|Length:||58 miles (93.3 km)|
|Meets:||A630, A638, A6182, A630, A1146, A614, M180, A161, B1392, B1450, B1216, M181, A1077, A159, B1501, A1029, B1398, A15, B1207, B1208, B1206, A1084, B1206, A15, A180, B1211, B1210, A1173, A46, B1203, A16|
|Route outline (key)|
The A18 used to be a major road in north Lincolnshire. Much of it has now been bypassed by the M180 but it still retains primary status at both ends.
Doncaster - Hatfield
The A18 begins at the Balby Interchange, where it leaves and then flies over the A630 just outside Doncaster City Centre. It begins as a primary 40 mph D2 and heads in a generally easterly direction before arriving at the first of a number of roundabouts. At this point we meet the A6182, which leads to the M18 and the A638 which heads towards Wakefield. We are the dominant number in a multiplex with the A638 for about ½ mile until we arrive at a large roundabout at Doncaster Racecourse, The Home of the St. Leger. The Great North Road crosses our path at this point, numbered the A638 towards Bawtry and is unnumbered as it heads into the centre of Doncaster itself. At this point if you were to turn left into Doncaster itself, and then turn right onto Thorne Road, you would find the original course of the A18. This road is actually considerably wider then the new A18 as it heads out of Doncaster past the hospital.
Anyway at the roundabout just outside the racecourse, we head straight on where we regain our exclusive A18 number and the name, Leger Way as we pass alongside the straight mile of the racecourse. As we leave this area the road begins to climb gently, now on a 50 mph S2.
We pass through a couple of roundabouts, before arriving at one of those retail / leisure developments which every town seems to have these days. We meet the A630 again as it crosses our path on its way to the M18. However we will continue following the A18, now heading NE. We lose our primary designation at this point, which we will not regain until a short stretch outside Scunthorpe. We carry on on a 40 mph S2 passing thorough the villages of Dunsville and Dunscroft before arriving at Hatfield, where we see a 30 mph restriction, our first. We don't keep it long as shortly after we become an NSL road.
Hatfield - Scunthorpe
The road bends to the right and flies over the M18 at this point on a bridge named Jubilee Bridge; shortly after we pick up the A614 from Bawtry that we will hold onto for a short distance. We curve to the left and then fly over the M180 that we send a westbound slip road to. We then arrive at a very large over-engineered roundabout. For about six years, during the 1970s this was where the A18(M) ended. However with the construction of the M180, one half of the A18(M) was turned into a slip road, and the rest abandoned as the M180 was built on top of it.
At this roundabout, we say goodbye to the A614, which we send to the north towards Thorne and we turn right towards Scunthorpe. This road was largely superseded by the M180 during the late 1970s. For us however it makes a good occasional alternative, as it's normally empty of all traffic, but be wary of tractors that you can rapidly encounter. The first part after the roundabout is a little winding, but shortly after, becomes arrow straight for about 5 miles, with a gentle curve halfway in.
We arrive at a strange junction with the A161 just south of Crowle with Goole to the north and Gainsborough to the south. We continue straight on, on another 2 mile of straightness, before the road curves to the left, and becomes a 30 mph road as we approach Althorpe.
We then nearly turn back on ourselves to cross the River Trent on the King George V Road Rail Bridge (often incorrectly called Keadby Bridge), the last crossing of the Trent before it meets the Humber 10 miles to the North. This bridge is basically in two halves, one that carries the A18, and the other that carries the railway.
After the bridge crossing, we arrive at the village / port of Gunness and then we turn towards the right, heading once again in a very straight fashion. This part of the road contains some very old out of date road signs that look rather the worse for wear these days. We are now on a 40 mph road towards the Frodingham Grange roundabout where the M181 ends.
Scunthorpe - Riby
We cross the roundabout and regain primary status, passing Tesco and B&Q on our left, with McDonalds, KFC and Scunthorpe United on our right, now on a 40 mph D2. We pass through a couple of roundabouts, before bearing towards the right, heading up hill now on a 40 mph S2 as we pass to the South of Scunthorpe town centre.
We continue on this road for a couple of miles and arrive at a roundabout where we meet the A159 that we send off to the south, along with our briefly held primary status. We plough ahead, now on an urban 40 mph D2 and then we arrive at another roundabout. At this point a large supermarket is located on the right. We continue straight ahead, losing our 40 mph restriction and gaining a good stretch of open D2 as we pass the steelworks on our left. The road narrows to a S2 shortly before we encounter a roundabout adjacent to Junction 4 of the M180. Turning right at this point would take you over the M180 and onto the A15 south towards Lincoln.
Book_Of_Sorrows takes up the account:
Where the A18 meets the A15, this is also where the road intersects Ermine Street and is also adjacent to a very exclusive golf club!
Travelling east from that roundabout, we head towards the market town of Brigg. Once again passing over the M180, we approach a mini-roundabout on the outskirts of Brigg, meeting up with what was the A15 – prior to the Redbourn–Hibaldstow Bypass – (now the B1206) and a 40 mph speed limit.
Driving in to town, we head over the new River Ancholme and past DFS, into a 30 mph limit, before breaking left on to the town centre relief road, built in the early nineties.
The original route of the A18 is now partly pedestrianised, and thus the relief road meets up with the original A18 at the roundabout with the A1084 to Caistor.
Leaving Brigg and heading north through a new 30 mph speed limit and a brief section of NSL, we find ourselves in Wrawby. Passing through here, we head back out into open countryside, on a dead straight road, curving slightly before approaching Barnetby Top.
The road arrives at a T-Junction, just to the south of the M180's junction 5, where the A15 heads off to the Humber Bridge. We need to turn right at this point, passing a large transport café on the right.
We are on a NSL S2 for a mile or so before arriving at the village of Melton Ross where we need to slow down for a bit. After we leave the village we regain our NSL signage and pass Humberside Airport on the right too. The road continues through open Lincolnshire countryside with the occasional 90° turn that can catch the inattentive driver unawares. After about 4 miles we encounter a crossroads with the A1173 and at this point we regain primary status that we will hold onto until the end.
Riby - Ludborough
The junction with the A1173 is a notorious accident black spot and is known locally as Riby Crossroads. Beyond here, the D2 was built in anticipation of the coming of the M180 link, which never arrived at this location, but about three miles north, in the guise of the A180.
Shortly after, we gain a two mile stretch of D2 just outside Laceby, and then we arrive at a roundabout, where until a few years ago, a Little Chef restaurant stood. We cross the roundabout and return to an NSL S2. This first part of the route is a little twisty, but the road surface from this point on is excellent. You will notice that this road is not the busiest you could drive on.
The road beyond the A46 Laceby bypass was rebuilt extensively by Humberside County Council, except for a small section between Brigsley and the B1203. Before this section of road collapsed entirely (parts of it were slipping down the side of a hill) it was re-built in 2002, notably with a recycled glass macadam base course.
The road is of excellent quality right up until the county boundary with Lincolnshire, where it becomes narrow, but again largely rebuilt in 2000. The Astucia road studs have only recently been replaced with more reliable cats-eyes.
After a couple of miles we arrive at a small roundabout, which has in recent years been converted from a set of crossroads, where the B1203 crosses our path. After these crossroads, the road widens and opens out with some excellent smooth corners for the next couple of miles. Then the road narrows again and becomes twistier again before arriving at a 90° bend and then half a mile of arrow straight road before we arrive at a T-Junction with the former A16, just outside Ludborough. This section of the A16 was bypassed in the early 1990s. We turn right at this junction, and then enjoy another 90° turn before we arrive at our final T-Junction where the A18 comes to an end as we meet the A16 Ludborough bypass.
Original Author(s): Chris W and Book_Of_Sorrows
The original eastern end of the A18 was on the A46 at Laceby. Then in 1935 priorities were changed and the A18 took over the final section of A46 into Nunsthorpe, on the edge of Grimsby, where it ended on the A16. In the 1970s this change was reversed and the A18 extended south of Laceby along what was the B1431 to meet the A16 in Ludborough instead. The A18 was extended a short distance with the construction of the Ludborough bypass.