A30 road

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For other roads designated A30, see A30 (disambiguation).

A30 road shield

A30 road
A30 road map.png
Route information
Length: 284 mi (457 km)
Major junctions
East end: Hounslow, London (51°28′30″N 0°23′46″W / 51.475°N 0.396°W / 51.475; -0.396)
West end: Land's End (50°03′58″N 5°42′04″W / 50.066°N 5.701°W / 50.066; -5.701)
Road network

The A30 is a major road in England, running south-west from London to Land's End. It is 284 miles (457 km) long.

The A30 used to provide the most direct route from London to the South West; nowadays much of this function is performed by the M3 motorway and the A303 road. However, the section from Honiton to Land's End retains trunk road status, and is a dual carriageway for most of its length.


London to Honiton[edit]

The A30 begins at Henlys Roundabout, a junction with the A4 near Hounslow. It runs along the south side of Heathrow Airport, then past Ashford and Staines-upon-Thames, before reaching the M25 motorway. This first section is entirely dual carriageway.

After crossing the M25, the A30 runs parallel to the M3 all the way to Basingstoke, bypassing Egham and passing through Bagshot, Camberley and Hook.

Just west of Basingstoke, at junction 8 of the M3, the A303 begins. The A30 runs parallel to this road all the way to just north-east of Honiton, passing through Stockbridge, Salisbury, Shaftesbury, Sherborne, Yeovil, Crewkerne and Chard.

Between the M25 and Honiton, the A30 is mostly single carriageway, carrying local traffic. However, there are short stretches of dual carriageway near Camberley, near Basingstoke and around Salisbury, as well as all the way between Sherborne and Yeovil.

Exeter to Penzance[edit]

Approaching Chiverton Cross from the east

This section is a major trunk road as far as Penzance.[1] It is mostly dual carriageway, but there are several short sections of single carriageway.

To pass Exeter, through traffic can join the M5 motorway for three miles. West of Exeter, the A30 is dual carriageway through Devon and into Cornwall, bypassing Whiddon Down, Okehampton and Launceston. The dual carriageway continues through Cornwall to Bodmin Moor, where there is a two-mile stretch of single carriageway. The dual carriageway resumes until Carland Cross, after which there is a single carriageway stretch to Chiverton Cross.

From Chiverton Cross, the dual carriageway bypasses Redruth and Camborne. The A30 returns to single-carriageway west of Camborne, and a mid-1980s bypass takes the road around Hayle. Between Hayle and Penzance, the A30 returns to the original route and it passes through several villages. Approaching Penzance, the A30 briefly becomes a dual-carriageway once again. Once west of Penzance, the A30 becomes a more rural road running through or past several villages, before terminating at Land's End.

A30 (T)
Eastbound exits Junction name Westbound exits
Dorchester A35 Honiton A35
Honiton A375
Turk's Head Sidmouth A375
Cullompton (A373)
No exit Iron Bridge Ottery St Mary, Fairmile, Feniton, Fenny Bridges B3177
Fenny Bridges, Fairmile, Feniton B3177 Patteson's Cross No exit
Ottery St Mary, Whimple B3174 Daisymount Exmouth, Budleigh Salterton B3180
Ottery St Mary B3174
Aylesbeare, Exeter Airport B3184
Clyst Honiton, Cranbrook
Exeter Airport Exeter Airport B3184
Sowton Village, Clyst Honiton, Cranbrook
Start of A30, Exeter Science Park M5 J29 Plymouth, Torquay, Okehampton M5(S)
Exeter A3015
Bristol, Taunton M5(N), Exeter Science Park
A30 concurrent with M5 A30 concurrent with M5
Taunton, Honiton, Exmouth M5
Plymouth A38
Torquay (A380)
M5 J31 Start of A30
End of M5
Exeter A377
Honiton A30 avoiding motorway
Alphington Junction Exeter, Crediton A377
Tedburn St Mary, Pathfinder Village Fingle Glen No exit
Cheriton Bishop, Tedburn St Mary Woodleigh Junction Cheriton Bishop, Crockernwell, Drewsteignton, Fingle Bridge, Tedburn St Mary
Moretonhampstead A382
Torrington, Winkleigh (A3124)
Whiddon Down Moretonhampstead A382
Torrington, Winkleigh (A3124)
Okehampton B3260 Okehampton B3260
Okehampton B3260 No exit
Bideford, Tavistock, Plymouth A386 Sourton Cross Tavistock, Plymouth, Bideford A386
Holsworthy, Bude (A3079)
Broadwoodwidger, Bratton Clovelly, Stowford Stowford Cross Broadwoodwidger, Bratton Clovelly, Stowford
Polson A388
Liftondown, Lifton, Tinhay, Lewdown
Liftondown Tavistock (B3362)
Plymouth A388 (A38)
Callington A388
Liskeard (A390)
Tavistock (B3362)
No exit
Launceston, Holsworthy A388
Bude (B3254)
Pennygillam Launceston A388
Bude (B3254)
Callington (A30, A388)
Liskeard (A390)
No exit Tregadillett, Trebursye
Camelford, Tregadillett, South Petherwin A395 Kennards House Wadebridge, Camelford A395 (A39)
Trewint, Five Lanes, Altarnun Five Lanes, Trewint, Altarnun
Bolventor, St Neot, St Cleer, Silbyback Lake Bolventor, St Neot, St Cleer, Silbyback Lake
No exit Bodmin (A389)
Liskeard A38
Lostwithiel (B3268)
Bodmin (A389)
Liskeard, Plymouth A38
No exit
Wadebridge A389
St Austell A391
Innis Downs Wadebridge A389
St Austell A391
Victoria, Roche B3274 Victoria Interchange Roche, Victoria B3274
Wadebridge A39
Newquay (A392)
St Dennis (B3279)
Indian Queens
Highgate Hill Newquay A39 (A392)
Airport, St Columb, St Dennis (B3279)
Indian Queens
Fraddon, Grampound Road, Ladock B3275 Fraddon, Grampound Road, Ladock B3275
Newquay, St Austell (A3058) St Austell, Newquay (A3058)
Newquay A3076 Newquay A3076
Truro A39 Carland Cross Truro A39
Zelah, Goonhavern, Shortlanesend Goonhavern, Shortlanesend
Truro A390
St Agnes, Services B3277
Newquay A3075
Chiverton Cross Truro A390
St Agnes, Services B3277
Newquay A3075
Scorrier, Blackwater A3047 Helston (B3297)
Scorrier A3047
Redruth, Scorrier A3047 Redruth, Porthtowan
Camborne A3047
Pool, Camborne A3047
Camborne A3047 Camborne (West) A3047
Hayle B3301 Hayle B3301,
Helston (B3302)
Hayle B3301
Helston (B3302)
St Ives A3074
Hayle B3301
St Ives A3074
Helston A394 Newtown Roundabout Helston A394
Penzance B3311 Branwell Lane Penzance, Gulval B3311
Treneere Treneere
Madron, Heamoor
West Cornwall Hospital
Madron, Heamoor
Penzance, West Cornwall Hospital
St Just A3071
Start of A30 (T)
Penzance seafront
St Just A3071
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi


The original route of the A30 went from Basingstoke to Salisbury via Andover, but was rerouted to Stockbridge on 1 April 1933. It originally ended in Penzance, being extended to Land's End in 1925.[2][3][4]

The 2.2-mile (3.5 km) long Honiton (£984,000) dual-carriageway bypass opened in early December 1966.[5] Between Honiton and Exeter, the A30 is dualled and at Exeter it merges briefly with the M5 motorway.

The A30 formerly ran through Exeter via Honiton Road to Heavitree Bridge, Fore Street Heavitree to Livery Dole, Heavitree Road to Paris Street. At the junction with High Street the A30 branched left and south-west and merged with the former A38 to Fore Street, New Bridge Street and Exe Bridge. At the west side of the bridge, the A38 branched left and south via Alphington Street, the A30 ran through Cowick Street, Dunsford Road and Pocombe Hill. At Pocombe Bridge, the A30 branched right and north to Tedburn St Mary.

The Okehampton bypass, which opened on 19 July 1988, goes to the south of the town, cutting through the northern edge of Dartmoor National Park in Devon. In the 1980s, the route of the bypass was the subject of a prolonged campaign from conservationists, including Sylvia Sayer, who preferred a route to the north of the town through agricultural land.[6]

The Hayle bypass was built in the mid-1980s.[citation needed]

Carland Cross roundabout

The section between Honiton and Exeter in East Devon was dualled in 1999 as a dual carriageway giving quicker access to Exeter International Airport. This road was built under the 'Design Build Finance Operate" scheme by the private consortium 'Connect A30', who funded its construction, and who receive a 'shadow toll' from the government for each vehicle that travels along this section of the road.[7] Archaeological investigations during the work found a Roman cavalry garrison and later settlement at Pomeroy Wood.[8]

There were many protests by environmentalists against the damage caused by the building of this road, and the particular nature of the DBFO scheme, with a long-lasting occupation of sites on the planned route, focused around the village of Fairmile. Swampy became well known for his part in this protest.

During 2006 one of the main bottlenecks on the road was removed when the Merrymeet roundabout between Okehampton and Exeter near Whiddon Down was replaced with a grade-separated junction and dual carriageway.[9]

After the Bodmin to Indian Queens project was completed in June 2007 the A30 is now virtually entirely dualled between Exeter and the A30/A39 junction at Carland Cross near Truro, apart from a short section across Bodmin Moor, near the village of Temple.

Since late 2007 a new dual carriageway runs around Goss Moor with the existing road converted to a cycle lane.[10]

Proposed developments[edit]

Other proposals[edit]

Two other improvements, Temple to Higher Carblake and Carland Cross to Chiverton Cross, were planned and would have created a continuous dual carriageway from Exeter to Camborne but these plans were shelved in 2006 as they were not considered a regional priority.[11] In December 2012 it was announced that the section from Temple to Higher Carblake would be upgraded to a dual carriageway.[12]

Goss Moor[edit]

In Cornwall the A30 previously crossed Goss Moor along a single carriageway section of the road between Victoria and Indian Queens. This was a major bottleneck in the county's transport system until 2007. An iron railway bridge is also situated in the middle of this section in which the Par–Newquay branch line crosses. This was built a long time before the road was dualled at both ends, and so can only fit a single carriage way beneath it. Due to its height (14 ft 3 in), many lorries in previous years had crashed into it, blocking the whole road completely.

There were plans to restore the rest of the St Austell – Indian Queens freight line (currently only going as far up as St Dennis), and direct rail traffic that way, but this plan was dropped. The road had been subject to a long-running campaign for expansion. As Goss Moor is a national nature reserve,[13] it is one of the most highly protected wildlife sites in the UK, and plans for expansion were strongly opposed.[14] In late 2004 a decision was finally reached, and a new dual carriageway now runs around the moor with the existing road converted to a cycle lane.[10] The first 4-mile (6.4 km) section of the new dual carriageway between Highgate Hill and the new Victoria Interchange opened at midnight on 9/10 May 2007. The former bottleneck of the iron bridge having now been eliminated means that problems with HGV lorries being stuck under the bridge should be a thing of the past. The remaining 3-mile (4.8 km) stretch of new dual carriageway between Victoria Interchange and Innis Downs roundabout opened on 25 June 2007.

The new dual carriageway means that average travel times along this section of the route have reduced significantly. Several petrol stations along the old route have now closed down, and the former route across Goss Moor is now silent once more. The remains of a Stone Age settlement were discovered along the new route during construction.[15]

References in popular culture[edit]

  • John Betjeman immortalised the A30 in his poem "Meditation on the A30".
  • Arthur Boyt, star of BBC documentary The Man Who Eats Badgers, described the A30 near Bodmin Moor as a good road for finding roadkill.[16]
  • In Monty Python's Flying Circus, episode 34: The Cycling Tour, Mr Pither laments "As I lay down to the sound of the Russian gentlemen practising their shooting, I realised I was in a bit of a pickle. My heart sank as I realised I should never see the Okehampton by-pass again...", just before his impending execution in Russia.[17]


  1. ^ "Area 1 (map)". Highways Agency. Retrieved 22 December 2011. 
  2. ^ "Half Inch Ministry of Transport Road Map". Ordnance Survey. Retrieved 22 December 2011. 
  3. ^ The National Archives File MT39/241 : "CLASSIFICATION : Numbering System"
  4. ^ The National Archives File MT39/246 : "CLASSIFICATION : Renumbering of classified routes"
  5. ^ "Honiton Bypass". Autocar 125 (3696): page 1287. 16 December 1966. 
  6. ^ Kelly, Matthew (2015). Quartz and Feldspar – Dartmoor: A British Landscape in Modern Times. London: Jonathan Cape. pp. 10–16. ISBN 978-0-22409-113-8. 
  7. ^ Highways Agency – A30 Exeter to Bere Regis
  8. ^ "A30 Honiton to Exeter – Horse Power – Roman Style". Roads to the Past: Trunk Roads and Archaeology – 1999 report. Highways Agency. 1999. Retrieved 17 October 2009. 
  9. ^ Highways Agency – A30 Merrymeet Junction
  10. ^ a b "Moor dualling plans get go-ahead". BBC News. 29 November 2004. Retrieved 23 April 2010. 
  11. ^ "Winners and losers in roads plan". BBC News. 6 July 2006. Retrieved 23 April 2010. 
  12. ^ "AUTUMN STATEMENT 2012" (pdf). Retrieved 5 December 2012. 
  13. ^ Natural England – Special Sites
  14. ^ Transport campaign group | A30 Goss Moor briefing | Foe cornwall
  15. ^ "Stone age discovery in roadworks". BBC News. 6 September 2005. Retrieved 23 April 2010. 
  16. ^ "Arthur Boyt". Archived from the original on 5 December 2012. Retrieved 5 December 2012. 
  17. ^ http://www.ibras.dk/montypython/episode34.htm