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|Length:||34 mi (55 km)|
|Rainworth, Sutton-in-Ashfield, Pleasley|
The route runs south-east to north-west through the northern East Midlands, largely through former coal-mining areas. It runs largely parallel to the A616 road, around six miles further south.
Newark to Sutton-in-Ashfield
The eastern terminus begins on the A46 Newark bypass, at the roundabout with the A616, on the former route of the Great North Road in the Newark and Sherwood district of Nottinghamshire, as a trunk road. It traverses the Trent Valley, crossing the River Trent at narrow bridge only really passable by light traffic; Kelham Bridge was built in 1857 when larger road vehicles never existed, and is mildly dangerous. The eastern terminus of the route was formerly in Kelham, where it met the former route of the A616 at a T-junction. It meets the Trent Valley Way, which it follows to Averham. A mile to the south is Staythorpe Power Station, and the route is crossed by electricity lines. Before Micklebarrow Hill, the A612 leaves to the west for Southwell. It passes through Hockerton, following a northern ridge of the River Greet, further to the south. It passes through Kirklington, known for its former Kirklington Hall Research Station. It passes to the south of Bilsthorpe. Entering the parish of Rainworth, it meets the busy north-south A614 at a busy roundabout. Rainworth is now bypassed, and the former route is the B6020. The main characteristic of this dual-carriageway, heavily-landscaped bypass is that it was obviously built in anticipation of a similar (dual-carriageway) bypass of Mansfield, which although planned, never arose.
The Rainworth bypass crosses Clipstone Forest and Rainworth Water, enters Mansfield District, and meets the former route of the A617 at a large landscaped roundabout, built in anticipation of a bridge over the roundabout at the junction. A large wind farm is to the south, and the bypass meets the A6117 at a roundabout, and the A60 at an at-grade junction, where it enters the district of Ashfield, another former coal mining district. It passes under the A611 and meets the A38 Sutton-in-Ashfield bypass.
Sutton-in-Ashfield to Chesterfield
The road briefly follows the A38 trunk road towards Mansfield. The King's Mill Hospital is directly to the east, and the road follows a route first built as the A6075, and is a non-trunk road. Entering Mansfield district, the route of the Mansfield bypass follows a new route of the A617 to Radmanthwaite, where it meets the former route, now the dual-carriageway A6191.
It passes through Pleasleyhill, becoming dual-carriageway where it crosses the River Meden entering Derbyshire and Bolsover District, meeting the B6407 and B6417 at a large roundabout; the Pleasley Bypass was built in the early 1970s. It passes through Glapwell, passing the Crown Carveries The Young Vanish Inn, and at Doe Lea in Ault Hucknall, the road deviates to a dual-carriageway section to the north, built in anticipation of the M1. The road meets the M1 motorway at the busy junction 29 in Heath and Holmewood. To improve access to Chesterfield from the M1 to the south, a new section of dual carriageway was built. The former route takes part of the B6039 through the parish of Grassmoor, Hasland and Winswick and Hasland in Chesterfield district; the A617 Hasland Bypass opened on 15 September 1978. There is a grade-separated junction with the B6425. The road enters the borough of Chesterfield, and the western terminus is with the A61 at the Lordsmill Roundabout, having crossed under the Midland Main Line.