A40/Wheatley - Witney
|Meets:||M40, A418, B4027, A420, A4142, B4150, A4165, A44, A4144, B4449, B4022, A415, B4477, B4047|
|Old route now:||A420, B4044, B4022, A4095, B4047|
|Route outline (key)|
After meeting the A418 we follow it past junction 8A of the M40 and the Oxford services and then to the Sworford junction at the original western end of the M40, now just a spur although the junction retains full access. We go round the loop onto the dual carriageway where we regain the A40 number. This is the Wheatley bypass; although an A road, this section had its own hard shoulders until the mid 90s when it was reconstructed. At the end of the Wheatley bypass there used to be the junction with the infamous "double number" B4027, but this is only available to eastbound traffic now as the gap has been closed. We now head up towards Oxford itself with the section with a bus lane, similar to the M4 bus lane. We join the ring road at Headington Roundabout.
From here, the original A40 went straight on into Oxford (now the A420), going up the High Street, straight on at the Carfax, over Osney Bridge (the least headroom of any on the navigable Thames) and leaving by the A420 Botley Road, B4044 via Eynsham toll bridge, and through Witney on the B4047.
Nowadays, the A40 turns right at Headington onto the Oxford Northern bypass. This section was completed in the 1930s as a single carriageway suicide lane road, and the second carriageway was added in the early 1970s. At Summertown roundabout we lose the dual carriageway once again and go on to Wolvercote roundabout, which is a junction with the A44 (which was the A43). This also carries the ring road off (to the right!) to the complex A34/A44 junction before crossing over the A40 at Wolvercote without a junction.
The A40 passes over two stone arch bridges towards Cassington and Eynsham. The original line of the A40 joins just after Eynsham, and we journey towards Witney. The road bypasses the small hamlet of Barnard Gate on the right and then joins the dual carriageway Witney bypass, which was built in the mid 1970s. The first junction is with the B4022 which is the original route into the market town of Witney, which is famous for the old blanket factory which used to be there. The next junction is with the A415 which heads off towards Abingdon. From here we encounter the junction with the Brize Norton road. The huge air base can be seen off to the left. The last couple of miles of the Witney Bypass end at the roundabout with the B4047, the original line of the A40.