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The A120 is an important trunk road in the East of England. It follows the course of Stane Street, a Roman road from Standon, Hertfordshire at its western terminus to Colchester. From Colchester the A120 leads roughly east to the Essex port of Harwich.
The road forms part of the unsigned Euroroute E32.
A120 road Wikipedia
The old A120 has been bypassed in several places, such that the old Roman road can be easily traced on a map, with the current designated A120 being less straight. From west to east, the A120's bypasses are:Bishop's Stortford - the old A120 passes through the centre of town as the A1250, while the A120 now forms a semicircular bypass to the north of the town before rejoining its old course just before crossing the M11 motorway.
M11 to Braintree - the old A120 was bypassed in 2004 as part of a scheme organised by the Highways Agency to provide a better link to Stansted Airport from East Essex, avoiding several settlements including Takeley and Great Dunmow. The ultimate strategic aim is provide a high quality direct link between Stansted and the A12, a major road connecting London with the ports of Felixstowe and Harwich.
A few miles east of Braintree at the small town of Coggeshall, the A120 takes a large semicircular detour to the north of the town. This is a particularly large deviation, as the original route passed through the south of the town, but the land to the south is marshy and thus the northern bypass was constructed.
To the east of Colchester the A120 intersects the A12, and joins the route of the A12. This passes to the northwest of Colchester, before the A12 splits off and heads north-northeast, whereupon the A120 re-emerges, heading roughly east. The £22.7m eight-mile Colchester Eastern Bypass opened in June 1982.
The section East of Colchester was previously numbered the A604
At Harwich the A120 passes to the north of the town, heading straight for the cargo ports, whereas the old route can be seen on a map clearly passing through the centre of the town.
As part of the application to add a second runway at Stansted, it was proposed that a new junction on the A120, replacing two existing ones, would be built to improve access to Stansted Airport. The proposal lapsed when the application for a second runway was withdrawn by BAA in 2010.
There were proposals to turn the A120 into a dual carriageway between Braintree and the junction with the A12. In July 2009 the proposed improvements were 'scrapped'.