A40/Denham - Wheatley
|Meets:||M40, A412, A4020, A413, B416, A355, B474, B4440, A4094, A404, A4128, A4010, B482, B4009, B4012, A329, A418|
|Former Number(s):||A40(M), A418|
|Route outline (key)|
After successfully navigating the Denham Roundabout, westbound travellers on the A40 find themselves briefly on a dual carriageway courtesy of the A413, as this is the main route to Amersham. The first half-mile or so is actually a multiplex with the A412 (a popular route for avoiding trouble on the parallel M25), which soon turns off towards Rickmansworth, and the A413 parts company soon after that.
The road becomes single carriageway again shortly after this and crosses the M25 (there's no junction). We go through the small town of Gerrards Cross and journey on towards Beaconsfield. We encounter the A355 link road to the M40 junction 2 here. We venture on into the picturesque town centre and its famous model village. On the other side of Beaconsfield there is a section which gently bends to the right where the M40 passes very close to the road. This is the point of a temporary terminus of the M40 before it was completed to junction 2 and on to its end – the M40 ended at a roundabout here. Past here the road makes its way downhill towards High Wycombe. The next junction is with the M40 again (J3) and the A4094. There are good views of the Loudwater Viaduct on the M40 here.
The road carries on through the eastern suburbs of High Wycombe until we reach the next "magic roundabout" junction with the A404, which joins us from the Handy Cross junction of the M40 via a very steep hill! This next section of short dual carriageway is a bypass for the centre of High Wycombe. We then make our way up through the western suburbs, the road being fairly wide here. At the next roundabout, the A4010 junction, the road swings off to the left into the pretty village of West Wycombe.
From here the road carries on up the hill into the village of Turnham Green and then on into Stokenchurch itself with its large coaching inn and green. We encounter the M40 yet again at junction 5 at the top of the Aston Hill cutting. This section of road is three lanes here as it makes its way down the steep hill. One motorway plan would have had this become the southbound carriageway.
We then encounter the prehistoric Icknield Way (B4009) at Aston Rowant. We carry on up through the villages of Postcombe and Tetsworth, the M40 always in view on our left hand side. We enter the small village of Milton Common and the Three Pigeons junction (named after the pub here) with the A329 and its junction with the M40 (J7). The A40 carries on; about a mile after the A329 junction the M40 used to end before the Birmingham extension was finally built after decades of talk – now this is the point where the M40 changes allegiance, forsaking the A40 for the A41 and A34. The A40 now heads down and to the right to the junction with the A418 Aylesbury road and loses its grand status, the A418 taking the number priority.