Planning application is granted to start work on new M11 junction near Stansted Airport

Junction 7a is set to open on the M11 in 2021. Stock image. Picture: GEORGIA HINGSTON/ARCHANT

Junction 7a is set to open on the M11 in 2021. Stock image. Picture: GEORGIA HINGSTON/ARCHANT - Credit: Archant

Work to build a new junction on the M11 near Stansted Airport will begin this winter.

The news comes as planning permission was granted for Junction 7a – a road which is hoped will support economic and housing growth in Essex.

Although the junction will not be in use until 2021, preparations for it are being laid out, with initial work concentrated away from the main road to minimise disruption to motorists.

Councillor Kevin Bentley, deputy leader of Essex County Council, said: “This junction will transform the daily lives of businesses and residents by helping to improve links to and from the M11.

“Junction 7a will be on the doorstep of London Stansted Airport and the Harlow Enterprise Zone – helping to keep Essex moving and supporting economic growth for local businesses.

“This is a major project but we are wasting no time in getting people on the ground to begin preparation works, ensuring we deliver the benefits of this scheme as quickly as possible.”

The plans for Junction 7a aim to create a key east to west link to help traffic move smoothly out of Harlow and onto the M11.

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It is also hoped it will reduce congestion on the north and south links through Harlow towards Junction 7, and support housing and business development.

Work has also been announced to improve Gilden Way, in Harlow, by widening it from the London Road roundabout to Marsh Lane, creating a three-lane road.

A new road to the east will also be built from Marsh Lane, linking the new Gilden Way road to the M11 via a new Sheering Road roundabout.

From here, the link will continue in a north easterly direction to a second roundabout before the road rises to the new motorway roundabout junction on the western side of the M11.

Two new roundabouts will also be constructed on either side of the motorway and connected by a new bridge.

The news comes just weeks after Stansted Airport announced direct flights to New York and Boston, in America, as well as its repeated ambition to serve up to 44million passengers a year by 2030.

Cllr Bentley added: “What better time to be investing in improvements along the M11 to help make life easier and quicker for holidaymakers and business people travelling to and from the airport.”