Covid-19 travel restrictions have seen a huge jump in people booking staycations in the UK - promising to leave the A303 as one of the country's most congested roads during 2021. With Devon and Cornwall revealed as the two most popular destinations, and Wiltshire also seeing a surge in bookings, planning ahead with this guide to alternative routes for the A303 could save hours of wasted travel time.
Use this guide to follow emergency diversion symbols to help dodge jams at pinch points such as
Stonehenge and the Blackdown Hills - which can add up to a couple of hours to your trip. Give your 2021
staycation the best possible start here.
Find alternative routes from the A303 and avoid traffic jams as you head to the likes of Cornwall and Devon (Credit: Pam Brophy)Anyone heading to Cornwall and the South West, will likely find themselves queuing on the A303 as it connects the M3 and A30 as one of the main routes from London to Devon and Cornwall.
Take a look at these A303 alternative routes that will help you jump the jams with the help of emergency diversion routes plotted out by ‘secret signs’ – meaning you won’t need maps or sat-nav devices to show the way.
A303 alternative routes and emergency directions from where you are
If you’re heading into congestion on the A303, use this list of emergency diversions as alternative routes to help jump the jams. The list will tell you how long the alternative route is and where it starts and ends.
Drivers will also be able to use the list to find the emergency symbol to follow– meaning they won’t need to rely on maps or sat-nav devices.
Key and how to use diversion: Find the junction intersection on the A303 that you are close to by searching the list below, select the alternative route and follow the emergency diversion symbol as listed below.
Diversion: Length is stated in miles
Symbols: OT = Open Triangle – OC =Open Circle – OD = Open Diamond – OS = Outline Square
Symbols: FT = Filled Triangle – FC = Filled Circle – FD = Filled Diamond – FS = Filled Square
Direction: WB = Westbound – EB = Eastbound
|A303||EB||FS||2.0||Eastbound A345 - Solstice|
|A303||WB||FC||1.8||Westbound Solstice - A345|
|A303||EB||OS||6.8||Eastbound A360 -A345|
|A303||WB||OC||6.7||Westbound A345 - A360|
|A303||EB||OD||17.6||Eastbound A36- A360|
|A303||WB||OT||18.4||Westbound A360 - A36|
|A303||EB||FD||16.9||Eastbound A350 - A36|
|A303||WB||FC||17.8||Westbound A36 - A350|
|A303||EB||FT||16.5||Eastbound B3081 - A350|
|A303||WB||FS||16.2||Westbound A350 -B3081|
|A303||EB||OT||3.5||Eastbound B3081 - B3081|
|A303||WB||OS||4.1||Westbound B3092 - B3081|
|A303||EB||FD||4.0||Eastbound A371 - B3081|
|A303||WB||FC||4.1||Westbound B3081 - A371|
|A303||EB||OC||10.2||Eastbound A359 - A371|
|A303||WB||OS||10.3||Westbound A371 - A359|
|A303||EB||FS||12.9||Eastbound A37 - A359|
|A303||WB||FT||12.7||Westbound A359 - A37|
|A303||EB||FC||11.9||Eastbound A3088 - A37|
|A303||WB||FD||11.4||Westbound A37 - A3088|
|A303||EB||FS||17.2||Eastbound A356 - A3088|
|A303||WB||FT||17.2||Westbound A3088 - A356|
|A303||EB||FC||18.2||Eastbound A358 - A356|
|A303||WB||OT||18.4||Westbound A356 - A358|
|A303||EB||OC||6.6||Eastbound A358 - Uncl|
|A303||WB||FD||6.6||Westbound Uncl - A358|
|A303||EB||FS||13.3||Eastbound A30 - A358|
|A303||WB||FT||13.3||Westbound A358 - A30|
|A303||EB||FC||8.9||Eastbound B3170 - Uncl|
|A303||WB||OS||8.4||Westbound Uncl - A30|
|A303||EB||FC||22.1||Eastbound Uncl - Uncl|
|A303||WB||FD||22.1||Westbound Uncl- Uncl|
|A303||EB||OC||12.8||Eastbound A35 - Uncl|
|A303||WB||OT||12.5||Westbound Uncl- A35|
|A303||WB||OS||5.2||A303 picket Twenty to Jct 100 Acre Roundabout|
|A303||EB||OC||5.2||A303 picket Twenty to Jct 100 Acre Roundabout|
|A303||WB||OS||12.3||A303 100 Acre Rbt to Parkhouse Cross|
|A303||EB||OC||12.0||A303 100 Acre Rbt to Parkhouse Cross|
|A303||WB||OS||3.3||A303 Jct Parkhouse cross to Jct Thruxton Curcuit|
|A303||EB||OC||3.4||A303 Jct Parkhouse cross to Jct Thruxton Curcuit|
|A303||EB||OC||3.5||A30 to M3 Jct 7|
|A303||EB||OC||21.2||A303 Bullington Interchange to M3 Jct 7|
|A303||EB||OC||22.1||A303 Bullington Interchange to M3 Jct 7|
|A303||EB||OC||29.7||Picket Twenty to Bullington Cross|
|A303||WB||OS||21.1||A303 Westbound Bullington Cross Interchange|
|A303||WB||OS||15.2||A303 WB Bullington Interchange to Picket Twenty|
Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.
What is the A303?
The A303 is a major trunk road that winds its way from Basingstoke in Hampshire to Honiton in Devon – taking in Stonehenge along the way.
It is also the connecting road between the M3 and A30, making it one of the primary routes from London and the South East to Devon and Cornwall. The road passes through five counties along the way.
Why is the A303 so notorious for heavy traffic and jams?
The A303 is 93 miles long as it takes drivers from the M3 near Basingstoke at Juntion 8 to the A30 in Devon. However, the route is made up of both dual and single carriageway roads, causing numerous pinch-points and big jams at peak times.
It’s also an attractive route, that takes in the likes of Stonehenge – where long delays occur as drivers slow down on the single carriageway road to admire the clearly visible monument.
All this – and sheer weight of traffic – conspire to create a route that can add many hours on to your trip towards destinations in the likes of Devon and Cornwall.
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Please note: Follow these signs at your own risk.. It is not possible to guarantee they will always be faster than remaining on the motorway.
Pete Barden has written and edited for publications including The Sun, Whatcar? Stuff Magazine, Fastcar Magazine, Maxim Magazine and UK broadcast stations within the Heart network (Formerly GCAP).