The A414 is a major road in England. It runs from the A41 at a junction west of Hemel Hempstead in Hertfordshire, through the town to the M1 at Buncefield, disappearing for a short while, before re-emerging at the eastern end of the M10 motorway, south of St Albans, east through Hatfield, Hertford, then across the A10 and into Essex through Harlow, Chipping Ongar and Chelmsford before terminating at Maldon.
With the current widening works between J6a and J10 of the M1, new parallel roads are being built to accommodate the A414 where it disappears from junction 8 of the M1 Motorway, to connect to the M10 Motorway (currently junction 7), which will be downgraded from a motorway, to an A road, which will connect the A414 from Hemel Hempstead to St Albans.
The North Orbital Road route was never completed, the planners opting in the end to build the M25 orbital motorway instead. Indeed, the section of the M25 between the Hunton Bridge Interchange, Watford (J19) and Maple Cross, Rickmansworth (J17) originally opened as the A405 North Orbital Road.
This route has always connected Hemel Hempstead and Maldon, but over the years it has changed so much that it is almost completely new. The original route from Hemel Hempstead to St Albans followed the course of what is now the A4147, then from St Albans to Hatfield on the course of the now A1057 and B6426. The villages of Cole Green, Birch Green, and Staines Green were bypassed in the 1990s by a new dual carriageway that linked into the 1970s Hertingfordbury bypass. On the other side of Hertford, the A414 took what is now the A119 Ware Road, and then diverged along the course of the current B1502 and B181 from Hertford to Stanstead Abbotts.
The section through Essex is even more interesting. Most of it (between the Talbot at Tylers Green and Writtle) was originally the A122. The original A414 road bypassed Harlow to the north, travelling through High Wych on what is now an unclassified road, and travelling through Sawbridgeworth to meet what is now the A1060 at Hatfield Heath, which it followed through to Chelmsford. In Chelmsford itself, the road numbers have been subject to change several times over the last three or four decades, with the A12, A130 and A414 having been rerouted many times over that period.