From Roader's Digest: The SABRE Wiki
|Via:||Rugby, Northampton, Bedford, St Neots|
|Length:||79 miles (127.1 km)|
|Meets:||A444, A46, A5, M1, A43, A45, A6, A1, A14|
|Former Number(s):||A6002, A45|
|Bedford • Cambridge • Coventry • Northampton • Rugby •|
|Route outline (key)|
I can't imagine that anyone drives the entire length of the A428 as most of it mirrors the A14 a few miles to the north (with a bit of M6 thrown in for good measure).
Section 1: Coventry - Northampton
The road begins to the east of Coventry city centre on the A4600 Sky Blue Way, a major dual carriageway link. The A4600 turns off to the north and the dual carriageway continues as the primary A428, until the roundabout with the A444 Phoenix Way, after which it becomes the non-primary single carriageway Binley Road, which was previously part of the A427 - some signs still refer to it as such. There is a short stretch of dual carriageway, with bus lanes, either side of the signalised junction with the A4082 Allard Way, and it then continues through Binley and meets the A46 Coventry Eastern Bypass at a roundabout.
From here, the road passes through the villages of Binley Woods, Brandon, and skirts along the edge of Wolston, before opening out into the countryside, passing agricultural land. This section was previously national speed limit, but has been cut to 50mph. This is possibly due to the bad bends, thought to be due to the road following historic field boundaries. The road briefly follows the Fosse Way, taking over from the B4455, and crosses the River Avon over a narrow, signallised bridge which only allows one direction of traffic at a time, then bends sharply back round to the west. The alignment of the road here is much straighter, and it passes through the villages of Church Lawford, under a low railway bridge, and through Long Lawford before reaching Rugby.
The road meets Rugby's gyratory, crosses the A426, and peels off into the town centre, passing Rugby school, and out towards the suburb of Hillmorton. Here, the road passes over the Oxford Canal, and under the West Coast Main Line, then meets the A5 at a roundabout, before entering DIRFT (Daventry International Rail Freight Terminal) where the road becomes dual carriageway with many roundabouts for access to the many industrial units at DIRFT. The original A5 road crosses the A428, but in the form of a dirt track. The road then meets the A5's spur, then meets the M1 at junction 18 - a significant point, as this was the original M1's northern terminus when it opened in 1959.
The road then heads towards Crick, and used to pass through the village of Crick, however a bypass has recently been completed to the north of the village. It crosses the Grand Union Canal, and there are now a few roundabouts along the way to the village of West Haddon, which has also been bypassed recently. The road passes lots of countryside, and passes the northern boundary of the Althorp estate near Harleston. After passing through woodland, the road enters Northampton.
Section 2: Northampton - Cambridge
After crossing the A4500 Spencer Bridge Road, the A428 becomes primary again. We skirt the south of the city centre, turning right from the inner ring road onto Bedford Road, to reach the A45 outer ring at a grade separated junction by the River Nene. Then, we run east past Great and Little Houghton - Little Houghton having been bypassed to the south. We pass through Brafield-on-the-Green, but bypass Denton to the south. Before passing Yardley Hastings, we cross a long avenue - the driveway of Castle Ashby to the north. Then we reach a roundabout with the A509 before passing through Lavendon. After the junction with the B565 we pass Cold Brayfield, then we cross the Great Ouse on the way into Turvey, around which there is an abundance of Parkland rather than the many fields we have passed through.
The village of Bromham is bypassed to the south. We meet the A422 at a roundabout and run through cutting to the south of the village, passing a left turn with the former A5134 which turns right under the bypass towards Kempston. We then cross over the River Great Ouse and at the next roundabout, the route turns right - the straight on route being the A4280. The road forms the recently completed Western by-pass of Bedford running to the West of Great Denham, crosses back over the Great Ouse and joins the A421 at Marsh Leys. The road then follows the A421 to the Black Cat roundabout on the A1, then takes the A1 to Wyboston where it diverges right at a trumpet type GSJ and becomes the A428 once again.
The final leg of the A428 used to be the A45, and is still primary. It has a highly promising start at a trumpet junction with the A1 just south of St Neots, but this soon fizzles out as it crosses the old Great North Road at a minor roundabout. Here we resume as a single carriageway—the St Neots Bypass—past trading and industrial estates, and cross the River Great Ouse on the St Neots Bypass Bridge. The concentration of power lines in this area is due to Little Barford Power Station, whose chimneys are visible on the south side of the route. The bypass ends at a roundabout with the B1428 (is that linked to the A428 number? it was once the A45 St Neots to Cambridge road) and we adopt a fairly straight alignment across prime Cambridgeshire farmland, which occasionally gives way to woodland.
Eltisley is bypassed to the north, then soon after we reach a roundabout with the A1198 (old A14) at Caxton Gibbet, in a gridsquare that has no contours in it. There is a new stretch of dual carriageway that has a grade separated junction (dumbbell type) at Cambourne and another at Hardwick. This latter has the distinction of being almost exactly on the Greenwich Meridian. Next spot of interest is a freeflow Y junction to the A1303, which provides the link to the M11 south. If you remain on the A428, you will find yourself inescapably committed to joining the A14 eastbound as there is no exit to either the M11 or the A14 north-west, but there is a seamless link to the eastbound A14, a throwback from the time when the A428 and the A14 east of here were all part of the A45. And that is it - we've arrived at the Girton Interchange, that partial cloverleaf junction at the north end of the M11, and we can't even change roads.