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UK road A420.PNG
A420 road
Direction east/west
Start Old Market Street, Bristol
Primary
destinations1
Chippenham
Swindon
End Headington in Oxford
Roads joined UK road A4044.PNG A4044 road
UK road A4320.PNG A4320 road
UK road A431.PNG A431 road
UK road A4017.PNG A4017 road
UK road A4174.PNG A4174 road
UK road A4175.PNG A4175 road
UK road A46.svg A46 road

UK road A350.PNG A350 road
UK road A4.svg A4 road
UK road A3102.PNG A3102 road
UK road A419.PNG A419 road
UK road A417.PNG A417 road
UK road A415.PNG A415 road
UK road A338.PNG A338 road
UK road A34.svg A34 road
UK road A4144.PNG A4144 road
UK road A4158.PNG A4158 road
UK road A4142.PNG A4142 road
UK road A40.svg A40 road

Notes
  1. Primary destinations as specified by the Department for Transport.


The A420 is a road between Bristol and Oxford in England. Between Swindon and Oxford it is a primary route.

Contents

Present route

Since the opening of the M4 motorway, the road is in two sections. The first section begins on Old Market Street near the centre of Bristol, it passes through Kingswood before leaving the city on the east side. From here it travels eastward over the southern part of the Cotswolds, to the north of Bath, to Chippenham in Wiltshire.

The second section starts at a junction with the A419 east of Swindon. It then travels under the Great Western Main Line at the Acorn Bridge and by-passes Shrivenham (the road originally went through Shrivenham, but the by-pass was built in the mid 1980s) and Watchfield, then on towards Faringdon in the Vale of White Horse. A new section by-passes Faringdon, just south of Folly Hill and crosses the A417.

The A420 then travels the corallian limestone ridge that forms the Northwest border of the Vale of White Horse, travelling past Littleworth, Buckland and Longworth. A dual-carriageway section by-passes Southmoor and Kingston Bagpuize, on its way to Oxford.

A further dual-carriageway section bypasses Cumnor Hill, to give a view of the "City of Dreaming Spires" that is Oxford from the west. It then passes the Oxford Ring Road, through the suburb of Botley and down the Botley Road. It crosses the River Thames on Osney Bridge and reaches central Oxford. Within Oxford, it is routed along Oxpens, then Thames Street, parts of St Aldate's then the High Street, which is closed to most motor traffic.[1] The road then crosses Magdalen Bridge to St Clements and East Oxford and ascends the notoriously steep Headington Hill to the suburb of Headington before terminating at the Green Road roundabout, where it meets the A40 and the Oxford Ring Road.

Large vehicles such as lorries are advised by large signs at Oxford and Swindon not to take this route and use the alternative A34, from Junction 13 of the M4.

History

When first classified in 1922, the A420 ran between Chippenham and Botley, near Oxford. The road between Bristol and Chippenham was the A430.[2] The two roads were later joined and the A430 renumbered A420. The road from Botley through Oxford to Headington was originally part of the A40. When the northern Oxford bypass was built in the 1930s, the A40 was rerouted along the bypass and the road through Oxford was renumbered A420.

As a result of the building of the M4 motorway and subsequent road modernisation, the A420 between Chippenham and Swindon lost its identity. From Chippenham to Lyneham through Sutton Benger and to the north of RAF Lyneham and its limestone ridge, it became the B4069. From Lyneham to Swindon it became part of the A3102. From Swindon through Stratton St Margaret to the A419 it became the A4312.

Site of Fastest Speeding Ticket

The A420 near Kingston Bagpuize in Oxfordshire was the site of the crime of the fastest driver ever caught in a routine speed check in the UK. On 27 January 2007, Timothy Brady, a 33 year-old man from Harrow, London, was clocked at 172 miles per hour (277 kilometers per hour, or 77 meters per second) in a Porsche 911 Turbo that he had taken without permission from his employer, a luxury car hire firm.[3] On 24 September 2007, Brady was disqualified from driving and sentenced to 10 weeks in jail.

References

  1. ^ Email from Oxfordshire County Council Highways, 23 October 2007
  2. ^ 1922 road list
  3. ^ BBC article about 172 mph speeding ticket
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