|From:||Southcote, Reading (SU699727)|
|To:||Bourne End (SU896874)|
|Distance:||20.7 miles (33.3 km)|
|Meets:||A4, A329, A4074, A4130, A404, A4142|
|Former Number(s):||A4, A32|
|Route outline (key)|
The A4155 is a pleasant and picturesque, if slow, drive along the edge of the River Thames from Reading, through Henley-on-Thames and Marlow, and out to Bourne End. The road parallels the route of the river for most of its length.
Reading - Henley
The road starts at traffic lights on the A4 in the Southcote area of Reading. That road bears right here to pass to the south of the town centre, whilst the A4155 continues ahead. A roundabout GSJ on the A329 Inner Distributor Road is soon reached and there's a multiplex north along that road under the railway line to a roundabout. Here the A329 bears right and the A4155 regains its number by continuing ahead. It then crosses the River Thames into Caversham and meets the A4074 at traffic lights.
The road takes some time to leave Caversham behind. It runs along Henley Road and eventually reaches open country. A roundabout with the B478 is soon met, after which the road climbs away from the Thames flood plain onto the higher ground to the north. It now runs through Shiplake and Lower Shiplake and continues northwards into Henley-on-Thames. Northbound traffic follows a straight road through the town but owing to the one-way system it's more complicated going the other way.
For northbound traffic the road becomes one-way to run along the narrow Duke Street. The A4130 (former A423) is met at the next set of traffic lights; that road is also on a one-way loop but the road east of here is two-way to allow easier access between the northbound A4155 and eastbound A4130. There's a multiplex for the next block north, where we reach the end of the one-way system, and the multiplex continues to a double mini-roundabout slightly further on. Traffic heading southbound from here is forced to turn left onto the one-way New Street, which runs to the bank of the river, then continues south alongside to traffic lights by the bridge, where the A4130 turns off. A4155 traffic is signposted to continue across onto an unclassified road, then TOTSO left at the following T-junction onto a two-way road. This soon leaves the river behind and presently reaches traffic lights back on the actual A4155, to the south of the point it becomes one-way.
Henley - Bourne End
From the mini-roundabout at the northern side of Henley the A4155 continues north. It runs along the boundary between Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire for the best part of a mile before deciding to enter the latter. It then bends gradually round to the right to pass one of the river's meanders. The road runs alongside the Thames for a short distance before entering the village of Mill End. Road and river part, with the latter winding to the south of Medmenham (the second M is silent) and the road taking a straighter course to the north. Continuing east the road runs through the grounds of the former RAF Medmenham, part of which is now civilian accommodation and the old HQ, Danesfield House, a hotel. A wooded section then takes us on to the outskirts of Marlow.
The road enters town along Henley Road, which becomes West Street. We reach a roundabout at the northern end of the High Street, which used to mark the start of a multiplex along the A404. In the centre of the roundabout is a Grade-II listed obelisk acting as a signpost and milepost. The road continues east to meet the B482 at a mini-roundabout, then the road forks soon afterwards, which is where the old A404 used to turn off to the left. The A4155 continues on and soon reaches the present A404 eastern bypass, at a roundabout GSJ.
The bypass marks the edge of open country and the road continues east through Little Marlow before bearing to the right as it enters Bourne End. The road heads almost due south as it runs along The Parade and then a mini-roundabout is met at the far end where we meet a spur of the A4094. The A4155 turns left onto Cores End Road and ends shortly afterwards on the mainline of the A4094, where that road TOTSOs.
The majority of this road was originally the northern section of the A32 (although that road continued from Bourne End to High Wycombe along what is now the A4094. It was renumbered to A4155 following the 1935 Road numbering revision.
The road's western end was in the centre of Reading for some years. It was later extended to the west along the original line of the A4. Construction of the A329 Inner Distributor declassified the old route of the A4155, which ran along Castle Street and West Street before joining Caversham Road, and gave the road a multiplex.