- A338 road
The A338 is a major trunk road in southern
England, that runs from the junction with the A35 at Bournemouthin Dorsetto the junction with the A420 at Besselsleighin Oxfordshire, roughly 92 miles long.
Route of Road
The road begins in central Bournemouth, before heading northward as a grade separated
dual carriageway, one of the main roads in the South East Dorset conurbation. From near Bournemouth International Airport it follows the western side of the Avon valley, joining the route of the A31 roadheading north-east for 1½ miles to cross the valley, before turning left at Ringwoodin Hampshirewhere it joins the original, single carriagewayroute to the east of the river.
Heading northward up the east side of the Avon, it crosses to the west again near the town of
Fordingbridge. After crossing into Wiltshirenear Downton, it meets the A354 roadat a roundabout on the southern outskirts of Salisbury( Britford), before joining the route of the A36 roadas it bypasses the city centre to dual carriageway standard. It meets the A30 roadat a roundabout, before continuing in a north-easterly direction, to follow the entire length of the River Bourne. It has a junction with the main A303 road, which it crosses, and then travels through the town of Tidworth. From there the road travels north to Collingbourne Ducis, where it twists through the village around the church to a mini-roundabout. It turns right to continue northwards alongside the Bourne through another narrow stretch at Collingbourne Kingstonto another mini-roundabout before again heading north.
Near Burbage the continued route north to
Swindonis designated A346, the A338 turning off to the right at a roundabout and heading east then north-east and crossing the border into Berkshire. It passes through the town of Hungerford, where it meets the A4 road(to Marlboroughand Newbury). It meets the M4 motorwayat junction 14, passes through the village of Great Sheffordand heads roughly northward into Oxfordshire. It goes through Wantagewhere it meets the A417 road, and past the villages of Grove, East Hanney and Frilford. It terminates at its junction with the A420 roadnear Bessels Leigh, six miles south-west of Oxford.
The part of the A338 south of the A31 to the west of the Avon consists mostly of relatively newly built road. Originally, the A338 went from Ringwood to Christchurch on the east side of the valley, along what is now the B3347.
The A338 figures in
Thomas Hardy's ' Jude the Obscure', chapter 3. The point where the road crests the downs before beginning the steep drop into Wantage('Alfredston') is the spot where young Jude stands one evening and looks out for the first time on Oxford('Christminster'). [DI Rosie Blanchard, http://www.sabre-roads.org.uk/roadlists/r10/notes.php?number=A338]
* [http://www.sabre-roads.org.uk/roadlists/r10/notes.php?number=A338 SABRE page on the A338]
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