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Network changes - 1950s

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A list of changes to the road network in Great Britain from 1950 to 1959. Includes road openings and renumberings.

Road openings

Year Number on opening Location County Notes
1950 A570 Rainford Bypass Lancashire The central section re-opened, after War Office requisition in 1943 and repairs, together with extensions to A580 in south and B5192 (South Lancs) in north on 13 December 1950.
1950 A85 Longforgan Bypass Perthshire The 1 mile dual carriageway was opened by Summer 1950. At the start of the year there had been a temporary opening for the Hogmanay Holiday. There were cycle tracks and footpaths on either side of the road. The initial plans were approved in 1938 and revived in 1946 with a provisional cost of £60,000. Renumbered to A90 in 1994.
1953 A35 Southampton Hampshire Tebourba Way opened 30 April
1955 A48 Briton Ferry Glamorgan Briton Ferry bridges – opened by the Minister of Transport on 31 October
1955 B5312 Lichfield Staffordshire Then described as a bypass. A short, more direct deviation of B5312 at Levetts Field, north of station (A38 continued through town). Later renumbered as A5127.
1956 A51 Longdon bypass Staffordshire Quarter mile bypass of twisty roads in village (Longdon Green bypass opened later in 1969)
1956 A87 Loch Garry to Glen Moriston Inverness-shire Realignment
1957 A1 Alconbury to Conington Huntingdonshire Dualling
1957 A5 Markyate Bypass Hertfordshire The 1.25 mile road was officially opened on 12 June 1957 by Viscountess Davidson, M.P. for Hemel Hempstead. It had been in use since late May 1957. Cost £250,000. 10,000 vehicles per day were diverted from the village.
1957 A20 Ashford bypass Kent Opened by the Minister of Transport on 19 July
1957 A31 Farnham Bypass Surrey The 2 mile road was formally opened on 12 July 1957 by Sir John Wenham, former Chairman of Surrey County Council. This followed the construction of the middle part of the bypass avoiding Abbey Street and Red Lion Lane. Prior to this those streets had been used with the two outer sections of the bypass which had been opened in the early 1940s. The £335,000 original scheme was for a dual carriageway but only a single carriageway was built with cost £178,000. It included a flyover bridge for the A287.
1957 A303 Watergore Somerset Lopen Head – Watergore improvement
1957 A381 Totnes Western Bypass Devon The bypass between A384 Ashburton Road and A381 which included the Kingsbridge Hill Diversion was opened after the Summer following the completion of the bridge over the railway, the final part of the scheme. it was known as the "Westerly Bypass". Cost for the final stage £22,000. Part had been completed in 1942 and part opened in 1948 using a "spur road" (see 1942 entry).
1957 A5 Markyate Hertfordshire Markyate Bypass
1957 A51 Rugeley Staffordshire Western Bypass. Western Springs Road was opened on 7 June 1957 with 4 visitors from American twin town attending
1957 A52 Spondon to Hopwell Firs Derbyshire Borrowash Bypass – opened 10 December 1957 by T.R.G. Nugent. The 2.75 mile dual carriageway cost £255,000 and was the 1st stage of the Derby to Nottingham link road.
1957 A57 Markham Moor to Elkesley Nottinghamshire West Drayton Bypass and dualling as A57 – later renumbered in 1961 as A1
1957 A6 Cavendish Bridge Derbyshire Replacement to 1771 bridge, which collapsed on 21 March 1947 following floods, and temporary Bailey Bridge in the interim. Included a bypass to village. Cost £300,000. Opened 3 September 1957 by Sir Robert Martin, Chairman, Leicestershire County Council. First bridge in country constructed of prestressed concrete.
1958 M6 Preston Lancashire M6 Preston Bypass – first UK motorway – opened on 5 December
1958 A1 Leeming Yorkshire Leeming bypass, Renumbered as A1(M) in 2012
1958 A1 Stilton bypass Northamptonshire Opened by David (later Lord) Renton in July 1958, costing £2.5 million
1958 A38 Lichfield to Alrewas Staffordshire Dualling
1958 A45 Stonebridge to Pickford Green Warwickshire The 3 mile Meriden Bypass opened fully on 30 September 1958 (the southbound carriageway had opened on 15 September 1958). The official opening was on 13 October 1958 by Harold Watkinson, Minister of Transport. Cost was £500,000 and contractor was Tarmac Ltd. Work had started in June 1957.
1958 A405 Park Street - London Colney Hertfordshire Dualling of North Orbital Road ahead of St Albans Bypass, renumbered as A414 in 1986
1958 A456 Halesowen Bypass Worcestershire The 1.5 mile bypass from A459 Grange Road to Hayley Green was opened on 1 August 1958. Costs to date were £150,000. Initially just one carriageway was opened and the other carriageway, which required further work, remained closed whilst the final funding was awaited. To compound matters one way working was introduced for 6 weeks from 12 October 1959 to allow the top surface to be put on the one carriageway in use. The second carriageway was finally opened in September 1960. Additional cost was £70,000.
1958 A4142 Oxford Ring Road Oxfordshire Eastern Bypass Stage 1 - Garsington Road (B480) to Oxford Road, Littlemore (the Henley Road A423, later renumbered A4158). The 1 mile dual carriageway was opened in July 1958. This section was built by Oxfordshire County Council using direct labour.
1958 A57 Elkesley to Apleyhead Nottinghamshire Dualling as A57 – later renumbered in 1961 as A1
1958 A556 Northwich Bypass Cheshire Stage 2 - the 1.75 mile dual carriageway western section between Sandiway Bank and School Lane, Hartford was opened on 15 December 1958 by the Earl of Gosford, Spokesman in House of Lords for Ministry of Transport. Contractor was Messrs. Thomas Ashley (Contractors) Ltd, Hartford, cost £200,000.
1958 A6 London Colney Bypass Hertfordshire The 2.5 mile dual carriageway was opened on 8 November 1958 by R.A. Butler, Home Secretary. The carriageways were 24 feet wide and designed to take up to 15,000 vehicles per day. Contractor was John Laing and Son Ltd, cost £400,000. It was to be extended at both ends to form a dual carriageway from Hampstead to the former M10. Renumbered as A1081 in 1986
1958 A607 Syston Bypass Lincolnshire The Syston 3 miles north of Grantham.
1958 B680 Clifton Bridge (Nottingham) Nottinghamshire The Western span single carriageway was opened on 5th June 1958 by Princess Alexander to provide a river crossing from the B679 at Clifton onto Queens Drive into the City Centre. It later became part of the A614 Nottingham Outer Ring Road. Currently part of A52
1959 M1 Watford - Crick Hertfordshire • Bedfordshire • Northamptonshire The first long-distance motorway, between Aldenham Temporary Motorway Terminal (near J5) and Crick (J18) was opened on 2 November 1959 by Ernest Marples, Minister of Transport
1959 M10 St Albans Hertfordshire St Albans Bypass – opened on the same day as the M1
1959 M45 Rugby Warwickshire • Northamptonshire Dunchurch Spur – opened on the same day as the M1
1959 A1 Wetherby Bypass Yorkshire Opened 26 October
1959 A1 Stibbington Northamptonshire Stibbington Bypass avoiding level crossing
1959 A1 Catterick Yorkshire Catterick Bypass
1959 A12 Ingatestone Bypass Essex The 1.6 mile dual carriageway was opened on 23 November 1959 by Ernest Marples, Minister of Transport. Cost £250,000. A six verse "road safety" hymn composed by the village Rector, Rev. E.F. Hudson, was sung by the church choir at the ceremony.
1959 A184 Felling Durham Felling Bypass
1959 A23 Handcross Bypass Sussex New alignment with online dualling to Pease Pottage
1959 A4 Chiswick Middlesex Chiswick flyover opened in September
1959 A4 Newbury Inner Relief Road Berkshire Stage 1 - The 1 mile East-West section opened in March 1959. Single carriageway. Cost £126,000.
1959 A41 New Ferry Bypass Cheshire The 1600 yard dual carriageway on the Wirral was opened between Bolton Road and Thorburn Road on 30 November 1959 by John Hay, Joint Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Transport. There were roundabouts at either end. Cost £300,000
1959 A4142 Oxford Ring Road Oxfordshire Eastern Bypass Stage 2 - Headington Roundabout, London Road (A40) to Garsington Road (B480). The 2.5 mile dual carriageway was opened in late 1959. Cost £1 million. The section from Garsington Road to Littlemore had been opened in July 1958.
1959 A614 Apleyhead to Ranby Nottinghamshire Dualling as A614, later renumbered in 1961 as A1

Other changes in the 1950s

Network changes - 1950s
Historical Information
1922 Road Lists Class IZone 1 • Zone 2 • Zone 3 • Zone 4 • Zone 5 • Zone 6 • Zone 7 • Zone 8 • Zone 9 • Northern Ireland
1922 Road Lists Class IIZone 1 • Zone 2 • Zone 3 • Zone 4 • Zone 5 • Zone 6 • Zone 7 • Zone 8 • Zone 9 • Northern Ireland
1935 Road numbering revisionZone 1 • Zone 2 • Zone 3 • Zone 4 • Zone 5 • Zone 6 • Zone 7 • Zone 8 • Zone 9
Mass renumbering schemes1922 Draft Road Lists • 1924 A1 Renumbering • 1920s South Buckinghamshire Renumbering • 1933 A30 Renumbering • 1933 Scotland Renumbering Proposals • 1934 A82 Renumbering • Tyneside Renumberings • Motorway linked Renumberings • Republic of Ireland T and L roads
Network Changes1700-1799 • 1800-1899 • 1900-1909 • 1910-1919 • 1920-1929 • 1930-1939 • 1940-1949 • 1950-1959 • 1960-1969 • 1970-1979 • 1980-1989 • 1990-1999 • 2000-2009 • 2010-2019 • 2020-2029

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