The grubby, disshevelled, smoggy and congested North Circular Road is what makes driving in north London so different to driving in south London. The urban sprawl of the capital is immense and very badly served by roads, having very few high-capacity arteries linking its various districts to each other and to the wider world. In south London, there is nothing. In north London, there is at least the A406 North Circular Road.

The M25 London Orbital may be congested and unpleasant, but it clings to sanity by running through open countryside and being a purpose-built motorway. The A406 performs the same function but has no such glamour. If the M25 is a pedigree, designed for its work, then the A406 is a mongrel. Nobody wanted it to look like this - it just sort of happened.

The road jostles for space between houses, shops and industrial yards. It squeezes under railway lines and dives into tunnels. Parts have been upgraded and parts haven't. Parts were finished recently and others a long time ago. And, it seems, everyone who has contributed design work to the North Circular has had a slightly different impression of the sort of road that was called for.

At its western end there's a narrow bit that just doesn't qualify for the Motorway Database at all. At various points in the middle it forgets what it's about and narrows down again - sometimes just to pause for some traffic lights, but at the notorious section through Bounds Green, it reduces to one lane and turns a corner at a suburban crossroads.

The saddest thing is that the half-way-finished collection of ideas we currently see is the finished product: all the remaining grade-separation and widening schemes are now shelved, unlikely to be resurrected any time soon. So welcome to the A406: it's not much, but then again, at least it exists at all.

You're not looking at the whole A406

This page is about the parts of the A406 that are designated a motorway or that have motorway characteristics. Other sections of this road will not be featured here and will not count towards the length of the road as shown below.

Start
Ealing
End
Beckton
Passes
None (but forms the North Circular Road around London)
Length
23 miles

Exit list

NB: this section of A406 runs in an arc around the north of London, and as such, both ends actually face south. This exit list excludes minor side-roads and private accesses, which are plentiful on the A406.

Junction   Westbound               Eastbound  
Central London
Shepherd'
s Bush
A40
North Circular Road
Ealing
A406 (M4 Link)
Oxford
Uxbridge
A40 (M40 Link)
Sudbury
Alperton
A4005












A40
WEST
A406 (M4)













A40
(M40)

A4005
N/A
LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes SignsSigns LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes Signs
1 mile, 3 lanes 1 mile, 3 lanes
Park Royal (N & W) Park Royal (N & W)
LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes
0.5 miles, 3 lanes 0.5 miles, 3 lanes
Harrow
Wembley
Harlesden
A404
A404 A404 Harrow
Wembley
Harlesden
A404
LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes Signs LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes Signs
1 mile, 3 lanes 1 mile, 3 lanes
Brent Park
Wembley Stadium
B4557


B4557
Brent Park
Wembley Stadium
B4557
LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes Signs LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes Signs
0.5 miles, 3 lanes 0.5 miles, 3 lanes
Neasden
Kingsbury
A4088
B453

A4088


A4088 Willesden
Neasden
Kingsbury
A4088
LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes
1 mile, 3 lanes 1 mile, 3 lanes
M1 J1 The NORTH
Watford
M1 Link
Harrow
Kilburn
A5
A5



A5


M1
The NORTH
Watford
M1 Link
Harrow
Kilburn
A5
LanesLanesLanesLanesLanesLanesLanes LanesLanesLanesLanesLanesLanesLanes
0.5 miles, 5 lanes 0.5 miles, 5 lanes
Central London
Kilburn
Aylesbury
Hatfield (A1 Link)
A41
A41 A41
(A1)
The NORTH
Aylesbury
C. London (West End)
Brent Cross
A41
LanesLanesLanesLanesLanesLanesLanes LanesLanesLanesLanesLanesLanesLanes
0.5 miles, 3 lanes 0.5 miles, 3 lanes
Golders Green
Hampstead
A502
A502 A502 Golders Green
Hampstead
A502
LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes Signs LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes Signs
0.5 miles, 3 lanes 0.5 miles, 3 lanes
The NORTH
Watford
Mill Hill
Hendon
A1 Link (M1 Link)
A1
(M1)
The NORTH
Watford
Mill Hill
Hendon
A1 Link
LanesLanesLanesLanesLanesLanes Signs LanesLanesLanesLanesLanesLanes Signs
0.25 miles, 4 lanes 0.25 miles, 4 lanes
Golders Green
Hampstead
A598
A598 A598 Finchley
Golders Green
A598
LanesLanesLanesLanesLanesLanes Signs LanesLanesLanesLanesLanesLanes Signs
0.25 miles, 4 lanes 0.25 miles, 4 lanes
Central London
Holloway
A1
A1 Central London
Holloway
A1
LanesLanesLanesLanesLanesLanes SignsSigns LanesLanesLanesLanesLanesLanes SignsSigns
1 mile, 3 lanes  
East End Road Tunnel East End Road Tunnel
  1 mile, 3 lanes
N & E Finchley
Barnet
A1000
A1000 A1000 N & E Finchley
Barnet
A1000
LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes
1 mile, 3 lanes 1 mile, 3 lanes
Muswell Hill
Friern Barnet
Retail Park
B550
B550 B550 Muswell Hill
Friern Barnet
Retail Park
B550
LanesLanesLanesLanes Signs LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes Signs
0.5 miles, 3 lanes 0.5 miles, 3 lanes
Southgate
Wood Green
A109
A109





A109





New Southgate
Wood Green
A109
LanesLanesLanesLanes SignsSigns LanesLanesLanesLanes SignsSigns
0.25 miles, 2 lanes 0.25 miles, 2 lanes
New Southgate
Whetstone (A109)
Southgate (A1004)
A1110
(A109)

B1452
(A1004)
Southgate
(A1004)
LanesLanesLanesLanes Signs LanesLanesLanesLanes Signs
0.5 miles, 2 lanes 0.5 miles, 2 lanes
Muswell Hill
B106
B106 Muswell Hill
B106
LanesLanesLanesLanes Signs LanesLanesLanesLanes Signs
0.5 miles, 2 lanes 0.5 miles, 2 lanes
Palmers Green
Wood Green
Hornsey
A105
A105





A105





Palmers Green
Wood Green
Hornsey
A105
LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes
LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes SignsSigns
LanesLanesLanesLanes
LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes SignsSigns
1 mile, 3 lanes 1 mile, 3 lanes
Central London
Dalston
Hertford
Enfield
A10
A10 A111

A10


Central London
Dalston
Hertford
Enfield
A10
LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes Signs LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes Signs
1 mile, 3 lanes 1 mile, 3 lanes
Tottenham
Edmonton
A1010


A1010


A1010
Tottenham
Edmonton
A1010
LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes
0.5 miles, 3 lanes 0.5 miles, 3 lanes
Brimsdown
Tottenham
A1055


A1055
B137

A1055
Brimsdown
Tottenham
A1055
LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes
0.5 miles, 3 lanes 0.5 miles, 3 lanes
Chingford
Waltham Abbey
Industrial Parks
A1009
A1009 Chingford
Waltham Abbey
Industrial Parks
A1009
LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes
1 mile, 3 lanes 1 mile, 3 lanes
Chingford
Walthamstow
Highams Park
A112
B179


A112
A112



Chingford
Walthamstow
Highams Park
A112
LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes
1 mile, 3 lanes 0.75 miles, 3 lanes
LanesLanesLanesLanesLanesLanes
  0.25 miles, 4 lanes
Walthamstow (A503)
Leytonstone
Woodford
A104
A503

A104
A104 Woodford
Leytonstone
A104
LanesLanesLanesLanesLanesLanesLanes LanesLanesLanesLanesLanesLanes
LanesLanesLanesLanesLanesLanesLanes
0.75 miles, 5 lanes 0.75 miles, 5 lanes
A113 A113

A1400
Gants Hill A1400
Chigwell A113
LanesLanesLanesLanesLanesLanesLanes Signs LanesLanesLanesLanesLanesLanesLanes Signs
0.25 miles, 4 lanes 0.25 miles, 4 lanes
M11 J4 Cambridge
Stansted Airport
M11 Link
M11 Cambridge
Stansted Airport
M11 Link
LanesLanesLanesLanesLanesLanes Signs LanesLanesLanesLanesLanesLanes Signs
1 mile, 4 lanes 1 mile, 4 lanes
Central London
Chelmsford
Romford
A12
A12 A12 Central London
Stratford
Chelmsford
Romford
A12
LanesLanesLanesLanesLanesLanes
LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes
LanesLanesLanesLanesLanesLanes
LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes
1.5 miles, 3 lanes 1.5 miles, 3 lanes
Ilford
A118
A118


A118


Ilford
A118
LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes
1.5 miles, 3 lanes 1.5 miles, 3 lanes
Barking
East Ham
A124
A124 A124 Barking
East Ham
A124
LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes
1 mile, 3 lanes 1 mile, 3 lanes
N/A A13











A1020 (A117)
EAST
A13
(M25)










Tilbury
Dartford Crossing
A13 Link (M25 Link)
North Circular Road
Woolwich Ferry
A1020 (A117)
Central London
Blackwall Tunnel
Docklands
A13 Link
LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes Signs LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes Signs
Routes