|From:||Scotch Corner (NZ215053)|
|Via:||Richmond & Leyburn|
|Distance:||35.8 miles (57.6 km)|
|Meets:||A1, A66, A6136, A684, A61|
|Former Number(s):||A1, B6270, B6269, B6267, B6266, A61|
|Route outline (key)|
The A6108 is a long winding A-road in north Yorkshire, providing a long-way-round route between Scotch Corner and Ripon. Originally a handful of Class II roads, the A6108 came into being in the mid-1920s.
Scotch Corner - Leyburn
The A6108 begins at the Scotch Corner roundabout with a stretch of dual carriageway that was part of the A1 until 1971. At the south end of the dual carriageway the road turns westward towards Richmond. After winding through Skeeby the road climbs into Richmond and meets two B-roads on the near side of town before bending left towards the town centre.
The A6136 is soon met at a roundabout then the A6108 turns right at the following one; it has never continued ahead into the Market Place. We now head west along Victoria Road and climb away from the town centre. There are a couple of bends and we reenter open country and descend again to reach the River Swale. This is followed for a short distance, although it's rarely visible, and we soon cross the river and enter the Yorkshire Dales National Park. The road continues upstream along the valley for a couple of miles. Presently the road splits with the B6270 bearing right to continue along the valley whilst the A6108 bears left and climbs up onto the moors.
The village of Downholme is soon reached, where the national park is left. After a couple of tight bends a T-junction is reached where the road TOTSOs right, then we TOTSO left at the next junction and descend into Bellerby. The road then goes over a ridge and enters Leyburn where it meets the A684 at a mini-roundabout.
Leyburn - Ripon
After a short multiplex with the A684 through Leyburn, the A6108 turns south once more to leave the town behind. We drop down the hill towards the River Ure, with a right turn just before the river providing a signed shortcut to the westbound A684 at Wensley. The river is crossed at Middleham Bridge, after which we start to enter the village of Middleham itself. In the village, the road starts to climb up between stone houses and stone walls, before suddenly emerging into the marketplace. Here the A6108 TOTSOs with the unclassified road through Coverdale.
After turning in the market place, Middleham is quickly left behind and we drop a little to cross the River Cover just before it joins the Ure. The humped bridge is immediately after a sharp bend next to the Coverbridge Inn, but opens out onto a long straight to East Witton. Here, again, the road turns sharp left but at least the we maintain priority this time. The road remains reasonably wide and straight (between sweeping bends) all the way to Jervaulx, where it makes a couple of sharp turns around the parkland of the former Abbey.
Beyond Jervaulx, the road becomes twistier and undulates more as it passes through Ellington, before another series of longer straights take us south to Masham. This is another small Yorkshire town where the road is forced to squeeze between centuries-old buildings, but at least the town centre is missed this time and suddenly we are heading north once more, alongside the River Ure to cross it at Masham Bridge. On the far side, the road swings sharp right before sweeping back to the west to the junction with the B6267.
The road retains its character of short straights and sweeping bends for the most part to West Tanfield, where a mini-roundabout with two unclassified roads helps us turn right. Soon after we cross the River Ure again at Tanfield Bridge, after which the road resumes its gentle descent to North Stainley. This is the first village for many miles to show any evidence of new housing estates, and suggests that we are steadily approaching the more urbanised parts of Yorkshire.
The final few miles into the small cathedral city of Ripon are certainly a lot slower in character - there's more traffic now and the road doesn't feel so fast, with more properties along it and the bends feel a little tighter too. In the past, the road would have ended at the Clock Tower Junction, but since the A61 was diverted onto the bypass, the A6108 turns north to join it at a roundabout on the far side of North Bridge across the River Ure once more. For a while, the A6108 also took the A61's former route south through the city, but that section is now unclassified.