|Distance:||13.6 miles (21.9 km)|
|Met (1961):||A4155, B4526, B4009, A4130, A423|
|Now part of:||B4526, A4074|
|Route outline (key)|
The B479 was a long B-road in south Oxfordshire.
In 1922 it started on the A32 in Caversham, just to the north of Caversham Bridge. It zigzagged northwestwards to Chazey Heath and Goring Heath before passing to the south of Woodcote. It then went through Goring before crossing the River Thames into Streatley, where it ended on the A42.
In the early 1930s the road was rerouted considerably. The section from Caversham to Chazey Heath remained B479 but the rest was renumbered B4526 as far as Goring, then B4008 to Streatley. North of Chazey Heath the new route of the B479 took over a previously unclassified road. It headed to the north of Woodcote before going through Crowmarsh Gifford, where it crossed the A4130. It then crossed the A415 Benson bypass and ended in the centre of the village on the B4009 (which at that time went through Ewelme). The 1935 renumbering did not affect the B439, except that it now linked the A4155 with the A423. However, the section of ex-B479 that became B4008 was now renumbered as part of the B4009.
Following the quick expansion of RAF Benson at the start of the Second World War, the A423 was severed by the runway. The northern end of the B479 was also taken over, so a new road was built to the west of Benson (thus removing the road from the village). A short section of road can still be seen approaching the airfield from the south; this is all that remains of this section. In this way the B479 became part of a diversion route for the A423 between the A4130 and Benson village, and consequently had the distinction of a B road carrying trunk road traffic from Reading to Oxford! Some maps (such as the one to the right) even show the B479 apparently ending end-on on the A423.
After World War II it was decided not to rebuild the A423 at Benson and so the B479 between Benson and the A4130 at Crowmarsh Gifford became part of a rerouted A423 in the 1960s. Round the same time the rest of the road was upgraded to the A4074.
The A423 no longer exists in this area so the whole of the 1930s route of the B479 is now numbered A4074 (although Crowmarsh Gifford has been bypassed). The original section of B479 between Chazey Heath and Goring Heath has now been declassified as the B4526 has been slightly rerouted to join the A4074 further north.
To further confuse matters, in the early 1960s, the B479 had also been extended southwards into the centre of Reading, including a multiplex with the B3345, apparently taking over part of the B3031, with which it now met end on not at the A4 as might naturally be expected, but instead at the A329 (which, admittedly, was the original route of the A4).