A421 Milton Keynes (Kingston Roundabout) to Evenley
To view this map in full screen please click here.
This road has seen 3 fatalities and 7 people seriously injured following collisions involving bikes and mopeds between 1 December 2002 and 30 November 2007.
During this time, a total of 51 people have been killed or injured in the 44 crashes involving two-wheeled vehicles on this road.
The stretch of road between the Bottledump Roundabout and the Buckingham ring road is particularly challenging to bikers. At first sight the road seems open, but there are hidden problems that the rider needs to be aware of. It is the main link road between the A43 at Brackley and the M1 Milton Keynes and Bedford. Read on for a detailed description of this route.
Bottledump roundabout to the Whaddon roundabout
As you leave Milton Keynes the last section of dual carriageway leads you to the Bottledump roundabout and the nearside junction to Newton Longville. There is a speed change from the dual carriageway from 70 mph to 60 mph national speed limit. You will not see any signs but the road change informs you that it is so.
Cycles, horses and pedestrians
As you exit the roundabout you will enter a two lane single carriageway with two lay-bys, one on either side of the road. Have a good look to the far end of these lay-bys because a cycle path crosses the road there. You will see two yellow posts either side of the road indicating where the cycle path joins the road. These signs are there for a very good reason. Be aware of children and pedestrians who use this pathway.
The road is bordered on both sides by woodland, tall trees and hedgerows restricting views either side of the road. A short way ahead you will see a sign to the left which says Accompanied Horses and Ponies. It is sited just before a bridlepath that crosses the road. It is almost hidden from view and not obvious so look for it.
The road drops down to the main roundabout junction to Whaddon. On the left, just before the junction, there is a garden centre so look for emerging and turning traffic through the site entrance.
Whaddon to the B4033 junction
The exit side of the Whaddon roundabout is open to view and rises through a left-hand bend towards the junction to Little Horwood. As you exit there is a lay-by on the nearside and warning signs of a cycle route ahead. This crosses the road linking the villages of Little Horwood and Whaddon. The warning is there for Milton Keynes bound traffic and as this represents a crossing of a main road for children as well as adults so you need to be very aware through here.
Look to the left and you will see a farm. The entrance opens onto the road just around the curve. You can see the track and any vehicles moving to or from the road but also be aware that vehicles may be turning into the track from the main road still out of your view, so reduce speed and wait until you can see the way ahead is clear. Be aware and look well ahead.
There are two further footpaths close to the Little Horwood turning.
The road rises and then drops towards the staggered crossroads junction to Nash (right). The first turning to the nearside is again towards Little Horwood. A few feet the other side of this junction another cycle route crosses the road linking the village of Nash.
These cycle paths are hidden from immediate view due to the high vegetation. There is a central filter lane for turning traffic so be very aware through here and look for the hazards highlighted. As with all junctions you need to scan through both sides and consider the safest road position. Don’t just take account of the adjoining roads but consider oncoming and turning traffic as well.
B4033 Great Horwood junction
A short distance further on you come to a roundabout at the junction with the main B4033 Great Horwood. A lot of local traffic crosses the A421 at this point linking the villages of Nash and Great Horwood. On the exit side of the roundabout be aware that yet another cycle/footway crosses the road and is not immediately clear so look for it.
Within a quarter of a mile look for the Accompanied Horses and Ponies sign that is sited to raise awareness of a riding school close by. The North Bucks Way also crosses the road close to the Singleborough junction on the nearside.
A second turning to Thornborough is to the offside so there are a range of hazards for the rider to look out for.
Consider your road positioning and find the safest riding line where you can see and be seen.
After leaving these junctions look for the turning, again to Great Horwood and the Hidden Dip sign and look well ahead as this dip can easily hide a vehicle.
Padbury to Thornborough junction
Locally this crossroads is known as a rat run, easily identified by The Lone Tree pub that fronts the road at this point. Scan the junction on the approach and watch for the local traffic turning into and from the main A421.
The final few miles to Buckingham have good views ahead, so look for the available cross views and take available information early.
The next time you travel this road, look for the areas highlighted and ask yourself if you saw them the last time you travelled through. Enjoy your riding, take responsibility and remain safe.
Maintain your levels of concentration and observation and plan ahead.
The national speed limit is 60 mph. Urban roads are generally 30mph unless otherwise signed.