|Location Map ( geo)|
|From:||West Street (SY296986)|
|To:||Chard Street (SY296986)|
|Distance:||0.1 miles (0.2 km)|
|Now part of:||A358|
|Route outline (key)|
In the original 1922 road numbering, the A3039 number was allocated to Link in Axminster in east Devon. This has now been identified as probably meaning the west end of Chard Street and part of Victoria Place past the George Hotel, which is now part of the A358 one-way system. The road is not marked by number on the map on the right so must have been a very short road in the town centre. Given that the routes of the other two town-centre roads, the A373 and A374, are known, the A3039 has to fit in around them, giving the route suggested.
If this route is correct, it all makes the former A3039 in Axminster the shortest identified A road to have existed in the British Isles, at a mere 174ft or just over 50 m in length (according to Google!), and both ends share the same 6-figure grid reference.
Originally the A358 (or A374 as it was then) turned left near the end of Chard Street into George Street (known as Pig Street until the early 20th Century) and then crossed the A373 (later A35) Lyme Street and continued along South Street and Musbury Road. A very short link road for Chard - Honiton traffic was therefore left at the west end of Chard Street and part of Victoria Place. Historically this short link was an important route as it formed part of the trunk route from London and Salisbury to Exeter until the current Chard - Honiton road was built as a turnpike in the early 19th Century, due to the poor and the often unusable state of the old Chard - Honiton road over Stockland Hill.
George Street is so short that even the original 1922 MOT map didn't show it, so although the A3039 was shown in the MOT map, it was not marked as such and appears to be the A374. Additionally the draft MOT road lists state that the A3039 ran between Trinity Place and Chard Street. Trinity Place was renamed in about the 1960s making identification difficult on modern street maps; the part of Trinity Place opposite the parish church became Trinity Square and the road eastward to the junction of Lyme Street and Victoria Place became an extension of Victoria Place.
The A3039 appears to have become a spur of the A374, later A358, before becoming the present main line of the A358, when that road was diverted away from South Street, although the one-way system makes this somewhat meaningless; indeed the instigation of the one way system may have precipitated the demise of the A3039.