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A30/Upottery - Exeter

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Location Map ( geo)
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From:  Upottery (ST217076)
To:  Exeter (SX966931)
Distance:  19.5 miles (31.4 km)
Meets:  A35, A375, A3015, B3174, B3177, B3180, B3184
Old route now:  A35, A375, B3174, B3177, A3015
Highway Authorities

Highways England



Route outline (key)
East Arrownortheast.jpg Yeovil - Upottery
A30 Upottery - Exeter
Arrowwest.jpg West Exeter - Okehampton

West | East

Upottery - Exeter

The A30 now regains it's primary status on what is possibly the most famous TOTSO in Britain. The A303 finally gives up here and the A30 takes all Exeter-bound traffic. This section of road isn't that much better than the non primary section we have just left, and the speed limit of 50mph reflects this, considering it's traffic load. We pass a couple of junctions and then the road opens out slightly until it reaches what Google says is Reeds Covert, where a solid double white line keeps traffic from overtaking.

Entering Monkton from the west

The road weaves through the woods for a good mile before exiting the woods and passing a rather large farm built right next to the road. The road curves to avoid this and then straightens out a bit before the speed limit drops to 40mph before the last village that the A30 passes through the middle of until Marazanvose, west of the Zelah bypass deep into Cornwall. Monkton is only a small village, but it is plagued by the A30 passing through it, and I'm sure it's residents wouldn't mind a bypass, even if it did cut into the Blackdown Hills.

Leaving the village means that the speed limit returns to 50mph as the road starts to meander towards Honiton. Before long the road straightens out again and the road become S3! Yes, as in the type of road that has a 'suicide' lane down the middle. This was probably built at the same time as the Honiton bypass was completed in 1966, and it has remained so ever since. It can't be that bad if it's still going strong these days.

The end of the S3 section means that the Honiton bypass is beginning and as a result we meet our first junction. The A35 takes the old road into the East of Honiton for the Westbound Exit Sliproad, whereas all of the others have new ones built specifically. We veer off to the right and under the A35 to go around the north of Honiton to then meet the A375 on the other side. This is another grade separated junction and it signals the end of the Honiton bypass and onto the next section.

This section of road was plagued with protests and such like by people who didn't think it was necessary and all of the usual things you hear before they are built. But, construction carried on and the road was completed by 2000. The road here is completely grade separated up to Exeter Airport and it bypasses the old road as well as the villages of Fenny Bridges and Rockbeare. It meets the B3177 near Fenny Bridges, with the East facing slips east of the village, and the west facing ones 2 miles away.

The B3174 then comes from Ottery St Mary up to meet the A30 at a Dumbbell interchange before taking the line of the old road over the top of Exeter Airport and onto the Clyst Honiton Bypass. The A30 sticks to the south of the Exeter Airport before meeting the B3174 again, as well as the B3184, which goes down to meet the A3052, at another Dumbbell interchange.

The A30 at Junction 29 of the M5

The next junction is with the M5 at junction 29, and it was once a free flowing junction before the Exeter to Honiton section was Dualled. This is a major traffic light controlled junction which allows access to the M5 north and south, the A30 to the east, the A3015 to the west, and to the new Science park. It is very difficult to explain this one, and it can only truely be described by a map, so we will just say that it works very well, and that the A30 finishes on a gyatory with the A3015 into Exeter and onto the original Exeter bypass. This last few hundred yards could be the A3015, as from the west, that is what it is signed as, but it is signed as the A30 from the other side, so it is kind of a useless multiplex for the A3015. The majority of Westbound traffic on the A30 heads up the slip road onto the M5, and this is where we will leave this section and we will pick the road back up from M5 junction 31.


As you can expect, the only major thing to happen between Upottery and Honiton is the change of priorities at the A30/A303 junction, so that the A30 has to TOTSO.

At Honiton, the A30 used to follow the A35 Monkton road, straight through the T-Junction with the rest of the A30/A35 junction up to the A375. It then followed the High Street before meeting the bypass again on the west side of Honiton. The old road can be followed west of the dual carriageway by going through quite a circuitous route through an industrial estate, and it meets the bypass again at Fenny Bridges. The old route went through the centre of Fenny Bridges and Gosford before crossing the Dual heading up to Rockbeare and Clyst Honiton.

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Redruth • Bodmin • Newquay • Penzance • Hounslow • Launceston • Okehampton • Honiton • Exeter • Yeovil • Salisbury • Basingstoke • Staines • London • Camberley • Hayle
Related Pictures
View gallery (506)
The Old Road up Zelah Hill - Geograph - 213927.jpgM5 J29 and A30 Blackhorse Junction - Coppermine - 23834.jpgNew & old A30 - Coppermine - 13227.jpgCaravan heaven - Coppermine - 12114.jpgHoniton A30 - Coppermine - 11690.jpg
Other nearby roads
T8 (Britain) • T37 (Britain) • A30/Sandbox • A375 • A373 • A303 • A35 • A30