A30/Yeovil - Upottery
|Length:||22.8 miles (36.7 km)|
|Meets:||A37, A356, A358, A3066, A3088, B3162, B3165, B3167|
Somerset Council • Devon Council
Somerset • Devon
|Route outline (key)|
Yeovil - Upottery
We restart at Bunford Hollow Roundabout. The A3088 takes the primary status from us here. As such, this means we have met the final stretch of non-primary A30 before Penzance!
It isn't long before we lose the 30mph and replace it with 40mph as we leave Yeovil into the open countryside. The hedges stay close to the road and there are lots of repeaters showing the 40mph limit, all of which are on yellow backgrounds. A couple of miles pass and we regain the 30mph limit as we enter West Coker, and houses suddenly appear set back and raised up higher than the road on the right. We then head under trees and into a cutting for the road and a pavement. There are occasional walls which seem like old buildings and the roots of trees are seen protruding from the sides of the cutting.
It's not long before we exit the cutting and into the main part of West Coker. To greet us is our first 20mph limit! The village itself is a very nice little village, made mostly of old buildings. There is a small local petrol station without the usual roof over the top, something which seems to be rare these days. Soon after, we meet a set of traffic lights as the road narrows to one lane wide and after negotiating that there is another sign to give us priority over oncoming traffic through another single lane section. We then go through the outskirts of the village to meet 30mph signs and another cutting.
The road remains quite narrow as we exit the tree into the country side once again, with the usual 40mph limit, although it isn't long before we are in another cutting with a house on onside and a shear cliff face on the other. HGV drivers should beware here! A road goes off to the right and up the cutting and we head down into a walled section of the cutting, making this a grade separated junction with a single lane road! It isn't long until we are back in the countryside once more and the view over the low hedge is wonderful!
Next is the village of East Chinnock and a tight right bend and another 30mph speed limit greets us once again. We head down hill throughout the village and it isn't long before we are back out the other side. A long sweeping right takes us to a great sign. NSL returns to the A30 for the first time since entering Yeovil. The road really opens out here, and the corners seem to flow much easier than the last section. We pass a local car garage on the right and for a while it is a great road. It even gives you warnings as to where to slow down to for junctions. But this is all short lived and we are brought back down to earth as the road narrow, and sharp corners return once more.
It's a little while before we meet another classified road, but eventually we do. We meet the A3066 at a T-Junction, and not a particually nice one at that. The A3066 heads south towards Bridport as we continue west into Crewkerne on a slightly more open road than the one we got used to.
We return under the tree and into another cutting as we enter the outskirts of Crewkerne. This cutting is wider than the others have been though so it isn't as daunting. 40mph limits greet us once more but it isn't long before these are replaced with 30's, and we remain mostly under trees until the centre of the town. The trees eventually end and most of the town can been seen just as the limit reduces once again to 20mph and centre markings are lost for a brief period. The lines return and after passing a zebra crossing we return to 30mph as we near the roundabout for the A356 to the north.
We have now entered the town centre and its one way system. Eastbound A30 traffic rejoins us on the right, and we remain on a two lane road with A356 traffic until it turns off a little further south. We then meet the B3165 to head towards Lyme Regis and we turn a sharp right corner to continue along West Street. Before you know it, the Eastbound traffic is turning off to head through the towns high street to rejoin the A30 and A356 a little further back, oblivious to the chaos that Westbound traffic had to go through.
We leave Crewkerne on West Street and head up hill, meeting NSL signs as West Street becomes Chard Road. The road remains narrow, but no worse than sections of the A31 and A35 to the south. We meet the village of Roundham, where 40mph returns. Through the centre of the village it is barely wide enough for it's centre markings and as a result there are warnings for oncoming traffic in the middle of the road. We exit Roundham after a mile and NSL returns yet again.
After Roundham, the road meanders across the countryside, passing the few farms that border the road, as well as a golf club. On the most part, this section is rather straight and well aligned, putting some trunk roads to shame! We gain a 50mph limit near Windwhistle, and a little while later we meet the B3167 at a fork as it makes it's way to Tytherleigh. We regain NSL after this and head off toward Chard along a really good stretch of road. Why this has been improved and other sections haven't is beyond me.
We return to 40mph at a crossroads and we return to the old alignment as we approach Chard. After entering more trees, we gain another 30mph limit as we enter Chard. We pass Chard Hospital on the right and we appear to pass industrial units on the left, although this is actually the local supermarket. Traffic for the A358 north is signed off the A30 at a roundabout before we meet the actual A358 at traffic lights. North obviously goes to the A303 at Ilminster and the M5 at Taunton, and South meets the A35 near Axminster to meet the old A35 near Seaton. We continue west through Fore Street and High Street and we get a 40mph on the outskirts of Chard.
A mile later we meet a 50mph limit and head through more trees and past a few houses before gaining NSL in the middle of a long straight section. There isn't really much to say about this road other than it is rather straight and dull. After a few miles the hedges rise up once more as we head through a shallow cutting. We exit the cutting, pass a holiday park and go around a few corners before another cutting and then, all of a sudden, we pass the border signs. We have entered Devon.
We pass Crawley almost immediately, which is a hamlet made up of a few farms. We pass an old garage, which looks like an old Jaguar dealer, where the cars have been left to rot for years. It's all a bit sad. There is also an old petrol station that has been abandoned, and it is all quite strange! After this there is a narrow bridge for the River Yarty and the road narrows over it.
30mph signs signal the start of Yarcombe, and as the road climbs it becomes more and more twisty. The worst of it is a long, tight left hander near the centre of Yarcombe. A wooden fence and a pavement lines the westbound side of the road, giving fantastic views over rural Devon. The road continues to climb and it keeps it's 30mph for good reason. The road is still twisting and turning up the hill, but before long it returns to NSL, although it would take a lot of power to get up this hill any faster than 30! It's hard to believe for how long it continues to climb up here and just as you think it is going to end, it keeps going up!
Eventually, after one final right turn, the road begins to level out 2 miles after we crossed the River Yarty, and we start our final descent towards the A303. We pass another garage here, which was probably quite convenient in the 60's after driving up that hill in your Austin 1100 or Morris Minor! After one final left turn, we head straight to the end of this section. The road dips in the middle and climbs the final half mile to say hello once more to the A303. We get the signs for which way the road ahead goes, and so, after a slight dip to the A30/A303, we turn left, and become primary and back under Highways England control!