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From Roader's Digest: The SABRE Wiki
< A30
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Location Map ( geo)
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From:  Hounslow (TQ115763)
To:  Penzance (SW474306)
Distance:  270 miles (434.5 km)
Highway Authorities

National Highways • Transport for London • Bracknell Forest  • Cornwall  • Devon  • Dorset  • Hampshire  • Somerset  • Surrey  • Wiltshire  • Windsor and Maidenhead

Traditional Counties

Berkshire • Cornwall • Devon • Dorset • Hampshire • Middlesex • Somerset • Surrey • Wiltshire

Route outline (key)
A30 London
A30 Egham-Basingstoke
A30 Basingstoke
A30 Basingstoke-Lopcombe Corner
A30 Lopcombe Corner-Yarcombe
A30 Devon
A30 Cornwall

Much of the A30 has been in use for hundreds of years, as the main coaching route from London to Exeter. This route commences at the junction with the A4 at Chiswick, scene of the famous flyover and proceeds in a generally straight line in a WSW direction through the counties of Middlesex, Berkshire, Surrey, Hampshire, Wiltshire, Dorset, Somerset, Devon and finally Cornwall. The A30 provides links to many large towns of importance along the way, especially through the more rural areas of the West Country. If a little encumbrance can be tolerated through the towns along the way a trip along this road is a rewarding experience with a few stretches of mostly unaltered dual-carriageway still in existence offering a flavour of how other Trunk Route in other parts of the country may have looked.

It has remained fairly steadfast with a few minor alterations and re-alignments over the years, such as at Phoenix Green just past Hartley Wintney in Hampshire. Here, coaches swung southwards and down into the small, pretty town of Odiham: this road is now basically the B3046, barring a diversion from Potbridge (caused by the building of the M3) and although known as London Road in the centre of the town was dissected by the A287 Odiham by-pass. The route out of Odiham passed the Lord Derby pub before splitting back NW, re-joining the current route at the Dorchester Arms pub west of Hook: much of this was re-built with the coming of the M3. Another variation followed what is essentially the B3400 today running from Basingstoke through Overton and Whitchurch and on to Andover before swinging south-west along what is now the A343 to Salisbury.


Location Map ( geo)
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Route outline (key)
A30 Hounslow - Staines
A308 Staines - Egham
A30 Great South West Road at the time of classification in 1923, under construction

The original proposed start point of the A30 was at the west end of Hounslow High Street, where Bath Road diverged from Staines Road. This was changed to run on the Great South West Road, which was then being built, by the time the final route was announced. The old road became the A315, a late entry to the list of A roads.

This section, in modern times, is still the A30, being a somewhat urban section with a 40 mph speed limit. This is the case to the Crooked Billet, where the Staines bypass begins. The historic route now follows the A308 into the centre of Staines and through to Egham at the Runnymede Interchange.


Location Map ( geo)
A30 RCS near Bagshot.jpg
An RCS sign, most of this stretch of road is like this
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Route outline (key)
B388 Egham
B3407 Egham
A30 Egham - Basingstoke

The historic route of the A30 goes through the centre of Egham, which has a dual carriageway bypass constructed in 1935. The old route is now the B388 and B3407, rejoining the modern A30 at Egham Hill.

This next section of A30 generally has been largely superseded by the M3 through Surrey and Hampshire to junction 8.The route is virtually untouched since classification. However, the geometry holds up to this day, mostly being a single carriageway of good quality. Urban growth, however, means there are a lot of villages and towns with corresponding speed limits along the route. There are also a number of short sections of dual carriageway, which have all been built online.

An old milestone just down from the sign on the right


Location Map ( geo)
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Route outline (key)
u/c Basingstoke

The original Basingstoke by-pass on the south of the town is worthy of mention, being of single-carriageway construction and laid down in the 1930s. 'Grove Road' and 'The Harrow Way' ran from the Black Dam Ponds west of Old Basing and Hatch to rejoin the original A30 alignment what is now the (locally) infamous Brighton Hill Roundabout. The 'renewal' of the town in the 1960s saw construction of a new ring road commence which was also anchored at the Black Dam roundabout from where it was to be connected to the M3 at junction 6 plus the A339 to Newbury. From this point the "Ringway South" straddles a route somewhere between the by-pass and the original London Road through the "Top Of Town" to the north. However, this 'new' A30 was never completely dualled between the Hackwood Road and Winchester Road junctions nor did those roundabouts have their overpasses completed, especially after the M3 arrived in the area.

Much of the original bypass route is still in place and can be travelled upon, providing some relief from the Ring Road itself; its elongated roundabouts, plus some trees and the odd period building retain a brief sense of the period in which it was constructed than perhaps the new town planners would have liked or even planned for. Going West, the A30 links directly to the M3 at Junction 7, although a recent change to the traffic-light controlled junction allows a better option for local traffic to continue on the original route (A30/A33) rather than the motorway.

Winchester St, the now pedestrianised pre-bypass A30
Pedestrianised London St becomes London Road

Basingstoke-Lopcombe Corner

Orignial Route

A30 1922 Numbering
Location Map ( geo)
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Route outline (key)
B3400 Basingstoke-Andover
u/c Andover
A343 Andover-Lopcombe Corner

The original route as of the 1922 classification routed the A30 between Basingstoke and Salisbury via Andover, along what is now the B3400 and an extended A343. This route was altered in 1933.

The original course of the A30, west of Basingstoke, running on what's now the B3400

Revised 1933 Route

A30 1933 Numbering
Location Map ( geo)
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Route outline (key)
A30 Basingstoke-Pophham
(A303) Popham-Michaeldever
C330 Michaeldever-Sutton Scotney
A30 Sutton Scotney-Lopcombe Corner

On 1 May 1933, not long after the Basingstoke Bypass opened, the A30 was rerouted over the former B3379 and A341 to run via Stockbridge instead of Andover.

West of M3 junction 8, the A30 disappears officially, multiplexing with the A303, to the Bullington Cross interchange with the A34. The modern A30 now reappears here, briefly following the line of the old A34 south from the junction to Sutton Scotney. The old road itself multiplexes with the A303 briefly, but reappears rather sooner at Overton Road Interchange, now carrying the C330 number. The two meet at a roundabout in Sutton Scotney, and the A30 resumes its march southwest on its historic route.

The C330 with an RCS sign befitting of the A30
The famous useless multiplex of A30 and A303 starts as the M3 spur ends, on the historic route.
Unfortunately I couldn't find a photo of this part of the Popham Interchange on the wiki, and I have only this 3am photo (the quietness of the road meant I dared to venture this way). If you have a photo that better shows the layout please do change it!

Lopcombe Corner-Yarcombe

Lopcombe Corner-Yarcombe
Location Map ( geo)
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Route outline (key)
A30 Lopcombe Corner-Salisbury
A30 Salisbury
A36 Salisbury
u/c Salisbury
A36 Salisbury-Wilton
A30 Wilton-Shaftesbury
B3091 Shaftesbury
B3081 Shaftesbury
D31153 Shaftesbury
A30 Shaftesbury-Yeovil
u/c Yeovil
A37 Yeovil
A30 Yeovil
A30 Yeovil-Yarcombe, Devon

From hereon, the route of the A30 is virtually untouched, with only a handle of bypasses at Salisbury, Shaftesbury and Yeovil, with an online dualling between Yeovil and Sherborne. It remains in second place to the incredibly popular (and 'unfinished') A303 holiday route until reasserting itself just short of Honiton. The A303 becoming the trunk road meant that dualling was seen on that route instead.

The A30 first continues on its old line to meet the A338 at Salisbury.



The A30 becomes primary here, but this is still the old road, now lined with houses. Shortly, we meet the A36. The modern line multiplexes with this around the Salisbury inner ring road towards Wilton, but the old line continues heading south buried under this elevated dual carriageway. The line then turns sharply right onto Winchester Street, which has a pedestrian underpass under the modern dual carriageway. We then reach the C329, which carries the line to the St Pauls Roundabout. Then, we're back on the A36. This is a multiplex with the modern A30, but the A36 is a trunk route and takes precedence to Wilton.

The A30 reasserts itself at Wilton, and this stretch of road is quiet and virtually unchanged to Shafesbury, with the most notable landmark being the Fovant Badges.

The Fovant badges in the distance were created in 1916



Once in Shaftesbury, there is another deviaton. The multiplex with the A350 has been realigned between the Royal Chase Roundabout and the Ivy Cross Roundabout. This is still fairly built up, but has no frontages, and a 40 mph speed limit. In comparison the old route through Shaftesbury High Street was very narrow for such a busy route.

Approaching the Ivy Cross Flyover

Heading west from Shaftesbury, there is a modern flyover down the hill from Ivy Cross - the old route followed a more precipitous drop down the B3081 with a sharp hairpin bend, before rejoining the current line by way of an unclassified D road. The route then again is barely unaltered, even as far as the dual carriageway between Sherborne and Yeovil. The dualling of this was performed online, with only a very minor realignment at Babylon Hill, entering Yeovil.



After following the online dualling of the A30, there's now a section of urban single carriageway where the route is unchanged. This is often slow. Dual carriageway soon reappears, but the modern line of the A30 now deviates from the historic route, which carries straight on off a bend of the modern road. There now follows a one way system, which makes following the historic route in either direction by vehicle impossible. Not that it matters, though, as it very shortly becomes the pedestrianised Middle Street, which is lined with shops. This gradually climbs the hill and carries straight on into the High Street. There is now a crossroads - this used to be the junction of the A30 with the A37, which now occurs at the busy Hospital Roundabout. The route turns left here, onto Hendford. Much as the modern roads multiplexed, so did the old roads. The line disappears under the modern Horsey Roundabout, but reemerges the other side to climb Hendford Hill - this is once again the modern A30. At the top of the hill the A37 turns off at Quicksilver Roundabout, and we continue to follow the historic route towards Crewkerne and Chard.

The old A30/A37 junction


This section west of Yeovil is again very much unchanged since classification. There is a one-way system in Crewkerne, but it incorporates the old line of the A30. We then proceed along the High Street of Chard, not even that is bypassed. We then enter the Blackdown Hills, giving some serious terrain to deal with (although Yeovil-Chard isn't exactly flat, there are in fact a couple of cuttings). But leaving Chard, we immediately enter a cutting. We reach Yarcombe and enter Devon.


Location Map ( geo)
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Route outline (key)
A30 Yarcombe-Upottery
A30 Upottery-Honiton
A35 Honiton
A375 Honiton
C??? Honiton-Fenny Bridges
B3177 Fenny Bridges
C??? Fenny Bridges-Daisymount
B3174 Daisymount-Clyst Honiton
C832 Clyst Honiton
A30 Sowton Interchange
A3015 Sowton
B3183 Heavitree
u/c Exeter City Centre
B3212 Exeter-Pocombe Bridge
C50 Pocombe-Whiddon Down
A382 Whiddon Down
C774 Whiddon Down-Okehampton
B3260 Okehampton-Sourton Down
A30 Sourton Down
C822 Sourton Down-Launceston
A388 Launceston-Cornwall
Main Article: A30/History - A303 to Exeter

The section between Honiton and Exeter was dualled in the 1990s before any further improvement ideas were binned by the incoming Labour Government. More recent plans for the A303 included improving the link from Illminster to the M5 at Taunton; this would have reduced the need for any further works to the A30 route especially over the picturesque Blackdown Hills. However, even this was consigned to oblivion in 2009.

The original line of the A30 west of Exeter

The original route of the A30 through Exeter continued along Honiton Road, Fore Street and Heavitree Road, where it originally met the A38 at the eastern end of the High Street. It multiplexed with the A38 through the city centre, crossing over the old Exe bridge, and diverging again the other side by St Thomas station. Though the historic postal route followed the appropriately named Okehampton Street and Okehampton Road, the A30 itself has never followed this course, but ran on Cowick Street and took a more southerly course to Tedburn St Mary, roughly shadowing the currently bypassed route. When the Exeter Bypass opened in the late 1930s, taking the A38 away from the city centre, the A30 became the dominant road, the old A38 becoming the A3085.

Main Article: A30/History - M5 to Okehampton

The M5 takes the strain past Exeter before diverging equally into the Devon Expressway (A38) to Plymouth and the A30 itself through the heart of Devon and Cornwall, all the way to Land's End. Much of the A30 past Exeter bears little relation to its original route but is one of the traffic backbones into the counties of Devon and Cornwall. Much-needed dualling commenced with major town bottlenecks of Launceston, Okehampton and Bodmin seeing the first fruits of improvements by being by-passed; on the other hand traffic sensing freedom was suddenly brought back to earth with a bump by joining the queue to be dumped back onto the original (and lengthy) two-lane alignments with its slow crawl, especially during the Holiday Season. These small by-passes were gradually interconnected through the 1980s and 1990s, the hillier areas especially around Dartmoor requiring completely new alignments to be planned and built.


Location Map ( geo)
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Route outline (key)
A388 Devon-Launceston
C725 Launceston
A388 Launceston-Pennygillam
A30 Pennygillam-Trebursye
C748 Trebursye-Kennards House
A395 Kennards House
A30 Kennards House - Polyphant
U6182 Polyphant
C542 Polyphant
B3257 Polyphant
A30 Polyphant-Five Lanes
C753 Five Lanes
A30 Five Lanes-Cannaframe
C752 Cannaframe
A30 Cannaframe-Bolventor
C751 Bolventor
A30 Bolventor-Bodmin
A30 Bodmin-Penhale
A30 Penhale-Summercourt
C756 Summercourt
A30 Summercourt-Mitchell
C363 Mitchell
A30 Mitchell-Zelah
C364 Zelah
A30 Zelah-Chiverton Cross
A30 Chiverton Cross-Hayle
A30 Hayle-Longrock
C745 Longrock
A30 Longrock-Penzance
B3311 Penzance
C730 Penzance
Main Article: A30/History - Connecting Cornwall

A few sections through Cornwall remain stubbornly single-carriageway despite the need for upgrading although occasional improvements continue; most recently an anomalous roundabout near Cheriton in Devon was replaced by a new two-level junction, and a new section connecting the remodelled end of the Bodmin by-pass to the relatively recent section past Indian Queens has vastly improved matters, removing the section through Goss Moor with its infamous railway bridge. However, with a sense of deja-vu, dualling of a preceding section on Bodmin Moor past Temple and leading into the commencement of the Bodmin by-pass itself remains 'on-hold' for the time being.

Detailed route sections

Bodmin-Penhale Chiverton Cross-Hayle
C108 Bodmin
A38 Bodmin
A389 Bodmin
u/c Bodmin
A389 Bodmin-Innis Downs
C771 Innis Downs-Victoria Interchange
B3274 Victoria Interchange-Roche
C120 Roche-Goss Moor
path Goss Moor Trail
C763 Indian Queens-Penhale
B3275 Penhale
C754 Penhale
C700 Chiverton Cross - Scorrier
A3047 Scorrier-Redruth Highway
A393 Redruth Highway-Redruth
C720 Redruth
A3047 Redruth
C776 Redruth-Camborne
A3047 Camborne
C750 Camborne-Hayle
B3301 Hayle

Alphington Junction • Avers Junction • Bellmans Cross • Black Dam Roundabout • Blackhorse Interchange • Bolventor Junction • Boxheater Junction • Branwell Lane • Brighton Hill Roundabout • The Bull Dog • Bullington Cross • Bunfield Hollow Roundabout • Callywith Junction • Cannaframe Junction • Cardinham Downs Junction • Carland Cross • Carminow Cross • Cheneys Farm Interchange • Chiverton Cross • Chy-An-Mor • Chyandour Roundabout • Chybucca Junction • Clockhouse Roundabout • Country House Interchange • Crooked Billet • Daisymount Junction • Devonshire House • Dummer Interchange • Egham Hill Roundabout • Fingle Glen Junction • Fivelanes Junction • Fraddon Junction • Hackwood Road Roundabout • Hatch Warren Roundabout • Hatton Cross • Heamoor Roundabout • Henlys Roundabout • Highgate Hill Roundabout • Horsey Roundabout • Hospital Roundabout (Yeovil) • Innis Downs Junction • Iron Bridge Junction • Ivy Cross Roundabout • Kempshott Roundabout • Kennards House Junction • Langford Junction • Liftondown Junction • Loggans Moor • Lopcombe Corner • Meldon Junction • Mitchell Junction • Mount Misery • Newtown Roundabout • Pattesons Cross Junction • Pearce's Hill • Pennygillam Junction • Plusha Junction • Popham Interchange • Pound Corner • Preeze Cross Junction • Quicksilver Roundabout • Royal Chase Roundabout • Runnymede Interchange • Scorrier Junction • Sourton Cross • Southay Cross • Sowton Interchange • St Erth Roundabout • St Marks Roundabout • Stowford Cross Junction • Summercourt Junction • Tavistock Road Junction • Temple Tor Junction • Terminal 4 Roundabout • Tolvaddon Junction • Tongue End Junction • Trebursye Junction • Treswithian Junction • Turks Head Junction • Two Bridges Junction • Victoria Interchange • Whiddon Down Junction • Wilton Roundabout (Wiltshire) • Winchester Road Roundabout • Woodleigh Junction
Basingstoke • Bodmin • Camberley • Exeter • Hayle • Honiton • Hounslow • Launceston • London • Newquay • Okehampton • Penzance • Redruth • Salisbury • Staines • Yeovil
Related Pictures
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