|From:||Lopcombe Corner (SU248354)|
|Length:||26.7 miles (43 km)|
|Meets:||A30, A303, A342, A3093, A3057, A34, A339|
|Former Number(s):||A30, B3052|
|Route outline (key)|
The A343 is a cross-country A-road in southern England.
Lopcombe Corner - Newbury
The road starts just inside Wiltshire at Lopcombe Corner as part of a TOTSO with the A30. In fact, the first part of the road up to Andover was originally part of the A30, which explains why the A343 takes the main line of the road from Salisbury.
It passes through a series of Wallops - Over, Nether and Middle, before reaching the Airfield and Aviation Museum in the latter village. Apparently this is a good place to fly model aircraft, though I've never been there.
From there, the A343 heads reasonably straight over hills before meeting the A303 at a trumpet junction on the Andover bypass. There's a brief multiplex west to the next junction round where the A342 terminates. The A343 then acts as part of a northern ring road for Andover and runs all over the place to the north of the town before sorting itself out and heading north to Enham Alamein. The unusual name of this village stems from the fact that many of the injured from the Battle of El Alamein recovered here; prior to 1945 the village was called Knight's Enham.
The A343 runs through woodland before there's a sharp drop down towards Hurstbourne Tarrant. It passes through the village and climbs out the other side before heading through more thick woodland. Suddenly, it emerges from this and passes under the A34 Newbury Bypass, where there's a junction with really tight entry and exit lanes. From here it reaches the urban sprawl of Newbury itself, heading into the centre of town before terminating on the old A34, now an extension of the A339.