A30/Exeter - Okehampton
|Length:||26.4 miles (42.5 km)|
|Old route now:||A388|
|Route outline (key)|
Exeter - Okehampton
The M5 at Junction 31 splits into two. The through route ahead is for the A38 to Plymouth and, via a Trumpet Interchange, the A30 heads off towards Okehampton and into Cornwall. We'll meet the A38 again a bit later.
The road immediate heads under the M5 and continues its journey west through a very deep cutting into the Hillside, although not quite as deep as the one the M5 sits in immediately before J31. The Sliproad from the A38 now joins us and we continue as the cutting becomes shallower and the countryside is visible once more. The A379 passes overhead soon after and then he reach our first junction since the A30 left the M5. This is Alphington Junction with the A377, which takes traffic into Exeter, out of the other side and up to Crediton and beyond. The junction is a roundabout interchange and it has a link road to the former route at Pocombe Bridge.
We continue on to pass the villages of Ide and Pocombe Bridge before the old route finally comes up to meet us and it runs along side the Eastbound carriageway for a while before it heads back into the countryside for a little while. The road meanders it's way through rural west Devon until there is our first at grade junction for Pathfinder Village. A new link road was built to meet up with the old road just west of Pathfinder Village, and it allows access to Tedburn St Mary. The A30 along here is very good in comparison to some bits west of the border, and as such it is a very smooth and quick journey to make.
The next junction is not far from where we meet Dartmoor for the first time. It is a grade separated junction that allows local traffic over the A30 to Cheriton Bishop. Soon after the A30 begins to mark the northern border of Dartmoor. Not long after that, the old route crosses over head once more and both roads reach Whiddon Down Junction. This was formally know as Merrymeet Roundabout, which used to cause massive tail backs on each road, but it has now been grade separated. The A382 meets the junction on the Southwest side, and the old road on the Northern side. The A382 heads off towards Moretonhampstead (M'hampstead on the road signs), across the A38 and into Newton Abbot.
The following section of road is rather dull, except for the view over Dartmoor. The next 5 miles of road just border Dartmoor as we head towards Dartmoor and we finally meet the old road which had gone through South Zeal and Sticklepath and it runs contiguously into the B3260, east of Okehampton. This marks the start of the Okehampton Bypass. Okehampton was notorious for holding up Holidays, and so the bypass was finally constructed in 1988, one year after the South Zeal and Sticklepath Bypass was completed to the East.
This section of road briefly enters Dartmoor National Park, and this is evident by how steep some of the sections are. On one section, the road runs on carriageway that are on completely different levels, with an overbridge at an extremely steep angle running above. The old road passes through Okehampton on the B3260, which is the renumbering of the old route since it was downgraded. The B3260 meets us again at the other side of the bypass at another grade separated junction, but this time it only has west facing slip roads.
In Exeter, the A30 followed the A3015 to the B3183, and then followed that along Honiton Road, Fore Street, Heavitree Road, Western Way, Magdalen Street and back onto the A3015 Western Way to the River Exe and across the Exe Bridges. It then follows what is now the B3212 down Cowick Street and Dunsford Road before turning right before the bypass and heading up to run parallel to the bypass.
It then continued onto Pathfinder Village and Tedburn St Mary, crossing the bypass at Cheriton Bishop before heading of towards Cheriton Cross before crossing the bypass once again before doing so again at Whiddon Down. It now follows the A382 for half a mile or so, before heading on towards South Zeal and Sticklepath then, going into Okehampton and along what is now the B3260.