|From:||Old Stratford (SP775415)|
|To:||Market Harborough (SP738872)|
|Distance:||30.4 miles (48.9 km)|
|Meets:||A5, A422, M1, A45, A5076, B526, A5123, A4500, A428, A5095, A5199, A5076, A14, A4304|
|Old route now:||A45|
|Route outline (key)|
The A508 is a north-south road through the centre of Northampton.
Section 1: Old Stratford - Northampton
At a large at-grade roundabout on the A5 at the northern end of the section where the dual carriageway A5 deviates from Watling Street to pass through Milton Keynes, the A508 begins its journey northward. This roundabout, near Old Stratford, also has the A422 joining from the south, but as that road then multiplexes with the A5, it need not concern us any further. We bypass the village of Cosgrove, then curve round a long, sweeping bend to head north-west along a very straight and level road, bypassing the village of Yardley Gobion as we draw close to the Grand Union Canal.
Grafton Regis comes next, then we gradually bend round to the north, crossing a river then the Grand Union Canal at Stoke Park, near the small villages of Stoke Bruerne and Ashton, though the A508 goes through neither of these, preferring instead to choose a course between the two. The A508 is not so straight now, as we pass through the village of Roade, crossing the West Coast Main Line as it passes through the Roade Cutting. Then we pass Courteenhall woods before reaching M1 junction 15, once a grade separated roundabout, and now a (rather confusing) dumbbell interchange, built to give access to new development north of the M1 and east of the A508.
From here we run north as grade separated dual carriageway, multiplexing with the A45, bypassing Collingtree and Wooton, after which the main line remains the 'new' A45 (the Nene Valley Way) and we turn off to a grade-separated roundabout, where we also meet the B526 (former A50). We pass the historic Eleanor Cross to resume the A508 into the heart of Northampton.
Section 2: Northampton - Market Harborough
After crossing the Northampton arm of the Grand Union Canal again, we turn left onto the inner ring. We then turn right following Horse Market and Broad Street through the town centre, crossing the A4500 (the old A45) at traffic lights. From there we run through Kingsthorpe where we meet the A5199 (former A50) and emerge from Northampton near the village of Boughton.
The road north from here is straight, but we dip down to cross a river, then over the brow of a hill near Putsford, before dropping down again to cross the outfall from Pitsford Water, a reservoir to the east. The old A508 then runs through Brixworth, but we bypass it (single carriageway) to the east, crossing existing roads at a roundabout. Further north we pass the village of Hanging Houghton. Then at Lamport, the road becomes more twisty in nature until we reach Maidwell. Then we pass a small piece of woodland (Scotland Wood) before reaching a partial cloverleaf junction with the A14, which we cross over before getting to Kelmarsh.
We then run due north, through Great Oxendon before entering Market Harborough where our road terminates on the A4304 (former A427) in the middle of town, the A4304 continuing primary status to the A6, which it meets just to the east of town.
Original Author(s): Simon Davies