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A4 road M25 motorway
M25 motorway
Junction 13 A303 road A34 road A338 road A36 road A350 road A303 road A35 road M5 motorway
M5 motorway
Junctions 29 and 31 A38 road A39 road

West end Land's End
Land's End
(50°03′58″N 5°42′04″W / 50.066°N 5.701°W / 50.066; -5.701)

Location

Primary destinations Staines-upon-Thames Bracknell Camberley Basingstoke Salisbury Yeovil Exeter Okehampton Bodmin Redruth Penzance

Road network

Roads in the United Kingdom

Motorways A and B road zones

The A30 is a major road in England, running WSW from London to Land's End. It is 284 miles (457 km) long. The length of the road was a principal axis in Britain from the 17th century to early 19th century, when it was a major coaching route. It used to provide the fastest route from London to the South West by land until a century before roads were numbered; nowadays much of this function is performed by the M3 (including A316) and A303 roads. The road has kept its principal status in the west from Honiton, Devon
Devon
to Land's End
Land's End
where it is mainly dual carriageway and retains trunk road status.

Contents

1 Route

1.1 London to Honiton 1.2 Exeter
Exeter
to Penzance

2 History

2.1 17th – 18th centuries 2.2 19th century 2.3 20th century 2.4 21st century 2.5 Other proposals

3 Cultural references 4 References

Route[edit] London to Honiton[edit] The A30 begins at Henlys Roundabout, where the route stems from the A4 near Hounslow. It runs south of the Southern Perimeter Road, Heathrow Airport and north of Ashford and Staines-upon-Thames, before reaching the M25 motorway
M25 motorway
orbital motorway. This first section is entirely dual carriageway. Taken with the A4, its natural continuation which nearby becomes non-dualled towards the M25, the section constitutes one of five routes into the southern half of London which reach Inner London with at least a dual-carriageway, the others being the A3 (M), the M3, the M20 and A2, however approximately one mile before reaching Inner London it is combined with the London variants of the M3 and M4 approaches. After running astride the M25 to cross the Thames on a bridge designed by Lutyens, the Runnymede Bridge, the A30 runs parallel to but distant from the M3 until southwest of Basingstoke, bypassing Egham
Egham
and passing through the relatively high acid heathland and town centres of Sunningdale, Bagshot, Camberley
Camberley
where the route almost mirrors the Devil's Highway, a stone (stane) street to Calleva Atrebatum (Silchester Roman town), believed to be older still, then passes close to Hook town centre and in the surrounding country the soil is arable. Where the M3 changes direction (between North Waltham and Popham, at the Popham Interchange) the A303 begins leading to 2 miles (3.2 km) subsumation of the A30 (the A30 loses continuity). [a] From Sutton Scotney
Sutton Scotney
village the A30 runs parallel to the latter road as-the-crow-flies 85 miles (137 km) to north-east of Honiton, Devon
Devon
passing through towns Stockbridge (where it meets its first substantive river since the Thames, the Test) and its trout fishing centres, Shaftesbury, Sherborne, Yeovil, Crewkerne
Crewkerne
and Chard. Between Stockbridge and Shaftesbury
Shaftesbury
it enters the cathedral city of Salisbury. Between the M25 and Honiton, the A30 is mostly single carriageway, carrying local traffic with short stretches of dual carriageway from Camberley
Camberley
to Basingstoke, which has a dualled inner ring road, two between Stockbridge and Salisbury
Salisbury
(an alike ring road shared with the A36), and between Sherborne
Sherborne
and Yeovil. Exeter
Exeter
to Penzance[edit]

Approaching Chiverton Cross
Chiverton Cross
from the east

This section is a trunk road as far as Penzance.[1] It is mostly dual carriageway, but there are some short sections of single carriageway. To pass Exeter, through traffic can join the M5 motorway
M5 motorway
for three miles. West of Exeter, the A30 is dual carriageway through Devon
Devon
and into Cornwall, bypassing Whiddon Down, Okehampton
Okehampton
and Launceston. The dual carriageway continues through Cornwall
Cornwall
to Carland Cross, after which there is a single carriageway stretch to Chiverton Cross. Highways England
England
are currently progressing plans to dual this section of carriageway - its official warning, or Preferred Route Announcement was made July 2017 and construction is due to start in 2020. From Chiverton Cross, the dual carriageway bypasses Redruth
Redruth
and Camborne. The A30 returns to single carriageway west of Camborne, and a mid-1980s bypass takes the road around Hayle. Between Hayle
Hayle
and Penzance, the A30 returns to the original route and it passes through several villages. Approaching Penzance, the A30 briefly becomes a dual carriageway once again. Once west of Penzance, the A30 becomes a more rural road running through or past several villages, before terminating at Land's End. History[edit] 17th – 18th centuries[edit]

The Road from LONDON to the LANDS END (1675), John Ogilby

The bulk of the A30 follows the historic London – Land's End coaching road. The road appeared on John Ogilby's map of Britain in 1675,[2] and was covered by Ogilby's later strip-maps showing "The Road from London to The Land's End
Land's End
in Cornwall". The coaching route started at Hyde Park Corner, closer to the centre of London than the modern A30, closely mirroring the modern route as far as Exeter, except for three sections, the longest being the westernmost.

Knightsbridge
Knightsbridge
to Bedfont, the intermittent A315 in today's numbering. Basingstoke
Basingstoke
to Salisbury
Salisbury
via Andover Exeter
Exeter
to Penzance
Penzance
via Ashburton, Plymouth
Plymouth
and following the Cornish south coast via St Austell.[3] Ogilby described it as "The Post-Office making this one of their Principal Roads" and thought the section through Surrey and Hampshire was "in general a very good Road with suitable Entertainment".[4]

It is described as the "Great Road to Land's End" in the Magna Britannia, published in the early 19th century.[5] As the coaching road to Land's End
Land's End
was a major route, it was a popular place for highwaymen. William Davies, also known as the Golden Farmer, robbed several coaches travelling across Bagshot
Bagshot
Heath. He was hanged in 1689 at a gallows at the local gibbet hill between Bagshot
Bagshot
and Camberley. The Jolly Farmer
Jolly Farmer
pub was built near the site of the gallows (gibbet), a junction.[6] 19th century[edit]

The A30 crossing the River Yarty. The road was built by the Chard Turnpike Trust in the mid 19th century to compete with the New Direct Road, later the A303.

At the turn of the 19th century, William Hanning created the "New Direct Road", a fast coaching route between London and Exeter. The road deviated from Ogilby's route running via Amesbury
Amesbury
and Ilminster, rejoining the older road at Honiton. It became popular with postal services such as The Subscription. In 1831, a race was held between London and Exeter
Exeter
via the New Direct Road, which resulted in a dead heat. 170 miles (270 km) were covered in 13 hours, compared to a typical early 18th century time of four days.[7] In response to the competition of routes, a new turnpike road was built west of Chard, avoiding the historic route to Honiton
Honiton
via Stockland, with several steep hills. This road met the New Direct Road near Upottery.[8][b] Historically, the route between London and Land's End
Land's End
was also called the "Great South-West Road". In the 21st century, the name only refers to a small section of the road near Heathrow.[9] 20th century[edit] The A30 was one of the first roads to be classified by the Ministry of Transport for funding in 1921. It followed Ogilby's route up to Exeter, then the basic route of the modern A30 through Okehampton, Launceston and Bodmin
Bodmin
to the Greenmarket in Penzance, where it ended.[10] It was extended to Land's End
Land's End
in 1925.[11] The Great South West Road section of the A30 around Heathrow had been planned as the western end of the Great West Road project, one of the first bypasses built for motor traffic. Construction began in 1914 but was quickly halted because of World War I. It resumed construction in 1919.[12] The full route from Chiswick
Chiswick
to Ashford was opened by King George V on 30 May 1925.[13] Following the construction of a bypass around Basingstoke, the route of the A30 was changed on 1 April 1933 to run by Sutton Scotney
Sutton Scotney
and Stockbridge, rejoining the original route at Lopcombe Corner east of Salisbury. An alternative route, the A303 was created out of existing roads at the same time between Micheldever Station
Micheldever Station
and the Blackdown Hills, that followed the basic course of Hanning's New Direct Road.[9] The A30 remained the principal route between London and Exeter, until the A303 became a trunk road in 1958, receiving central Government funding and relegating the parallel A30 to a local road.[14] By the mid-20th century, large sections of the A30 were struggling to cope with the increasing demands of road traffic. In the mid-1960s, numerous councils complained that the Secretary of State for Transport, Barbara Castle, decided that improvements to the A38 from Exeter
Exeter
to Plymouth
Plymouth
were of higher priority for funding than any work on the A30. Cornwall
Cornwall
County Council complained that the A30 through the county was narrow and twisted, and known as the "stage coach trail".[15] Following World War II, the Ministry of Transport planned a large-scale upgrade of the A30 across south-west England, with the eventual intention that most of the route would be at least dual-carriageway.[16] The M3 motorway was planned as a replacement for the A30 between London and Popham. Following a public enquiry in 1966, the line was fixed the following year.[17] The work was completed as far as Bagshot
Bagshot
in 1971, then to Sunbury-on-Thames
Sunbury-on-Thames
in 1974.[18] In 1971, the Secretary of State for the Environment, Peter Walker announced many upgrades of the A30 across Devon
Devon
and Cornwall, identifying the section from Okehampton
Okehampton
to Bodmin
Bodmin
as a key area of improvement.[19] The 2.2-mile (3.5 km) Honiton
Honiton
dual-carriageway bypass opened in early December 1966 at a cost of £984,000.[20] The Hayle
Hayle
bypass was first proposed in the late 1970s. It was controversial, and Dora Russell protested against its construction.[21] It was completed in 1985.[22]

Carland Cross
Carland Cross
roundabout

The Okehampton
Okehampton
bypass, which opened on 19 July 1988, goes to the south of the town, cutting through the northern edge of Dartmoor National Park in Devon. In the 1980s, the route of the bypass was the subject of a prolonged campaign from conservationists, including Sylvia Sayer, who preferred a route to the north of the town through agricultural land.[23] The section between Honiton
Honiton
and Exeter
Exeter
in East Devon
Devon
was upgraded in 1999 to dual carriageway, giving quicker access to Exeter International Airport. This road was built under the Design Build Finance Operate (DBFO) scheme by the private consortium Connect A30, who receive a shadow toll from the Government for each vehicle travelling along the road.[24] Archaeological investigations during the work found a Roman cavalry garrison and later settlement at Pomeroy Wood.[25] There were several protests by environmentalists during construction and the particular nature of the DBFO
DBFO
scheme, with a long-lasting occupation of sites on the planned route, focused around Fairmile. Swampy received press attention for his part in this protest. Along with other controversial road plans, including the M3 completion over Twyford Down
Twyford Down
and the Newbury Bypass, the action led to a slowdown in road construction throughout Britain.[26] 21st century[edit] During 2006 one of the main bottlenecks on the road was removed when the Merrymeet roundabout between Okehampton
Okehampton
and Exeter
Exeter
near Whiddon Down was replaced with a grade-separated junction and dual carriageway.[27] Since the Bodmin
Bodmin
to Indian Queens
Indian Queens
project was completed in late 2007, the new dual carriageway runs to the north of Goss Moor. The previous road has been converted to a cycle lane.[28] In December 2012 it was announced that 2.8 miles (4.5 km) from Temple to Higher Carblake would be upgraded to a dual carriageway.[29] Building started in early 2015, and was completed in summer 2017. This work made the A30 continuous dual carriageway between the M5 at Exeter
Exeter
and Carland Cross in Cornwall.[30] In 2014, the A30 was identified as one of several key routes in the Government's Road Investment Strategy, turning it into a strategic corridor for southwest England. This includes further dual carriageway improvements east of Honiton
Honiton
towards the Blackdown Hills.[31][32] Other proposals[edit] Dualling of the stretch between Carland Cross
Carland Cross
and Chiverton Cross would establish a continuous dual carriageway from Exeter
Exeter
right through to Camborne. Although this was shelved in 2006 as it was not considered a regional priority,[33] it was included within the government's Road Investment Strategy in 2014. There has since been a public consultation and the preferred route was announced in July 2017. Work is expected to commence in 2020 and cost £290m. Cultural references[edit] John Betjeman
John Betjeman
referred to the A30 in his poem "Meditation on the A30".[34] Arthur Boyt, focus of BBC documentary The Man Who Eats Badgers, described the A30 near Bodmin
Bodmin
Moor as a good road for finding roadkill.[35] In Monty Python's Flying Circus, episode 34: The Cycling Tour, Mr Pither laments "As I lay down to the sound of the Russian gentlemen practising their shooting, I realised I was in a bit of a pickle. My heart sank as I realised I should never see the Okehampton
Okehampton
by-pass again...", just before his impending execution in Russia.[36] References[edit] Notes

^ From North Waltham, Hampshire
North Waltham, Hampshire
to nearby Micheldever Station, the A30 is subsumed into the A303 and one version remains so until Sutton Scotney/Bullington, the intersection with the Oxford (etc)—Southampton road, the A34, from where the A30 revives running south along Bullington Lane almost alongside the A34 before resuming a direct west south-westerly route to Salisbury
Salisbury
and beyond; however along this combined A303-A30 section at Coxford Hill above Micheldever railway station an original version branches off linking more directly Sutton Scotney
Sutton Scotney
village from that point and enabling a cycle route to avoid Popham and the dual carriageway, taking a detour through North Waltham village. ^ This junction explains why the A30 turns off at Upottery
Upottery
to become a minor road towards Yarcombe, while the road immediately ahead becomes the A303

Citations

^ "Area 1 (map)". Highways Agency. Archived from the original on 21 September 2011. Retrieved 22 December 2011.  ^ Elizabeth Crittall, ed. (1959). Roads. A History of the County of Wiltshire. 4. London. pp. 254–271. Retrieved 11 August 2016.  ^ Ogilby, John (1699). "The Traveller's Guide: Or, A Most Exact Description of the Roads of England": 202–203.  ^ "Old Hampshire Mapped : Ogilby Routes". Geography Department, Portsmouth University. 2003. Retrieved 11 August 2016.  ^ Daniel Lysons and Samuel Lysons (1814). Geography and geology. Magna Britannia. 3 : Cornwall. London. pp. clxxxi–cxciii. Retrieved 11 August 2016.  ^ Simpson, Jacqueline (2011). Green Men & White Swans: The Folklore of British Pub Names. Random House. ISBN 978-0-099-52017-7.  ^ Fort, Tom (2012). The A303: Highway to the Sun. Simon and Schuster. pp. 259, 262–263. ISBN 978-0-857-20327-4.  ^ "CHARD TURNPIKE TRUST Records". Somerset Heritage Centre. (Registration required (help)).  ^ a b "CLASSIFICATION: Re-numbering of classified routes". The National Archives. 1933–1942. (Registration required (help)).  ^ "Half Inch Ministry of Transport Road Map". Ordnance Survey. Retrieved 22 December 2011.  ^ "CLASSIFICATION: Road numbering". The National Archives. 1921–1949. (Registration required (help)).  ^ "The Great West Road". The Times. 24 February 1919. p. 7. Retrieved 16 August 2016. (Subscription required (help)).  ^ "London to the West". The Times. 12 May 1925. p. 17. Retrieved 16 August 2016. (Subscription required (help)).  ^ "A.30 and A.303". Hansard. 5 November 1958. Retrieved 16 August 2016.  ^ "Road to the West : Ministry's Choice Dismays Cornwall". The Times. 20 June 1966. Retrieved 11 August 2016. (Subscription required (help)).  ^ "A.30 and A.303". Hansard. 12 November 1958. Retrieved 11 August 2016.  ^ "M3 London to Southampton". The Motorway Archive. Retrieved 16 August 2016.  ^ "M3. London to Southampton Statistics and options". The Motorway Archive. 16 August 2016.  ^ "1,000 more miles of motorway will bring growth to less prosperous areas". The Times. 24 June 1971. Retrieved 11 August 2016. (Subscription required (help)).  ^ " Honiton
Honiton
Bypass". Autocar. 125 (3696): 1287. 16 December 1966.  ^ "Over 80, she still battles on". The Times. 28 April 1977. Retrieved 11 August 2016. (Subscription required (help)).  ^ "Road Works (Compensation)". Hansard. 2 May 1985. Retrieved 11 August 2016.  ^ Kelly, Matthew (2015). Quartz and Feldspar – Dartmoor: A British Landscape in Modern Times. London: Jonathan Cape. pp. 10–16. ISBN 978-0-22409-113-8.  ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 8 April 2012. Retrieved 8 April 2012.  ^ "A30 Honiton
Honiton
to Exeter
Exeter
– Horse Power – Roman Style". Roads to the Past: Trunk Roads and Archaeology – 1999 report. Highways Agency. 1999. Archived from the original on 5 June 2009. Retrieved 17 October 2009.  ^ "Eco-warrior Swampy's mid-90s protest against the A30 in Devon blamed for road-building slowdown". Plymouth
Plymouth
Herald. 11 June 2016. Retrieved 11 August 2016.  ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 26 September 2006. Retrieved 29 August 2006.  ^ "Moor dualling plans get go-ahead". BBC News. 29 November 2004. Retrieved 23 April 2010.  ^ "AUTUMN STATEMENT 2012" (PDF). Retrieved 5 December 2012.  ^ "A30 Temple to Higher Carblake Improvement – Cornwall
Cornwall
Council". Highways England. Retrieved 17 June 2016.  ^ A303/A358/A30 Corridor improvement package (Report). Somerset County Council. Retrieved 16 August 2016.  ^ "A30/A303/A358 Improvement Project". Somerset County Council. Retrieved 16 August 2016.  ^ "Winners and losers in roads plan". BBC News. 6 July 2006. Retrieved 23 April 2010.  ^ "Meditation on the A30 – A poem by John Betjeman". Poetry Connection. Retrieved 17 June 2016.  ^ "Arthur Boyt". Archived from the original on 5 December 2012. Retrieved 5 December 2012.  ^ "Monty Python's Flying Circus: Just the Words – Episode 34". ibras.dk. Retrieved 17 June 2016. 

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A30 road
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v t e

A roads in Zone 3 of the Great Britain road numbering scheme

A3 A30 A31 A32 A33 A34 A35 A36 A37 A38 A39

A301 A303 A304 A307 A308 A316 A329 A331 A337 A338 A339 A340 A342 A344 A345 A346 A350 A354 A360 A361 A363 A368 A369 A370 A371 A374 A379 A380 A381 A382 A386 A390

A3036 A3054 A3055 A3090 A3110 A3203 A3204 A3220 A3400

List of A roads in Zone 3 List of

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