A40 road (London)

A40 road (London)

UK road routebox
road= A40
direction= East-West
start= City of London
destinations= Uxbridge
end= Denham Roundabout
construction-date= 1920s-1992
completion-date= 1992
The A40 in London is an A road in Central and West London [cite web|url=http://www.uk-roads.org.uk/roadlists/f99/40.shtml |title=SABRE- A40] . It runs from outside St. Paul's Cathedral to Fishguard. (For the road outside London, see the main A40 road article. The London section passes through seven London Boroughs: the City of London, Camden, Westminster, Kensington & Chelsea, Hammersmith & Fulham, Ealing and Hillingdon. The road has been re-routed several times in the last 100 years.Much of the route of the A40 was laid out in the 1920s and 1930s when Western Avenue was built, although most of it is now grade-separated dual carriageway. In the 1960s the Westway was constructed, allowing traffic access to the centre of the city.The London section of the A40 is one of London's most important roads and the most important Western Radial from London, linking the City Centre, West London Suburbs (e.g. Northolt and Ealing) to the M40 motorway (and M25 motorway), and hence to Oxford, Birmingham and the North West of England and North Wales (via the M42 and M6).

City of London

The road officially starts at St. Martin's Le Grand, where it shares a terminus with the A1, the main north London Radial. The A40 then forms Newgate Street and Holborn Viaduct, crossing the A201 leading to Blackfriars Bridge.

At Holborn Circus, the A40 crosses the terminus of the A4, which forms the Strand and runs through Knightsbridge and Hammersmith to the M4 motorway. The A4 is the second most important West London radial after the A40.

Holborn and Oxford Street

The A40 then forms High Holborn. Gray's Inn, on the north side of the road forms one of the four Inns of Court. Another, Lincoln's Inn is on the roads south side. The road is now in the Borough of Camden.

The straight alignment of the road from the Bank all the way to Shepherds Bush made it ideal for one of London's earliest deep level tube lines, the Central Line. However, as the road is quite narrow, the tunnels are built above each other rather than side to side to prevent damage to building foundations. This pattern of construction can be seen at Chancery Lane and Holborn. The line opened originally in 1900.

After Holborn, the A40 crosses into the City of Westminster, forming New Oxford Street and the famous Oxford Street. The British Museum is close at this point as well.Oxford Street is Europe's busiest shopping street with many chain-stores having their flagship store on the street, including John Lewis, Debenhams, Marks and Spencers, House of Fraser and Selfridges.

Tube Stations along the road are numerous in this section, and indeed the Central Line, running under Oxford Street and the A40 is London Underground's second busiest line with 180 million passengers a year. The busiest stations are Oxford Circus, Tottenham Court Road and Bond Street, which provide access to five tube lines.The road is also in the heart of Soho, and although the main theatres and cinemas are located to the south (e.g. Leicester Square, the area does contain a large number of clubs, bars and music venues, Wigmore Hall on Wigmore Street being a notable example. The area is also known for Centre Point, "see photograph", which was one of Londons first Skyscrapers.

Marylebone and Westway

The road continues as Oxford Street until Marble Arch, which is at the north-east corner of Hyde Park. Nearby is the area known as Speakers' Corner, where public speaking is allowed. People are generally allowed to say what they want, with the police being tolerant and only stepping in when the need arises. The site of Tyburn Gallows is also near, which was a place of public execution from 1388 to 1793.

The road around Marble Arch forms a major road junction connecting Oxford Street, Park Lane (A4202), Bayswater Road(A402) and Edgware Road(A5). The A40 has taken three courses from here over the last thirty years, the last change in 2000, when Westway lost its motorway status (A40(M)) and became the A40.

Pre Western Avenue

Before Western Avenue was laid out and the Westway was completed, the A40 ran along Uxbridge Road (the present A4020) through Ealing and Southall to Uxbridge. Uxbridge Road is still a major road, passing through many retail and residential districts. A number of bus routes travel along the road including Route 207, Route 427 and Route 607. Because of this, traffic is often heavy.

In 2006, a tram system was proposed called the West London Tram, which would have run from Shepherd's Bush tube station to Uxbridge tube station, along Uxbridge Road. The route would have replaced the three above bus routes.In August 2007, the scheme was 'indefinitely postponed' due to local opposition. It has been suggested though, that it still be constructed if Crossrail does not reduce traffic.

Westway (1970-2000)


The Westway is a 2.5 mile long elavated dual-carriageway, part of the present A40, between Paddington and North Kensington. It was constructed between 1964 and 1970. The road runs from the Marylebone Flyover (A501), which crosses over Edgware Road (A5 and Marylebone Road (A501). From here, it travels parallel to the Great Western Main Line out of Paddington, returning to ground level to join Western Avenue. When opened in July 1970, the Westway was known as the A40(M), reflecting the motorway standard to which the road had been built. Even today, it still has hard shoulders and contains both four-lane and six-lane sections.

Wood Lane

The Westway opened as the 'A40(M)'. As it joined on to Western Avenue (which was already the A40, although for a time it was known as the A403), the A40 proper also had to reach the meeting point. To do this, the A40 continued along Bayswater Road and Holland Park Avenue (today A402), running through Notting Hill Gate to Shepherd's Bush, where the A40 turned north. The old route along Uxbridge Road was subsequentially renamed as the A4020.From there, the A40 travelled along Wood Lane, past the BBC Television Centre to reach the end of the Westway at a roundabout. Also terminating at this roundabout was the M41, now the A3220, or the West Cross Route. The M41 opened at the same time as the Westway but was downgraded to the A3220 like the A40(M) in 2000.

2000- present

Now that the Westway is now the A40 itself, the A40 at Marble Arch has to reach the Marylebone Flyover to join the Westway. To do this, it leaves its old route at the Marble Arch roundabout. It now travels with the A5 up Edgware Road to Marylebone Road (the road is just signposted as the A5, not the A5 and A40). At Marylebone Road, the two roads part; the A40 becomes the Westway and the A5 continues as Edgware Road.

Present Day

The A40 now follows the Westway through which climbs up from Marylebone Road (A501) passing Paddington Basin and Paddington station and crossing the Paddinton Branch of the Grand Union Canal. It then follows the Hammersmith & City line through North Kensington and Westbourne Green passing three LU stations (Royal Oak, Westbourne Park and Ladbroke Grove). It then passes over a roundabout junction with the West Cross Route (former M41 motorway, now A3220) and a junction with the A219 before flowing into Western Avenue.The construction of the road lasted between 1964 and 1970 and caused huge disruption, involving the demolition of both houses and roads. When opened it was the largest continuous concrete structure in Britain.


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