From Roader's Digest: The SABRE Wiki
|Length:||35.5 miles (57.1 km)|
|Meets:||M4, A346, A4259, B4006, A420, A361, A4311, B4534, B4019, B4040, B4696, A417, A429, A46, A4171, B4008, B4066, M5, A38|
|Former Number(s):||A345, A4116, A4020, A4096|
|Old route now:||B4192, A4259, A4311, A417, B4008|
|Route outline (key)|
You could be forgiven for thinking that the boundary between zone 3 and zone 4 runs along the M4 in Wiltshire, rather than the A4. The reason for this is that both the A419, which started in Hungerford on the A4, and the A429, which started in Chippenham on the A4 have both been cropped so they start on the M4.
Swindon - Cirencester
The A419 used to follow the line of the B4192 between Hungerford and Swindon (I wonder how long it took them to come up with that number). It now starts at M4 junction 15 and forms a north-eastern dual carriageway grade-separated bypass to the town.
Above Blundson a rather fetching and complex grade-separated junction drops us neatly into a bypass around Blunsdon Hill. The road sweeps down the escarpment to where it picks up the Ermin Way.
At Cricklade we leave the Roman alignment to bypass the town. After passing near the Cotswold Water Park (which look like (and are) flooded gravel pits), we turn off the dual carriageway, which carries on as the A417 towards Gloucester. Instead, we head west towards Cirencester, where a curious road layout takes us onto a short multiplex with the A429, which forms a rather circuitous route around the town centre.
Cirencester - Whitminster
To the south-west of Cirencester, we say goodbye to the A429 by turning right at a roundabout. From here we make steady progress on the southern fringes of Cirencester Park, past Three Mile Bottom (whatever that is!) and on to Stroud.
The land becomes somewhat hillier near Chalford as we draw into the southern Cotswolds. We pass through Golden Valley, descending a fairly steep wooded road to the valley floor.
Upon reaching Stroud, we thread our way through a network of A roads, emerging on the south-west of the town. We bypass the original line of the A419, rejoining it at Ryeford.
In turn, we pass to the south of Stonehouse, where all of a sudden the primary route signs turn into non-primary signs (although in reality we've been non-primary since Cirencester). Shortly after passing over a full access junction with the M5 (junction 13), we reach the western end of the A419 at a roundabout on the A38.
Original Author(s): Simon Davies
The A419 originally started in Hungerford before heading north-west towards Swindon. Today this section of route is numbered as the B4192 and finishes at Commonhead Interchange on the modern A419. The classification of this section of road remained until the 1970s but has since been downgraded - and the A419 rerouted along a short section of A345 to meet M4 J15.
At Commonhead Interchange, today the A419 runs around the eastern side of Swindon towards Cirencester, but the route originally carried on into Swindon along today's A4259 Marlborough Road. At the next roundabout, the original route carried on along today's B4006, as indicated by the same Marlborough Road name. When Swindon was originally bypassed in the 1940s the old A419 through town became an extension of the A345 but now carries a variety of different numbers, presumably to deter through traffic.
Turning northwards into Swindon old town, the B4406 joins the town centre gyratory and our route becomes the B4289 High Street. The next junction with Wood Street is where the A419, A361 and A420 used to all come together in Swindon. Wood Street used to be a multiplex of the A420 and A361 before those two routes split at the other end of Wood Street. The old A419 headed northwards on today's B4289 Cricklade Street, which quickly becomes Drove Road before coming to the Magic Roundabout. Here the A361 and A420 came in along what is now an unclassified Shrivenham Road and the A419 carried on along today's A4259. Crossing over the railway, the original route carried on along the now unclassified Cricklade Road before becoming today's A4311. Finally, the original route of the A419 joins today's route of the A419 at Turnpike Roundabout.
From the Swindon bypass the A419 used to follow the Roman Road all the way to Cirencester although much of this route has now been bypassed, with Broad Blunsden the last link in the chain whose bypass opened in 2008.
Originally, the A419 carried on through Cirencester to Gloucester, taking the route that is today the A417. For unknown reasons, the route was changed in 1935 so that from Cirencester, the road headed westwards towards Stroud, taking over what was the A4116. After Stroud, the A419 took over the A4020 through Stonehouse and up to the A38 at Hardwicke, now a suburb of Gloucester. When the M5 was built, the road was rerouted again to head westwards (leaving the Stonehouse to Hardwicke road as the B4008), taking over the A4096 before a new link road took it to J13 on the motorway. The new route carried on a little further to terminate on the A38 south of Whitminster.