The A1232 follows the former route of the A12 from Colchester town centre northwards to the bypass.
The road starts to the east of the town centre at a double roundabout on the A133 relief road next to Waitrose. It heads north along Ipswich Road, making the road's history very clear.
The road climbs to the north through the suburbs and soon crosses the Great Eastern Main Line. To the left is the High Woods Country Park but this is hidden behind the houses. After a roundabout to serve the northern suburbs the road skirts an industrial estate - although we never actually become anything other than urban. Presently the road reaches a roundabout where it ends. This is part of A12J29; left to go south and ahead to go north, whilst right is the A120.