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Location Map ( geo)
Cameraicon.png View gallery (31)
From:  Boston Spa (SE409457)
To:  Northallerton (SE370932)
Via:  Wetherby, Thirsk
Distance:  35 miles (56.3 km)
Meets:  A1(M), A659, A58, A661, A59, A6055, A168(M), A167, A19, A170, A61, A167
Former Number(s):  A1, A167
Primary Destinations
Highway Authorities

National Highways • Leeds  • North Yorkshire

Traditional Counties


Route outline (key)
A168 Boston Spa - Dishforth
A168 Dishforth - Thirsk Bypass
(A19) Thirsk Bypass
A168 Thirsk Bypass - Northallerton

The A168 runs across northern Yorkshire, partially taking over sections of the A1 bypassed by A1(M), then forms a useful link to the A19.


Old A1 South

This road is now much extended (in 1922 its southern end was in Thirsk), as south of Dishforth it has taken over one of the old carriageways of the A1, and now runs parallel to the new A1(M) (the other carriageway has been torn up). This section carries very little traffic (most of it local), but is retained for motorway-prohibited traffic, and also allows for intermediate junctions.

The road starts on the A659 not far from A1(M) J45 and heads north alongside the motorway via Wetherby. A detour at Walshford where the A168 crosses the motorway marks a temporary terminus, after which the road goes through Boroughbridge where it crosses the River Ure (a favourite with crossword compilers).

On arrival at Dishforth Interchange (J49) the A168 leaves the motorway and TOTSOs to become a fast dual-carriageway. The spur of the A1(M) in this direction could be the A168(M), although this number is disputed. The A168 by-passes Topcliffe where once it passed through. The A167 turns off here. The B1448 (the pre-bypass road) splits off to Thirsk town centre as the A168 carries on to the concrete-surfaced by-pass. South of Thirsk it merges into the A19 (which has a TOTSO junction here), only to leave again north of the town (a classic "cannon" off the A19) while the A19 carries on up to Teesside.

Now non-primary once more the A168 meanders northwards to Northallerton. As a road it's not particularly interesting, with no places of any size and very few side roads. However, presently the road reaches the southern edge of Northallerton and a roundabout where, almost with a sigh of relief, it joins the A167 and ends.

Original Author(s): Chris Bertram


Route changes

In 1922 the A168 ran between the A61 in Thirsk and the then-A1 in Northallerton. In 1924 the road was extended to Topcliffe along what was the A167 when that road was rerouted to take over the ex-A1 between Boroughbridge and Darlington.

After World War II the A168 was extended via Dishforth to meet the A1. That road started being upgraded to motorway in 1995 and so the A168 has been extended southwards gradually ever since to form a non-motorway route parallel to the A1(M).

Opening Dates

Location Historic County Date Distance Notes Location Map
Thirsk Bypass Yorkshire 1972 4.3 miles (6.9 km) South Kilvington Interchange (116 yards south of Green Lane, Spital Bridge, Kilvington) to Topcliffe Road Interchange (520 yards north of Gristhwaite Lane). Opened on 5 September 1972 per the Noise Insulation Regulations Notice. Contractor was Gleeson Civil Engineering Ltd., tender price £4.1 million. The section north of York Road Interchange is A19 but is shown on the map for completeness.
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South of Thirsk Bypass - Topcliffe Yorkshire 1971 1.6 miles (2.6 km) Online dualling between Topcliffe Road Interchange (520 yards north of Gristhwaite Lane) and Common House, north-east of Topcliffe. Opened in 5 February 1971 per the Noise Insulation Regulations Notice.
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Topcliffe and Asenby Bypass Yorkshire 1977 2.2 miles (3.5 km) The dual carriageway was opened on 29 September 1977 by J.W. Jamieson, Chairman of the County Council Highways and Transportation Committee. Contractor was Robert McGregor & Sons Ltd., tender price £2.6 million, outturn works cost £3.4 million. It was the final link in the dual carriageway between A1 and Teesside.
SABRE • Google • geo
Dishforth Bypass Yorkshire 1971 1.4 miles (2.3 km) The dual carriageway from 1013 yards north-east of Duckhill Lane to Blind Lane, West Heads (0.3 miles east of A1) was opened in July 1971 per the Noise Insulation Regulations Notice.
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Roads UK

Related Pictures
View gallery (31)
A168 Southbound - Lane Closure - Coppermine - 18203.jpgA1 North Deighton - Coppermine - 4875.jpgA1 before new motorway opened - Coppermine - 1271.jpgOld A1 between wetherby and walshford - Coppermine - 21110.jpgBy-passing the by-pass - Geograph - 2249192.jpg
Other nearby roads
A100 • A101 • A102 • A103 • A104 • A105 • A106 • A107 • A108 • A109 • A110 • A111 • A112 • A113 • A114 • A115 • A116 • A117 • A118 • A119
A120 • A121 • A122 • A123 • A124 • A125 • A126 • A127 • A128 • A129 • A130 • A131 • A132 • A133 • A134 • A135 • A136 • A137 • A138 • A139
A140 • A141 • A142 • A143 • A144 • A145 • A146 • A147 • A148 • A149 • A150 • A151 • A152 • A153 • A154 • A155 • A156 • A157 • A158 • A159
A160 • A161 • A162 • A163 • A164 • A165 • A166 • A167 • A168 • A169 • A170 • A171 • A172 • A173 • A174 • A175 • A176 • A177 • A178 • A179
A180 • A181 • A182 • A183 • A184 • A185 • A186 • A187 • A188 • A189 • A190 • A191 • A192 • A193 • A194 • A195 • A196 • A197 • A198 • A199
Defunct Itineraries & Motorways: A102(M) East Cross Route • A102(M) Southern Approach • A106(E) • A108(N) • A108(S) • A115 • A118
A132 • A122 • A135 • A138 • A139 • A147 • A154 • A160 • A167(M) • A168(M) • A176 • A180(W) • A180(E) • A194(M) • A194 • A195(M) • A195

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