|From:||Boston Spa (SE409457)|
|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|
|Route outline (key)|
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
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).