|Via:||Newbury, Oxford, Solihull, Birmingham, Walsall, Stafford, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Manchester|
|Distance:||200 miles (321.9 km)|
|Meets:||M3, M4, M6, M6 Toll, M40, M42, M56, M60, A5, A6, A57(M), A303, A500|
|Former Number(s):||A42, A43, A421, A449, A455 A526, B5221|
|Old route now:||A44, A429, A3400, B3335|
|Route outline (key)|
The A34 is a major route from the ports on the South Coast of England to the Midlands and the North West, with the standard varying from rural dual carriageway sections in the south to urban single carriageway in the north, and everything else in between.
Originally the A34 was an important and much-extended road across the country, being slowly improved throughout time. After part of it was downgraded in 1991, the A34 was divided into two distinct halves, as explained below:
Section 1: Winchester - Oxford
The A34 is known most for being a high-speed dual carriageway linking the M3 at Winchester to the M4 near Newbury and the M40 near Oxford. This is the oldest section of the road: in the pre-motorway era the role of the M3 would have been represented by the A33, M4 the A4 and M40 the A41.
Section 2: Solihull – Salford
The second, longer, section of the road is mostly single carriageway and only of regional importance, winding through all the towns en route. It was the product of an extension from Oxford to Salford, and then left disconnected after the opening of the M40 saw part of the extension downgraded.
Former Section: Oxford – Solihull