|From:||Millward's Park (TL232065)|
|To:||Oldings Corner (TL227103)|
|Distance:||4.1 miles (6.6 km)|
|Meets:||A1000, A1(M), A414, A1057, A6129|
|Route outline (key)|
We start in the southeast corner of Hatfield at a GSJ TOTSO on the older A1 (now the A1000), leaving the A1001 to plough straight on westwards, where it immediately becomes dual-carriageway. This road was designed as the southern Hatfield link in the 1960s. We cross the A1000 and the railway and we are faced with a roundabout: the end of the first dualled section.
On the far side of the roundabout we can see that, to the right, the cutting is just wide enough for a second carriageway: even the pavement is in the right place! We pass the top of Bishops Rise and the Park and Ride and we arrive at A1(M) J2, which only has south-facing sliproads. The A1001 runs northwards from this roundabout to follow the route of the old A1 Hatfield bypass, with the A1(M) just to the left, obscured by trees.
After a traffic-light-controlled T-junction with College Lane (before it was a teardrop roundabout), the main entrance to the University of Hertfordshire, there's the second meeting of the A1001 and the A1(M) at its J3, which is full-access. We also meet the west-facing A414 here. We hop to the other side of the A1(M) and continue north, past the Comet Roundabout (with the A1057 and the Galleria, where the second dualled section begins. Look out for the old buildings on the left, as this is another part of the old A1. At the north end of this section, we pass onto the roof of the Hatfield Tunnel - construction joints can be seen running diagonally across the carriageways.
After that longer stretch of dualled, we come to a larger-than-usual roundabout. The Hatfield Tunnel ends beneath us and we switch to the right-hand side of the A1(M) again. We meet a nice straight road, although claimed to be one of the most dangerous roads in Britain, until we reach the northern terminus of the road: A1(M) J4, the Oldings Corner roundabout, which is one of the worst ever, according to locals. It's a bad ending to an overall free-flowing and interesting road, with some good history to boot. From here we can access the motorway or the A414 northern bypass, or continue ahead into along the former A1, now numbered A6129, into Welwyn Garden City.
Original Author(s): 'Big Toe'