|To:||Bushey Heath (TQ144944)|
|Distance:||6.3 miles (10.1 km)|
|Meets:||A4088, B454, A4006, B461, A410, A409, A411|
|Former Number(s):||B4566, B461, A41|
|Route outline (key)|
The A4140 is a straight road in west London.
The route begins at a roundabout, where the A4088 Blackbird Hill reaches the top of the hill and becomes Forty Lane, with the other road called Tudor Gardens. There's a very brief D2 section to a mini-roundabout where Tudor Gardens continues ahead as the B454; this becomes Church Lane a bit further up. The left fork, which takes the A4140, is Salmon Street, which used to have a 40 mph speed limit until just a few years ago, making us already feel we have left London - and indeed we are outside of the North Circular - but this road pretty much is the border of the London postal area: this road and to the north-east is NW9 but to the south-west is HA9 (Wembley).
We reach a roundabout, which has trees planted on the grass in the middle, which has several exits - just after our own is The Paddocks, an unclassified road but carries a lot of the traffic to and from Wembley, the second exit is a residential no-through road and the last (4th) exit keeps the name of Salmon Street. The exit we actually want is the 3rd exit, Fryent Way.
Now this road was always a favourite of mine, partly because of the speed limit, 50 mph - at least it was until recently but I've seen somewhere it has been reduced to 40 mph. For a non-dual carriageway in London a 50 mph speed limit is very rare and the rationale is not what is on the road but what is off it - in this case it is going through a very green open space called Fryent Country Park. There is space to park by the side of the road and get out and walk around and I used to do just that quite often. On the west side you can actually walk to Wembley via Barn Hill, so consider that as a potential park & walk too if you have something to go to there and if there are still no restrictions there on event days.
The route of the A4140 actually suggests by the way that Wembley Park is the misplaced station on the Jubilee Line. The natural continuation to the South (from where we started) is towards Neasden and we're heading for Kingsbury but we never actually went through Wembley. We feel like we are in Kingsbury after we pass the country park, where the road becomes residential and the speed limit swiftly drops back to 30 mph. There were speed cameras actually installed in the other direction where traffic tended to speed up too soon. The Jubilee Line passes under us shortly after to be on our right and we will remain close to its route for the remainder of the journey.
At the end of Fryent Way we get to the main area of Kingsbury called Kingsbury Circus, with shops and the A4006 crossing. This is the point where it changes from Kingsbury Road to Kenton Road as that road leaves the London postal area here. The first exit is actually The Mall, which is unclassified and leads to a residential area of Kenton as well as towards Preston Road with the station of the same name.
So we require the 3rd exit again, and the road is now called Honeypot Lane. It is single-carriageway at this point, widening a bit when a road turns off, and some residential parts have their own service road. This continues until we reach the signalised junction with Cumberland Road on the right, with a Morrisons superstore and Queensbury station just ahead. The area is commonly known as Queensbury, though parts of it are technically HA8 (Edgware) and parts HA7 (Stanmore). In any case Honeypot Lane never treads into HA8 at any point but we do now enter HA7 (Stanmore), where will we be for quite a while.
Our next roundabout is quite a busy one, although none of the other roads off here are classified. Yet again we will want the 3rd exit. The others, in order, are Charlton Road, which is a through-route to Kenton further up than our junction but with a width restriction, then Streatfield Road, which is the one other "main" road and could have potentially been given a B-classification. That takes you close to Belmont and then to Wealdstone (becoming Masons Avenue), past Harrow Leisure Centre and if you continue to follow the road you reach North Harrow and will actually end up on the A404 opposite the A4090. The last turning is Taunton Way which becomes Camrose Avenue and has an unusual twisting width restriction, otherwise it takes you to Edgware right by Edgware General Hospital, hitting the A5 right opposite the A5109. With the last roundabout being Kingsbury Circus, this one is named Queensbury Circus although they might have given that name to one of those by Queensbury station.
Honeypot Lane now becomes a dual-carriageway until the crossroads with the B461 Whitchurch Lane, which leads to Edgware (and becomes the A5100 when it crosses the A5) and Wemborough Road on the left which is unclassified but the main route from here to Belmont: the speed limit is also 40 mph and there are two lanes in each direction, although the left lane is often blocked by parked vehicles and it is not a red-route, unlike what most Londoners are used to on dual-carriageways. It is also not primary, of course. Both sides of the A4140 get separate green phases to allow easier right turns, but when you have got across, it is back down to 30 mph and single-carriageway towards the main part of Stanmore, with the road being called Marsh Lane.
When we do get to the crossroads, the road to the right is the A410 London Road while to the left is The Broadway which is the main high road through Stanmore and is shared by both roads (with the other number dominant. Of course to complicate things there is the "ahead" option of Dennis Lane which leads towards Stanmore Orthopaedic Hospital as well as there being a shoppers' car park there, so it is not an insignificant road here although it is unclassified.
Needless to say, the combination of two junctions close together, the merging of two A-roads and the fact it's a high street makes this stretch not the easiest drive. When we do get to the fork, the A410 takes the left-fork along Church Road which becomes Uxbridge Road and heads towards Hatch End, while the A4140 takes the right fork which starts as Stanmore Hill (and we are going up in this direction) and then becomes The Common and when we pass the junction of Warren Lane on the right, we find out why - there is a big green area on our right.
At the traffic lights, where we cross the A409 Magpie Hall Road / Common Road, we leave London completely, i.e. we are no longer in a London borough at all but are in Hertsmere and in Hertfordshire rather than Middlesex. The road is called High Road here, supposedly for Bushey Heath, but it is not that busy really. We don't have far to go though before reaching the A411, which merges in from the right at Elstree Road at a signalised triangular junction where we have priority. That road takes over and so the A4140 terminates here.
Fryent Way was built to connect Blackbird Hill with Kingsbury. Upon reaching the top of the hill, which was known as Barn Hill Open Space (where there is the remains of old golf course) there is a sharp descent in two stages towards Kingsbury. After the first descent there is a lay by on either side of the road. These are the remnants of a projected cross road for a new road from Preston Road to Kingsbury Green, which was never built.
The section north of Stanmore (i.e. the junction with the A410) and the section south were two separately classified roads for a long time. Originally the northern section formed part of the A41. By 1958 the A41 had taken its present route and this road was renumbered A4140.
Marsh Lane was originally unclassified but soon became part of the B461 and subsequently (by 1958) all of the rest of the road to the south had been classified as the B4566. Later on at some point they decided to upgrade it to an A-road and rather than find a new number it was decided to make it an extension of the A4140.