Briefing note – for information from:
Cllr. Kevin Bentley
Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Infrastructure
Member for Stanway and Pyefleet
Essex County Council
Essex Highways plans to undertake improvements to J8 of the M11 and the nearby A120/A1250 Dunmow Road Junction.
These proposed improvements will address current congestion and capacity issues experienced in the vicinity at peak times, while maintaining traffic movements for local residents and businesses, to support local plan delivery and future investment.
Advance works are anticipated to commence this Winter, with the full construction phase commencing in Spring 2019 and lasting around two years.
The M11 and A120 are important north-south and east-west routes respectively for the region, connecting Essex to the rest of the country and providing access to one of the region’s major airports at M11 J8.
However, J8 of the M11 and the A120/A1250 Dunmow Road roundabout suffer from congestion and are lacking capacity at peak times. These issues are likely to worsen in future as a result of additional traffic from planned developments in the north of Bishop’s Stortford, the continued growth of London Stansted Airport as well as local growth planned in east Hertfordshire and Uttlesford.
We now have an opportunity to make real improvements to these Junctions that will have a positive impact on both local and strategic journeys.
Following a successful funding application to the Department for Transport, we are now in a position to move forward with our plans to improve J8 of the M11 and A120 west.
Studies undertaken since 2015 show that the best short to medium-term solution would be to improve slip lane capacity onto J8 of the M11 with an A120 signalised Junction, to help meet future network demand. The proposals are therefore as follows:
South-west of M11 J 8
- Add an additional approach lane from the M11 J8 northbound exit slip onto the A120, with dedicated access into Birchanger Green Services, to increase capacity and reduce queuing
- Install upgraded traffic signals to manage the traffic better
West of M11 J8
- Replace the existing A120/A1250 Dunmow Road roundabout with a signalised Junction
- Widen the A120 eastbound to three lanes on the approach to the new Junction with A1250
- Widen the A120 westbound to three lanes on the approach to the new Junction with A1250, introducing a dedicated lane for A1250 traffic, and a new right turn lane for traffic for Birchanger Lane
- Traffic from Birchanger Lane will only be permitted to turn left onto the A120. This is necessary to reduce delays and queuing that would otherwise occur from traffic turning right, as it would need an additional stage in the traffic signals and reduce the overall signalisation benefits.
- Realign Birchanger Lane at the new A120 Junction within the highway boundary
- Create a new footpath on Birchanger Lane to Birchanger Village from the A120 to improve facilities for people who walk, and improve cycle connections to the National Cycle Network
- Install Toucan crossings to connect both sides of the A1250, which is currently severed by the A120, to allow people who walk and cycle to pass more safely between Birchanger and Bishop’s Stortford
- Realign the bus laybys on Dunmow Road to improve traffic flow and install a new controlled crossing for pedestrians to make access to bus stops safer on Dunmow Road.
North-east of M11 J8
- Add an additional approach lane on the M11 Southbound slip road to separate traffic to Stansted Airport, the A120, Takeley, the services, and Bishop’s Stortford
- Upgrade traffic signals and overhead signage to facilitate traffic movement
- 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. However, a potential new bus link between Birchanger Lane and the A120 west of J8 is being considered.
We are committed to communicating these proposals to interested parties such as local and regional businesses, residents and local representatives to ensure that they are aware of the proposals and the anticipated timeline of the works.
We will be sending out letters to interested parties from Monday, 27 August and there will be an opportunity for face-to-face public engagement at two information events as follows:
Thursday, 13 September, 12:00 – 18:00, Bishop’s Stortford Football Club
Friday, 14 September, 14:00 – 20:00, Birchanger Village Hall
Before construction starts, we will contact local groups, residents and businesses directly affected by the scheme proposals. Information will also be published on a dedicated M11 J8 page on the Essex County Council website; this will include work phases and plans for traffic management as details become available.
Conclusions: While no immediate action is required, we are reliant on councillors at county, district and parish level to ensure that the scheme is widely communicated due to the strategic nature of both the M11 and A120.
Further information will be available at www.essex.gov.uk/M11junction8 from 24 August. A feedback form will be available via a link on this webpage for residents and businesses to comment on the changes.