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A43

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A43
Location Map ( geo)
Cameraicon.png View gallery (21)
From:  M40 J10, Cherwell Valley (SP545278)
To:  Stamford (TF030066)
Via:  Northampton
Distance:  66 miles (106.2 km)
Meets:  M40, B430, A421, B4031, A422, B4525, A413, A5, M1, A5123, A45, A4500, A5076, A14, A6013, A4300, A6003, A6900, A6116, A6086, A427, A47, A1, A1175
Old route now:  A34, A4260, A41, B430, A5123
Primary Destinations
Highway Authorities

National Highways • Lincolnshire • North Northamptonshire • Peterborough • West Northamptonshire

Traditional Counties

Northamptonshire • Oxfordshire

Route outline (key)
A43 Oxford - Cherwell Valley
A43 Weston On The Green - Bicester
A43 Cherwell Valley - Rothersthorpe
(A45) Rothersthorpe - Weston Favell
A43 Weston Favell - Kettering
(A14) Kettering
A43 Kettering - Stamford
This article is about the primary road in England.
For the similarly numbered road in Northern Ireland, see A43 (Northern Ireland)
.

Route

The A43 is a cross-country route in the south Midlands. It has always been primary in its entirety, though a bit near its original starting point of Oxford is now missing.

Section 1: Cherwell Valley - Northampton

With the opening of the M40 in the early nineties, the A43 became a popular way for traffic from the south coast cutting across to the M1. This section has recently been dualled due to its increased use as a major north-south arterial route. We start off by heading north from the rather confusing M40 junction 10, with a total of three roundabouts and Cherwell Valley services. The A43 crosses the B4100 (ex A41) about half a mile north. It then winds its way up along the new dual carriageway towards Brackley, which it bypasses.

Silverstone Bypass Completion Stone

The section from Brackley to Towcester was the most recent to get bypassed. It winds itself through rural Northamptonshire in and out of woodlands. The most noticeable feature on this stretch is the dumbbell junction with the A413 towards Silverstone, home of the British Grand Prix. Whilst the dualling of this road may have improved things, it is advisable to avoid this area when there is a Grand Prix on, and the Highways Agency have closed the road to through traffic in the past.

Beyond Silverstone, the A43 heads towards Towcester, which it bypasses to the north, meeting the A5 at a roundabout. It then heads towards the M1 at Northampton services. Originally, there was no access to the M1 here so traffic had to double back on itself to the A508. Nowadays, access is allowed by going around the service area, which now effectively sits in the middle of the junction! Apparently, the junction with the M1 was built due to traffic taking shortcuts through the services.

By rights the A43 should continue beyond the motorway to reach the Northampton bypass about a mile further on. In practice, however, the road ahead is the A5123. Just as the A45 was diverted away from the western side of the bypass in the 2000s, so the A43 was as well.

Section 2: Northampton - Stamford

The A43 used to go straight through the middle of Northampton city centre but the section to the north was renumbered A5123 in the 1970s with the remainder taking on that number in the 2000s. The road's current route now multiplexes along the A45 (presumably getting to that road via the M1) round the south side of Northampton along a bypass which here shares many of the characteristics of an urban motorway.

Our road diverges from the A45 at Weston Favell, continuing as dual carriageway for another two miles (the curiously named Lumbertubs Way). First, we dive under the old A45 (now the A4500) just before another curiosity: a long footbridge in a tube crossing to the Tesco superstore on the right. The speed cameras along here are unusual, too: mounted in each-way facing pairs in the central reservation on fancy Victorian-looking poles with decorative elements looking a bit like the Batman logo!

Two roundabouts later, at Round Spinney, we cross the northern outer ring road, the A5076, and rejoin the "traditional" route of the A43. Passing Moulton we are now in open country. Although a lot more obvious on the map than on the ground (we are not talking Alpine elevations here!) our route now for the next 10 miles or so is along a ridge: there are no villages on the watershed itself, all the settlements being lower down on the streams flowing towards the upper River Nene (left) and the Ise (right).

At the Broughton bypass the A43 cuts through the ridge, swings from north to north-east, and we find ourselves heading directly towards the very prominent steeple of Kettering church. We shall not pass through the town, however, as our course is intercepted by one of my least favourite roads — the A14 - which we now have to join for a mile or so northwards before the new A43, in its Kettering northern bypass role, strikes off in an almost dead-straight north-easterly direction (dipping under the London—Leicester railway) to cross the A6003 Corby road a mile and a half later.

The A43 takes a new course from here turning Northbound along what used to be the A6003, until it reaches a new roundabout and turns North East along a new section of about 4 miles (the Corby Link Road), bypassing Geddington. The A43 skirts the eastern fringes of Corby but we see little of it.

This now refers to the A4300:

Another mile and a quarter on an easterly heading brings us back to the old route (which, through the town, has been the A6013/A6003/A4300). Immediately after the roundabout, at which we turn left, there is a fine vista to the right of a stately pile. Northamptonshire seems to abound in such houses (think Althorp): this one is Boughton House. With Boughton on the north side of Kettering and Broughton to the south (and another Boughton just outside Northampton), I wonder if anyone ever gets confused?

We now do pass through a village: Geddington, with its fine old stone buildings and its fiercely enforced speed limit, before rejoining the new route at Stanion at a roundabout with the A6116 and the A4300, which is the new number for the bypassed section of the A43.

At Stanion the A4300 from Geddington comes in on the right, and the A6116 from Thrapston at the opposite side; the road left from the roundabout leads to the "Euro Hub" road/rail distribution centre (chiefly used in the import/export of road vehicles, as evidenced by the huge parking lots we soon pass. Here we also pass the Corby Hilton, which always sounds a strange juxtaposition of terms (sorry, Corby!). (Excellent fish-and-chips in Corby, by the way: it's the Scottish heritage.)

After crossing the A427 Market Harborough—Oundle road we are in the country again. The whole of this northern end of Northamptonshire is known as Rockingham Forest. Today it is more a patchwork of wooded areas but the 9 miles to the junction with the A47 at Duddington are more sinuous than the road further south and the road does have a "forest" feel. The only settlement on the route itself (Bulwick) has been bypassed.

From Duddington (also bypassed) we follow the right bank of the Welland, keeping to high ground through the villages of Collyweston and Easton on the Hill before the final descent into Stamford.

A mile before Stamford we arrive at the A1, where the GSJ only has north-facing slip roads. According to the modern signage, the A43 now ends here. Historically, it ran on along what is now signed as the A1175 into Stamford, crossing the line of the Roman Ermine Street before reaching the old Great North Road at a stop sign.

Original Author(s): Berk

Trivia

The A43 is one of just sixteen F99 routes that have the distinction of maintaining green-signed primary route status throughout its entire length. The others are the A12, A14, A16, A17, A22, A42, A45, A53, A55, A75, A78, A83, A84, A86, and A87.

History

A43 historic route from 1922/3 numbering
The old A43 near Middleton Stoney, now the B430, is still a high quality road
An early 1960s version of the A43 heading towards the Peartree Roundabout north of Oxford

The A43 originally started on the A423 in Kidlington, to the north of Oxford. It then headed northeastwards towards Bicester, before branching off at the picturesquely named Weston On The Green towards Brackley. The A43 was extended as part of construction of the A34 Oxford western bypass in the 1950s and so started on that road at the Peartree Roundabout half a mile north of the A40 northern bypass; in 1991, the first two miles were renumbered as part of the A4260, and a link road back to the A43. The remaining section is now an upgraded A34 to Weston, and the uninspiringly titled B430 up to Cherwell Valley services (where it meets the M40), which is a good way to "cut the corner" from the A34 to the M40 for those in the know!

The right fork at Weston On The Green was originally the southern end of the A421. After being upgraded the road from here as far as the A41 in Bicester was renumbered as a spur of the A43 in the 1940s and remained so until the 1960s when it became the A421 again. As part of the M40 construction and associated work this road is now numbered A34 or A41, although the section in Bicester itself is now unclassified.

The Duddington Bypass was built around 1975, comprising a northern bypass (A47), and bridge over the River Welland, as well as a new roundabout, and eastern bypass for the A43. The Corby Link Road opened in 2014, heading north along part of the A6003 route, before branching off bypassing Geddington and Weekley - the former now accessed by an extension of the A4300, and the latter by the A6183).

Opening Dates

Year Section Notes
1925 Geddington Bypass New Road was opened on 14 November 1925 by Sir Henry Maybury, Director-General of Roads to the Ministry of Transport. It was 50 foot wide with a 24 foot carriageway and footpath on the west side. The 675 yard road took 15 months to complete and employed 30 men. Contractor was Sir William Prescott and Sons Ltd. Later renumbered A4300.
1930 Silverstone Bypass The original bypass opened in September 1930 and cost £70,000. Later renumbered A413.
1939 Gosford (Kidlington) - Bicester A 7 mile road straightening scheme which included the Wendlebury Bypass. Part was A421. Different sections were under construction in 1938 and 1939. On 1 September 1939 tarmac was being layed at Wendlebury and the new road was still under construction at Gosford, by Kidlington. Construction may have carried on after 1939, although the new road is shown on the 1939 OS Ten Mile map. Anticipated cost in 1936 was £100,000. It was later renumbered as A34 and A41 either side of M40, with the Gosford end becoming unclassified.
1973 Duddington Bypass Eastern bypass. Reported as opened by the Stamford Mercury of 23 November 1973. 1.85 mile roads including the A47 Northern Bypass. . Contractor was Robert MacGregor and Sons Ltd., contract price £406,533.
1982 Weldon Bypass Stage 2: Opened on 8 December 1982 per the Land Compensation Act notice (12 December 1986). Was to be opened by Albert Morby, County Council Chairman (per Stamford Mercury of 3 December 1982). With a report in the Stamford Mercury of 21 May 1982 about the closure to Gretton Road it would appear to be the section from Steel Road to Stamford Road (A43). Contractor was Midland Oak Ltd., contract cost £763,639, total cost nearly £1 million. No road number was given in the opening notice. Contract 1 was completed in 1980 by Midland Oak Ltd. It may have been the section from Weldon Road to Steel Road. Numbered A43 when Stage 3 opened in 1983.
1983 Weldon Bypass Stage 3: Bangrave Road South and possibly part of Bangrave Road. Opened in October 1983 per the Stamford Mercury of 27 April 1984. This completed the bypass.
1985 Broughton Bypass The 1.9 mile single carriageway road opened on 18 December per the Land Compensation Act notice. No year was given but the claim period date (19 December 1986), which starts after 12 months of opening, would signify an opening date of 18 December 1985. Note that the Wellingborough & Rushden Herald and Post of 16 December 1993 gave a December 1984 opening. Outturn works cost £2.6 million.
1986 Bulwick Bypass The 1.7 mile road was opened on 16 April 1986 by Peter Bottomley, Minister for Roads and Traffic. Contractor was Budge, cost £2.5 million. Improvements, just to the north, from the Blatherwycke turn to Fineshade opened at the same time.
1986 Northampton: Southern Approach Road The 0.7 mile road from St Peter's Way Roundabout to Far Cotton (Towcester Road) was opened on 1 July 1986 by George Pollard, County Council Chairman. Cost £3.5 million. Later renumbered A5123.
1987 Brackley Bypass Oxford Road to Northampton Road. The 2 mile D2 dual carriageway was opened on 20 August 1987 by Lord Brabazon, Transport Minister. The "Trunk Roads, England, into the 1990's" Report stated that it was a 4.5 mile scheme so there would have been a section of adjacent online dualling. The 1988 OS Road Atlas shows sections both north and south of the bypass. Outturn works cost £8.5 million.
1987 Towcester Bypass The 3.4 mile D2 dual carriageway was reported as opened by Peter Bottomley by the Northampton Chronicle and Echo of 23 December 1987. Contractor was May Gurney, outturn works cost £5.4 million.
1988 Barley Mow Crossroads Dualling Opened on 31 August 1988 per the Land Compensation Act notice. The £1 million contract was awarded to Buckton Contractors in November 1987 for a new roundabout and 1 mile of dualling which would connect to the Brackley Bypass contract.
1990 Peartree Hill, Oxford - Wendlebury Gosford Bypass and online dualling to the north. Part was A421. Completed in April 1990 per Hansard. Tender cost £20.2 million, outturn cost £34.1 million. Later renumbered as A34 in 1991.
1990 Moulton - Overstone Grange Improvement The 0.54 mile new road from Overstone Lane to Overstone Grange was opened on 25 September 1990 per the Land Compensation Act notice.
1991 Blisworth and Milton Malsor Bypass The 4.75 mile dual carriageway from St. John's Road junction, east of Tiffield, to Danes Camp Way, Northampton (southern bypass) was opened on 21 May 1991 by Christopher Chope, Minister of Transport. It included a new M1 J15a Rothersthorpe Interchange. Contractor was Gallifords. Tender cost £15.08 million, total cost £16.582 million. The section from M1 to Danes Camp Way is now A5123.
1993 Kettering Northern Bypass The 2.8 mile road from Glebe Farm Interchange (A14) to Weekley was opened on 30 April 1993 per the Noise Insulation Regulations notice. Works cost £7.6 million. The section east of Rockingham Road was later renumbered A6183.
2002 Silverstone Bypass Second bypass. The dual carriageway was officially opened on 18 September 2002 by Mrs Pat Cass, Northamptonshire County Council Chairperson. It had been open for one lane in each direction for almost 2 weeks. It was part of the final dualling of the A43 between M1 and M40 and the 12 miles also included Whitfield Turn to Brackley Hatch and M40 to B4031 (part in Oxfordshire). Contractor was a Costain – Skansa joint venture, cost £56.6 million.
2014 Corby Link Road The 4 mile dual carriageway from A6003 north of Barford Bridge to Stanion was opened on 23 May 2014 by Robert Goodwill, Transport Minister. Contractor was Interserve Construction Limited, cost £34 million.
2020 Moulton Bypass The 1.5 mile dual carriageway was opened on 3 February 2020 (with some works continuing until May 2020). The northern section and Sywell Road diversion had opened in early 2018 (per the 3 February 2020 Northampton Chronicle). Contractor was Balfour Beatty.



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A43
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Miscellaneous
Related Pictures
View gallery (21)
A43 - Coppermine - 9760.jpgA43 - Coppermine - 9745.jpgA43 - Coppermine - 7112.jpgRothersthorpe Services on the M1 by Northampton- aerial 2014 - Geograph - 4054641.jpgThe A43 approaching the northbound M40 - Geograph - 4273739.jpg
Other nearby roads
Northampton
Kettering
A6 • A14 • A509 • A604 • A4300 • A5002 (Northamptonshire) • A6003 • A6013 (Kettering) • A6098 • A6183 • A6900 • B575 • B668 • B5323 • B5387 • E24 • T12 (Britain) • T47 (Britain)
Stamford
Corby
A427 • A4300 • A6003 • A6014 • A6086 • A6116 • A6183 • B664 (Corby) • B667 (Islip - Stanion) • B668 • B670 • B6481 (Corby) • T47 (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 - Birtley)
A3(M) • A8(M) Baillieston spur • 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 • A14(M) • 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) • A14(M) (Expressway) • A34(M) • A48(M) Llantrisant Radial • A59(M) • A61(M)


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