The A45 is a major road in England. It runs east from Birmingham past the National Exhibition Centre and the M42, then bypasses Coventry and Rugby, where it briefly merges with the M45 until it continues to Daventry. It then heads to Northampton and Wellingborough before running north of Rushden and Higham Ferrers and terminating at its junction with the A14 road in Thrapston.
Prior to the construction of the M6 motorway it was the main route from the Midlands to Ipswich and to the Haven ports. When the A1-M1 link road section of the current A14 opened in 1994 most of the A45 to the east of Cambridge was re-designated as the A14 and some sections to the west were downgraded to B-roads (including the B645 between Higham Ferrers and St Neots).
The original (1923) route of the A45 was Birmingham to Ipswich. The road was extended to Felixstowe in 1935, replacing the A139 (see this on SABRE Maps). Around the same time, the A45 was re-routed around the south of Coventry when the city's southern bypass was completed ).
A bypass for the village of Eltisley was built in 1972, along with a bypass on the B1040 road. The 3-mile (4.8 km) £8 million St Neots Bypass opened in December 1985 on what was then the A45. When the M6 to Felixstowe route was moved and upgraded to become the A14, this bypass became re-designated part of the less important Cambridge-Coventry A428.
Bypasses and realignments
- Small Heath (Now bypassed to the south)
- Meriden (Now bypassed to the north)
- Coventry (An early bypass to the south)
- Daventry (The route now follows the ring road)
- Northampton (Bypassed, the former route being A4500)
- Higham Ferrers (Bypassed to the west of the town)
When the new A14 A1-M1 link road was opened to traffic in the mid-1990s, the Cambridge to Felixstowe stretch of the A45 was re-designated as the A14 (and many of the villages the route went through were bypassed) and the St Neots to Cambridge section became part of an extended A428. The route through Felixstowe at the end of the A14 is now the A154.
Birmingham to Dunchurch
The road starts on the A4540 Birmingham Ring Road, bypassing Small Heath and crossing the B4145. It passes over the River Cole and meets the A4040 at a grade-separated junction (roundabout with underpass for the A45) at the Swan Shopping Centre in Yardley. It meets the B425 at traffic lights in Sheldon, then enters the borough of Solihull. The section of the A45 from Birmingham city centre to the M45 is all dual carriageway — urban dual carriageway with traffic lights until Birmingham Airport, then rural grade-separated between the Airport and Coventry. The Bickenhill Junction (grade-separated roundabout with extra access slip roads with an undepass for the A45) intersects with the B4438, a dual carriageway access road for Birmingham International Airport, the N.E.C. and Birmingham International railway station. There is a grade-separated junction with the M42 junction 6 (three level roundabout with underpass for the M42, an overpass on the eastern side for the A45 and an underpass for the A45 on the western side). On this roundabout, there is also access to the National Motorcycle Museum. The road meets the A452 at Stonebridge at a grade separated junction (roundabout with overpass for the A45) and passes over the River Blythe where the road briefly enters Warwickshire. Meriden is bypassed to the north. The Heart of England Way passes under the road, and the road enters the borough of Coventry.
The A45 becomes an urban road and skirts the south side of Coventry, crossing the A4114 near Allesley Park, the B4101 at Tile Hill, West Coast Main Line, A429 and B4113. Beyond here the road takes a more rural nature, with a grade-separated junction with the A46 and the A444 (three level roundabout with underpass for the A46 and the A444, and an overpass for the A45). Between here and the next junction, the A45 multiplexes with the A46 again. The Tollbar End roundabout was one of the busiest in the Midlands. It had exits for the A46 north/ Coventry Eastern Bypass, Coventry Airport and B4110. In early 2017, the Tollbar End roundabout was upgraded and the junction is now a grade-separated roundabout with an underpass for the A46 (click here for more information). Crossing the River Avon, the road re-enters Warwickshire. The A423 exits to the south-east at a grade-separated junction (fork junction with an extra slip road for extra access) near the former Peugeot factory. The A445 crosses at the Ryton Roundabout near Ryton on Dunsmore, followed by the War Memorial Roundabout with the B4455 Fosse Way. There is a grade-separated junction with the A4071 towards Rugby (left in, left out junction with overpass for the A4071 with collector and distributor lanes). The final roundabout on this section is the start of the M45 and the B4429.For 2 miles (3.2 km), the A45 multiplexes with the M45 at a fairly new junction beyond Dunchurch. The B4429 carried the A45 until the new junction was built.
Dunchurch to Thrapston
Heading towards Daventry, the road is single carriageway. The road passes two prisons: HMP Onley and HMP Rye Hill. After Willoughby, the road enters Northamptonshire, where it crosses the Oxford Canal and Grand Union Canal near Braunston. The Jurassic Way crosses the road here. The road enters Daventry, home to large distribution centres for Ford Motor Company, and Diageo. The road briefly runs concurrent with the A425 heading to Leamington Spa, then heads south-east on the Daventry Bypass, called the Stefen Way. The road meets the B4038 at a roundabout where the A425 exits. The road heads west past Dodford to Weedon Bec, where it crosses the West Coast Main Line and Grand Union Canal, then meets the A5 at traffic lights. The road passes through Flore, then meets the grade-separated M1 junction 16 (roundabout with underpass for the M1). As of July 2018, the road through Flore is being replaced by the Daventry Development Link Road, which will bypass the village.
The A45 resumes at the M1 junction 15 as dual carriageway, heading around the south side of Northampton. It then meets the older route (part of the A5076 and part of the A4500) at the A45/ A508 grade-separated junction (roundabout with underpass for the A45), near Northampton High School. It then crosses the River Nene and Nene Way, and after that, there is a large grade-separated junction with the A428 and the A5095 (roundabout with overpass for the A45). This section is concurrent with the A43, which exits at a grade-separated junction (roundabout with underpass for the A45) near Weston Favell. The grade-separated junction with the end of the A5076 (roundabout with underpass for the A45) is also the exit for Billing Aquadrome. The road has a grade-separated junction with the B573 (left in, left out junction with overpass for the B573) near Earls Barton. The road meets the Wellingborough bypass (A509) at a roundabout although there is a segregated turn lane for westbound traffic. It runs concurrently with the A509 to the grade-separated junction (dumbbell with overpass for the A45) near the bridge over the River Nene, where the A509 exits south near Irchester Country Park. East of Wellingborough, the road crosses the Midland Main Line. There is a grade-separated junction for the A5001 into Rushden (restricted dumbbell with underpass for the A45 with an exit for eastbound traffic and an access to the A45 for westbound only) and the route runs alongside the River Nene, offering a second turning to Rushden at a roundabout with the A5001 again. At the roundabout with the A6 near Higham Ferrers, it starts the follow the former route of the A605. The section of dual carriageway from the M1 now ends at the next roundabout and the route from there is now single carriageway. This is the start of the Raunds Bypass. The next roundabout is with the B663. The route bypasses Ringstead and the A45 finishes at a grade-separated junction with the A14 (roundabout with overpass for the A14) near Thrapston.
The final leg of the A45 in Felixstowe was never re-designated as the A14. It runs as Walton Avenue from Junction 62 of the A14, along Beach Station Road and ends at the junction with the terminus of the A154 at Langer Road; Ordnance Survey maps, however, show Walton Avenue as part of the A154.
The A45 is mentioned in the song "Driving in my car" by pop group Madness in 1982:
I've been driving in my car, it don't look much but I've been far
I drive up to Muswell Hill, I've even been to Selsey Bill
I drove along the A45, I had her up to 58
This copper stopped me the other day, you're mistaken what could I say
The tyres were a little worn, they were O.K., I could have sworn
I like driving in my car, I'm satisfied I've got this far
Where was I? Bedfordshire. That's a lousy place, since the A45
You go round and it's utterly flat. I can't see how you can have any, any enthusiasm
For that sort of thing at all...
This article needs additional citations for verification. (January 2009) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
- "Ordnance Survey via Multimap". Retrieved 2010-03-15.
-  Daventry development link road