|From:||Willand, Devon (ST029099)|
|To:||Westcott, Devon (ST020050)|
|Distance:||3.1 miles (5 km)|
|Old route now:||M5|
|Route outline (key)|
The Cullompton Bypass was opened in 1968 as part of the A38. It is the only part of the M5 which used a pre-existing road, although the designers clearly knew that the motorway was on its way! In its time as A38, the road was D2M standard, with wide central reservations, ready for the upgrade to M5.
The two terminal junctions, with the old A38, which was temporarily re-numbered B3176 (now part of the B3181), were flat roundabouts and have long since been removed, whilst the junction in the middle, now M5 J28, was built as a diamond and is now a diamond/dumbbell hybrid.
Despite the two termini having been removed, the southern roundabout still partially exists as a link to the B3181 for emergency traffic.
The motorway finally arrived at Cullompton in 1975, and opened right through to J30 at Exeter in the same year. When it did so, it meant that the A38 was banished from most of East Devon, as it was downgraded to the B3181, and so the road through Cullompton changed number again. Since then, the A373 has also been foreshortened, so J28 of the M5 - the middle of the old bypass section - is now the end of the A373, with a spur of the B3181 coming the short distance from the town centre to join it.