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
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.