|Location Map ( geo)
|5.7 miles (9.2 km)
|M5, A38, B4008, A417, A4301, B4072, B4073, A4302, B4063
|Route outline (key)
The A430 forms a P-shaped road around the centre of Gloucester and southwards. The central loop (although the A430 itself does not quite form the complete loop) is the Gloucester Inner Ring Road, started in the 1980s and not finished until 2008. The north-south stretch forms the Gloucester South Western Bypass, completed in 2007 and linked (via a multiplex with the A38 and reclassifying the B4008) to the M5 in 2020.
Gloucester South Western Bypass
The A430 now starts at M5 Junction 12, a dumbbell interchange near Haresfield. We head north from the M5 along a short repurposed stretch of the B4008 to Cross Keys Roundabout to meet the A38 (not the first or last short link between these two fraternal roads!). Hitching a lift on the A38 to bypass Quedgeley to the east, we soon reach the northern end of the bypass at a large traffic-light-controlled junction. Here the A430 reappears heading north as Gloucester's South Western Bypass. All the other roads coming into this junction are or used to be the A38: the southern road we have just come along is the current A38 Quedgeley bypass; the eastern road (Cole Avenue) is the continuation of today's A38; the south-western road is the old A38 through Quedgeley (now the B4008); and the north-eastern road is the old A38 route through Gloucester, which was also once the A430 (see History), now unclassified.
Construction of the bypass consisted of 5 phases, starting with the Cole Avenue junction improvements in 1998, which replaced a larger roundabout with a complex traffic-light controlled junction. The final phase, from Cole Avenue to the Hempstead bypass, opened in May 2007 and included a swing bridge over the Sharpness canal. The Hempstead bypass section was completed in July 2000, connecting into the existing Llanthony Road, which was upgraded in October 2002. The final section across Castle Meads joined up to the A417 Over Causeway and was completed in February 2005.
The route is mostly an S2 road with signals at most junctions. In fact the road is trying to compete with its old route as in these few miles there are already 10 sets of lights, 9 of which are at junctions and the 10th being a crossing on a modified roundabout!!
Gloucester Inner Ring Road
The Gloucester Inner Ring Road was started in the 1980s and was finally finished in 2008. It forms 3 sides of a complete loop around the city with the Gloucester South West Bypass and A417 forming the western side. The road is a mix of single and dual carriageway, and every junction is traffic light controlled, with there being 19 sets on the road itself, only 6 of which are pedestrian crossings and the other 13 being at the junctions.
A new bascule lifting bridge built over the Sharpness canal at High Orchard, opened in November 2008 at a cost of £10 million, connects the A430 South Western Bypass at Hempsted Lane with the A430 Gloucester Inner Ring Road. This was built as part of the Gloucester Quays redevelopment of the docks area. The A430 then crosses a 5-way junction with the B4072, the A4301 and the now unclassified Bristol Road (ex-A38 and ex-A430).
The 1989-built A430 Trier Way curves through Gloucester Park on what used to be railway, the ex-LMS High Orchard docks branch. At the far side of the park, another leg of the B4072 joins in as the straight through route at what used to be California level crossing on the railway, and the road becomes a 4-lane single-carriageway.
Another 100 yards and there is a traffic-light junction with Park Road into the city centre. From this point on, the road becomes Bruton Way and is dual carriageway. The eastern carriageway runs along the ex-LMS Tuffley Loop, which was one of the main railway lines into Gloucester, but was closed in the 1975 because it had so many level crossings.
Another 200 yards and we meet yet another set of traffic lights, this time for the B4073 Barton Street and Eastgate Street. Curving around to the left, leaving old railways, we pass the Leisure Centre and come to the next (traffic-light-controlled) junction which is the A4302 Metz Way. This provides a direct link between the A430 inner ring road and the outer ring roads, and so forms the main road out of Gloucester to Cheltenham and the M5, but it is entirely unnumbered on the ground.
After passing the railway station, we are joined on our right by the B4063 London Road (the old A40 through Gloucester). Between here and the next junction, all of 150 yards, the road becomes Black Dog Way. At the next junction, the A430 turns sharp right and picks up the old route of the A38 through Gloucester on Kingsholm Road. The GIRR carries on along Gouda Way before joining the A417 and completing the loop. Gouda Way bends into Priory Road to end at traffic lights on the A417. This is shown on most maps as another spur of the A430, although various references to A4302 and A417 have also been found.
The theoretical mainline of the A430 now heads northwards out of Gloucester, past Gloucester Rugby Football Club at Kingsholm, along the old A38. The road finishes on the original, 1930s ring road, with the A38 taking over northwards again.
When the A38 was diverted around the eastern side of Gloucester in the late 1950s, the old route up Bristol Road into Gloucester was reclassified as the A430, before being unclassified in 2007 following the opening of the Gloucester South Western bypass, which took the A430 classfication.
The old route first passes through industrial estates and closely parallels the Sharpness canal. At High Orchard, Bristol Road became Southgate Street and the A430 crossed the central crossroads in Gloucester, where Southgate Street (originally A38) meets Eastgate Street (originally B4073), Northgate Street (originally A40), and Westgate Street (originally A40). With the rerouting of the A40 around the north of the city and the A38 around the east of the city, the A430 took over the Northgate/Southgate route before terminating on the 1930s bypass where the A38 took over its route again.
When the south-east section of the Gloucester Inner Ring Road was built in 1989, the A430 turned right at High Orchard and Southgate street became the A4301, whilst the central crossroads was pedestrianised. In November 2008, the A430 was extended from High Orchard, across the canal, to join the A430 Gloucester South West bypass. Therefore, at High Orchard, the old north-south route of the A430 had changed to a east-west route.