A1 - A17 - A46

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Name
Winthorpe Interchange

Where is it?

Newark-on-Trent, a market town on the route of the Great North Road. This junction links the A1's bypass of the town to the A17 and A46, two other major roads that converge here.

It was nominated by Gary.

What's wrong with it?

First impressions are very important. Turn up to a first date in your blood-stained uniform fresh from the abattoir and you are unlikely to get a goodnight kiss. Job interviews should not be attended in a dressing gown and hair curlers. In the same way, the way in to a town can go a long way to shaping your view of it.

Newark is suffering in this regard. Turn off the A1 and the gateway to the town is this underwhelming interchange. It does not signal a forward-thinking place of business and culture. It does not herald a town of civic pride and investment. No, this basic and underdeveloped junction is more likely to bring to mind a grass-chewing yokel leaning on his fence and saying "Arr, Winthorpe, now those feller's 'ave a flyover. Them's posh out that way."

Why is it wrong?

The Newark Bypass is old. Like much of the A1 in the Midlands, it was built as part of a bundle of improvement schemes carried out on the A1 in the 1960s. It has seen little change since then, and the result is this rather old-fashioned affair on a road that is now carrying levels of traffic that, further north, have justified upgrade works to turn the A1 into a three-lane motorway.

There are no motorway upgrades happening to the Nottinghamshire section of the A1, because lately all the money has gone into other roads nearby. There was the A46 Newark Bypass in the 1990s, which was plugged straight into this junction. The A46 Newark to Lincoln, upgraded to dual carriageway in recent years, which — er — plugged straight into this junction. Shortly the A46 will be dualled and turned into a fast expressway all the way from Leicester to Newark and (guess what?) that too will be glued on to this tottering old interchange, sending all through traffic on a new cross-country dual carriageway through the roundabouts at Winthorpe.

It's a fairly common problem: multiple road improvement schemes that fail to take responsibility for the junction where they all meet. Winthorpe Interchange has taken this to a whole new level.

What would be better?

A new junction for the major roads a little further north on the A1 would be nice, leaving this for local traffic, but there are flood plains on the other side of the railway so it's not going to happen.

Perhaps the A46 could bypass this junction immediately to the north, with sliproads back to the roundabouts — that would get rid of some of the through traffic, at least. And, even cheaper, widening out the sliproads a bit so that heavy goods vehicles don't have to breathe in to pass each other would be a simple and very effective improvement.

 

Routes
Region

Right to reply

Phil Robson 15 March 2016

I sometimes wonder if the best thing to do would be to resurrect the old A17 (the road that goes through Coddington) which doesn't seem to be much worse than the new bit of the A17 and upgrade the old A1/A17 intersection? I go this way pretty much whatever. There's not much reason for A17 traffic to access the A46 - if you go to Lincoln you'd turn off at Sleaford, for Nottingham you'd go through Grantham, I suspect most A17 traffic is joining the A1 heading in the same direction. 

It's so bad at times it's arguably quicker to go through the middle of Newark.

Anonymous 18 February 2016

It's a nightmare...get some lights on it and cut away all the bushes!

Bryn Buck 19 September 2011

The congestion around this junction at 2pm on a Friday was a sight to behold last week. As always, this is a epitome of the British planning disease... too much in too small a space.

Andy Rathe 4 December 2009

The congestion around this junction could be alleviated if the proposed link from Farndon to the A1 south of Newark is built. This could mean that traffic heading to/from the A46 south of Newark would miss out the Winthorpe junction.

Eric Wilsher 28 November 2009

One of the problems with this junction is the bushes etc on the roundabout. If you are trying to join the traffic in a lorry you cannot see cars on the roundabout till it is too late. Sometimes you have to push your way out which is not appreciated by car drivers.

John Holland 14 November 2009

The junction's a nuisance - the A1 southbound off slip is regularly backed up onto the southbound carriageway, and the A46 northbound is regularly queued back a fair distance. It may have worked when it was just the A1 Newark bypass crossing the A46 through Newark, but adding the A46 Newark bypass and link up the A17 throwing in the roundabouts to make the thing work just puts too many conflicting movements in. When going A1 to A17 or vice versa I usually take the old A17/A1 junction to avoid things...

ForestChav 25 October 2009

Personally, I don't think it's overly bad. It's just (originally) a dumbell with characteristically tight slip roads - as is common on the A1 at Newark (like the old A17 junction further down) and Grantham (with the A52) and probably would have been fine with just the A46 and A1.

The Newark bypass (which is a 1990s invention) was plugged into the junction as the A46 and A17, and isn't being dualled as part of the current works as far as I know.

The only issue I can see is the fact that the traffic from Newark (which the bypass largely alleviates) as well as that now coming from Kings Lynn is convergent on two roundabouts which may want to turn onto the A1. Other than flattening the whole thing and starting again - which is difficult with the land take - there isn't particularly much which could be altered. The A46 is banked up above the flood plain and the A17 passes an airfield quite closely. There are possibly worse junctions in Notts which are freeflow, the A453/A52 especially southbound with lanes crossing over each other at 50 mph (was NSL) a prime example. This one is just a junction which has had one extra road added to it and the existing ones improved.

It wasn't even a proper parclo. Where the two roundabouts now are, there were originally gaps in the central reservation of the A46 (noting that the present B6166 was then the westward A46). Thus traffic between the Lincoln and Retford directions (in either direction) or between the Newark and London directions (again in either direction) had to turn through the gaps. Fortunately, none of these moves were very common as traffic between Lincoln and the north would use the A57, and between London and Newark would use the junction between the original A17 and the Newark bypass further south.

Yes, the junction further down with Beacon Hill Road/Beckingham Road is the old A17. Taking A17 traffic out of Newark centre is a good idea, but for A17 <> A1 South traffic it is much more direct than going to Winthorpe and back down the A1. Though it does pass through the East end of Newark which is why (I suspect, I don't often use that bit of A17) it probably wouldn't be signed.

Chris Bertram 21 October 2009

Not to mention that the A17 was diverted to, er, plug into this junction - the next junction south on the A1, with an unclassified road, is the former A17 which used to meet the A46 at a traffic-light junction near Northgate station. Talk about piling Ossa on top of Pellion...

Chris Bertram 31 October 2009

Not to mention that the A17 was diverted to, er, plug into this junction - the next junction south on the A1, with an unclassified road, is the former A17 which used to meet the A46 at a traffic-light junction near Northgate station. Talk about piling Ossa on top of Pellion ...

ForestChav 31 October 2009

Personally, I don't think it's overly bad. It's just (originally) a dumbell with characteristically tight slip roads - as is common on the A1 at Newark (like the old A17 junction further down) and Grantham (with the A52) and probably would have been fine with just the A46 and A1.

The Newark bypass (which is a 1990s invention) was plugged into the junction as the A46 and A17, and isn't being dualled as part of the current works as far as I know.

The only issue I can see is the fact that the traffic from Newark (which the bypass largely alleviates) as well as that now coming from Kings Lynn is convergent on two roundabouts which may want to turn onto the A1. Other than flattening the whole thing and starting again - which is difficult with the land take - there isn't particularly much which could be altered. The A46 is banked up above the flood plain and the A17 passes an airfield quite closely. There are possibly worse junctions in Notts which are freeflow, the A453/A52 especially southbound with lanes crossing over each other at 50 mph (was NSL) a prime example. This one is just a junction which has had one extra road added to it and the existing ones improved.

Tim 1 November 2009

It wasn't even a proper parclo. Where the two roundabouts now are, there were originally gaps in the central reservation of the A46 (noting that the present B6166 was then the westward A46). Thus traffic between the Lincoln and Retford directions (in either direction) or between the Newark and London directions (again in either direction) had to turn through the gaps. Fortunately, none of these moves were very common as traffic between Lincoln and the north would use the A57, and between London and Newark would use the junction between the original A17 and the Newark bypass further south.

ForestChav 1 November 2009

Yes, the junction further down with Beacon Hill Road/Beckingham Road is the old A17. Taking A17 traffic out of Newark centre is a good idea, but for A17 <> A1 South traffic it is much more direct than going to Winthorpe and back down the A1. Though it does pass through the East end of Newark which is why (I suspect, I don't often use that bit of A17) it probably wouldn't be signed.

John Holland 2 November 2009

The junction's a nuisance - the A1 southbound off slip is regularly backed up onto the southbound carriageway, and the A46 northbound is regularly queued back a fair distance. It may have worked when it was just the A1 Newark bypass crossing the A46 through Newark, but adding the A46 Newark bypass and link up the A17 throwing in the roundabouts to make the thing work just puts too many conflicting movements in. When going A1 to A17 or vice versa I usually take the old A17/A1 junction to avoid things...

Eric Wilsher 3 November 2009

One of the problems with this junction is the bushes etc on the roundabout. If you are trying to join the traffic in a lorry you cannot see cars on the roundabout till it is too late. Sometimes you have to push your way out which is not appreciated by car drivers.

Andy Rathe 9 December 2009

The congestion around this junction could be alleviated if the proposed link from Farndon to the A1 south of Newark is built. This could mean that traffic heading to/from the A46 south of Newark would miss out the Winthorpe junction.

Bryn Buck 23 September 2011

The congestion around this junction at 2pm on a Friday was a sight to behold last week. As always, this is a epitome of the British planning disease... too much in too small a space.

Anonymous 8 February 2016

Its a nightmare...get some lights on it and cut away all the bushes!

Paul Robson 2 March 2016

I sometimes wonder if the best thing to do would be to resurrect the old A17 (the road that goes through Coddington) which doesn't seem to be much worse than the new bit of the A17 and upgrade the old A1/A17 intersection? I go this way pretty much whatever. There's not much reason for A17 traffic to access the A46 - if you go to Lincoln you'd turn off at Sleaford, for Nottingham you'd go through Grantham, I suspect most A17 traffic is joining the A1 heading in the same direction.

It's so bad at times it's arguably quicker to go through the middle of Newark.

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