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A42 (Reading - Birmingham)

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A42
Cameraicon.png View gallery (2)
From:Reading (SU715734)
To:Birmingham (SP088844)
Via:Streatley, Oxford, Stratford
Length:90 miles (144.8 km)
Met (1932): A4, A32, A340, A417, A415, A40, A34, A43, A44, A361, A429, A46, A422, A41
Now part of:A329, A4074, A4144, A44, A3400, A34
Traditional Counties

Berkshire • Oxfordshire • Warwickshire

Route outline (key)
A42 Reading - Birmingham
This article is about the original A42, which ran from Reading to Birmingham and was originally replaced by the A34, and other various routes.
For the current A42, a major road in the East Midlands linking the M42 to the M1, see A42
.
Crossing the River Avon in Stratford

The original A42 was the main road from Reading to Birmingham via Oxford. Like the other original two-digit roads, it was classified in 1921.


A42 historic route from 1922/3 numbering

During 1934, the Ministry of Transport, in an attempt to rationalise some of the main routes, proposed to extend the A42 north to the A6 at Salford, and extend the A423 at both ends to run from Maidenhead to Chester via Coventry. After looking at the respective tonnage on these routes, they realised the A423 did not need to be extended north, but did conclude that more traffic went to Oxford via Newbury or Maidenhead and Henley than Reading, and reorganised numbering accordingly. Consequently, in the 1935 Road numbering revision the A42 was abolished; it was renumbered as an extension of the A329 to Shillingford, part of the A423 to Oxford, and the remainder as part of a much-extended A34 (which continued beyond Birmingham to Salford).

Road numbering never remains constant, however. Following construction of the M40 in the 1990s the old roads (mostly parts of the ex-A42) have been renumbered. The A34 still runs on the former A42 to the north of the M42. To the south of here the road is now the similar but out-of-zone A3400 as far as the A44 near Chipping Norton; this has taken over the road into Oxford.

The former A42 to the south of Oxford was also renumbered a few years later for the same reasons (despite the fact that the M42 had existed in the area for much longer). The section from Oxford to Shillingford (for many years the A423) was renumbered A4074. From here to Reading the road is still numbered A329.

In an early draft of the numbering scheme, the A42 was proposed to run south east from Stratford-upon-Avon along what's now the A422 towards Banbury. A map exists showing this route crossed out and the A42 running instead to Oxford via Chipping Norton.



A42 (Reading - Birmingham)
JunctionsBerinsfield Roundabout • Elm Bridge Roundabout • Golden Balls Roundabout • Shillingford Roundabout
Related Pictures
View gallery (2)
A42 - Reading.jpgClopton Bridge from Cox's Yard - Geograph - 1520799.jpg
Other nearby roads
ReadingA3031 (Reading) • A3045 (Berkshire) • A32 • A327 • A329 • A329(M) • A3290 • A33 • A4 • A4/Newbury - Reading • A4/Reading - Slough • A4009 • A4074 • A4155 • B3031 • B3031 (Central Reading) • B3032 (Reading) • B3270 • B3345 • B3349 • B3350 • B3350 (Shinfield) • B4007 (Reading) • B4446 • B4526 • B478 • B479 • B481 • C100 (Reading) • C101 (Reading) • C102 (Reading) • C103 (Reading) • C104 (Reading) • C105 (Reading) • C106 (Reading) • C107 (Reading) • C200 (Reading) • C201 (Reading) • C202 (Reading) • C203 (Reading) • C204 (Reading) • C205 (Reading) • C206 (Reading) • C300 (Reading) • C301 (Reading) • C302 (Reading) • C303 (Reading) • C304 (Reading) • C400 (Reading) • C401 (Reading) • C402 (Reading) • C403 (Reading) • C404 (Reading) • C405 (Reading) • C406 (Reading) • C407 (Reading) • C408 (Reading) • C409 (Reading) • C410 (Reading) • C411 (Reading) • C500 (Reading) • C501 (Reading) • C502 (Reading) • C503 (Reading) • C504 (Reading) • E105 (London - Fishguard) • E30 • EuroVelo 2 • Hatfield - Reading Turnpike • Longest Lane • M31 • M4 • NCN23 • NCN4 • POLO • T9 (Britain)
WallingfordA329 • A4074 • A4130 • A415 • A423 • B4007 (Harcourt Hill - Harwell) • B4008 (Crowmarsh Gifford - Benson) • B4009 • B4013 • B479 • Icknield Way • T42 (Britain)
OxfordA34 • A40 • A40/Wheatley - Witney • A4074 • A4141 (Oxford) • A4142 • A4144 • A4158 • A4165 • A420 • A423 • A4260 • A43 • A44 • B4014 (Oxfordshire) • B4027 • B4150 • B4495 • B4496 • B480 • E05 • Longest Lane • M40 • NCN51 • Oxford Ring Road • T10 (Britain) • T114 (Britain) • T13 (Britain) • T42 (Britain) • T47 (Britain)
Stratford-upon-AvonA34 • A3400 • A4134 • A422 • A439 • A4390 • A46 • B4086 • B439 • B4534 (Stratford upon Avon) • B4535 • B4632 • T13 (Britain) • T44 (Britain)
BirminghamA34 • A38 • A38(M) • A4027 • A4028 • A4029 • A4030 • A4040 • A4097 • A41 • A41/Solihull - West Bromwich • A4123 • A4166 • A4167 • A435 • A4400 • A441 • A45 • A452 • A453 • A4540 • A455 (Birmingham - Stafford) • A456 • A457 • A458 • A47 • A4723 • A5127 • B38 (Selly Oak) • B384 • B4025 • B4043 • B4096 • B4100 (Birmingham) • B4114 • B4118 • B4120 • B4121 • B4122 (Birmingham) • B4123 • B4124 • B4125 • B4126 • B4127 • B4128 • B4128 (Suffolk Street, Birmingham) • B4129 • B4129 (Birmingham City Centre) • B4130 • B4131 • B4132 • B4133 • B4134 • B4135 • B4136 • B4137 • B4140 • B4141 (Birmingham) • B4142 • B4143 (Birmingham) • B4144 • B4145 • B4146 • B4147 • B4148 • B4167 • B4182 • B4217 • B4284 • B4498 • B4514 • B4515 • B4516 • B4531 • B4532 • B4533 • B4552 • B4730 • E05 • E116 (Old System) • E24 • E28 • E33 (London - Glasgow) • Holyhead Road • Longest Lane • M40 • M42 • M5 • M6 • M600 • Northern and Western Motorway • Ryknild Street • T13 (Britain) • T14 (Britain) • T15 (Britain) • T16 (Britain) • T35 (Britain) • T53 (Britain)
A1-A99
The First 99           A1  •  A2  •  A3  •  A4  •  A5  •  A6  •  A7  •  A8  •  A9  • A10 • A11 • A12 • A13 • A14 • A15 • A16 • A17 • A18 • A19
A20 • A21 • A22 • A23 • A24 • A25 • A26 • A27 • A28 • A29 • A30 • A31 • A32 • A33 • A34 • A35 • A36 • A37 • A38 • A39
A40 • A41 • A42 • A43 • A44 • A45 • A46 • A47 • A48 • A49 • A50 • A51 • A52 • A53 • A54 • A55 • A56 • A57 • A58 • A59
A60 • A61 • A62 • A63 • A64 • A65 • A66 • A67 • A68 • A69 • A70 • A71 • A72 • A73 • A74 • A75 • A76 • A77 • A78 • A79
A80 • A81 • A82 • A83 • A84 • A85 • A86 • A87 • A88 • A89 • A90 • A91 • A92 • A93 • A94 • A95 • A96 • A97 • A98 • A99
Motorway sectionsA1(M): (South Mimms - Baldock • Alconbury - Peterborough • Doncaster Bypass • Darrington - Leeming • Barton - Birtley)
A3(M) • A8(M) Baillieston spur • A14(M) • A38(M) • A48(M) Cardiff spur • A57(M) • A58(M) • A64(M) • A66(M) • A74(M) • A92(M)
DefunctA1(M) Newcastle CME • A2(M) Medway Towns Bypass • A4(M) • A5(M) • A8(M) Renfrew bypass • A14 • A18(M) • A20(M) • A36(M)
A40(M): (Westway • Denham -Stokenchurch) • A41(M) • A42 • A46(M) • A48(M): (Port Talbot bypass • Morriston bypass) • A62(M) • A88 • A99
UnbuiltA2(M) Rochester Way Relief Road • A6(M): (Western route • Eastern route) • A34(M) • A48(M) Llantrisant Radial • A59(M) • A61(M)