||This article is written like a travel guide rather than an encyclopedic description of the subject. (January 2015)|
Click map to enlarge
|Length:||27 mi (43 km)|
|East end:||Norwich (A11)
| A11 road
|West end:||Lowestoft (A12)
The entire route has primary classification and as such has been improved over the years, although traffic levels can lead to delays.
Before the construction of the southern bypass the A146 started in the city centre at St. Stephens Roundabout (near Norwich bus station and headed out along Bracondale and out through Trowse. However according to maps it now begins just south of the roundabout as a fork from the A11 outside the site of the old Norfolk and Norwich Hospital (which has since relocated to Colney). This first section (Ipswich Road) is actually signed as the A1056 on the ground but appears as the A146 on maps! Either way it used to be the A140, which now forms the western section of the outer ringroad. The A146/A1056 meets the A140 ringroad at traffic lights where the A140 resumes its route south to Ipswich and the A146 turns to the east to take over the southern section of the ringroad. After the Tuckswood roundabout (with McDonalds) comes another change of direction as the A146 relinquishes control of the outer ringroad to the A1054 and turns right onto a dual carriageway to bypass Trowse and leave Norwich in a south-easterly direction, which it generally maintains through the rest of its journey.
Norwich to Beccles
The Trowse bypass crosses over the Great Eastern Main Line and the River Yare on a viaduct, and leads to the junction with the A47 Norwich southern bypass (which it passes under) and shortly afterwards in Bixley to a junction with the B1332 (which heads south to Bungay). Soon after the A146 returns to single carriageway, passing through Framingham Pigot, Hellington Corner and Thurton before crossing the River Chet. The speed limit drops from 60 mph (97 km/h) to 50 mph (80 km/h) and then 40 mph (64 km/h) as you pass through the village. The limit is enforced by a speed camera at the bottom of the valley. Another change to its route is Loddon which is now bypassed to the south (the original road went straight through the town). Along the route of the bypass, at the junction with Mundham Road, the 60 miles per hour (97 km/h) speed limit is once again enforced by a speed camera. Beyond Loddon it passes the village of Hales at the junction of the B1136 for Great Yarmouth. This area is an accident blackspot due to the presence of a petrol station and the amount of traffic using the B1136 junction. Between Hales and Stockton several curves in the road are negotiated, old stretches of the route can be seen in what are now laybys. The stockton stone can be seen next to one of these laybys halfway between Hales and the roundabout. The roundabout is where the A143 from Diss briefly joins it. A short downhill section brings us to a roundabout where the A143 splits off and continues on its way to Great Yarmouth. Also on this roundabout are some services - a BP garage and a McDonald's restaurant. The original route of the road used to take you through Gillingham, Beccles and Worlingham but the modern route misses all of this out, bypassing them to the north. Crossing the River Waveney we leave Norfolk and enter Suffolk and a little further on at a roundabout the A145 gives access to Beccles.
Beccles to Lowestoft
A short distance further on the road crosses over the East Suffolk Line at a level crossing and road leads past Beccles Common and Wild Carr woods on to another roundabout and another new stretch of road, the original road can be seen to the north, just through the trees. The speed limit from here has been reduced to 50 mph (80 km/h) for safety reasons, the road passing North Cove and Barnby. On entering Carlton Colville on the edge of the Lowestoft built up area, Rookery Park Golf Club is passed. A relief road links Carlton Colville with the centre of Lowestoft, and the A146 turns slightly to the north past Oulton Broad South railway station and into Oulton Broad before returning to its previous easterly direction following the southern side of Lake Lothing. The road ends at its junction with the A12 just south of Lowestoft's bascule bridge.
The route of the A146 passes near to a number of railway stations.
|Norwich||Greater Anglia Wherry Line, Great Eastern Main Line
East Midlands Trains
|Great Yarmouth, Lowestoft, Ipswich, Cambridge, Sheringham, London
|Beccles||Greater Anglia East Suffolk Line||Lowestoft, Ipswich|
|Oulton Broad South||Greater Anglia East Suffolk Line||Ipswich, Lowestoft|
|Lowestoft||Greater Anglia Wherry Line, East Suffolk Line||Norwich, Ipswich|
The First Eastern Counties X2 bus route also follows the road for much of its journey between Norwich and Lowestoft, serving all population centres on the route with a half-hourly weekday and Saturday frequency.