|Location Map ( geo)|
|Southend Arterial Road|
|From:||Gallows Corner, Romford (TQ531905)|
|To:||Southend on Sea (TQ880859)|
|Distance:||23.5 miles (37.8 km)|
|Meets:||A12, A118, M25, B186, A128, B1036, A176, A132, A1245, A129, A1015, A1158, B1013, A1159, B1015, A13|
|Route outline (key)|
The A127, known as the Southend Arterial Road, is a major road in south Essex, forming one of two major road links Southend has to the Capital.
The road starts on the A12 Eastern Avenue. The A12 TOTSOs at the roundabout towards Colchester while our road is on the main drag; indeed, there is a flyover connecting the A12 to/from London with the A127. The first road of major importance is the M25, which is met at J29, a three-level stack roundabout. We now leave Greater London and enter rural Essex. The B186 Junction comes immediately afterwards. The scenery here is fields, and soon we're at our next major Junction, the A128 for Brentwood to the north and Tilbury to the south.
A mile or so further on we enter Basildon at the B148 junction. Then we come to what was the first actual roundabout en route - but this is now part of the carriageway as they blocked the right turns. It is still possible to join and leave the road here, however. Then we arrive at the out-of-place A176 at a half-cloverleaf junction. The scenery is now industrial as you pass the usual factories before you come to the A132 for Basildon Town and Wickford. This is a standard roundabout junction, as is the next one with the A130, although the number at the roundabout is now A1245 and a new bridge carries the A130, with the new Battlesbridge by-pass, just before it. Now to the south of Rayleigh, there is a GSJ with the A129 (for the town centre) which has only been there since the 2000s: before, it was an at-grade roundabout.
Now the road starts to feel more suburban. The first traffic lights on the road are at the junction after the next (for an unclassified suburban road). You now go past lots of shops and car dealerships before the next set of traffic lights for the A1015. You go though a roundabout for Tesco. At the next roundabout, the A127 and A1159 cannons and we go right while the road straight ahead takes you to the seafront at Thorpe Bay or via the A13 to Shoeburyness. We now head southwards into town and the only 2 piece of single carriageway (it is at least S4) on the A127 comes - but the road becomes D2 again as we cross the B1015 shortly afterwards. A few hundred yards further on and the A127 meets the A13 outside Southend Victoria railway station where it ends. This junction used to be a big roundabout but "improvements" have seen it replaced by a signalised T-junction.
The A127 was almost all entirely new build, aside from using some of the A1015 at its eastern end. It was constructed a single project along with the A106 Eastern Avenue (now part of the A12). The section from Rayleigh to Southend opened to traffic on 9th June, 1924 (source: Hansard), with the remainder opening in July of that year. The official opening of Eastern Avenue and Southend Arterial Road was on 25 March 1925 by Prince Henry (later the Duke of Gloucester).
It was a 100 foot road, intended for a dual carriageway, but initially only a single carriageway was constructed. The wide central reservation was to provide room for a future light railway or tramway. It was an unemployment relief scheme for returned soldiers of London County and 3000 were employed in 1922, transported out of London by special trains each day. The contractors were Messrs Wm Muirhead, McDonald Wilson Co, Victoria Street. Southend Corporation contributed £100,000 to the scheme and the first mile out of Southend was reserved for Southend unemployed, this contract being Messrs. W and C. French of Buckhurst Hill.
Soon after opening of the single carriageway, on safety grounds, questions were asked in the house (source: Hansard)
The pedestrian footway along the route was constructed along with the second carriageway (source: Hansard)
The A127 ceased to be a trunk road after the 1997 detrunking order came into force.