|Location Map ( geo)|
|From:||Cricklade Road (SU151892)|
|To:||Purton Road (SU120875)|
|Meets:||A4311, B4534, B4534|
|Route outline (key)|
The Summer 2014 revision to the online version of the Ordnance Survey 1:250,000 mapping layer has assigned the number A4198 to the previously unclassified dual carriageway of Thamesdown Drive around the northern edge of Swindon. As the mapping shows the A4198 is a Primary Route, given that the western end does not connect with another Primary Route or at the town centre, the reclassification seemed highly dubious.
However, as far back as 2010 a Google Street View image was posted in the SABRE Forums which shows a rogue 'A', without a number on signage on the approach to Thamesdown Drive along Purton Road. This image is still online.
Another source for the road number was found in section 6 of this Haydon Wick Parish Council meeting. While the second source adds legitimacy to the change in classification, Swindon Council still make no reference to the road number on signs or document, meaning no primary source exists for it.
Whilst there is only the two secondary sources for this route number at present and no primary source, the possibility that it has been classified as a primary A road is by no means unlikely in Swindon. The town seems to have a history of moving, changing, confusing and creating road numbers seemingly at random - see the B4289 part of which has been upgraded to the A4289 and the A4313 (or is it A313?) as other examples.
Thamesdown Drive is a suburban dual carriageway which starts at the 'Motorola' junction on the A4311 a little to the south of the end of that route, where it connects with the northbound carriageway of the A419. The southbound carriageway is accessed via the single carriageway B4534 which is one of the many classified roads around Swindon that has been moved, broken and become generally confused in the past.
From the A4311, the A4198 heads west along Thamesdown Drive, through a series of junctions, including one with the B4534 - a section no longer connected to that mentioned above. It then turns around to head south, forming the western edge of Swindon's urban area, with Mouldon Hill Country Park to the west of the road. It runs alongside an old railway line, which has been reopened as the Swindon and Cricklade Railway to the north, and comes to an end on the B4534 Purton Road junction. There are suggestions that Thamesdown Drive may one day be extended to meet the B4006 Great Western Way (and thence onto the M4 at junction 16 via the A3102 which would then form a northern and western bypass of the town), but it hasn't happened yet.