A34 road

A34 road

UK road routebox
direction=North - South
euroroute= European route number small sign|05

The A34 is a major road in England. It runs from the A6042 in Salford to Winchester in Hampshire. It forms a large part of the major trunk route from Southampton, via Oxford, to Birmingham and Manchester.


The road is in two sections. The northern section runs south from Manchester through Cheadle, Wilmslow, Newcastle-under-Lyme, the southern suburbs of Stoke-on-Trent, before heading south to Stone, Stafford, Cannock, Walsall and Birmingham before meeting the M42 motorway at junction 4 south of Solihull. The southern section begins at junction 9 of the M40 motorway, ten miles north of Oxford, and continues south as the western part of the Oxford Ring Road, crossing the River Thames on the A34 Road Bridge. It then bypasses Abingdon and Newbury before finally finishing just east of Winchester, at junction 9 of the M3 motorway. This part of the A34 forms the E05 European route. It is dual carriageway throughout.

Together with parts of the M3 and the M40, the A34 forms an important route carrying freight from Southampton to the Midlands. Because of the volume of traffic, bypasses were built along this route – at Newbury on the A34, and at Twyford Down near Winchester on the M3 – but these were controversial for environmental reasons.

In 2004 works were carried out, at a cost of £38 million, to allow the road to continue without being interrupted by a roundabout at junction 13 of the M4 motorway, which had caused a 'bottleneck'.

Future plans

A bypass of Alderley Edge is planned. Funding of £48 million was committed by the Department for Transport on July 292008, allowing work to begin in August 2008. [cite news |url=http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/s/1060227_green_light_for_cheshire_bypass|title=Green Light for Cheshire Bypass|first=David |last=Ottewell |date=2008-7-29 |work=Manchester Evening News |publisher=Manchester Evening News Media |accessdate=2008-07-29]


The original (1922) route of the A34 was Winchester to Oxford, much shorter than it is today. [ [http://www.sabre-roads.org.uk/roadlists/1922.shtml 1922 road list] ] It was extended to Manchester in 1935, replacing part of the A42 (Oxford to Birmingham through Shipston-on-Stour, Stratford-upon-Avon and Henley-in-Arden), A455 (Birmingham to Stafford), part of the A449 (Stafford to Newcastle under Lyme) and A526 (Newcastle to Manchester).

By 1953 the route was as follows: ["AA Road Book of England and Wales", 4th edition (1953)]
*East Didsbury
*Alderley Edge
*Stone bypass
*Wootton Wawen
*Long Compton
*(1 mile east of Chipping Norton)
*East Ilsley
*Sutton Scotney

When the Oxford Ring Road was completed to the west of Oxford in 1962, the old route through the city was renumbered the A4144.

On completion of the Abingdon Bypass in the 1970s, the old route from the Oxford Ring Road through Abingdon and Steventon to Chilton was partly declassified (for 2 miles) and the rest renumbered A4183, B4017, A4130 and A4185.

Upon completion of the M40 in the early 1990s, the road between Oxford and Solihull was renumbered. Between Chipping Norton and Solihull the road lost its primary route status and was renumbered A3400, and south of Chipping Norton the route became part of an extended A44. The A34 was diverted north from the Oxford Ring Road to the M40 along parts of the former routes of the A43 and A421. Much of the long-distance traffic carried by what is now the A3400 now uses the M40 to Birmingham, and the M42 and M6 to by-pass the city.

When the Newbury Bypass was opened in 1998, the old route through Newbury became part of the A339 and the B4640.


External links

* The Highways Agency [http://www.highways.gov.uk/roads/projects/a_roads/a34/bicester_winchester/ Management Strategy] for Bicester to Winchester.
* The Highways Agency [http://www.highways.gov.uk/roads/projects/3815.aspx A34-M4 junction improvements] .
* [http://www.birmingham.gov.uk/a34 A34 Stratford Road red route, Birmingham]

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