A34/Oxford - Solihull
|Route outline (key)|
The A34 no longer exists between Oxford and the M42 near Hockley Heath - from the Peartree roundabout to Chipping Norton is now the A44, from there on to Hockley Heath (via Stratford-upon-Avon) is the imaginatively-numbered A3400 (which is therefore in the wrong zone).
Incidentally, none of this road was numbered A34 in 1922 either. The northern end of the road was in Oxford and the road from there to Birmingham was numbered A42. The A34 was extended (and the A42 abolished) in 1935.
From the Peartree Interchange the old A34 became single carriageway again for most of the journey. From here we encounter Yarnton, a village that has sprung up alongside the road. The road becomes dual again for a short section here with a few roundabouts along the way for minor local roads. We pass Oxford Airport on the right. The dual section ends to the south of Woodstock at the A4095 roundabout. Take a left to Bladon and Winston Churchill's burial place.
Woodstock has always been after a bypass and still may get one even though traffic levels don't justify it. Woodstock is a pure tourist town with Blenheim Palace being here — a place well worth an hour or two of your time. The road is narrow and twisty through the town. We emerge out the other side on uneventful 2-lane road and on to Enstone, another quaint little village with its traffic calming. A few miles past Enstone the original beginning of the A44 arrives. The junction is now a TOTSO with the A44 leaving to the left and into Chipping Norton. The road now becomes the A3400. We venture past the A361 roundabout and on up to Shipston-on-Stour. Shipston is a proper Cotswold town with a small one-way system through it. Just past Shipston we cross the A429 Fosse Way. We now head up into Stratford upon Avon and over the bridge over the River Avon. Stratford is another traffic nightmare during the summer.
After Stratford we pass through Wooten Wawen with the road passing under the Stratford Canal on an aqueduct and into Henley in Arden. Past Henley and we join the M40 for the first time on the route of the "classic" A34 (although of course the current road met it back in Oxfordshire), the junction being quite high above the motorway. In a few more miles we encounter Hockley Heath and the junction of the M42, the original starting point of the motorway prior to completion and the point where the next section takes over.
Original Author(s): Jonathan Return to A34 page