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A11 road (England)

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Eastern end:  Norwich
Start  Norwich
Length  180.9 km
Connects to  M11 motorway
A11 road (England)
Western end:  Aldgate, City of London
Primary destinations:  Stratford Newmarket Thetford Bishop's Stortford Harlow Woodford

The A11 is a major trunk road in England. It runs roughly north east from London to Norwich, Norfolk, although after the M11 opened in the 1970s and then the A12 extension in 1999, a lengthy section has been downgraded between the suburbs of east London and the north-west corner of the county of Essex. It also multiplexes/overlaps with the A14 on the Newmarket bypass.


Map of A11, London E1, UK

City of London

All this part has been declassified and is now a minor road. Thus the A11 now starts at Aldgate, just inside the eastern boundary of the City of London. The first stretch is Aldgate High Street, passing south of Aldgate tube station. Traffic is one way round the Aldgate one-way system.

Tower Hamlets

East of Aldgate station, the A11 enters the London Borough of Tower Hamlets and the East End of London. It becomes Whitechapel High Street (containing Aldgate East tube station), again part of the Aldgate one-way system. The A11 passes through Whitechapel, past Whitechapel tube station and the Royal London Hospital. It becomes Mile End Road at the eastern end of Whitechapel Road, at Mile End Gate, the former toll gate for the turnpike, passing Stepney Green tube station, with Stepney to the south, and then Mile End tube station. Next, it becomes Bow Road, passing Bow Road tube station and Bow Church DLR station.

There is a dual carriageway flyover over the Bow Interchange roundabout, a junction with the A12. However, at the end of the flyover, the A11 crosses into the London Borough of Newham and becomes a western extension to the A118. Following the opening of the A12 extension in 1999, the A11 was re-numbered to make it seem a less important road and encourage traffic to use the new dual carriageway between there and Leytonstone. This is the western limit of the downgraded section. The A11 number won't reappear until Stump Cross in deepest Essex (see Former Sections below).

Cambridgeshire and Suffolk

The road enters Cambridgeshire, with the road number A11 finally re-appearing at M11 Junction 9A, and the A11 is now a trunk road. It roughly follows the route of a Roman road for the remainder of its length.

The A11 formerly went through Newmarket; that stretch is now the A1304. The Newmarket bypass, opened to traffic in July 1975, is a dual carriageway. The western end is the A11, but most of its length is a multiplex/overlap with the A14. The A11 re-appears north-east of Newmarket, and remained a dual carriageway until Barton Mills, Suffolk. The road bypasses Barton Mills before entering Norfolk in the Thetford Forest, passing the 113-foot-tall (34 m) Elveden War Memorial. This section of the road opened as a dual carriageway on 12 December 2014. This completes the dualling of the trunk road between Norwich and London.


The upgrading of the final section of single carriageway between Barton Mills and Thetford (opened December 2014) means the road is dual carriageway all the way to Norwich. The road continues northeast bypassing Thetford, Attleborough and Wymondham. The A11 originally ran through the centre of all three towns giving rise to congestion which frequently became the focus of delays on the route. It also passes the Snetterton Circuit motor racing venue. On entering Norwich, it becomes single carriageway again and is called Newmarket Road. It terminates at the St Stephens Street roundabout near the city centre.

Various sections of the A11 between the junction the M11 in Cambridgeshire and Norwich have recently been upgraded to dual carriageway. The Roudham Heath to Attleborough section was dualled in 2003 and the Attleborough bypass was dualed in 2007. The previously single carriageway road between Thetford and the Fiveways roundabout is now dual carriageway and opened in December 2014.

A11 Fiveways – Thetford Improvement

Proposals to dual 14.8 km of the road between the Fiveways Roundabout at Barton Mills, bypassing Elveden to the North and joining the western end of the Thetford Bypass had been discussed for many years without any developments being made. Draft Orders together with an Environmental Statement were published in Autumn 2008. The Labour government's Secretary of State for Transport announced the scheme would be brought forward by 18 months to 2010 with an open date of 2013 in November 2008 in response to the Financial crisis of 2007-2008. Supporters expressed concern in September 2010 that the scheme would be cancelled as part of the coalition government's comprehensive spending review noting that the report from the public inquiry had not yet been signed off by the Department for Transport.

The Highways Agency has published an official map of the proposed scheme and a Google overlay map is also available. The original cost estimate was £30 million rising to £60 million in March 2007 and then to £113-£157 million by August 2008.

The project received strong support from local business groups and local government and was expected to reduce journey times by 3 minutes off-peak and up to 25 minutes at peak times. Environmental campaign groups believed that in a time of economic downturn it would be better to invest in local public transport rather than on costly road schemes. On 20 October 2010, the government gave the green light, indicating that the works would continue. The Elveden Bypass opened during Easter 2014 with one lane in use each way. The full dual carriageway between Barton Mills and Thetford was opened on 12 December 2014 by transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin.

City of London

Originally, the A11 started at the Bank of England in the City of London, next to Bank Underground station, and went eastwards along Cornhill and Leadenhall Street, past Aldgate Pump and along Aldgate. Hence leading to the current A11 starting point at Aldgate.


From Bow Interchange, A118 briefly becomes a dual carriageway as it crosses the valley of the River Lea. This dual carriageway section ends in a one-way system marking Stratford town centre. The eastbound road, Great Eastern Road, passes Stratford station. The westbound road is called Broadway and The Grove; the latter road runs north-south. At the end of the one-way system, The Grove becomes two-way, still going north. The old A11 then becomes Leytonstone Road; Maryland railway station turns northwards on the corner where the name change occurs. Meanwhile, the A118 heads eastward along its route towards Ilford and Romford. The A112 also joins the one-way system, heading north-south.

Waltham Forest

North of Maryland, the old A11 crosses from the London Borough of Newham into the London Borough of Waltham Forest and becomes High Road Leytonstone, passing under the Gospel Oak to Barking Line.


Once past the Green Man Interchange, the former A11 route enters the London Borough of Redbridge and briefly becomes a southern extension to the A113 before turning into the A1199 (a duplicate designation, given that there is another A1199 in Islington), and is called Hollybush Hill, Woodford Road and High Road Woodford Green. It crosses over the A406 at Gates Corner (named after a Ford car showroom, which was turned into residential flats in 2006), but since the A406 was widened when the M11 was constructed there are no slip roads for interchange and the old A11 passes over the top. It merges with the A104 Woodford New Road by the Statue of Winston Churchill and becomes the A104 High Road Woodford Green. North, the road was A11 until the M11 opened in the 1970s, triggering the downgrading of the A11 between Woodford and Stump Cross (see below). Just before leaving London for Essex, the A104 becomes Epping New Road.

Essex, Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire

Shortly after entering Essex, the A11 enters Epping Forest, following the mainly straight course of the Epping New Road turnpike constructed during the second quarter of the nineteenth century, alongside the boundary between Waltham Abbey and Loughton. It then reaches the Wake Arms Roundabout and becomes the B1393. Just after leaving the forest, it crosses the M25 motorway (here lowered into a cut-and-cover tunnel), then continuing through Epping. The B1393 ends at junction 7 of the M11, and the route of the A11 goes along the A414 through the eastern suburbs of Harlow, having been rerouted slightly to the west at the end of the 1950s to avoid passing through Potter Street. The road then becomes the A1184 and goes through Sawbridgeworth: through the rest of the Essex stretch between Harlow and Stump Cross the road follows a more traditionally English course, characterised by bends of varying and sometimes uneven radii, with just one straight mile (1.6 km) (to the south of Littlebury) along the north Essex stretch.

Just south of Bishop's Stortford, the A1184 turns sharp left to become part of the Bishop's Stortford bypass, but the route of the A11 becomes the B1383 and goes through the town and through Stansted Mountfitchet and Quendon. It crosses the M11 and passes Audley End. The B1383 ends at 9A (Stump Cross), the end of a spur that comes off the M11 at Junction 9, near Great Chesterford. From there, the former A11 section aligns once more with the current A11.


A11 road (England) Wikipedia