The B3081 is officially the bendiest road in Britain according to a technical study published today by Continental Tyres.
Continental commissioned the research to find out which of Britain’s 6,300 classified roads sets the toughest task for car tyres. At a steady 30mph, a one mile stretch of the B3081 between Cann Common in Dorset and Tollard Royal in Wiltshire exerted lateral forces of a magnitude a car would experience on a racetrack like Brands Hatch.
Researchers tested a shortlist of ten roads – nominated by the readers of a leading car magazine – the length and breadth of mainland Britain. A standard Vauxhall Astra 1.4 with Continental ContiSportContact2 tyres was fitted with state of the art measuring equipment and an on-board computer to record forward speed and lateral acceleration. Four runs, two in each direction, at a constant 30 mph, allowed the researchers to calculate the bendiest one mile section of the road, measured by the average lateral force impulse, calculated in kiloNewton seconds (kNs).
1st B3081 Cann Common & Tollard Royal Dorset/Wiltshire 352 Kns
2nd A686 Penrith & Melmerby Cumbria 276 kns
3rd A537 Macclesfield & Buxton Cheshire / Derbyshire 221 kns
4th A466 Monmouth & Staunton Monmouth 195 kns
5th A4061 Pricetown & Treorchy Rhondda 167 kns
6th A157 Louth & Mablethorpe Lincolnshire 152 kns
7th B2130 Godalming & Cranleigh Surrey 151 kns
8th B6270 Keld & Reeth Yorkshire 128 kns
9th A39 Bridgewater & Minehead Somerset 118 kns
10th B797 Mennock & Warnlockhead Dumfries & Galloway 99 kns
The data revealed that some of the tighter corners resulted in a forces exerted on the driver approaching one positive G – a force more usually associated with rollercoasters than British B roads.
Many of the top 10 bendiest roads are in hilly areas of the country: the B3081 winds its way through the Cranbourne Chase on the Wiltshire-Dorset border; the 2nd placed A686 leads to the and the once notorious 3rd placed A537 lies in the Peak District. But the surprise entry in the top ten is the 6th placed A157, in predominantly flat .