Roads in the UK that were previously dual carriageway but have been downgraded?

61653 HTAFC

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Are there many examples of roads in the UK that were previously dual carriageway but have been downgraded? I recall seeing one example in the Wrexham area but I can't imagine such things are commonplace.

Note: If it has a central reservation then it is a Dual Carriageway, even if there's only one lane for general motor traffic in each direction.
 
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Bletchleyite

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Are there many examples of roads in the UK that were previously dual carriageway but have been downgraded? I recall seeing one example in the Wrexham area but I can't imagine such things are commonplace.

The dual carriageway of the Buckingham Road under the railway bridge in Bletchley was reduced to a single lane towards the town centre from the station side in order for a cycle track to be provided. I think that's a lot more common than just abandoning a carriageway, because you still have the safety benefit of the central reservation.

Parts of the A59 near Ormskirk were similarly reduced to create a safer right turn slip lane.

It's usually stuff like that, I can't see why you would otherwise.
 

61653 HTAFC

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The dual carriageway of the Buckingham Road under the railway bridge in Bletchley was reduced to a single lane towards the town centre from the station side in order for a cycle track to be provided. I think that's a lot more common than just abandoning a carriageway, because you still have the safety benefit of the central reservation.

Parts of the A59 near Ormskirk were similarly reduced to create a safer right turn slip lane.

It's usually stuff like that, I can't see why you would otherwise.
The one near Wrexham (which might have not been that near to Wrexham- it was around 2008 that I saw it) was away from any built-up areas, to the south of Wrexham itself (I was driving down the border area as far as Knighton) and was quite a long stretch of former dual carriageway that had been singled. Two-way traffic was running on just a single carriageway with the other one abandoned, suggesting that safety wasn't the motivation behind the change.

It may have been that the road was originally planned as dual and construction begun, before being reduced to single prior to opening. Though the abandoned bit looked as if it had been in use at one point.
 

ABB125

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Are there many examples of roads in the UK that were previously dual carriageway but have been downgraded? I recall seeing one example in the Wrexham area but I can't imagine such things are commonplace.
Much of the former A74 in Scotland has been downgraded, as has a large portion of the former A1 (between north of Knottingley and Micklefield, or north of Wetherby, for example). In both those cases, the downgrade occurred following the opening of the A74(M) and A1(M) respectively.
 

Ianno87

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Are there many examples of roads in the UK that were previously dual carriageway but have been downgraded? I recall seeing one example in the Wrexham area but I can't imagine such things are commonplace.

The A58 ring road around Bolton is a dual carriageway, but re-marked around 20 years ago as one line in each direction, to provide width for a cycle lane.

The M10 was downgraded to the A414.

The A6144(M) Carrington Spur downgraded to A6144
 

Bletchleyite

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The one near Wrexham (which might have not been that near to Wrexham- it was around 2008 that I saw it) was away from any built-up areas, to the south of Wrexham itself (I was driving down the border area as far as Knighton) and was quite a long stretch of former dual carriageway that had been singled. Two-way traffic was running on just a single carriageway with the other one abandoned, suggesting that safety wasn't the motivation behind the change.

Was it actually singled, or was a replacement carriageway (always intended to be single) built, either to straighten out a windy road or because there was a serious fault with the other one, e.g. subsidence? You do see abandoned carriageways around the place for that reason.
 

61653 HTAFC

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Much of the former A74 in Scotland has been downgraded, as has a large portion of the former A1 (between north of Knottingley and Micklefield, or north of Wetherby, for example). In both those cases, the downgrade occurred following the opening of the A74(M) and A1(M) respectively.
Examples like that make sense I guess... the North Wales example was rather confusing, as there wasn't an obvious adjacent upgrade that would explain it.

Funnily enough I just visited SABRE to try and find out more... if people thought this site was bad for stringing an alphabet soup of acronyms together, it ain't got nothin' on SABRE! :lol:

I'm not talking about dual carriageways that are reduced to one lane in each direction but retain a central reservation, as those are still dual carriageways at least according to SABRE. It's the divide that makes them dual, not the number of lanes per direction.
 

Bletchleyite

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Much of the former A74 in Scotland has been downgraded, as has a large portion of the former A1 (between north of Knottingley and Micklefield, or north of Wetherby, for example). In both those cases, the downgrade occurred following the opening of the A74(M) and A1(M) respectively.

Has it been singled, though, or has its status just been downgraded (e.g. the A421 -> A4421 with people being directed north and via the M40)?
 

61653 HTAFC

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Was it actually singled, or was a replacement carriageway (always intended to be single) built, either to straighten out a windy road or because there was a serious fault with the other one, e.g. subsidence? You do see abandoned carriageways around the place for that reason.
That does make sense as a possibility, more so than my original theory of downgrading... if only I'd thought to look it up at the time! :oops::lol:
 

ABB125

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Has it been singled, though, or has its status just been downgraded (e.g. the A421 -> A4421 with people being directed north and via the M40)?
Properly singled in places, such as here on the former A74. (In a minor correction to my previous post, it's a lot easier to find examples on the former A74 bypassed by the M74, such as here, rather than the A74(M), mainly because the M74 was a totally new alignment, whereas the A74(M) was predominantly an online upgrade which in places has consumed the old road.)
 

Domh245

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Are there many examples of roads in the UK that were previously dual carriageway but have been downgraded? I recall seeing one example in the Wrexham area but I can't imagine such things are commonplace.

A21 near Flimwell has been singled - roughly 1 mile of road that was formerly two lane dual carriageway, but is now two single lanes separated by a central reservation (and a whole load of bollards). Not sure about any of the other 'singled' dual carriageways but this stretch is specifically signposted at 60 (as presumably 70 would otherwise apply).

It's always struck me as a bit of an oddity though, prior to it's singling the only real benefit of this stretch (and nowadays the Lamberhurst bypass ~2mi north of there - there was a couple of months window in 2005 when both were open) was a chance to overtake any particularly slow drivers, so no great loss I suppose
 

Bletchleyite

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Properly singled in places, such as here on the former A74. (In a minor correction to my previous post, it's a lot easier to find examples on the former A74 bypassed by the M74, such as here, rather than the A74(M), mainly because the M74 was a totally new alignment, whereas the A74(M) was predominantly an online upgrade which in places has consumed the old road.)

Certainly an unusual sight. You can see a similar scene in MK, but the roads weren't singled, they just haven't yet been dualled (there is reserved space for a second carriageway when it becomes needed).
 

ABB125

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Certainly an unusual sight. You can see a similar scene in MK, but the roads weren't singled, they just haven't yet been dualled (there is reserved space for a second carriageway when it becomes needed).
For balance, I can also supply examples locally of "D1" roads! :D (Dual carriageways with only one way in each direction).

Here, on the A38 south of Tewkesbury, the two old, narrow lanes have been converted to a single lane and cycleway using copious amounts of white paint. I imagine safety on on the corner the link takes you to was just as much a deciding factor as the cycle lane, if not more so.
Here, on the A449 north of Worcester, the northbound carriageway has been remarked as a single lane. Again, I believe this is for safety reasons; I think the northbound carriageway is the original one, and is thus rather too narrow to safely fit two lanes around this corner (plus a few more later on). The southbound carriageway, by contrast, is two lanes at this point.
 

Ianno87

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Was there ever a more miserable and underwhelming stretch of single lane "motorway" than the A6144(M)? :s

Up there with the Over Kellet end of the A601(M), which is generally an odd bit of motorway all round!
 

ABB125

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Up there with the Over Kellet end of the A601(M), which is generally an odd bit of motorway all round!
It certainly is rather odd! The northern half is pretty decent (it used to be the main M6 before the extension north of Carnforth; you can see where it used to go because of this redundant bridge). The southern half is (I believe) a bodge so that quarry traffic can avoid the centre of Carnforth; in my opinion, it's quite a good, sensible bodge!
 

dgl

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There is a large village in Somerset which I often passed through, which had a by-pass built. Soon after, at least a dozen signs appeared on the approaches to the roundabouts at the by-pass ends, imploring travellers to come into the village. These signs advertised the pubs, B&Bs, petrol station, cafes, craft shop etc.
I wonder where that was, somewhere on the A303 perchance where it has bypassed the A30 as I believe that's the only proper bypass (excluding the M5) in Somerset.
 

ashkeba

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Are there many examples of roads in the UK that were previously dual carriageway but have been downgraded? I recall seeing one example in the Wrexham area but I can't imagine such things are commonplace.
I think some of the former bypassed A14 near Haughley Junction has been singled.

The bypassed former A12 at Copdock has not been singled. It is a very strange experience travelling along a deserted unsigned 70mph dual carriageway that suddenly terminates in mounds of earth and a farm-like gate with a small gap to a cycle tunnel under the A14. These days, one side would probably become a cycleway or bus lane.
 

Lucan

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There is a large village in Somerset which I often passed through, which had a by-pass built. Soon after, at least a dozen signs appeared on the approaches to the roundabouts at the by-pass ends, imploring travellers to come into the village.

I wonder where that was, somewhere on the A303 perchance
Cannington, on the A39 Minehead road. I have just looked on Streetview (dated 2018) and could only see one unofficial sign inviting you into the village, and two official ones for the shops and pubs generally.
 

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It certainly is rather odd!
The A601(M) is getting even odder, for a while at least. The single carriageway section (southern/eastern) now has a T-junction to a Porsche garage. I'm not sure if this section is still a motorway, but the blue signs are still up. I assume this section and the M6 roundabout will become a spur of the B6254 before the garage opens.
The dual carriageway section (northern/western) is likely to be downgraded too, to reduce maintenance requirements/costs and allow another junction or roundabout to be built for a new housing estate.
 

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....The M10 was downgraded to the A414.....
But it remains dual carriageway with two lanes each way - it has not been singled.

Regarding sections of the old A1 - south of the junction 49 at Dishforth with the A168 to Thirsk, one carriageway of the old road was retained as an extension of the A168 for local and non-motorway traffic as far as just north of Weatherby. Again from Junction 50 one carriageway of the old road is now the A6055 as far as J52 at Catterick.
 

Snow1964

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The B3073 approach to Bournemouth airport used to be two single carriageway lanes, with a mound between them (the road from Hurn village). Some years ago was converted to normal 2 way road


Parts of the former A31 Winchester bypass was replaced by a single carriageway (south of roundabout with A272) and a road now known as B3335 Hockney link, as original alignment is under newer M3
 
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Kite159

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There is a couple sections on the A342 between Andover & Ludgershall which in the past had short sections of dual carriageway but has been reduced to single carriageway with the centre grass bit still in place.

If these links work:



Also I believe there is a section of the A338 between Salisbury & Downton which used to be a dual carriageway but is now a single carriageway
 

dazzler

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But it remains dual carriageway with two lanes each way - it has not been singled.

Regarding sections of the old A1 - south of the junction 49 at Dishforth with the A168 to Thirsk, one carriageway of the old road was retained as an extension of the A168 for local and non-motorway traffic as far as just north of Weatherby. Again from Junction 50 one carriageway of the old road is now the A6055 as far as J52 at Catterick.
The A168 also forms a sort of Wetherby bypass as well, all the way round to the old A1 junction south of the town. The former A1 bridge over the River Wharfe is a good example of the conversion - the former southbound carriageway of the A1 is now the A168 and the former northbound carriageway is a footpath/cycleway/area for jolly potted plants! Further north, the same split of ex-southbound A1 -> A168/ex-northbound A1 -> Cycle/foot path extends as far as Walshford, where the A168 crosses to the east side of the A1(M), mainly on the footprint of the old A1 to Dishforth.
 

AM9

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But it remains dual carriageway with two lanes each way - it has not been singled. ...
And it retains the hard shoulders, although part of the southbound one has been out of use and a 50mph speed limit imposed for at least a year.
 

snowball

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I am deeply baffled by, and sceptical of, the OP's claim of a long stretch of dual carriageway south of Wrexham that was allegedly singled. It a part of the country where there has never been much in the way of dual carriageways in the first place, and I can't think of any reason why a road there would be singled. I think most likely the OP misinterpreted what he saw.

The only substantial length of dual carriageway there has ever been within 90 miles going south from Wrexham (unless you go SE to Shrewsbury and the A5) is the A483, which turns from dual to single at Ruabon, and has done so ever since it was first built (which was in the early 1990s if I remember correctly).

The only substantial lengths of dual carriageway that I know of that have been singled are where an old (typically early 1960s) dual carriageway has been bypassed by a motorway or more modern dual carriageway. The main examples, on the A1 and A74, have already been mentioned. There are a few other shorter examples - probably some right now following the opening of the new A14 between Huntingdon and Cambridge.

The downgrading of the M10 to A414 left it a dual carriageway. The A6144 was already a single carriageway even when it was A6144(M).

A bit of the A34 at Pottal Pool south of Cannock, that had been dualled long ago and was serving no useful purpose since the construction of the M6, was singled about 20 years ago. There are other examples like that.
 
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PeterC

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The former A130, now unclassified, through Rettendon in Essex is singled with the former southbound carriageway narrowed and converted to a cycle track.
 

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The northbound carriageway of the A22 from a little way beyond the Caterham turnoff to where it meets the Wapses Lodge roundabout - about half a mile, I'd guess - was reduced from two lanes to one sometime this century, I think for road safety reasons. Overtaking a large truck in the narrow lanes of the old two-lane road could be very hairy, especially as the car speed limit was 70mph then. It was reduced to 50mph when it was 'singled'.
 

Aictos

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Can we count Dual Carriageways that now have a new alignment but the former alignment is still visible and available for use?

If so the A47's dual-carriageway £9 million Ailsworth-Castor Bypass which opened in September 1991 runs alongside the former A47 in that area but the main difference is while the old A47 is like a roller coaster with hills, the new A47 is quite smooth with no hills.
 

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