|To:||Wimborne Minster (SZ016984)|
|Via:||Hurn, Parley Cross|
|Distance:||11.8 miles (19 km)|
|Meets:||A35, A338, A347, A348, A31, B3082, B3078, A349|
|Former Number(s):||A31, A349|
|Route outline (key)|
The B3073 is a fairly important road that gets traffic heading from the East of Dorset into Bournemouth and Christchurch. It begins on the A35in Christchurch town centre and heads north-west out of town, through residential areas.
We eventually reach a junction with the grade-separated Wessex Way, the A338. Quite a lot of traffic, heading for Southampton and the A31, exits here although some traffic joins us heading towards Bournemouth Airport.
After passing by the airport, and a brief section of countryside, we enter West Parley, where there is a crossroads with the A347. If you think the traffic here is bad, the next crossroads (actually two roundabouts), with the primary A348, is even worse, although traffic on the B3073 itself is not too bad.
After this we enter countryside again and meet the A31 at a roundabout, before continuing into Wimborne Minster. As an old market town, Wimborne Minster is a spaghetti of roads in the middle and, somehow, the B3073 meets the B3078 and B3082 by taking over many of the classified roads in the town centre, before it heads south. This isn't for very long, mind, and after going over the A31 again we end up on a roundabout junction with the A349, heading towards Poole.
As recently as the 1970s the B3073 consisted of no more than the mile or so between the A348 and A31 (although the original western end has been severed with the construction of the Wimborne Minster bypass). The section east of Longham was unclassified and was presumably upgraded to serve Bournemouth Airport.
The current section of B3073 into Wimborne Minster is the pre-bypass A31. When the bypass was built all A-roads were removed from the town centre, which is why the B3073 now turns south to reach the bypass again – this section was originally the A349, which number now starts even further south.