|Distance:||5.2 miles (8.4 km)|
|Meets:||M5, A30, A379, A377|
|Former Number(s):||B3183, B3181, B3182, B3212|
|Route outline (key)|
The A3015 is the main road into central Exeter from the east, and consists of renumbered parts of other roads, thus giving it a V-shape.
It starts as a westward continuation of the A30 after that road disappears at M5 J29 and runs on the old route of that road until it goes under the Exmouth Branch Line to reach a roundabout. With the B3181 crossing a bridge ahead the A3015 bears left to climb up to that road, meeting it at traffic lights. The A3015 TOTSOs left (the B3181 is only accessible by buses) and now heads south along the old A38 Exeter Bypass.
The road continues south along a dual carriageway via a roundabout and a few sets of traffic lights before reaching a GSJ on the A379; for historical reasons the A3015 has priority through the junction but it is then the junior partner in a multiplex through Countess Weir along an S4 road. The A3015 regains its number by turning right at the next roundabout onto the former A377 and now heads northwestwards along Topsham Road into Exeter proper. The road is built-up from the outset (although there are some surprising gaps).
After running past the back of Devon County Hall the road reaches and a roundabout/signalised crossroads hybrid on the B3182 on the southern edge of the city centre. The road turns left along Western Way to end at the Exe Bridges gyratory on the A377; the B3182 also reappears here and continues ahead onto Dartmoor. Entry and exit points of the A3015 from this gyratory are in different corners and the eastbound carriageway takes a slightly longer route, passing under New Bridge Street, whilst the westbound carriageway runs adjacent to the Old Exe Bridge.
The route of the A3015 is in the interesting position of having been downgraded from Class I to Class II status and then upgraded again.
On classification in 1922, the easternmost section of the current A3015 was part of the A30 whilst Topsham Road was part of the A377. The eastern bypass had not been built and the A38 still ran through the city centre but it was rerouted onto the bypass on opening in 1938. There were a few road upgrades in the following years, the most important being the rerouting of the A30 onto the Inner By-Pass (now Western Way) to avoid the city centre; this also took A377 traffic out of town.
This situation lasted for many years until the opening of the M5 in the mid-1970s brought about a general renumbering of the classified roads in Exeter. The A30 and A38 were rerouted via the motorway and the A377 turned into a western bypass, being the only road that even got close to the city centre. As such, the A30 was renumbered B3183, with Western Way becoming part of the B3212. The A38 was renumbered B3181 and the A377 became the B3182.
By the 1990s it was deemed appropriate for Class I roads to return to Exeter and so the A3015 was formed. As described above, it took on the B3183 immediately west of the M5, then the B3181 down as far as the A379 (which had also been renumbered several times but tangentially to this description). The entire length of the B3182 was then taken over into the city centre and then a the A3015 reached the A377 by means of a short section of B3212.