|Via:||Beverley, Market Weighton|
|Length:||37 miles (59.5 km)|
|Meets:||A63, A1105, A165, A1165, A1033, A1174, A164, A1035, A1034, A614, B1247, B1246, B1228, A64, A166, A1036|
|Old route now:||A1174, A59, B6265|
|Route outline (key)|
The A1079 is probably the most major Axxxx road of all. A full fat trunk road between York and Hull, it is the heavyweight champion of the Axxxx roads. At nearly 40 miles, it is one of the longest if not the longest of the Axxxx roads. Based entirely in Yorkshire, it is one of the region's main roads.
Hull - Beverley
The road starts at a Hamburger Junction on the A63 on the edge of Hull city centre. Reports from SABRE itself once said this was to be upgraded to a proper GSJ, but it doesn't look likely now. Anyway we start by heading north on an urban D2 through the middle of Hull. As we are in the city, it is quite slow going. We pass various hotels and shops before we come to our first classified road, the A1105 Anlaby Road. This road is closed for Hull's Lord Mayor's parade. Various local organisation run floats and all the money goes to charity.
After that, we pass Hull Paragon Station and the 'super station' called St Stephens. After that, we continue straight. Hull is one of Britain's flattest cities (London has quite a few hilly sections) so for Hull straight roads are easy as it is so flat.
After passing more of Hull City Centre, we arrive at the A165 junction. A major junction with traffic lights, this is because the A165 takes you to Hull Docks. It also takes you to Grand Union Street where a SABRE April Fools' joke stated it was numbered A10402 but it is really the A1165. We then continue on a typical urban road as we pass the various Victorian houses. A lot of them were rebuilt to the same style after heavy bombing in WWII, albeit with yellow brick instead of red brick as originally built. Hull was the penultimate city to have the evacuated children back (London was last) due to its docks.
We soon pass Queens Road at traffic lights. This road leads towards Newland Avenue, a shopping road. Very soon afterwards, we go under a freight railway, which on the other side has a pub made out of one BR MKI coach cut in half and using the arches as the bar area. This side of the railway has more students as Hull is a University city. We then meet the A1165 and B1233 at a traffic-light-controlled junction. This junction has a pub and a Lidl, which was formerly a Jacksons food store (a Yorkshire speciality). It's open 24 hours a day so beer is available though out the night. This is also the road for the University of Hull. After that we continue on our way out of the city, passing more traffic lights and local roads before we come to the A1033 and A1174 at a roundabout. The A1033 takes you back into Hull to the docks. This roundabout is a TOTSO for the A1079, due to the Beverley Bypass, built in the late 1970s/early 1980s, which bypassed the very old town of Beverley. The old A1079 through Beverley is now unclassified, with the road south from there being the A1174.
The bypass is part S2 and part D2 and we start with the former. We first get to a roundabout for the nearby caravan works, the roundabout being a recent addition to the bypass, being built in 2010. Some time after the roundabout, we go on to the D2 section and pass under the A164 at a parclo GSJ. This is another road heading back south and is used to get to the Humber Bridge. We soon lose the dual carriageway again before passing under the B1230 and meeting the A1035 at the next roundabout. This is where we rejoin the old road and head westwards.
Beverley - York
The A1079, still S2, goes through the village of Bishop Burton, which slows us down quite a bit (it should really be by-passed as it is quite a pretty village). Now on the other side of the village, we go over Weighton Hill to get to Market Weighton. This is where the road can get busy due to Market Weighton losing its rail service in the infamous Beeching cuts. The town, though, was bypassed in 1991 so it's not as bad as it could be. The bulk of the traffic from the town joins at the A1034 roundabout a quarter of the way round the bypass. Fairly soon, we rejoin the old road on the other side of Market Weighton and arrive at our first primary road since the A1035, the A614 from Nottingham, at a roundabout. It's left for Goole, the M62, Bawtry, Nottingham and London, right for (Great) Driffield and Bridlington.
Straight after the roundabout is Shiptonthorpe. It's not the biggest place in the world though it's a nice little village, complete with a McDonalds that opened in November 2013. It was built after the closure of the Little Chef that was closed down in 2006, but re-opened in 2008 and closed again in 2012. We go past the village of Thorpe-le-Street and through Hayton - the section between Thorpe-le-Street and Hayton is D2 - before we meet the B1247 for Pocklington. It is believed by some that the old A1079 went through Pocklington - but it never did and we're still following the same route as the 1922 A66 did.
It is roughly two miles before we meet the B1246, which heads back towards Pocklington via the village of Barmby Moor. This section of the A1079 is rather slow as we go past yet another village, this one called Wilberfoss. Soon, we meet the sign for Stamford Bridge (no, not that one in London - the one on the A166 just to the north). This was where Harold II defeated the Vikings for the last time in 1066 just a fortnight before the famous Battle of Hastings down in Sussex. As we cross the River Derwent into the City of York we go though the village - well, more of a hamlet - of Kexby. We continue on our way, touching the southern portion of Dunnington before we come to our final major junction, the A64/A166 junction on the York ring road at Grimston Bar.
This roundabout marks the final section of road into York. We pass one of the various Park & Rides York operates. As we enter the outskirts of York, the road starts to get really busy and boring, with lots of traffic lights and buses as you'd expect for the outskirts of a city. Lovely. The further you get into York, the older the houses, before we hit the York Inner Ring Road, which generally follows the route of York's city wall and the old A64 either side of the city centre. Numbered A1036, this marks the end of the A1079. The options are left for the railway station (use it to get towards the National Railway Museum) or right for most of the other York tourist places. If you wanted somewhere other than York you wouldn't have crossed the bypass.
Originally this whole road was part of the A66. Yes, the same A66 that runs between Scotch Corner and Penrith (and now further west also)! Very soon after road numbers were allocated in 1922 it was realised that sending the A1 via Northallerton instead of Scotch Corner was a mistake. (Presumably, from the name, Scotch Corner was already an important junction pre-road numbering days?)
So it was that in 1922 the A66 ran from Penrith to Hull, crossing the A1 in Boroughbridge at a 'scissors' kind of angle. (The old A1 ran across what is now Dishforth airfield on a now abandoned alignment.) The section from Scotch Corner to Boroughbridge is now, of course, the A1 (give or take a few bypasses). Then the entire section of ex-A66 between Boroughbridge and Hull was renumbered A1079, although draft plans made immediately before this suggested making it an extension of the A168 instead.
In 1935 it was decided that having the A59 terminate on the A1079 in Green Hammerton was a bad idea and so that road was extended to York cutting back the A1079 to basically its current route. Boroughbridge to Green Hammerton became an extension of the A167 and has since been renumbered the B6265. For many years, before the village was bypassed, there was a TOTSO on the A59 at Green Hammerton, demonstrating the numbering history in the village.
Perhaps a tidier solution for when the A66 was truncated at Scotch Corner would have been to make the York to Hull part into the A19 and the York to Doncaster section of the A19 into an extension of the A60. Even just extending the A59 to Hull wouldn't have been too outrageous, its route would have be no more random than the present A56 and A52.