|Location Map ( geo)|
|From:||Birchanger Green (TL516214)|
|To:||Braintree Eastern Bypass (TL779234)|
|Distance:||17 miles (27.4 km)|
|Meets:||M11, A120, B183, A120, B1008, B1417, B1018, A120, A131|
|Route outline (key)|
The B1256 follows essentially the former route of the A120 – Stane Street – between junction 8 of the M11 at Birchanger Green and the Braintree eastern bypass. The end-to-end length of 17 miles is that of the main line (which includes an "inner bypass" at Great Dunmow); a number of short branches, also numbered B1256, connect the route to the new A120 along the way.
At M11 J8 the A120 turns onto its new route and the B1256 takes over. It heads east along a straight road and passes to the north of Hatfield Forest, which is barely visible as the road remains largely built-up. In Takeley the B183 comes in from the right, after which we go through Little Canfield and then meet the A120 once more at a modified diamond. We meet both westbound slip roads at the first roundabout then go over the main road to the second roundabout which serves the eastbound offslip. There's a short stretch alongside the A120 to a third roundabout where the eastbound onslip continues ahead and we bear left.
After a brief rural section we enter Great Dunmow. At one time the A120 ran straight through the town centre but it was later rerouted onto a bypass and that is what we now follow. The road passes to the south of the town centre and goes underneath the B184; there is no way of getting between the two roads without using an unclassified road. At a roundabout a spur of the B1256 heads off to the right to the present A120 bypass, where it meets the B1008.
The mainline of the B1256 bears left and returns to Stane Street. It follows a largely rural route, getting very close to the A120 in a couple of places. Presently the B1417 comes in from the right; this provides access from a westbound A120 offslip and the B1256 now forms part of this GSJ. From here, the B1256 multiplexes with the A120 until Braintree, bypassing Rayne.
At Braintree, the B1256 heads north from the bypass to re-join the former A120 alignment at a roundabout east of the River Brain. We continue east into Braintree town centre. The B1256 forms the ring road, which is two-way S2 throughout (except for a short one-way section in the north) and which was obviously cobbled together from previously existing roads. The B1018 is met at traffic lights in the southeast corner. The road then passes into the suburbs and ends where the A120 takes back its old route on the eastern bypass, numbered A131 north of here.