|From:||Norton Fitzwarren (ST203263)|
|To:||South Molton (SS715259)|
|Distance:||35.2 miles (56.6 km)|
|Met:||A358, A396, A373|
|Now part of:||B3227, A361|
|Route outline (key)|
The A398 was the original number of the road heading west from Taunton.
Starting on the A358 to the east of Norton Fitzwarren the A398 headed west through the village. After passing through Milverton the road started to climb into the foothills of Exmoor where the terrain necessitated a number of steep hills and tight curves.
After going through Bampton the road zigzagged to cross the A396 and the River Exe before continuing west. There were no more villages and presently the road crossed the River Mole (in a shallow valley) to enter South Molton. It ended here on the A373.
The A398 number disappeared in the renumberings of 1935 which saw the mighty A361 extended over its entire length (as well as the A373 to the west). This became the main trunk route to North Devon, the A39 across Exmoor being deemed inadequate for the purpose.
Subsequently the A361 was realigned along its current "Atlantic Highway" route from junction 27 of the M5, leaving the Taunton to South Molton road as the B3227 (although a short section east of South Molton remains the A361). It appears that no one has seen fit to re-use the A398 number - unlike the A397, which became half a mile of road in Portsmouth.