A11

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Route of the A11

The A11 forms the main road from London to Norwich, and is the main road to the south for most of Norfolk and substantial parts of Suffolk and Cambridgeshire. From London to Stump Cross, south of Cambridge, it was replaced decades ago by the M11, and the road that was once the A11 has been renumbered and downgraded into obscurity.

But from Stump Cross onwards, the M11 veers off to the north-west, aiming for the enticing charms of the A14 and pointing towards the A1, so from that point onwards the A11 regains its status as a major cross-country route, and runs as a modern dual carriageway all the way to the outskirts of Norwich.

Most of the road from the motorway to Norfolk's finest city is quite surprisingly new, and it's remarkable how recently most of the journey passed through villages and along single-carriageway roads. The final section of dual carriageway, linking Norwich to the wider world with something more impressive than an ancient lane through the countryside, was completed in December 2014. There remain some roundabouts and sub-standard junctions to be dealt with.

What exists today is, however, a road Norfolk can be proud of: fast and direct, it passes through low-lying but handsome countryside, with Thetford Forest and Brettenham Heath keeping the landscape varied and green. It's not a road without problems, but it is refreshingly free of the chronic congestion and slow progress that are associated with other East Anglian roads like the A14 and parts of the A12.

We can be thankful to the modern incarnation of the A11 for two things. One is that it finally connects Norwich to the rest of the UK with a road befitting its size and importance, and that the city is no longer an afterthought on the national road network, even if its connections east and west on the A47 remain fairly patchy. The second is that it makes it much easier for the rest of us to find our way to Norfolk — and that really is a blessing.

You're not looking at the whole A11

This page only deals with the parts of the A11 that are classed as motorway or that have motorway characteristics. Any other sections of this road won't be featured here and will not count towards the mileage shown below.

Factfile

Start Norwich (A11)
Finish Stump Cross (M11)
Passes Cambridge, Newmarket, Thetford
Length 64 miles
Connects to M11, A14

With thanks to Jason Clift-Jones for information in this section.