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 Post subject: A3088 Yeovil to Stoke-sub-Hamdon, Somerset
PostPosted: Thu Aug 31, 2006 18:55 
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A3088 Yeovil to Stoke-sub-Hamdon (A303), Somerset

At a mere six miles long, and graced with an unmemorable 4-digit number, it is easy to underestimate how high up the hierarchy of roads in Somerset the A3088 ‘Tintinhull Link’ is. For the most part a primary route, it provides the main connection from the A303 London to Exeter trunk road into Yeovil. It also forms part of a major strategic route – via the A37/A3088/A303/A358 – from the Weymouth, Dorchester and the Dorset coast to Taunton and the M5 for all points north.

The present A3088 was built in the late 1980s almost entirely along the alignment of the former Yeovil to Langport railway. Some of the old bridges over the road remain from its days as a railway, including where the original A3088 passes over the new one. The old A3088 through Montacute and Stoke-sub-Hamdon, until it met the A303 further west near South Petherton, was entirely bypassed by this new alignment.

The A3088 begins on a roundabout junction, with the A37/A30 multiplex, at the southern end of Yeovil town centre. This first, non-primary, section strikes west through Yeovil’s industrial sprawl – business and retail parks – for a mile or so before meeting short spur of the A3088 at another roundabout. This spur links to the A30 at a roundabout on the western edge of town, to the west of the A37, and is the point at which ‘primary route traffic’ from the A37 for Dorchester and beyond joins.

Through traffic on the A37 from Dorchester to Bristol via Shepton Mallet is signposted along the A3088 and A303 to bypass Yeovil. In addition traffic for Honiton and Exeter is routed this way to take the A303 in preference to the very low-quality, non-primary, A30 west of Yeovil.

Now primary, the A3088 runs for another half mile or so to another roundabout where it turns to the left. There is a link form this roundabout to the old A3088 for access to the western suburbs of Yeovil including Preston Plucknett.

For the next four miles the road heads uninterrupted, and almost completely straight, in a northwesterly direction to meet the dual carriageway A303 at a busy roundabout. There is a side turning, about a mile before the A303, giving access to the old road at the north end of Montacute village. The popular National Trust property of Montacute House is signed from this junction.


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 Post subject: Re: A3088 Yeovil to Stoke-sub-Hamdon, Somerset
PostPosted: Thu Aug 31, 2006 19:59 
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I well remember life before that road was rebuilt. Driving from Dinnington to Yeovil via either the A30 and its meandering route through the S1 west coker high st etc or via the A303/A3088 which was equally sedentry took anything up to 1 hour

Now it takes about 20 minutes!


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2006 14:35 
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I asked my Dad about this route, because he's from Stoke-Sub-Hamdon.

My e-mail to him said:

Does it ring true of what you know? I recall when this road was built- was in the wide, single-lane road which went under a railway bridge and ends up not far from the school you went to?

And- apologies if it's a bit of a ramble- but his reply was:

Yes its all quite correct, but the school you mention is the Stoke Secondary Modern , as it was then called...probably now a comprehensive, or what ever they are today...I in fact never went there, as I went to Yeovil Grammar school...much more selective and up market I might add...you had to pass the 11 + to get to grammar school in those by gone days....and only 3 in my year managed to pass the 11 +....much to the pride of my parents as you can imagine.

We had a bus that went around all the villages to take us into the school in Yeovil, but none of the Secondary Modern crowd were allowed to use it....very elitist ...in fact we wouldn't even talk to them , they were so down market...what snobs we were in those days...any anyone who wore the Grammar school uniform was really someone !!!!!.....not sure what the reaction would be today ...

The road does in fact run along the old railway track , and many times I used to use the train from Yeovil to Martock, after leaving my bike at the station ( not even chained up either !!!).. I think it cost 25 pence return...

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2006 21:08 
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Matthew wrote:
I asked my Dad about this route, because he's from Stoke-Sub-Hamdon.

My e-mail to him said:

Does it ring true of what you know? I recall when this road was built- was in the wide, single-lane road which went under a railway bridge and ends up not far from the school you went to?

And- apologies if it's a bit of a ramble- but his reply was:

Yes its all quite correct, but the school you mention is the Stoke Secondary Modern , as it was then called...probably now a comprehensive, or what ever they are today...I in fact never went there, as I went to Yeovil Grammar school...much more selective and up market I might add...you had to pass the 11 + to get to grammar school in those by gone days....and only 3 in my year managed to pass the 11 +....much to the pride of my parents as you can imagine.

We had a bus that went around all the villages to take us into the school in Yeovil, but none of the Secondary Modern crowd were allowed to use it....very elitist ...in fact we wouldn't even talk to them , they were so down market...what snobs we were in those days...any anyone who wore the Grammar school uniform was really someone !!!!!.....not sure what the reaction would be today ...

The road does in fact run along the old railway track , and many times I used to use the train from Yeovil to Martock, after leaving my bike at the station ( not even chained up either !!!).. I think it cost 25 pence return...


Thats one of those routes that really shouldnt have shut.

Imagine how well used a Taunton - Langport - Martock - Montacute - Yeovil Town - Yeovil Junction service would be today.

The sad fact is that in the whole 100+ year history of the line, not one service train ever ran between Yeovil Junction and Taunton (Yeovil Junction was Southern and the taunton line was great western). This made it all but impossible to use the line to travel between places like Salisbury and Sherborne to Taunton.

What a waste.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2006 16:12 
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My Dad's starting to get quite interested in this. Sorry it's off topic from the original posting, but I thought you'd like a read...

Yes thats quite correct about the Taunton to Yeovil line, being on the GWR, and there being no direct route through to Yeovil Jnt. and then on to Waterloo, without changing at Yeovil town........there was however another station in Yeovil at Pen Mill on the Southern route ( it may well still be operational...not quite sure ), which was from Bristol and the North to Weymouth, a lovely scenic route too, via connection at Westbury, with fast trains to Paddington..I regularly used both routes when I first went to London.

There was also a shuttle service bewtween the Yeovil Town station and Pen Mill, but not sure how long that survived, though...!!!!

At Yeovil town station, the train from Taunton, came in on a single track ( platforms either side of the carriages ) so you got out one side to exit the station, and the other side to board the Southern train ( the Junction flier as it was called ) which would be waiting to take you on to Yeovil Junction..all highly organised actually...so it was not that difficult to travel from Taunton to Waterloo, you just had to change twice and walk across the platform...

There was also a very quaint station just on the outskirts of Yeovil called Hendford Halt, if anyone wanted to get on to go one stop, to Yeovil town ( about half a mile )...the ticket collector would instruct the signal box to stop the train for you...and there were also several other " Halts " along the route to Taunton...usually just used to pick up the milk, or leave the local mail, and newspapers... It was actually a very popular route and well used by commuters...one train arrived in Yeovil about 8.45am, and a return evening train to Taunton just after 6pm...you can imagine ...as mentioned...what a popular route it would be today...

I used to sit on Ham Hill at the monument and watch the trains going along the route now taken up by the road...and at school, we could watch the trains crossing the Yeo Valley from the Junction...Happy Days !!!!

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 03, 2006 21:21 
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Thanks very much for that.

I was in the area last week and got a look at the bus timetables. The buses seem to have improved somewhat.

There is an Hourly Bus from Taunton to Yeovil now :shock:, the train service never even made two hourly properly, perhaps if it had become hourly it would still be running.

The bus runs via Langport, Somerton and Ilchester to Yeovil Bus Station which is I think pretty close to the old town station.

Of course if you want to go on to Yeovil Junction from the bus station then you have to change buses and get the separate half hourly shuttle to Yeovil Junction station.

Some things never change :bang: :bang: :bang: :bang: :bang:


Montacute etc. get a two hourly local bus service to Yeovil but not to Taunton.

Your father is right about Pen Mill although it wasnt a southern station. Pen Mill is on the ex Great Western route from Westbury to Weymouth and some taunton trains did run through to Pen Mill.

There is a track from Pen Mill to Junction but no passenger trains run between them. It is used as a diversionary route for expresses from Paddington when the line via taunton is shut.

There is a plan for all westbury - weymouth trains to run in and out of the disused platforms at Yeovil junction but whether it ever happens remains to be seen.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 05, 2006 01:39 
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I think my Dad's getting quite in to this debate....

Not quite correct, the Old Town Railway station area ( as I'm sure you realise ) is now a vast car park, and the bus station is about a 5 / 10 minute walk away, at the rear of a shopping mall...last time I was there ( probably 4/5 years ago ), it was all looking a bit seedy, but maybe they're improved it a bit now, whether its well used or not I'm not sure...everyone has cars these days...hence the large car parks in Yeovil!!!

I lived in Stoke Sub Hamdon, and the bus service ran from South Pertherton via Montacute to Yeovil and was fairly regular, there used to be two companies running a service, at least they usually ran on time, give or take 10 minutes.

Yes, I did realise that Pen Mill was ex GWR, but can't remember if the shuttle from the town was Southern or GWR.

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