Find A303 alternative routes to Cornwall and Devon - beat the jams here

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. 
A303 diversion signFind 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.

Emergency diverson symbols

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

Route Direction Miles Symbol A303 diversion
A303 EB FT 13.0 Eastbound A303
A303 WB FD 15.5 Westbound A303
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.  

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).