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Location Map ( geo)
Cameraicon.png View gallery (5)
From:  Colchester (TL966251)
To:  Clacton-on-Sea (TM179147)
Distance:  18.9 miles (30.4 km)
Meets:  A1124, A12, A134, A1232, A137, A134, A120, seafront
Former Number(s):  A12, A604
Old route now:  B1508, B1441
Primary Destinations
Highway Authorities


Traditional Counties


Route outline (key)
A133 Sudbury - Colchester
A133 Colchester – Frating Green
A133 (Spur) A120 – Frating Green
A133 Frating Green – Clacton-on-Sea


The A133 is another road that leads Essex Man to the sea. Clacton is not as tacky as Southend, and the road from the A120 to Clacton has been improved over the last 20 years. The first bit though is a little slow as it goes through Colchester.


Western Section: Colchester – Frating Green

Towards Elmstead Market

The western section of the A133 currently begins on the A1124 (former A12) at Lexden, to the west of the centre of Colchester. It runs along the town's first bypass (also at one time the A12), soon reaching Spring Lane Roundabout at the end of the slip roads to A12 J27. The A133 continues on the old A12 route forming a northern bypass of the town. It crosses the A134 at its new alignment as Westway and then shortly after again on the old alignment as North Station Road; it will soon meet up again at the very beginning of the A134 soon enough after that road's journey forming the southern end of the town centre's bypass.

The A133 continues along the leafy Cowdray Avenue with housing on both sides before passing a modern industrial estate (currently part of which is being demolished after a large fire), on the other side of the road is McDonalds, and the Charter Hall before passing over the Clacton branch railway line and a roundabout with the A1232, which is where the old A12 left and the A133 returns to its "proper" route. It soon passes another roundabout with the A137 to Manningtree. Both this roundabout and the previous one were until recently double mini roundabouts. The next major junction is the "magic roundabout" of Greenstead with five mini roundabouts around a central one; most are minor roads, but one is the final terminus of the A134 on its way out of the town centre again on it's new alignment as the Eastern Approaches.

After this, the A133 becomes D2 for a while past the University of Essex. Until recently this used to be NSL, but after a series of accidents it is now 50 until we pass the university where it returns to NSL. This section continues until we reach Elmstead Market where the limit drops to 30 and the road becomes single carriageway again. At traffic lights on the far side of the village an unclassified road turns off to the left signposted for Harwich; this is the former A604. The A133 meanders though the countryside becoming NSL out of villages and limited to 40 when in them before after 5 miles reaching a roundabout being the spur to the A120.

I have noticed that they have recently replaced a lot of the signage on this section of the road, and the A133 part of the sign is screwed on as a separate panel over another part of the sign, possibly a downgrading to A1124 is in the pipeline?

The A133 Spur to the A120 at Hare Green

This spur is the only section of the primary A133 that is D2. The spur starts from a fork junction with the A120 at Hare Green. This is where the bulk of the traffic comes from as it allows access to the A133 from the A12 without having to go through Colchester. We go over an unclassified road to the east of Hare Green; this was the A604 at one time. After that, we run on an embankment but all too soon we arrive at the roundabout with the main A133. From the spur, the primary route to Clacton is aligned straight ahead.

Eastern Section: Frating Green – Clacton

After the roundabout, the mainline of the road becomes primary. We first pass Crabtree Farm then we carry on pass various other farms until we arrive at the roundabout at the B1033. Here, we leave the old road at a TOTSO at the roundabout. The new road is a lot faster than the old road as it bypasses Weeley and Weeley Heath. We enter a cutting near to Gutteridge Hall. This is a fast S2 road as we go under a couple of bridges, but the entire length of the new road has provision for upgrading to D2. After a short embankment, we bypass Little Clacton. After going under a small bridge, we arrive at the Little Clacton roundabout. To our left is the B1442. After that, we're still on the 1990s new road. After a mile, we arrive at Clacton. At the B1441 roundabout at Great Clacton, we rejoin the original road. We're in the town now and the road is a lot slower. We again meet the B1442, then there is a short one-way loop which has ended by the station, where there is a roundabout.

The final bit of the A133 is very straight. We pass the B1032 towards Kirby Cross to the east. It also goes a little to the west. Finally we see the sea. The two carriageways split to end at adjacent T-junctions on the seafront. Turn right for another way for Kirby Cross or left for Clacton amusements and the car parks.

Original Author(s): A Beaton


The original 1922 route of the A133 ran from Colchester to Sudbury - but the road has been extended and cut back again in the interim.

The A133 was extended along the former B1059 on 1st April, 1929 as far as Sudbury, where it met the A131 and A134 in the town centre. This section lasted until at least the 1970s but has been downgraded to the B1508; there seems no reason why two roads (A133 and A134) needed to connect Sudbury and Colchester.

The route of the A133 bypassing Colchester town centre was originally built in 1933 as the A12; this later became the A604 and was renumbered A133 when that road fell apart in the 1990s.

The 0.6 mile Weeley Bypass opened in July 1939. Included in the contract was a new 3 span reinforced concrete railway bridge with 5 approach spans to replace the level crossing south of the village. Overall length was 425 feet and width 72 feet. Contractor was J.L.Eve (Construction) Co, Ltd, tender cost £24,738.

The 4.5 mile Little Clacton and Weeley Heath Bypass was completed in February 1995 (per a House of Lords judgement report of 27 July 2000). Contractor was Shepherd Hill and contract price £7.7 million.


A133 Colchester to Clacton Improvements

A133 Work finished at Weeley and Frating Roundabout – part of Colchester to Clacton improvements. Works to improve the A133, a key route providing a link to and from Colchester and the seaside resort of Clacton-on-Sea, have been successfully completed. Construction began in winter 2020 to widen the northern approach of Weeley Roundabout, and to introduce a new left-turn slip at the Frating Roundabout. Other modifications and safety improvements were also carried out on the roads.

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Related Pictures
View gallery (5)
The A133 heading towards Elmstead Market - Geograph - 806569.jpgSoviet 13.jpgA120, Colchester Bypass - Geograph - 3846773.jpgA133 near Frating Green - Geograph - 3846825.jpgA133 Weeley - Geograph - 2134239.jpg
Other nearby roads
B1027 • B1031 • B1032 • B1369 • B1414 • B1441 • B1442
A100 • A101 • A102 • A103 • A104 • A105 • A106 • A107 • A108 • A109 • A110 • A111 • A112 • A113 • A114 • A115 • A116 • A117 • A118 • A119
A120 • A121 • A122 • A123 • A124 • A125 • A126 • A127 • A128 • A129 • A130 • A131 • A132 • A133 • A134 • A135 • A136 • A137 • A138 • A139
A140 • A141 • A142 • A143 • A144 • A145 • A146 • A147 • A148 • A149 • A150 • A151 • A152 • A153 • A154 • A155 • A156 • A157 • A158 • A159
A160 • A161 • A162 • A163 • A164 • A165 • A166 • A167 • A168 • A169 • A170 • A171 • A172 • A173 • A174 • A175 • A176 • A177 • A178 • A179
A180 • A181 • A182 • A183 • A184 • A185 • A186 • A187 • A188 • A189 • A190 • A191 • A192 • A193 • A194 • A195 • A196 • A197 • A198 • A199
Defunct Itineraries & Motorways: A102(M) East Cross Route • A102(M) Southern Approach • A106(E) • A108(N) • A108(S) • A115 • A118
A132 • A122 • A135 • A138 • A139 • A147 • A154 • A160 • A167(M) • A168(M) • A176 • A180(W) • A180(E) • A194(M) • A194 • A195(M) • A195

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