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Public Consultations and Preferred Route


In February 2007, the Secretary of State for Transport announced the intention to consult the public on improvements to the road access into Stansted Airport to serve the development associated with a second runway.

This page summarises the results of the Public Consultation and gives you details on the Preferred Route as announced by the Secretary of State for Transport.

You can download this information as a leaflet, in PDF format, from the Publications page.

Why are the improvements needed?

BAA will be submitting a planning application for a second runway development. In their Surface Access Strategy, BAA has identified a variety of measures to reduce the growth in car use by air passengers and airport workers travelling to the expanded airport, including improvements to public transport. Even with measures in place to reduce the growth in car use, there is still a need to provide additional road capacity from the M11 and A120. There would be unacceptable congestion and delays for traffic going to and from the airport without the new junctions.

Choice of scheme

We have proposed two new accesses to the airport.

  1. The first access would be a new junction on the M11 (Junction 8b) located just north of the existing Junction 8/8a. This junction would provide access mainly to the existing airport terminal and would be linked to Junction 8 and to the M11
  2. The second would be a new junction on the A120, which would replace two existing junctions and would provide access mainly to the proposed new terminal.

Public Consultation

We held a Public Consultation between February and June 2007 on the proposals for providing upgraded highway access from the M11 and A120. At the same time BAA were consulting on a wider Surface Access Strategy for Stansted Generation 2.

We held a second Public Consultation between September and November 2007 to allow you a further opportunity to comment on two previously discounted options.

We distributed approximately 50,700 copies of the Public Consultation leaflet to stakeholders, residents living within a five mile radius of the airport, local council offices, libraries, Parish Councils and to statutory consultees. The leaflets and consultation details were also published on our website and BAA's website.

We held exhibitions at:

  • Harlow
  • Bishop's Stortford
  • Elsenham
  • Epping
  • Little Hadham
  • Thaxted
  • Takeley
  • Stansted Mountfitchet
  • Great Dunmow
  • Sawbridgeworth.

The first consultation period ended on 5 June 2007.

The second Public Consultation leaflet was distributed to the same recipients as in the original consultation. We did not hold any exhibitions for the second consultation, but we did deposit exhibition material at 29 locations for you to view.

The second consultation ended on 5 November 2007.

Responses to Public Consultation

The public exhibitions for the first consultation were attended by 848 people. 562 responses were received. The majority (57%) agreed with the principle that the improvements would be necessary if the airport was expanded.

The second consultation resulted in 1378 responses. There was no clear message of support for either of the two previously discounted options in preference to the scheme that was proposed in the first consultation.

Comments from the General Public

There was general concern expressed on environmental matters such as effect of the scheme on the local community, noise, air quality and visual impacts.
Comments from Local Councils and other bodies.

The responses showed the desire to limit the impact of the scheme close to Burton End and to locate the proposed Junction 8b as close to the existing Junction 8/8a as possible.

The Preferred Route

The preferred junction schemes would provide safe and efficient access to the airport, through the construction of a new junction on the M11 and a replacement junction on the A120, comprising:

  1. M11 The preferred route that we now propose is a scheme that places the proposed Junction 8b closer to Junction 8/8a
    • A new two bridge roundabout junction on the M11 (Junction 8b) linked to Junction 8 and with connections to the M11 in both directions
  2. A120 A replacement two bridge roundabout junction on the A120
    • A replacement two bridge roundabout junction on the A120 with connections to the A120 in both directions
    • Demolition of the two existing A120 junctions including the bridges
    • A lengthened section of the dual three lane section of A120 between the existing junction and the replacement junction
    • Diversion of existing footpaths and bridleways and new bridges across the M11 for Non Motorised Users (walkers, cyclists and horse riders)
    • New road signs, electronic message signs and lighting

A map of the Preferred Route is available on the Maps page.

The Environment

Additional land would be needed to allow for the introduction of environmental mitigation measures such as balancing ponds and facilities to treat road drainage water.

Noise and visual screening would be provided in the form of mounding and landscaping.

Decision of the Secretary of State

The Secretary of State for Transport has considered the views of those who responded to the consultation and the recommendations of the Highways Agency.

She agrees with the proposals and accordingly announces the Preferred Route as described here.

What happens next?

The scheme described here is now designated the Preferred Route and will be protected from development.

We will prepare the draft Orders and an Environmental Statement which are both required under the Highways Act 1980.

A Public Inquiry may be held before an independent Inspector. This will be dependent on the nature and weight of any objections we receive to the draft Orders.

The Secretary of State for Transport will consider the Inspector's report together with any objections and representations made before making a decision on whether the scheme should proceed.

Further Information

Scheme Assessment Report (February 2008):

This explains the factors that determined the choice of scheme. This report can be inspected during office hours until the 26 June 2008 at the following locations:

Essex County Council
County Hall, Market Road

Uttlesford District Council
Council Offices, London Road
Saffron Walden
CB11 4ER

Hertfordshire County Council
County Hall, Pegs Lane
SG13 8DQ

East Hertfordshire District Council
The Council Offices, The Causeway
Bishops Stortford
CM23 2EN

BAA Stansted
Enterprise House, Stansted Airport
CM24 1QW

A Copy of this report has also been sent to:

  • Birchanger Parish Council
  • Elsenham Parish Council
  • Great Hallingbury Parish Council
  • Takeley Parish Council
  • Stansted Mountfitchet Parish Council
  • Thaxted Parish Council
  • Bishop Stortford Town Council
  • Bishop Stortford Library
  • Stansted Library
  • Thaxted Library
  • Dunmow Library.

Local people can ask to read this report at the locations mentioned above. You can also receive a free CD copy of the report as well as further copies of the leaflet from the Highways Agency by writing to:

Stansted Generation 2
The Airport Access to M11 and A120 Team
Highways Agency
Manton Lane
MK41 7LW

Alternatively you can buy a paper copy of the Scheme Assessment Report by sending a cheque made payable to BAA for £45 at the address above. (The charges cover the cost of printing and materials only).