Home to the oldest recorded town in Britain, 350 miles of coastline and 12 districts including Chelmsford, Colchester, Rochford, Braintree and Harlow, Essex is a large county in the south-east of the UK.
The Essex road network is mainly made up of dual carriageways and smaller, single lane B roads which are vital links to the surrounding towns and villages. Essex also borders the London Orbital Motorway, also known as the M25. This means that London isn’t far away by car either.
Essex has two international airports, with Stansted on the M11 and London Southend accessible via the A127. Stansted Airport become a historical landmark when the D-Day bombers led more than 600 aircrafts across to France during the war in 1944. After an initial £400 million investment in 1991 for a new terminal and taxiway, the airport opened to the public.
On average, over eight million passengers a year travel down the M11 and across the A120 to fly from Stansted. Along the coast in Essex, London Southend Airport has seen a dramatic development with an expansion to its runways and new terminal added in 2014. Alongside this, the A127 has been adapted to improve conditions for the increase of traffic within the area, but plans are in talks to reduce congestion.
Before you make your way into Essex, do check the RAC Route Planner for up-to-date Essex travel news to help you avoid delays and find the best route.
Worst Junctions in Essex
The majority of roads in Essex are single lane B roads which can cause problems if delays were to occur. Be mindful of these noted worst junctions in the county and keep on top of any Essex travel updates using the RAC Route Planner.
Junction 8 - This is the main gateway into Stansted Airport for the A120, and the busy M11 intertwines and creates a complex path. As this is a busy airport for the south-east and the Midlands, you can expect some congestion. If you’re heading to catch a flight, make sure you give yourself enough time for any unexpected delays.
Fairglen Interchange - The A130 and the A127 double junction near the Crouch Valley Showground in Rayleigh can become quite congested. With two roundabouts to navigate around for drivers working within the nearby industrial estates, the junction sees a lot of heavy load vehicles navigating through. This is without considering the vehicles heading east to the nearby airport. Plans are in place to improve the conditions of this junction, so do check for any delays using the RAC Route Planner.
M11, junction 6 - The elaborate interchange at junction 6, where the M11 meets with the M25, can be problematic. This could be partly to do with the complex nature of its structure and the heavy flow of traffic. Give yourself plenty of time to get around the junction and to find your exit.
Accident Hotspots in Essex
With a busy network of roads, there are, unfortunately, bound to be some accidents. Keep safe and be mindful of these accident blackspots with the RAC Route Planner where you’ll be able to identify real-time delays with regular Essex travel updates.
It’s been reported that the A12 has seen a high number of accidents in comparison to other roads in Essex. Make sure you’re being extra vigilant and stick to the speed limit. On the edge of the Essex border near London’s Romford, junction 28 on the M25 connecting to the A12 is particularly problematic. The large roundabout is often congested with commuters and residents all making their way onto the M25, into London and out to Essex. With heavy traffic flow, make sure you stick to your lane.
There are many blind junctions you should be wary of in the coastal town of Clacton-on-Sea in Essex. There have been several reports of accidents happening along Ellis Road, which connects to the district hospital and West Avenue. Drive slowly when navigating around this residential part of town and approach junctions cautiously if your view is obstructed.
There have been reports of previous accidents in one of the busiest towns in Essex. You can expect there to be more traffic once you get into any city, but Colchester can be particularly tricky. This could be due to the town having quite an old network of roads. Give yourself plenty of time travelling through the centre. You can expect traffic to be slower near to the city’s university, the train stations and on approach to the roundabouts on the A134. Greenstead Road can also become quite congested due to the complex nature of its five roundabout loop.
Upcoming Major Roadworks in Essex
With more and more drivers taking to the roads, over time they may need maintenance and problematic junctions need improving to keep road users safe. Here are some of the current plans and projects that are in place to improve the conditions and functionality on the roads in Essex. Before you set off on your journey, do check the RAC Route Planner for up-to-date travel news to help you plan for roadworks and reduce delays.
Upcoming major roadworks in Essex include:
M11, Junction 7a - Essex County Council are due to create a new junction on the M11 to support the housing growth within the Harlow area. Work on this £80 million scheme is set to begin in summer 2019 and end in winter 2012.
A12, junction 19 and junction 25 - Plans are set to widen the roads near Chelmsford on the A12 to the A120 interchange. This major scheme hopes to improve congestion and traffic flow and is set to begin in 2020/21.
Fairglen Interchange - Plans from Essex County Council are in consultation to improve the congestion on the A127 and the A130 on approach to the interchange. This multi-million-pound scheme is said to help reduce congestion while providing a safe route for cyclists.
This scheme is not yet confirmed so please do check the Highways England website for more up-to-date information on any upcoming planned projects in the Essex area.