|Length:||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|
|Route outline (key)|
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
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 double roundabout with the A1232, which is where the old A12 left and the A133 returns to its "proper" route. It soon passes another double roundabout with the A137 to Manningtree before heading up 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. 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.