A43 (M1 to M40) dates of upgrade to continuous dual carriageway

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Justin Smith
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A43 (M1 to M40) dates of upgrade to continuous dual carriageway

Post by Justin Smith » Mon Jun 21, 2021 21:16

I have a bit of an interest in the A43 from the M1 down to the M40 as we sometimes drive that route plus it crosses the route of the ex GCR London Extension (railway). Thus I wanted to add it (in pencil) to my Cobbs rail atlas and therefore spent some time researching the dates of the rerouting & dualling.
These dates are the ones I have found if anyone can confirm they are all correct, plus does anyone know when the short section of DC near Brackley Hatch was dualled ?

1991 - M1 to Abthorpe roundabout (part of which is the Towcester bypass)

2002 - Abthorpe roundabout to Brackley Hatch (part of which is the Silverstone bypass)

???? - Brackley Hatch to Earls Wood. This short section of DC (about 3/4 mile long centered on The Green Man pub) is on my 1999 OS map but I cannot find any more details.

2002 - Earls Wood to Whitfield

1987 - Whitfield to B4031 / A421 roundabout (part of which is the Brackley bypass)

2002 - B4031 / A421 roandabout to M40
Last edited by Justin Smith on Mon Oct 18, 2021 16:42, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: A43 (M1 to M40) dates of upgrade to continuous dual carriageway

Post by Truvelo » Mon Jun 21, 2021 21:35

The 2002 dates for the last sections to be dualled are correct. Prior to that only dualled stretches were the Brackley Bypass plus a short section either side of this and the short stretch at Brackley Hatch. I took this photo of Brackley Hatch in 2001 when it had just been resurfaced and a pair of Truvelo cameras were installed. The end of dual carriageway signs are clearly visible. This short section of D2 was a scene of frantic overtaking as frustrated drivers stuck being slower traffic used it to pass as many vehicles as possible before it ended. The cameras were installed to calm things down a bit as there was a gap in the central reservation about halfway along the short D2 section.
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Re: A43 (M1 to M40) dates of upgrade to continuous dual carriageway

Post by NICK 647063 » Mon Jun 21, 2021 22:06

I was actually living in Silverstone when the bypass opened, the official opening date was in September 2002 but traffic actually moved onto the bypass in August 2002 using a single lane each way, overnight the village just went quiet…… at this time all the other most recent A43 dualling was going on, this completed the M40 to M1 dualling just a shame the roundabouts remain!

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Re: A43 (M1 to M40) dates of upgrade to continuous dual carriageway

Post by Ross Spur » Tue Jun 22, 2021 09:44

Blisworth and Milton Malsor Bypass opened on 21 May 1991. The Towcester bypass section was earlier than 1991. It's showing as built and dual carriageway on the 1990 OS Road Atlas from the top side of the carriageway split at St. John's Lane, Tiffield to Abthorpe Roundabout.

Hansard has the bypass listed as completed in February 1988 https://api.parliament.uk/historic-hans ... l/20/roads I assume it opened as dual carriageway

The 1990 Road Atlas also shows the Brackley Hatch short section of dual carriageway. It's not shown on the 1982 OS 1:50000 just to narrow it down a bit if anyone has interim maps.
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Re: A43 (M1 to M40) dates of upgrade to continuous dual carriageway

Post by Steven » Tue Jun 22, 2021 10:38

NICK 647063 wrote:
Mon Jun 21, 2021 22:06
I was actually living in Silverstone when the bypass opened, the official opening date was in September 2002 but traffic actually moved onto the bypass in August 2002 using a single lane each way, overnight the village just went quiet…… at this time all the other most recent A43 dualling was going on, this completed the M40 to M1 dualling just a shame the roundabouts remain!
The 2002 bypass was actually the second Silverstone bypass, with the first one being built in the 1930s IIRC.

The original route of the A43 can be seen on the MoT 1922-23 layer on SABRE Maps.
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Re: A43 (M1 to M40) dates of upgrade to continuous dual carriageway

Post by Justin Smith » Tue Jun 22, 2021 17:43

Ross Spur wrote:
Tue Jun 22, 2021 09:44
Blisworth and Milton Malsor Bypass opened on 21 May 1991. The Towcester bypass section was earlier than 1991. It's showing as built and dual carriageway on the 1990 OS Road Atlas from the top side of the carriageway split at St. John's Lane, Tiffield to Abthorpe Roundabout.

Hansard has the bypass listed as completed in February 1988 https://api.parliament.uk/historic-hans ... l/20/roads I assume it opened as dual carriageway

The 1990 Road Atlas also shows the Brackley Hatch short section of dual carriageway. It's not shown on the 1982 OS 1:50000 just to narrow it down a bit if anyone has interim maps.
Thanks for that, 1980s then ?
Trouble is, maybe I have autistic tendencies but only the actual date will satisfy me !

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Re: A43 (M1 to M40) dates of upgrade to continuous dual carriageway

Post by Ross Spur » Sun Jul 04, 2021 19:41

Highways Agency press release for the 2002 openings is at https://www.wired-gov.net/wg/wg-news-1. ... enDocument

BBC News report at http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/2265663.stm
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Re: A43 (M1 to M40) dates of upgrade to continuous dual carriageway

Post by SteveA30 » Mon Jul 05, 2021 12:14

The BBC report implies the previous week for full opening which, would be Sept 11 2002, which tallies with memory. I was going to go to that, if work reasons hadn't prevented me. It was only in this thread that I found out the traffic opening was in August! I was annoyed at missing out but, that would have been nothing compared to the anger when I arrived to find that I had missed the opening by 2 weeks. What had been disappointment has turned to relief, after 19 years. Phew.
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Re: A43 (M1 to M40) dates of upgrade to continuous dual carriageway

Post by Justin Smith » Mon Oct 18, 2021 16:41

Located on the Nth bound carriageway lay by just next to RAF Croughton, between B4100 roundabout and the A421 roundabout, just north of the M40.
Opening plaque for A43 Towcester to M40 800W L5
Opening plaque for A43 Towcester to M40 800W L5

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Re: A43 (M1 to M40) dates of upgrade to continuous dual carriageway

Post by Was92now625 » Mon Oct 18, 2021 21:02

Many roundabouts on that route - something like a dozen over a few clumps along the way between M1 and M40. When planning those sections, was much thought given to whether so many circles were desirable ?

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Re: A43 (M1 to M40) dates of upgrade to continuous dual carriageway

Post by KeithW » Mon Oct 18, 2021 21:20

This dualling made huge difference to me as at the time I was regularly travelling between South Cambridgeshire and Harwell as together with the A421 from the Black Cat to the M1 it gave me a reliable mainly D2 route between Oxford and Cambridge that avoided the M25.

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Re: A43 (M1 to M40) dates of upgrade to continuous dual carriageway

Post by KeithW » Mon Oct 18, 2021 21:29

Was92now625 wrote:
Mon Oct 18, 2021 21:02
Many roundabouts on that route - something like a dozen over a few clumps along the way between M1 and M40. When planning those sections, was much thought given to whether so many circles were desirable ?
The real problem if you were starting from a position south of Bedford was the huge number of roundabouts through Milton Keynes. As I recall there were 9 or 10 between the M1 and M40 and none of them were especially problematic except the original junction at M40 J10 which was a mess.

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Re: A43 (M1 to M40) dates of upgrade to continuous dual carriageway

Post by Justin Smith » Mon Oct 18, 2021 21:45

KeithW wrote:
Mon Oct 18, 2021 21:20
This dualling made huge difference to me as at the time I was regularly travelling between South Cambridgeshire and Harwell as together with the A421 from the Black Cat to the M1 it gave me a reliable mainly D2 route between Oxford and Cambridge that avoided the M25.
The DC A43 is very useful when either the M40 (north of J10 obviously ! ), A46/M69 or M42 is in trouble.... We have used it quite often when warned of problems on one of those roads.

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Re: A43 (M1 to M40) dates of upgrade to continuous dual carriageway

Post by ForestChav » Mon Oct 18, 2021 21:53

Was92now625 wrote:
Mon Oct 18, 2021 21:02
Many roundabouts on that route - something like a dozen over a few clumps along the way between M1 and M40. When planning those sections, was much thought given to whether so many circles were desirable ?
That's why I don't like it much.

If I'm heading that way down the M40, it usually ends up quicker to use the (much quieter) M1 > M69 > A46 > M40 route than the M1 > A43 > M40 route because the M1 is busier than the M40 and the sheer number of islands on the A43 compared to the A46 which just has a couple between the A45 and M69 now Toll Bar is separated, as well as the large one where the A45 and A46 meet south of Cov. As soon as you have had the chance to get any speed up there's another island. They should remove all the ones around Brackley and build a S2 LAR type thing alongside it for all the local accesses, which merges into the A43 at either end. Then just dumbell off the A5 and B4100. The M40 junction is typically a mess too, unlike the one where it meets the A46 (and where it's quicker to head straight off to the smaller island when coming off the M40 as opposed to going the signed way for Cov).
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Re: A43 (M1 to M40) dates of upgrade to continuous dual carriageway

Post by ForestChav » Mon Oct 18, 2021 21:56

Justin Smith wrote:
Mon Oct 18, 2021 21:45
KeithW wrote:
Mon Oct 18, 2021 21:20
This dualling made huge difference to me as at the time I was regularly travelling between South Cambridgeshire and Harwell as together with the A421 from the Black Cat to the M1 it gave me a reliable mainly D2 route between Oxford and Cambridge that avoided the M25.
The DC A43 is very useful when either the M40 (north of J10 obviously ! ), A46/M69 or M42 is in trouble.... We have used it quite often when warned of problems on one of those roads.
In that case, I'd probably leave at J12, and use B4451 and B4100 to the B4455 and head for the A5 at High Cross (or if necessary due to the M69 then the B4114 to M1 J21). The Romans had the right idea.
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Re: A43 (M1 to M40) dates of upgrade to continuous dual carriageway

Post by danfw194 » Tue Oct 19, 2021 11:52

ForestChav wrote:
Mon Oct 18, 2021 21:53
Was92now625 wrote:
Mon Oct 18, 2021 21:02
Many roundabouts on that route - something like a dozen over a few clumps along the way between M1 and M40. When planning those sections, was much thought given to whether so many circles were desirable ?
That's why I don't like it much.

If I'm heading that way down the M40, it usually ends up quicker to use the (much quieter) M1 > M69 > A46 > M40 route than the M1 > A43 > M40 route because the M1 is busier than the M40 and the sheer number of islands on the A43 compared to the A46 which just has a couple between the A45 and M69 now Toll Bar is separated, as well as the large one where the A45 and A46 meet south of Cov. As soon as you have had the chance to get any speed up there's another island. They should remove all the ones around Brackley and build a S2 LAR type thing alongside it for all the local accesses, which merges into the A43 at either end. Then just dumbell off the A5 and B4100. The M40 junction is typically a mess too, unlike the one where it meets the A46 (and where it's quicker to head straight off to the smaller island when coming off the M40 as opposed to going the signed way for Cov).
The M1 Junction isn't great either. That said, as of today I'd probably just about still favour M1-A43 over M69-A46-M40 personally. Once the Binley works are fully completed on the A46, I might change my mind on that.

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Re: A43 (M1 to M40) dates of upgrade to continuous dual carriageway

Post by Alderpoint » Tue Oct 19, 2021 12:27

danfw194 wrote:
Tue Oct 19, 2021 11:52
The M1 Junction isn't great either. That said, as of today I'd probably just about still favour M1-A43 over M69-A46-M40 personally. Once the Binley works are fully completed on the A46, I might change my mind on that.
You'll quickly change you mind back as they are they supposed to start work on the next roundabout up, although I've not see any recent plans for that.
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Re: A43 (M1 to M40) dates of upgrade to continuous dual carriageway

Post by danfw194 » Tue Oct 19, 2021 12:49

Alderpoint wrote:
Tue Oct 19, 2021 12:27
danfw194 wrote:
Tue Oct 19, 2021 11:52
The M1 Junction isn't great either. That said, as of today I'd probably just about still favour M1-A43 over M69-A46-M40 personally. Once the Binley works are fully completed on the A46, I might change my mind on that.
You'll quickly change you mind back as they are they supposed to start work on the next roundabout up, although I've not see any recent plans for that.
Did they ever draw up tangible plans for that roundabout? I know it's been mentioned in the overall 'A46 Coventry Junctions' wrap up, but can't remember seeing an actual plan for it. I'd be interested to see what they can do with that, there isn't a lot of room for manoeuvre with Coombe Country Park kinking the road.

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Re: A43 (M1 to M40) dates of upgrade to continuous dual carriageway

Post by Alderpoint » Tue Oct 19, 2021 22:18

danfw194 wrote:
Tue Oct 19, 2021 12:49
Alderpoint wrote:
Tue Oct 19, 2021 12:27
danfw194 wrote:
Tue Oct 19, 2021 11:52
The M1 Junction isn't great either. That said, as of today I'd probably just about still favour M1-A43 over M69-A46-M40 personally. Once the Binley works are fully completed on the A46, I might change my mind on that.
You'll quickly change you mind back as they are they supposed to start work on the next roundabout up, although I've not see any recent plans for that.
Did they ever draw up tangible plans for that roundabout? I know it's been mentioned in the overall 'A46 Coventry Junctions' wrap up, but can't remember seeing an actual plan for it. I'd be interested to see what they can do with that, there isn't a lot of room for manoeuvre with Coombe Country Park kinking the road.
No, i've not seen any recent plans, hence my comment. The signs on the Binley Road junction are saying completion mid 2022 (I'm back going through there now a few times a week), so I would have expected to see plans for the Walsgrave junction by now if they are really going to move onto it straight away.
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Re: A43 (M1 to M40) dates of upgrade to continuous dual carriageway

Post by ForestChav » Tue Oct 19, 2021 22:44

danfw194 wrote:
Tue Oct 19, 2021 11:52
ForestChav wrote:
Mon Oct 18, 2021 21:53
Was92now625 wrote:
Mon Oct 18, 2021 21:02
Many roundabouts on that route - something like a dozen over a few clumps along the way between M1 and M40. When planning those sections, was much thought given to whether so many circles were desirable ?
That's why I don't like it much.

If I'm heading that way down the M40, it usually ends up quicker to use the (much quieter) M1 > M69 > A46 > M40 route than the M1 > A43 > M40 route because the M1 is busier than the M40 and the sheer number of islands on the A43 compared to the A46 which just has a couple between the A45 and M69 now Toll Bar is separated, as well as the large one where the A45 and A46 meet south of Cov. As soon as you have had the chance to get any speed up there's another island. They should remove all the ones around Brackley and build a S2 LAR type thing alongside it for all the local accesses, which merges into the A43 at either end. Then just dumbell off the A5 and B4100. The M40 junction is typically a mess too, unlike the one where it meets the A46 (and where it's quicker to head straight off to the smaller island when coming off the M40 as opposed to going the signed way for Cov).
The M1 Junction isn't great either. That said, as of today I'd probably just about still favour M1-A43 over M69-A46-M40 personally. Once the Binley works are fully completed on the A46, I might change my mind on that.
At least heading N the movement is a simple left turn on, aside from traversing the services. It's a bit of a pig's ear, but at least it works.
C, E flat and G go into a bar. The barman says "sorry, we don't serve minors". So E flat walks off, leaving C and G to share an open fifth between them.

Never argue with an idiot. They will bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.

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