|From:||Little Waltham Bypass (TL712138)|
|Distance:||26.9 miles (43.3 km)|
|Meets:||A130, A120, A1017, A1124, A134|
|Old route now:||B1008, B1053|
|Route outline (key)|
Section 1: Little Waltham Bypass - Halstead
The A131 starts promisingly enough at a junction with the A130 a few miles outside Chelmsford. The original start was at a TOTSO in Little Waltham, but the A130 now bypasses the village to the east and the original line of the A130 and A131 is now the B1008. Beyond the bypass the A131 continues beyond here on a Roman alignment, which originally took it almost all the way to Halstead. However, the road soon moves onto a bypass constructed in 2003 which continues for some distance - although many drivers still use the old road through Great Notley as it is much shorter. Between Great Notley and Braintree the A131 is now swallowed up by the improved A120. It follows this to skirt the south and east of the town, until it reaches a roundabout where the A120, decidedly unimproved, turns right for Coggeshall and Colchester, and the A131, now single carriageway, continues round the town to meet its original Roman alignment again. With housing first on one side and then the other the road is truly semi-urban here, but at High Garrett the character changes as the A131 turns off the Roman alignment, (which is continued by the A1017) and follows a more meandering route the rest of the way to Halstead. Overtaking, not easy up to this point within the speed limit (except in the D2 sections), is now made harder as the route never stays straight for very long.
Section 2:Halstead - Sudbury
The road crosses the River Colne at Halstead, where we meet the former A604 (now the A1124) which originally ran from Kettering to Harwich. After Halstead the road winds it way along until it descends steeply to the Stour Valley at Sudbury, passing under a disused railway viaduct. The A131 ends ambiguously, as it follows a one-way system through the town, with three A roads leading from it, all with the same number! This is due to the fact that the A131 took over the pre-bypass A134 when that was rerouted out of town. After entering the one way system from the Halstead direction, we next encounter the road leading to Bury St Edmunds, and further round, the road for Colchester and Ipswich (the latter via A1071). Both spurs are numbered A131, but end after a mile or so on the A134 which bypasses Sudbury. With the exception of this latter spur, the entire A131 is primary, the primary route continuing towards Bury, Thetford and Kings Lynn as the A134.
Original Author(s): T1(M)