All of the A6118

Some A-roads are incredibly long. The A38, for example, runs for hundreds of miles in order to connect Bodmin with Mansfield. But not all of them.

Some A-roads are fairly short, perhaps only a mile or two in length. That's little enough. Spare a thought, then, for the surprisingly numerous group of A- and B-roads that are very brief indeed - less than a mile sometimes.

The A6118 was very short but very eventful. It branched off Britain's longest road, the A1, near Peterborough and ran from one end of the village of Wansford to the other. Then it stopped.

It appears to have only existed because, in 1929 when a bypass was built to carry the A1 past the village, normal practice was to leave the road number on the old road and give the bypass a new number. In Wansford the old road was so unsuitable for through traffic, and the new road so much shorter, that it made no sense to leave the A1 running through the village. So the A1 moved to the bypass, and perhaps because there was no established way to deal with the old road, it retained A-road status, becoming A6118. This little oddity then persisted for the following 88 years.

In 2017, perhaps in recognition of the fact that it served no meaningful purpose, it was downgraded and is now unclassified, holding no road number at all. This gallery of pictures, taken in 2009, shows pretty much all of it.

All of the A6118 on a map
All of the A6118 on a map

Picture credits

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Published9 May 2009

Last updated22 December 2020