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From:Boston Spa (SE409457)
To:Northallerton (SE370932)
Via:Wetherby, Thirsk
Length:35 miles (56.3 km)
Meets: A1(M), A659, A58, A661, A59, A6055, A168(M), A167, A19, A170, A61, A167
Former Number(s):A1, A167
Primary Destinations
Highway Authorities

Highways Agency • Leeds • North Yorkshire

Traditional Counties


Route outline (key)
A168 Boston Spa - Dishforth
A168 Dishforth - Thirsk Bypass
(A19) Thirsk Bypass
A168 Thirsk Bypass - Northallerton

The A168 runs across northern Yorkshire, partially taking over sections of the A1 bypassed by A1(M), then forms a useful link to the A19.



Old A1 South

This road is now much extended (in 1922 its southern end was in Thirsk), as south of Dishforth it has taken over one of the old carriageways of the A1, and now runs parallel to the new A1(M) (the other carriageway has been torn up). This section carries very little traffic (most of it local), but is retained for motorway-prohibited traffic, and also allows for intermediate junctions.

The road starts on the A659 not far from A1(M) J45 and heads north alongside the motorway via Wetherby. A detour at Walshford where the A168 crosses the motorway marks a temporary terminus, after which the road goes through Boroughbridge where it crosses the River Ure (a favourite with crossword compilers).

On arrival at Dishforth Interchange (J49) the A168 leaves the motorway and TOTSOs to become a fast dual-carriageway. The spur of the A1(M) in this direction could be the A168(M), although this number is disputed. The A168 by-passes Topcliffe where once it passed through. The A167 turns off here. The B1448 (the pre-bypass road) splits off to Thirsk town centre as the A168 carries on to the concrete-surfaced by-pass. South of Thirsk it merges into the A19 (which has a TOTSO junction here), only to leave again north of the town (a classic "cannon" off the A19) while the A19 carries on up to Teesside.

Now non-primary once more the A168 meanders northwards to Northallerton. As a road it's not particularly interesting, with no places of any size and very few side roads. However, presently the road reaches the southern edge of Northallerton and a roundabout where, almost with a sigh of relief, it joins the A167 and ends.

Original Author(s): Chris Bertram


In 1922 the A168 ran between the A61 in Thirsk and the then-A1 in Northallerton. In 1924 the road was extended to Topcliffe along what was the A167 when that road was rerouted to take over the ex-A1 between Boroughbridge and Darlington.

After World War II the A168 was extended via Dishforth to meet the A1. That road started being upgraded to motorway in 1995 and so the A168 has been extended southwards gradually ever since to form a non-motorway route parallel to the A1(M).


Roads UK

JunctionsAldborough Gate Interchange • Dishforth Interchange • South Kilvington Interchange
CrossingsArrows Bridge
RoadsA168(M) • T72 (Britain)
Miscellaneous1924 A1 Renumbering
Related Pictures
View gallery (12)
A1 - A168 (A19) Junction - Geograph - 257031.jpgA1 North Deighton - Coppermine - 4877.jpgA168 Southbound - Lane Closure - Coppermine - 18189.jpgOld A1 3 - Coppermine - 2863.jpgThe old A1 at Nineveh - Geograph - 1709193.jpg
Other nearby roads
WetherbyA1(M) • A1(M)/Darrington - Leeming • A58 • A659 • A661 • B1224 • B6164 • E15 • E31 (via Carlisle) • E31 (via Newcastle) • Great North Road • M100 • T1 (Britain) • T71 (Britain)
BoroughbridgeA1(M)/Darrington - Leeming • A1079 • A1167 (Green Hammerton - Boroughbridge) • A167 • A6055 • A66 • B6166 (Knaresborough - Boroughbridge) • B6265 (North Yorkshire) • Dere Street • Great North Road • M100 • T1 (Britain) • T72 (Britain)
ThirskA167 • A170 • A19 • A61 • B1256 (Yorkshire) • B1448 • East Coast Motorway • T68 (Britain) • T72 (Britain)
NorthallertonA1/Leeming - Barton • A167 • A684 • B1263 (Northallerton - Osmotherley) • B1333 • B6271


Defunct Itineraries & Motorways: A102(M) East Cross Route·A102(M) Southern Approach·A108·A115·A118·A132·A135
A138·A139·A147·A154·A160·A167(M)·A168(M)·A176·A180 (Durham Coast)·A180 (Durham City)·A194(M)·A194·A195(M)·A195