- A406 road
UK road routebox
direction= West–east (semi-circular)
Chiswick(M4 Junction 1)
Ealing Wembley Brent Cross Walthamstow Ilford
The A406 or the North Circular Road is a
trunk roadwhich crosses North London, UK, linking West and East London. It, together with the South Circular Road, forms a ring road through the inner part of Outer London. This ring road does not make a complete circuit of the city, as the crossing of the River Thamesin the east is made on the Woolwich Ferry.
In the west, it starts at junction 1 of the
M4 Motorwayat Gunnersbury, where it also meets the South Circular Road. The road runs north as Gunnersbury Avenue, crossing Uxbridge Road (A4020) at Ealing Common. As Hanger Hill, the A406 continues north to the Hanger Lane Gyratory Systemwhere it crosses Western Avenue(A40) and turns north-east. Now under the name North Circular Road, the A406 continues past Stonebridge Park station, and passes under Harrow Road (A404) before continuing through Neasdenpast the Welsh Harp Reservoir. After an interchange with Edgware Road(A5) it meets junction 1 of the M1 motorwayat Staples Corner.
It then passes the Brent Cross Shopping Centre and Brent Cross Interchange (A41), and travels between
Golders Greenand Hendon. It shares carriageways with the A1 for a short distance at Finchley, forming the boundary between Finchley Centraland East Finchley. It then passes north of St Pancras and Islington Cemeterywhere at Friern Barnetit becomes Pinkham Way with a short single lane section. Subsequently turning right into Bowes Road it becomes the North Circular Road again at Green Lanes. At its most northern point, the A406 interchanges with Great Cambridge Road (A10) with links to the A111 and becomes Sterling Way. After it crosses Fore Street it becomes Angel Road which leads into the Lea Valley Viaduct as it crosses the River Lea. Angel Road railway stationis partially located beneath Angel Road, but no longer has any access to that road, the sole entrance being via a long footpath from Conduit Lane to the north.
It becomes Southend Road and passes north of
Walthamstow, having a junction at the Crooked Billetand then crosses the Woodford New Road at the Waterworks Corner, a section of road completed in the early 1990s.
East from the Waterworks, the Southend Road enters a cutting, completed in the 1970s, and travels under the old A11 at
Gates Corner(previously there were traffic lights at a crossroads here). The North Circular leaves the Southend Road at an elevated junction with the M11 motorwayabove Charlie Brown's Roundabout, it turns south, passing Eastern Avenue (A12) on a flyover at Redbridge Interchange. It passes Romford Road to the west of Ilford, then crosses Barking Road in Barking, and ends at an interchange with the A13 Newham Way in East Ham.
The road then continues south of the junction as the A1020 and the joins its previous alignment (see below) along the A117. This leads to the free
Woolwich Ferryacross the River Thames, connecting with the eastern end of the South Circular Road on the other side of the river. The junction with the A13 has been built to enable the North Circular to be continued across the junction to the Thames Gateway Bridgewhen it is built.
Before the section between the M11 and A13 opened in 1987, the A406 designation extended as far as east as
Gants Hill. This old stretch (Southend Road and Woodford Avenue) has been re-numbered the A1400. The official North Circular Road itself diverged at Waterworks Corner, and then followed the A104, A114, A116 and A117.
In the late 1960s the
Greater London Councildeveloped the London RingwaysPlan to construct a series of circular and radial motorways throughout London to ease traffic congestion in the central area. Under this plan the North Circular Road was designated as the northern section of Ringway 2and was scheduled to be upgraded to a motorway designated as the M15. Most of the Ringway Plans were cancelled in the early 1970s and the North Circular Road was never upgraded to full motorway standard, although much of it is now grade separated dual carriageway.
The section of the North Circular south of M11 junction 4 (the "
South Woodfordto BarkingRelief Road") was constructed on the alignment planned for the unrealised motorway plans and the section between the M11 and A12 junctions was originally opened as part of the M11 with the interchange at Redbridge designated as M11 junction 3. The intention was to rename this section as M15 once the A406 upgrade to motorway standard had proceeded further but this never happened and the road was eventually downgraded from motorway to A road keeping the existing A406 designation.
Although the route has alternative names at some points, it is generally referred to as the North Circular throughout for route planning purposes. The route is mostly grade separated
dual carriagewayfrom the A40 to the A13 except for the Drury Way/Brentfield Road junction, the Golders Green Road/Brent Street junction, Henlys Corner and Bounds Green - Green Lanes.
In 2004, Mayor of London
Ken Livingstonepromised limited improvements to the road, but he has received criticism for not approving earlier plans for widening the often heavily congested road at critical sections. The status of these plans under the current Mayor, Boris Johnson, is unknown.
London's successful bid to host the
2012 Summer Olympicshas increased speculation that the road will be upgraded to provide for adequate traffic during the Games.
* [http://www.rabharling.com/separation/ Separation: An exploration of the North Circular Road. Photography by Rab Harling]
* [http://www.gorge.org/a406/ Flash Wilson's guide to the A406]
* [http://www.benoitgrimbert.fr/syc_serie_09.html Benoît Grimbert website]
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
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