help you avoid congestion, roadworks and accidents. The A13 starts in the biggest city in the country and encounters many busy towns and suburbs on the route meaning you are highly likely to encounter traffic build-up at junctions. 

The following junctions are common hotspots:

Tower Hamlets 

The A13 E (East India Docks Rd) at the junction with the A12 backs up through Limehouse and regularly all the way to Aldgate East.

M25 junction 30/A13 corridor

There has been a £79.3 million scheme to relieve congestion at this junction. Understandably, this junction is extremely busy as it services the port of Tilbury and the Lakeside regional shopping centre. Even though the work was completed in Autumn 2016, there have since been questions surrounding the speed limit in the area. Due to its location, this junction always experiences high volumes of traffic.

A13/Blackwall Tunnel

The Blackwall Tunnel can suffer from traffic bottlenecks and tailbacks. A Transport for London study once revealed that the 1.1-mile approach to the northbound tunnel took approximately 19 minutes in rush hour traffic. 


This area is known for long queues of traffic. The westbound bypass particularly experiences extremely high volumes of traffic and tailbacks in the mornings and receives regular mentions on live traffic reports.

Accident Hotspots on the A13

As the A13 is one of the main routes connecting London to Essex, there is a high volume of traffic all the way along the route each and every day. Always check for A13 traffic news before you travel.

A consultation in February 2018 asked questions about the speed limit for the stretch where the M25 junction 30 connects with the A13 corridor. The suggested reduction of the speed limit was for safety reasons and to offset the increased likelihood of potential collisions. Due to the volume of traffic, both lorries and smaller vehicles, this area is known for traffic incidents.

The Blackwall Tunnel is known for tailbacks and congestion problems meaning, unfortunately, it is also a known accident hotspot. It’s definitely worth adding time to your journey if you have to travel in this area.

The Five Bells Interchange at Basildon and the surrounding area has also been known to experience a high number of road traffic incidents.

Upcoming A13 Major Roadworks

The A13 is a key route between Essex and London, meaning there are constant reviews on how to improve the road. There are a number of road works being carried out regularly along the A13. By using the RAC Route Planner service you can identify and account for potential delays in your journey with travel news from the A13.

Upcoming major roadworks on the A14 include:

A13/A130 Sadlers Farm

This project is undertaking a programme of remedial works and is currently planned to continue until September 2019.

A128 (Orsett Cock roundabout) and the A1014 (The Manorway, Stanford-le-Hope)

This project will widen the A13 from two to three lanes in both directions between in the A128 and the A1014. The new section of road will then join the existing three-lane section of the A13 providing a continuous three-lane road between the M25 and Stanford-le-Hope. All works are planned to be completed in autumn 2020.

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