|Location Map ( geo)|
|To:||South Hykeham (SK919652)|
|Distance:||8 miles (12.9 km)|
|Meets:||A15, B1308, 1273, B1308, B1003, B199, A57, B1188, B1190, A1192, A46|
|Former Number(s):||A46, A15|
|Route outline (key)|
The road layout in Lincoln is complex and unusual, and merits some explaining. The Lincoln Ridge is the northernmost part of the range of limestone hills which run almost continuously across England from the Humber to the Bristol Channel, and forms a 200-foot-high natural causeway above the marshlands of the lower Trent valley to the west and the Fen country to the east. The ridge is broken only at the Lincoln Gap, formed by the navigable River Witham, which was bridgeable here for a short distance in its generally marshy route. Consequently, the Lincoln Gap early on became a major traffic focus for both land and water. Later, the railways across the plains of eastern England found the ridge a major obstacle, so the Gap became a focus for this mode of transport too. In the same way, Watling Street, the Grand Union Canal, the London to Birmingham railway, and the M1 all squeeze through the same range of hills at Watford Gap.
Until the 1950s, only three roads crossed the river in Lincoln, all within a mile of each other. Each of them also had to each cross two railway lines, close to the river. This pinch point explains the unusual hourglass shape of the city.
The Roman City was built on the hill overlooking the Gap on the north, and the original A15 followed Ermine Street straight to the Roman North Gate, there turning abruptly left in front of the old Roman North Gate to skirt the old city. In 1964 an overheight fish lorry missed the turn one night and went straight into the Roman arch, demolishing it. The arch was rebuilt - I have actually watched the construction of a Second Century Roman arch! Road traffic still passes through it, but it is now floodlit to prevent repeat performances by overheight vehicles!
The original Roman Road went straight through the city, and down the hill now known as Steep Hill to the original river crossing (now part of the pedestrianised High Street, continuing to St Catherines where it split, the Fosse Way heading south west towards Newark (the present A46) and eventually Bath, whilst the Ermine Street to London went up what is now Cross O'Cliff Hill onto the ridge again. Very early on it was realised that Steep Hill, with its steps, was far too steep for wheeled traffic so the Romans built a more easily graded road from the East Gate to the river crossing, roughly on the line of Pottergate, Lindum Road and Silver Street. This is why the East Gate became the main entrance to the city.
The A1434 starts at a roundabout with the A15 and A158, it follows Bunkers Hill South Westerly along the old route of the A15 prior to the Lincoln Eastern Bypass being completed in December 2020. It follows this old roman road until near the city center where it bends to transverse down the steep hill of which the historic city stands. At the bottom of the hill the route no longer cuts across to the High Street, but uses Broadgate to reach the most easterly of the river city crossings, then it has a grade separated junction with the B199, and next the flyover built in 1958 to replace a three-way level crossing (one road, two railways!). This half-mile or so is the only section of dual carriageway between the M180 and the suburbs of Peterborough. After the flyover there is another grade seperated junction with the A57 that was rebuilt in 2014, there comes a short three-lane tidal flow system on Canwick Road, before a TOTSO (B1188 going straight on to Sleaford), where the A1434 cuts across to St Catherines and the junction of the Ermine Street and Fosse Way.
The road continues south through the suburb of Bracebridge before bearing sharply right to cross the River Witham.
After a few more bends the road joins the Roman Fosse Way and remains dead-straight for the remainder of its route. The B1190 and A1192 are met in quick succession, the second of which requires traffic lights, then the road crosses the city boundary to enter North Hykeham, although on the ground there is no discernible change and functionally we're still in the suburbs of Lincoln.
There's a slight detour to a roundabout serving an Asda after which we rejoin the Roman line through what passes for the town centre. The built-up area now starts to get narrower although, owing to ribbon development, the road remains lined with houses until it reaches an out-of-town retail park. On the far side of this the road finally reaches open fields. It's little consolation, however, as the road ends here at a roundabout where it meets the present A46.
Lincoln Eastern Bypass Changes
As a result of the Eastern bypass being built. The A1434 will double in length as it will gain all of the A15 between itself and the A158.