Stanstead Abbotts Bypass

   Stanstead Abbotts bypass finally opened in 1987. It had taken years of requests, protests and badgering of MP’s to get it under way. Sir Derek Walker-Smith MP raised questions in the house of commons in 1975 but it was to be another twelve years before completion.

Demonstration for a bypass in 1975.

Police allowed the traffic to be held up for long periods before clearing the crossing.

Hold ups were normal even without the demo.

Thanks to the Ashlea Amenity Society and Nigel Copping pressure was put upon local authorities to look into the possibility of a bypass. Thankfully it got the go ahead and a long consultation took place between planners and government departments.

Shepherd Hill Ltd undertook construction and cast all the concrete sections for the viaduct on site. This involved lots of on site gas heating to stop the concrete cracking due to freezing conditions and the reinforcing rods had to be tensioned during assembly. They used a double box method which meant they managed one span per week. All in all a very technical procedure.

It was a bit of a mess but it all came good in the end.

During the construction I worked for a local plant hire company and spent a lot of time on the site servicing and repairing construction plant. I can honestly say I drove the bypass before it officially opened in order to get to machinery etc., but if you were one of the lucky few at the official opening who were invited to be first on the new road, you were issued with a commemorative badge.

Tom Gilby was lucky enough to receive one and it must be a rare collectors item now.

Left: Sitting on the by-pass on opening day.

Right: The finished by-pass.

Brian Johnson

With photos from Charles Lovick

and Tom Gilby

Brian Johnson
Brian Johnson
Charles Lovick
Charles Lovick
Tom Gilby
Brian Johnson
Brian Johnson