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The A45 is a major road in England. It runs east from Birminghammarker past the National Exhibition Centremarker and the M42, then bypasses Coventrymarker and Rugbymarker, where it briefly merges with the M45 until it continues to Daventrymarker. It then heads to Northamptonmarker and Wellingboroughmarker before running north of Rushdenmarker and Higham Ferrersmarker and terminating at its junction with the A14 road near Thrapstonmarker.

The road used to run to Felixstowemarker but most of the route was re-designated as the A14 in 1994.

History

The original (1923) route of the A45 was Birmingham to Ipswich. The road was extended to Felixstowe in 1935, replacing the A139. Initially, the A45 passed through Ipswich to Felixstowe; when the Orwell bridgemarker was opened in 1982, the road was diverted to pass over the new bridge.

A bypass for the village of Eltisleymarker was built in 1972, along with a bypass on the B1040 road. The three-mile £8m St Neotsmarker 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 redesignated part of the less important Cambridgemarker-Coventrymarker A428 .

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 redesignated as the A14; from the former A605 to the A1 it was downgraded to B645; and from the A1 to Cambridge it became part of an extended A428. The road was only re-designated as the A14 up to Felixstowe Docks. Walton Avenue in Felixstowe is still the A45.

Route

Birmingham to Dunchurch (M45)

The road starts on the A4540 Birmingham Ring Road, bypassing Small Heathmarker and crossing the B4145. It passes over the River Cole and meets the A4040 at a grade-separated junction at the Swan Shopping Centremarker in Yardleymarker. It meets the B425 at traffic lights in Sheldonmarker, then enters the borough of Solihullmarker. 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 intersects with the B4438, a dual-carriageway access road for Birmingham International Airportmarker, the N.E.C.marker and Birmingham International railway stationmarker. There is a grade-separated junction with the M42 at junction 6. On this roundabout is also access to the National Motorcycle Museummarker. The road passes over the A452 at Stonebridge and passes over the River Blythemarker where the road briefly enters Warwickshiremarker. Meridenmarker is bypassed to the North. The Heart of England Waymarker passes under the road, and the road enters the borough of Coventrymarker.

The A45 becomes an urban road and skirts the South side of Coventry, crossing the B4101 at Tile Hill, West Coast Main Linemarker, A429 and B4113. Beyond here the road takes a more rural nature, with a grade separated junction with the A46. Between here and the next junction the A45 multiplexes with the A46. Tollbar End roundabout is one of the busiest in the Midlands. It has exits for the A46 north/Coventry Eastern Bypass, Coventry Airportmarker and B4110. Crossing the River Avon, the road re-enters Warwickshiremarker. The A423 exits to the south-east at a GSJ near the former Peugeot factory. The A445 crosses at a roundabout near Ryton on Dunsmoremarker, followed by another roundabout with the B4455 Fosse Way. There is a grade separated junction with the A4071 (Rugbymarker), the final roundabout on this section is the start of the M45. For 2 miles the A45 multiplexes with the M45 to a fairly new junction beyond Dunchurch.

Dunchurch to Thrapston

Heading towards Daventrymarker, the road is a single-carriageway. The road passes two prisons: HMP Onleymarker and HMP Rye Hillmarker. After Willoughbymarker, the road enters Northamptonshiremarker, where it crosses the Oxford Canalmarker and Grand Union Canalmarker near Braunstonmarker. The Jurassic Waymarker 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 Spamarker, 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 Dodfordmarker to Weedon Becmarker, where it crosses the West Coast Main Line and Grand Union Canal, then meets the A5 at traffic lights. The road passes through Floremarker, then meets the M1 at junction 16.

The A45 resumes at the M1 junction 15, heading around the South side of the town. From the point as which it meets the old route at the A45/A508 GSJ, near Northampton High School, it crosses the River Nenemarker and Nene Way, then there is a large GSJ with the A428. This section is concurrent with the A43, which exits at a GSJ near Weston Favellmarker. The GSJ with the A5076 is also the exit for Billing Aquadromemarker. The road has a GSJ with the B573 near Earls Barton. The road meets the Wellingboroughmarker bypass (A509) at a roundabout. It runs concurrently with the A509 to the GSJ near the bridge over the River Nene, where the A509 exits south near Irchester Country Parkmarker. East of Wellingborough, the road crosses the Midland Main Line. There is a GSJ for the A5001 and the route runs alongside the River Nenemarker. At the roundabout with the A6 near Higham Ferrersmarker, it starts the follow the former route of the A605. The section of dual carriageway from the M1 now ends at the next roundabout. This is the start of the Raundsmarker bypass. The next roundabout is with the B663. The route bypasses Ringsteadmarker and the A45 finishes at a GSJ with the A14 near Thrapstonmarker.

Felixstowe

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.

Former Routes

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)


Downgrading

  • Wellingborough - Felixstowe (Was downgraded upon opening of the A14, now reclassified as B645, A428 and A14)


Improvements

Proposed

  • The A45/A46 Tollbar End improvement will create a grade separated junction here, as well as improvements to the Stonebridge Highway.


Popular culture

The A45 is mentioned in the song "Driving in my car" by top 1980s band Madness.

References

External links




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