Colchester Bypass, A133

OS 1937-61
Modern Map
Date opened/built:



2.88 miles (4.63kms).


9-ft (2.74m).

Adjoining footway:


Road type:

Urban dual carriageway.


Period concrete, asphalt today.

Both sides of road:

Yes and no.

Adjacent to social housing:


Period mapping:

OS Six inch, surveyed/revised, 1950 to 1967, published: 1968 Cycle track not marked.

OpenCycleMap status: Marked as cycleway, mostly on one side of road only.


Period maps, newspaper reports, aerial photography.

The Colchester bypass opened in 1933 (as the A12) and was not fitted with a cycle track. This was likely retrofitted to the road in the mid-1930s. It is also possible that the track was a footway.

A 1938 aerial photo shows a concrete track on one side of Cowdray Avenue only. There are tracks on both sides of Colne Bank Avenue.

The bypass consists of the Cymbeline Way, Colne Bank Avenue, Cowdray Avenue and St. Andrew’s Avenue. Since the 1930s the bypass has also been known as the Avenue of Remembrance, flanked in part with lime and cherry trees to commemorate fallen WWI soldiers.

This is due in part to the work of the Roads of Remembrance Association (RRA), founded during WWI but not active as a lobbying group until 1927. In that year, the RRA secretary, Mrs. W.H. Morrison, reactivated the association appointing to its committee six peers, five MPs and several knights. According to the association’s letterhead, it worked to “secure the beauty of new highways, especially of new arterial roads — in remembrance.”

The RRA argued, unsuccessfully, for arterial roads to be adorned with fountains and statues or, with limited success, to be lined with trees, as on the Cymbeline Way.


The Colchester bypass opened ... Gloucester Citizen, 30 October 1933.

A 1938 aerial photo ...

There are tracks on ...

Since the 1930s the bypass ...

The RRA argued ... The 1920 headquarters of the Roads of Remembrance Association — afterwards Green Cross Society — was in Westminster at 47 Victoria Street. (Intriguingly, this was the address of the Cyclists’ Touring Club between 1897 and 1910.)

Explore the tracks