c1910 – Hooper Deacon was a horse dealer in Swindon & would supply transport. This was a trip to Abingdon calling at Faringdon, Southmoor & Marcham. Fare £5 for outside, extra for inside.
Five-way Road Junction
Faringdon was situated on an important and ancient five-way road junction receiving traffic from all over the country. Hence the naming for London Street, Gloucester Street, Marlborough Street and Southampton Street. The latter leads towards what is now the new Health Centre, then Wicklesham Farm and beyond but has mostly remained no more than a simple track or footpath. The Radcot Road provided an important trade route to the north into Oxfordshire and beyond. Faringdon was connected by Turnpike roads to London and Gloucester by 1733 and to Wantage and Wallingford in 1752. Turnpike roads were major highways during the 18th and 19th centuries usually involving a barrier for collection of tolls to pay for their maintenance. By 1813 horse-drawn coaches were passing through Faringdon from the West Country on their way to London every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.
The A420 bypass
The A420, the major trunk road between Oxford and Swindon used to pass directly through the Market Place in Faringdon. During the 1950s and 60s more and more traffic was passing through Faringdon; lorries from Pressed Steel were passing every two minutes, in addition to other traffic. This was exasperated when a firm who had been laying a telephone cable in the narrow section between the Market Place and Cornmarket damaged the old brick culvert taking the brook under the road. There was absolutely no other possible route for all the traffic, so a Bailey Bridge had to be placed over the road while repairs took place. Later, a link road called Hart Avenue was built to link Ferndale Street to Bromsgrove. This effectively created a direct route from the start of Stanford Road right through to Station Road. It was hoped that this would help alleviate traffic flow through the town centre and provide a much needed alternative route, but it was only a temporary solution. Work started on a new bypass in 1977/78 to make a wide sweep completely around the outskirts of Faringdon and it was opened in 1979. Stanford Road and Fernham Road were completely cut off by the bypass so Park Road was extended to make a new junction with it.
Modern Bus Service
Faringdon’s importance as a market town declined during the 20th Century and the population remained as it had been for 150 years in the 2-3 thousands until the late 1970’s. Whereas the nearest towns of Oxford, Swindon and Wantage were growing rapidly. Together with cuts in government funding this saw a decline in the provision of public transport, both road and rail. The only effective bus service remaining for the former five-way road junction that was Faringdon of old was on the Oxford-Swindon route. Although an excellent and regular service it was and still is very difficult to get anywhere else, other than by car.