|From:||High Garrett (TL775272)|
|To:||Haverhill Bypass (TL643465)|
|Distance:||18.2 miles (29.3 km)|
|Meets:||A131, A1124, A1092, A143, A1307, B1054, B1061, B1057|
|Former Number(s):||A132, A604|
|Route outline (key)|
The A1017 mostly runs in the north of Essex. In sharp contrast to the sterotypical views of the county that can be seen on the A13, it mostly runs through quiet, and pleasant, countryside, broken by the occasional village.
The road starts at a fork with the A131 north of Braintree, and follows the Roman Road ahead through Gosfield. After meeting the A1124 coming from Halstead, it follows the Colne Valley upstream, running through Sible Hedingham and Great Yeldham, reaching a summit near Ridgewell.
At Baythorne End, practically on the Essex / Suffolk boundary, the road bends sharply left and meets the A1092 which is running along the River Stour. The A1017 then takes on that line, albeit on the other side of the river (which becomes Stour Brook upon reaching Sturmer as the River Stour heads north), to reach a roundabout at the near side of the Haverhill bypass. The A143 continues ahead into the town whilst the A1017 bypasses the town to the south, finally crossing into Suffolk as it does so. The road ends at the other end of the bypass at a roundabout on the A1307, which continues towards Cambridge.
The A1017 originally only ran for under 4 miles from the A131 to what's now the A1124. Most of the remainder of the route is the former A604, which was detrunked and renumbered in 1997. The Haverhill bypass dates from the same time, although that was always the A1017.