|Via:||Bury St Edmunds|
|Distance:||71.3 miles (114.7 km)|
|Meets:||A10, A1122, B1160, B1112, A1065, A11, A1066, B1107, B1106, A143, A14, A1302, A1141, A1092, A131, A1064, B1115, A1071, B1068, B1087, A1341, B1508, A133, A1124, B1022, B1026, B1025|
|Old route now:||A1092, A131|
|Route outline (key)|
Section 1: Tottenhill – Thetford
Starting from the Oakwood Corner Roundabout on the A10 a few miles south of King's Lynn the A134 heads south east through countryside bordering the Fens on a reasonable road, and across the Stradsett junction with the A1122, (old A47). The junction is a basic left / right stagger with the A1122 having priority, which dates from when the east - west road was more important. It is the most difficult junction in the Norfolk section to navigate, though a roundabout has been proposed as a replacement. This is where the A1122 becomes primary heading west as this is the link from the A134 off towards the A47 at Wisbech. The A134 used to have a spur (renumbered from A1023 in 1935) south of Stradsett west to the A1122 at Crimplesham which has since been downgraded to a C-road but anyone who knows the area will still use this to avoid the horrors of this junction, which was altered several times in the seventies and still is the scene of several accidents, usually lorries tipping over.
On we go, past a newish roundabout from where a link road takes lorries to the nearby Wissington sugar beet factory, which now has a biofuels addition too. Bypassing, but only slightly, Wereham, the road continues into a cutting and the Stoke Ferry bypass, avoiding some very tight corners in that village. On over the river Wissey and onto another roundabout.
Turning east, the A134 travels along open countryside into Breckland, one of the least populated areas of England, and in summer one of the driest. Lots of the land around here is of poor quality for farming and after the Second World War most of it was forested with pines, becoming the large Thetford Forest. The road borders the forest until Mundford where it crosses the A1065 at a roundabout and then plunges into the trees. Note the poles with reflectors on, on either side of the road: these allegedly reflect headlights into the forest scaring any deer that might cross (didn't work with me however, hitting a deer at 50 mph made a mess of my nineties Ford Fiesta... not to mention the deer!)
The A134 appears out of Thetford Forest eight miles later on top of a hill and a roundabout with the A11. On this hill was found ruins of Boadicea's camp, one of East Anglia's warladies during the Roman times. Now it is home to one of the UK's largest warehouses... ah, progress!
The A134 follows the A11 D2 south till the next roundabout (obviously the original route was through the middle of town), then heads into the outskirts of Thetford. This town in the sixties was "promoted" from a sleepy Norfolk town to a London overspill town with the corresponding increase in industry and east end population stuck in the middle of nowhere! It still retains parts of the original town centre next to the standard sixties shopping streets.
Section 2: Thetford – Colchester
Soon after leaving Thetford the A134 travels over the border into Suffolk. It goes past the old RAF base of Barnham and over undulating fields to the outskirts of Bury St Edmunds. Until the 1980s the A134 passed through Fornham St Martin then along what is now the B1106 and A1101 to reach the A45 (present A14) by heading out of town. The road into Fornham is now closed to traffic and the current A134 follows a more sensible route. It becomes D2 for a while, meeting the A143 and A14.
The A134 follows the A14 around Bury St Edmunds, regaining its number at the next junction, from where it heads west then south. It's not a terrifically exciting run through Suffolk, nor is it particularly busy, and there are plenty of bends and dips as it heads towards Sudbury. The Long Melford bypass ends at a roundabout on the northern side of Sudbury. Here the A134 TOTSOs and loses primary status – the primary road ahead (the pre-bypass A134) is the A131 towards Halstead, Braintree and Chelmsford. We turn to the left to skirt the northern side of Sudbury through Chilton. There can't be many other places where the road through town is primary and the bypass non-primary.
The A134 TOTSOs again to the east of Sudbury where it meets its old route, now a spur of the A131, and heads east, gradually turning to the south as we head for Colchester. The road bypasses Nayland to the west, crossing the Stour and entering Essex. There's an increasing amount of new development approaching the road leading up to Colchester. The A134 passes under the A12 bypass without a junction, after which there's a back entrance to Colchester United football ground and access via an unclassified road to the A12. After this the A134 leaves its original alignment and becomes urban very quickly as the aptly named Northern Approach Road. After passing Colchester General Hospital it comes to a slightly convoluted double roundabout with the B1508 and the access to Colchester station, where the A134 northbound passes through the centre of the western roundabout while making a 90-degree turn, and then skirts the eastern roundabout while turning north again. Southbound traffic negotiates both roundabouts normally before passing under the railway line and onto Westway, where it crosses the A133 to meet the A1124 and turns eastwards across the south of the town centre on Southway.
The road then descends into Hythe, and crosses the River Colne before ending on a magic roundabout where it meets the A133 again.