A13 road (England)

A13 road (England)

UK road routebox
road= A13
length-mi= 42
length-km= 67
direction= West-East
start= Central London
destinations= Docklands
Dartford Crossing
end= Shoeburyness
construction-date= route pre-dates inception of 1922 Roads list; first all-new bypass section opened 1924
completion-date= last all-new section opened 1999; latest grade-separation completed 2004
junctions= ukroadsmall|1202
The A13 is a major road in England linking the City of London with East London and south Essex. Its route is roughly similar to the route of the London, Tilbury and Southend Railway, and runs the entire length of the northern Thames Gateway area, terminating on the Thames Estuary at Shoeburyness. It is a Trunk Road as far as the Tilbury turn-off, a primary route between there and Sadlers Hall Farm near Benfleet, and a non-primary route between there and Shoeburyness.



Commercial Road and East India Dock RoadThe A13 starts at the Aldgate one way system in east London and heads eastwards through the boroughs of Tower Hamlets, Newham, Barking & Dagenham and Havering before reaching the Greater London boundary. At the London end, "Commercial Road" and "East India Dock Road" form one of two main arteries through the historic East End (the other being the A11 "Whitechapel Road"). The A13 route is a relatively recent addition to London's radial network, being built at the beginning of the 19th century to connect the City with the (then) newly expanding Docklands area. "Commercial Road" dates from 1802 [ [http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=46475] British History Online - 'Pennyfields', Survey of London: volumes 43 and 44: Poplar, Blackwall and Isle of Dogs (1994), pp. 111-113. Date accessed: 14 November 2007] , while "East India Dock Road" was set out from 1806-1812 [ [http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=46478] British History Online - 'East India Dock Road: Introduction', Survey of London: volumes 43 and 44: Poplar, Blackwall and Isle of Dogs (1994), pp. 120-126. Date accessed: 14 November 2007] . Today the route is still largely single carriageway, though notable is the junction with the A12 and A102 at the northern portal of the Blackwall Tunnel. This section of A13 is used by the important London Bus routes 15 (as far as Blackwall) and 115.

East Ham & Barking By-pass (Newham Way and Alfreds Way)However, just east of Blackwall, at the crossing of the River Lea, there is a "TOTSO" (turn-off to stay on) with the A1261 East India Dock Link Tunnel, and the road changes character dramatically, becoming a dual three-lane expressway. This grade-separated route continues all the way to the Greater London Boundary. Notable junctions include Canning Town, and the A406 junction near Beckton, as well as the single carriageway Lodge Avenue flyover near Barking, where the old A13 route ("Ripple Road") merges with the new. Grade-separated in 2002-2004, the dual carriageway section through Newham is "Newham Way", while through Barking it is "Alfreds Way", both comprising the "East Ham & Barking Bypass", and originally dualled by the 1960s [ [http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=42748] British History Online - 'West Ham: Introduction', A History of the County of Essex: Volume 6 (1973), pp. 43-50. Date accessed: 16 November 2007.] . This is structurally sound and built to high standards, yet TfL have slapped a 40 mph (64 km/h) speed limit on this section. Prior to grade-separation, the speed limit was 50 mph (80 km/h) [ [http://www.sabre-roads.org.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?t=7223&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=0] This thread on the SABRE forums includes a letter from TfL setting out their reasons for reducing the limit from 50 to 40 mph. Letter dated 5th January 2006.] . Works involved inserting new underpasses at Prince Regent and Movers Lane, a new flyover at Beckton Alps, and expanding Canning Town flyover from two lanes either way to three. Also inserted was the free-flow link to the A1261 tunnel. London Bus route 173 is the only route to use the A13 here, between Beckton Alps and "Ripple Road".

Ripple Road and the Thames Gateway

East of the Lodge Avenue junction near Barking, the route then takes over the much older "Ripple Road", with its last at-grade junction at "Renwick Road", while the all-new grade-separated section east of the Goresbrook Interchange at Dagenham is termed the "Thames Gateway", completed in 1999. This is notable for the award-winning viaduct [ [http://www.benaimgroup.com/awards.html] Benaim Group webpage listing Concrete Society awards for 2000] over Fords works, opening in late 1999 [ [http://www.barkingdagenhamlocalhistory.net/barkingdagenhamnewspaper.htm] Barking and Dagenham Local History website: Barking & Dagenham Post, 22nd December 1999] , and the causeway over Rainham and Wennington Marshes, the latter structure causing some delay to the project due to necessary studies on its environmental impact [ [http://www.parliament.the-stationery-office.com/pa/cm199495/cmhansrd/1995-01-27/Debate-6.html] Parliamentary debate on the A13 on 27th January 1995, first part] [ [http://www.parliament.the-stationery-office.com/pa/cm199495/cmhansrd/1995-01-27/Debate-7.html] Parliamentary debate on the A13 on 27th January 1995, second part] , although this section opened first, in mid-1997 [ [http://www.barkingdagenhamlocalhistory.net/barkingdagenhamnewspaper.htm] Barking and Dagenham Local History website: Barking & Dagenham Post, 2nd July 1997,] . The contract also included the Wennington to M25 motorway section (see below). It has National Speed Limit from just east of Goresbrook Interchange. London Bus routes 173 and 287 are the only routes to use the A13 here, between "Ripple Road" and Goresbrook.


Wennington to Sadlers Hall Farm

The "Thames Gateway" section of the A13 leaves London at Wennington on the border with Thurrock (formerly part of Essex), still dual three lanes, intersecting with the M25 motorway at Junction 30, close to the Dartford Crossing and Lakeside Shopping Centre. The A13 here is a much older dual carriageway, dating mostly to the 1980s, including the four-lane flyover above the M25, left incomplete for over 15 years. The Wennington to M25 section opened in late 1998 [ [http://www.barkingdagenhamlocalhistory.net/barkingdagenhamnewspaper.htm] Barking and Dagenham Local History website: Barking & Dagenham Post, 16th December 1998.] . The next junction, the turn-off for Lakeside (A126), has only west-facing slips, so there is no exit westbound. It is then dual three lanes past the junction with the A1089, the road into Tilbury, and loses its Trunk Road status to the latter. The A13 finally drops down to two lanes each way at the nearby A128 junction. It is dual for another nine miles, bypassing Stanford-le-Hope and Basildon before it reaches the Sadlers Hall Farm (or Sadlers Farm) "magic" roundabout. Here the road meets the A130 and loses its dual and Primary Route status. The main route into Southend is now the A127 "Southend Arterial Road", accessible via the A130.

Benfleet to Shoeburyness

The A13 continues as mostly single-carriageway through Benfleet, Hadleigh, and Westcliff, before reaching the seaside resort of Southend-on-Sea. This is the last major town on the route, but it continues eastwards, including brief dual sections ("London Road", Hadleigh, "Queensway" round the town centre, with its roundabouts with the A127 and A1160 (another "TOTSO"), and "Southchurch Boulevard" in Southchurch), and on to Shoeburyness, on the estuary three miles east of Southend proper. It turns to the south at Parsons Corner, and then as "Ness Road", it terminates at an end-on junction with the B1016, also forming part of "Ness Road".


Original route through Newham and Barking

East of the River Lea, through Newham and Barking, the original route followed the A124 "Barking Road" and then the A123 "Ripple Road". The present A13 still uses much of the eastern end of "Ripple Road". The route was replaced by the "East Ham & Barking Bypass" first opened in 1928 [ [http://www.barkingdagenhamlocalhistory.net/barkingdagenhamnewspaper.htm] Barking and Dagenham Local History website: Dagenham Post & Barking Rainham Guardian, 1st June 1928] , which was given the number A118 before being redesignated. As with the route west of the River Lea, "Barking Road" is a relatively new route, being built c.1812 [ [http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=42722] British History Online - 'The ancient parish of Barking: introduction', A History of the County of Essex: Volume 5 (1966), pp. 184-190. Date accessed: 14 November 2007.] . Prior to this date, the main route from London to Tilbury was via Stratford and Ilford, today's A11 "Whitechapel Road", A118 "Romford Road" and A123 "Ilford Lane".

Original route through Dagenham and Havering

"Ripple Road" leads to Dagenham. The eastern end of this as well as "New Road" heading towards Rainham, in Havering, and the Greater London border, were bypassed by the new-build "Thames Gateway" in 1999. The former route was redesignated A1306. The western end between Dagenham and Rainham is still dual, but a short section near Rainham was singled in recent years. Like "Barking Road" further west, the original section of "New Road" between Dagenham and Rainham dates from c.1810 [ [http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=42731] British History Online - 'Dagenham: Introduction and manors', A History of the County of Essex: Volume 5 (1966), pp. 267-281. Date accessed: 14 November 2007.] , and was dualled at roughly the same time as the "East & Ham and Barking Bypass". "New Road" east of Rainham is much newer, and dates from the 1920s. It is and was single all the way towards the border at Wennington, consequently suffering congestion, especially after Lakeside shopping centre opened in 1990.

Original route in Thurrock and Basildon

The eastern half of "New Road" originates from 1924 [ [http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=42835] British History Online - 'Wennington', A History of the County of Essex: Volume 7 (1978), pp. 180-190. Date accessed: 16 November 2007.] , and continues past Wennington as the A1306 "Arterial Road", completed in 1925 [ [http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=63837] British History Online - 'Parishes: Aveley', A History of the County of Essex: Volume 8 (1983), pp. 1-16. Date accessed: 16 November 2007] , bypassing Purfleet (the project including that town's now unclassified "bypass"). It subsequently intersects with the M25 and A282 at Junction 31, heads past Lakeside and then ends at the A1012 near Grays. The route continues as the unclassified Lodge Lane before the latter becomes part of the A1013. The A1013 continues as far as Stanford-le-Hope, where the old A13 route merges with new at the A1014 junction. The eastern end of the erstwhile single-carriageway bypass is now a farm access, but can be shadowed on foot, meeting the B1420 at a roundabout just south of the modern A13 (the actual original A13 (pre-1930s) followed "London Road" and "Southend Road" through Stanford and Corringham [ [http://www.npemap.org.uk/tiles/map.html#569,183,1] Both original route (yellow) and old by-pass (red) can be seen in this New Popular Edition Map dated 1946] ). East of there, the B1420 meets the A13 at the A176 junction at Thurrock/Essex border and then the B1464 "London Road" continues the route south of Basildon, before meeting the newer road and the A130 at Sadlers Farm. The section of the route between the M25 and Sadlers Farm was by-passed or dualled in several stages between the mid-1970s and early 1990s [ [http://www.sabre-roads.org.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?t=16466] This thread on the SABRE website forums discusses opening dates for roads built in the 1970s, based on contemporary maps (The Atlas Dating Project). The A13 between the A176 and A130 was deemed to have been built some time between 1975 and 1978; no firm date, however, was arrived at.] [ [http://www.sabre-roads.org.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?t=16467] This thread on the SABRE website forums discusses opening dates for roads built in the 1980s, based on contemporary maps (The Atlas Dating Project). The A13 between the M25 and A128 was deemed to have opened in 1982, and the section between A128 and A1014 in 1985.] [ [http://www.sabre-roads.org.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?t=16468] This thread on the SABRE website forums discusses opening dates for roads built in the 1990s, based on contemporary maps (The Atlas Dating Project). The A13 between the A1014 and A176 was deemed to have been complete in 1993, largely taking over the old Stanford-le-Hope Bypass.] , with Wennington to M25 opening in 1998 (see above).

Original route in Southend

In Southend, the short dual carriageway "Queensway" bypasses the original route through the town centre, and while much of this is pedestrianised, it can be followed on foot. East of the town centre, "Shoebury Road" was bypassed by the single-carriageway "Bournes Green Chase", just a few yards to the north, linking Southchurch with Shoeburyness. Finally, the terminus of the A13 has been truncated, the road formerly ending on Shoeburyness "High Street" at the railway station [ [http://www.npemap.org.uk/tiles/map.html#594,185,1] See for example this New Popular Edition map dated 1945] (although some old maps show it following "Chapel Road" and terminating on the sea [ [http://www.sabre-roads.org.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?t=14976] See the map of Southend in this thread on the SABRE website] ).

DBFO - "Design, Build, Finance, Operate"

The section between Limehouse and Wennington is maintained by RMS (A13) Plc as part of a 30-year DBFO deal reached with the Highways Agency in 2000 [ [http://www.amec.com/news/mediareleasedetails.asp?Pageid=876&MediaID=135&mryear=2000] AMEC (parent co. of RMS) press release, 11th April 2000.] [ [http://www.highways.gov.uk/roads/2745.aspx] Highways Agency DBFO Project List] . It was RMS who undertook grade-separation of the "East Ham & Barking Bypass" section in 2002-2004. RMS also maintain the A1203 Limehouse Link tunnel as well as the "Aspen Way" and East India Dock Link tunnel sections of the A1261 through Docklands. This latter route runs just south of the A13, is dual carriageway and nearly all grade-separated and acts as an alternative to "East India Dock Road" and much of "Commercial Road".

Despite the DBFO, TfL (who took over responsibility for all trunk non-motorway routes in London from the Highways Agency in 2000 [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/in_depth/uk_politics/2000/london_mayor/534814.stm] BBC News Online article: "In Depth - London Mayor - What does the Mayor get to do?", 16th May 2000.] ) still have overall responsibility for the entire A13 section inside Greater London, while the Highways Agency have responsibility for the remaining Trunk Road section between Wennington and the A1089 junction near Tilbury. Between the latter and Sadlers Hall Farm, the A13 is a primary route and is maintained by Essex County Council. The non-primary section through Castle Point Borough Council is also maintained by the County Council, whilst Southend-on-Sea Council (a Unitary authority, as is Thurrock) has responsibility for the section through its territory.



Grade-separation of "Renwick Road" traffic lights in Barking, the final at-grade junction between Canning Town and Sadlers Hall Farm, is due to be undertaken "in time for the Olympics in 2012" [ [http://www.sabre-roads.org.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?p=115409] This thread on the SABRE website forums includes a letter from Barking & Dagenham Council outlining plans for the Renwick Road junction, dated 22nd November 2005.] . The works may also involve replacement of the nearby Lodge Avenue Flyover (Ripple Road Flyover), but this is subject to available funding and development of Barking Riverside [ [] Transport for London planning decisions: Barking Riverside, London Borough of Barking and Dagenham planning application no. 04/01230/OUT, planning report PDU/0150/02, dated 28th March 2007.] .

The junction with the A406 North Circular Road was built in 1987 [ [http://www.barkingdagenhamlocalhistory.net/barkingdagenhamnewspaper.htm] Barking and Dagenham Local History website: Ilford & Barking Independent, 17th December 1987] and is incomplete. The long awaited Thames Gateway Bridge is yet to get the go ahead [ [http://www.tfl.gov.uk/corporate/projectsandschemes/networkandservices/thamesgateway/2203.aspx] TfL Thames Gateway Bridge webpage] , but if built it will start at a flyover above the A13, thereby linking the A406 with the road network south of the River Thames.


One major improvement to the route outside London is the grade-separation [ [http://www.essexcc.gov.uk/vip8/ecc/ECCWebsite/dis/guc.jsp?channelOid=16819&guideOid=32956&guideContentOid=40983] Essex County Council Sadlers Farm webpage] of Sadlers Hall Farm "magic" roundabout, linking the dual carriageway sections of the A13 and A130. This is to be funded by Essex County Council. Improvements are being considered at J30 of the M25 motorway and at nearby Lakeside turn-off (A126), though these are only in context of a recent Route Management Strategy undertaken by the Highways Agency [ [http://www.highways.gov.uk/roads/projects/4156.aspx] Highways Agency A13 Route Management webpage] .

A13 in popular culture

The A13 has inspired at least two rock songs, Billy Bragg's "A13, Trunk Road to the sea", a parody of Bobby Troup's song about Route 66, as well as a number by Jah Wobble's Invaders of the Heart, "A13" from the album "Without Judgement"..


External links

* [http://sunilprasannan612.fotopic.net A13 road photographs]
* [http://www.sabre-roads.org.uk/roadlists/f99/13.shtml Society for All British Road Enthusiasts entry for the A13]

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