|Location Map ( geo)|
|Distance:||12.7 miles (20.4 km)|
|Meets:||A60, B686, A6011, A6211, A6097|
|Old route now:||A60, B686|
|Route outline (key)|
The A612 runs along the left bank of the River Trent downstream from the centre of Nottingham.
Nottingham – Lowdham
The road starts in Nottingham city centre, just North of Trent Bridge where it originally used to start, on a junction on the Nottingham inner ring road where it meets the A60. Formerly, the current route of the A60 (Parliament Street and London Road) was the A612 where it terminated the A453 and ended on the A52, but this route is now the A60.
The first bit is one-way, but then two-way after it crosses to the other side of the one-way system. There's a sharp right turn onto Manvers Street (formerly the B685) at a signalled junction, before crossing the Nottingham to Lincoln railway line on an early-1990s bridge (at the same time, the A612 was re-routed from the four-mile stretch through Sneinton and Carlton, which is now the B686, onto the present route) and meeting Meadow Lane (a spur of the A6011) at a triangular island. From here, to the next island (at a Virgin Media office), the road is dual-carriageway with a 40 limit, then reverts to single-carriageway before the former route of the B686 through Sneinton meets the road at an island by Nottingham Racecourse.
Now picking up the former B686, we move onto a wide single carriageway which here is NSL. We skirt the north side of Colwick Park with the railway paralleling into Colwick. Here there is a 30 limit as we enter a residential area, policed by speed cameras dubiously sited on bends! At the second set of lights we return to NSL and pick up the Colwick Loop Road, essentially an mid-1980s S2 bypass of Netherfield and Colwick. After a signalled crossroads with a road to the industrial estate, the road banks up by a large oil depot before turning sharp left at the top of a hill to a further signalled junction by McDonalds, Morrisons and Aldi.
Here, the Colwick Loop Road and the A612 formerly turned sharp left to meet the B686 at a T-junction in Gedling; however this route is now a continuation of the A6211, though following in the tradition of this road it is not signed at all on the ground. The next stretch is about 1 and a quarter miles long and was opened formally on 8 May 2007 (late!) having been constructed over a fifteen-month period. Continuing north-east, a straight road takes us to a signalled crossroads with Stoke Lane - you can turn right to Stoke Bardolph here, but turning left is a no-through-road to the old route of the A612; only buses are allowed full access. The route is reasonably wide S2 though with central refuges and hatching to prevent reckless overtaking, and carries a 40mph limit. Following the crossroads, the road banks up by the sewage works, turns left over a bridge before crossing the railway again and meeting the old route of the A612 (again, only buses can turn left here) at a signalled T-junction, bent out to make the new route "straight on".
We gain a 30 limit on entering Burton Joyce. We pass the church and quite a long residential area (though this road in itself is a bypass for the village centre) before a NSL section bypasses Bulcote to the North. The road continues on to Lowdham where the A6097 (linking the A46 and A614) is met at a roundabout.
Former section Lowdham – Averham
Entering the main part of Lowdham village the road is 30, before returning to the rural and a 60 limit bypassing the village of Gonalston and entering Thurgarton, where a winding main street passes several pubs before ascending a steep hill; the national speed limit is restored at the top of the hill. The remainder of the road to Southwell is uneventful in terms of local landmarks, but passes through several small valleys and as such is quite twisty and undulating; however it is perfectly safe once familiar with it to drive at the national speed limit.
Entering Southwell, the road turns a sharp left at the leisure centre before a TOTSO at the top of the hill with the B6386 (to Oxton). This road is called Westgate, because it passes the West Gate to Southwell Minster - a cathedral in what is effectively a large village (in fact Southwell is the smallest place in England with a cathedral). At a tight mini island by the Saracen's Head, a pub of historic importance, we turn right (again passing the Minster) onto the 1922 route of the A617 - the A612 previously stopped here. A further sharp turn, this time to the left, allows us to exit Southwell, again past the racecourse, sited by an old railway line. The road from Southwell to Upton, and continuing to the A617, is also fairly twisty. Upton, a pleasant village home to the British Horological Society, is fairly linear and most roads off the A612 are short culs-de-sac, the bulk of the village being sited along the main road. Having left Upton, it is a short journey to the A617 near Averham, a junction which was formerly a T-junction but is now sensibly equipped with traffic signals. Turn right for Newark - a town which the A612 threatens to meet, but doesn't quite make it. The A52 and A46 form a much faster way between the two ends.
- In the centre of Nottingham, the A612 used to continue along Parliament Street, terminating the A453 (Canal Street) and ending on the A52 just before Trent Bridge.
- Prior to the early 1990s, it also passed through Sneinton and Carlton along the present B686. The 2007 opening of the Gedling Bypass caused a further change in alignment, renumbering the end of the Colwick Loop Road as A6211 and the remainder of the old route unclassified (as it is restricted access).
- The 1922 designations had the A617 passing through Farnsfield and Southwell, hence the A612 originally terminated in Southwell; it was extended in the 1950s.