A40 road

A40 road

: "For other uses, see A40, for details of the A40 in london, see A40 road (London)".UK road routebox
road= A40

caption=Holborn Viaduct carries the A40
direction= East - West (London Radial)
start= City of London
destinations= Uxbridge
High Wycombe
end= Fishguard

"see also: A40 road (London)"ukroadsmall|1
ukmotorwaysmall|40 Junction 1
ukmotorwaysmall|40 Junction 3 (northbound only)
ukmotorwaysmall|40 Junction 5
ukmotorwaysmall|40 Junction 8 (northbound only, to Oxford on (A40) only) & 8A
ukroadsmall|436 (major)
ukroadsmall|436 (minor)
ukmotorwaysmall|5 Junction 11

euroroute= European route number small sign|30

The A40 is a major trunk road connecting London to Fishguard, Wales. It is 256 miles long.

It is one of the few remaining of the "old" trunk routes not to have been superseded by a direct motorway link, though some parts, such as the southern section from London to Oxford are now better served by the M40. Part of the A40 forms a section of the unsigned Euroroute E30.

Road Description

The road varies from a winding country road to a motorway standard road in places:

* In central London, it forms High Holborn and Oxford Street. "For the A40 in London, see A40 road (London)".
* At Paddington, it forms the Westway, an elevated motorway which takes the A40 to meet Western Avenue.
* With two exceptions, Western Avenue forms a grade-separated motorway standard dual-carriageway between Paddington (Westway) and the M40 motorway, which goes off towards Oxford and Birmingham. The two exceptions are Gypsy Corner and Savoy Circus, both of which cause the traffic to stop at traffic lights. For the greater part, the road is six lanes wide, with stretches of four lane road.
* At Denham Roundabout, the six lane Western Avenue becomes the M40. The A40 then follows the motorway, using the dual carriageway of the A413.
* A few miles later, the dual carriageway bends away as the A413. The A40 then becomes a single carriageway winding its way through Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire. It passes along many town centres such as High Wycombe and Beaconsfield, becoming dual carriageway for brief periods whilst in the towns.
* The A40 follows the M40 for 25 miles, meeting it at M40 J1,3,5 and 8A. At junction 8A, the A40 meets the motorway for the last time. At the end of the M40 Oxford spur, the A40 takes over with a dual carriageway towards Oxford, forming the northern part of the Oxford Ring Road. Some of the junctions are grade separated, although most are roundabouts.
* After the road passes under the A34(no junction), the A40 reverts back to single carriageway for ten miles. It then turns to dual carriageway again to form the Witney bypass, with a grade separated junction. The dual carriageway then finishes at a roundabout.
* For the rest of Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire until Cheltenham, the road is single carriageway. The road travels through Cheltenham city centre and afterwards becomes dual carriageway and has a junction with the M5 motorway. The junction is a three-level stacked roundabout, where neither road is interrupted. The A40 then forms the Gloucester bypass, most of which is dual carriageway.
* For the rest of Gloucestershire, and a part of Herefordshire, the road is single carriageway until Ross-on-Wye. It then connects with the M50 motorway. After this, forms part of a high quality dual carriageway between South Wales and the Midlands, with only one roundabout and numerous grade-separated junctions.
* In Monmouthshire, the A40 has a grade separated junction with the A449, which continues as dual carriageway to Newport and the M4. The A40 now travels west, still as dual carriageway to Abergavenny.
* After the town, the road returns to single carriageway, for a trip through the Brecon Beacons. This stretch of road lasts fifty miles to Carmarthen, where dual carriageway resumes for fifteen miles to St. Clears. After this, the road remains as single carriageway for the rest of way to Fishguard.

The future

There is call for the stretch between Haverfordwest and St. Clears to be dualled. This would then allow for a dual carriageway all the way from London (via the M4 and A48) to Haverfordwest. This stretch currently has to handle all traffic going to/from the ferry port at Fishguard to Rosslare, and is very busy. The dualling would relieve this congestion. Fact|date=August 2008

The route

The route passes through the following places in order:

* In central London:
** The road begins as Newgate Street in the City of London where at St. Martin's le Grand it shares its terminus with the A1 north of St. Paul's Cathedral.
** For the majority of its length in Central London it runs in a westerly direction, becoming in turn:
*** Holborn Viaduct
*** High Holborn
*** St Giles High Street
*** New Oxford Street
*** Oxford Street (to Marble Arch).
** From Marble Arch, the route previously ran along:
*** Bayswater Road
*** Notting Hill Gate
*** Holland Park Avenue
*** Uxbridge Road
*** Wood Lane to the junction with The Westway
** However, since 2000 when the designation of the elevated section of the Westway to Paddington was reduced from A40(M) (motorway) to A40, the route has changed to run from Marble Arch along:
*** Edgware Road (shared with and signposted as A5)
*** The Westway
** to Savoy Circus (so called because it was once a roundabout) where the name changes to Western Avenue as far as the Denham Roundabout where it meets the western extremity of the A4020 road (the old Uxbridge Road) and the start of the M40.
* Denham
* Gerrards Cross
* Beaconsfield
* High Wycombe
* West Wycombe
* Stokenchurch
* Oxford — part of the Oxford Ring Road.
* Eynsham
* Witney
* Burford
* Northleach
* Charlton Kings
* Cheltenham
* Gloucester
* Highnam
* Huntley
* Ross-on-Wye
* Whitchurch
* Monmouth
* Abergavenny - From Here there are links for Merthyr Tydfil via the A465, Newport and M4 via the A4042 and Hereford via the A465.
* Brecon — the A40 continues from the west side of Brecon for 8 miles to Sennybridge. There are links here to Merthyr Tydfil/Brecon Beacons (A470) via the A4215 and to Swansea via the A4067.
* Llandovery — link for the A483 to Builth Wells.
* Llanwrda — link for the A482 to Lampeter.
* Llandeilo
* Carmarthen - From Here there are links to Lampeter via the A485, Cardigan and Newcastle Emlyn via the A484 and The M4 and Swansea via the A48.
* St Clears
* Whitland
* Canaston Bridge
* Haverfordwest
* Fishguard

History of the road number

The original (1923) route of the A40 was the City of London to Fishguard. The road still begins and ends in the same places, but a number of changes have been made to its route. [ [http://www.road-to-nowhere.co.uk/route-guides/A40.htm] Road to Nowhere: A40 Ross-on-Wye to Abergavenny]

The first change dates from 1935, between Ross-on-Wye and Abergavenny. The original route of the A40 was via Skenfrith; this road was renumbered the B4521. The A40 was rerouted via Raglan; between Ross and Raglan it replaced part of the A48, between Raglan and Llanvihangel nigh Usk it replaced the B4234, and between Llanvihangel and Abergavenny it replaced part of the A471.

Subsequently, the A40 was rerouted within west London. Western Avenue dates from the 1930s, but was originally opened as the A403. After the Second World War, the A40 was rerouted along part of the A219 (west of Notting Hill) and Western Avenue. The old route (via Acton, Ealing, Southall,Hayes, Hillingdon and Uxbridge) was renumbered the A4020.

ee also

* British road numbering scheme


Further reading

* Edward Platt, "Leadville: A Biography of the A40" (Picador, 2001). ISBN 0-330-39263-8.


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