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A20 history

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Ashford in the 1930's
The A20 has seen as many changes as its bigger brother the A2. Not long after classification was completed, the Eltham bypass and Sidcup Arterial Road were finished. A few years later, the small village of Farningham gained its bypass. The A225 has always been multiplexed so its southern end was moved to meet the new road. In 1927, Lenham gained its bypass, followed by Wrotham the following year.

In the 1930s, plans were drawn up for bypasses of Ashford and Maidstone, but construction of the former was quickly halted due to World War 2, while the latter went back to the drawing board.

Around 1955, the A20 was extended from its original endpoint in Folkestone eastwards along the former A259 in order to meet the A2 at Dover.

Work finished on the Ashford Bypass in 1957, while the delay of the Maidstone Bypass allowed it to be built as a motorway, rather than the controversial at-grade roundabout with the A249 that was originally planned. It was completed in 1961 and the A20 though Maidstone was renumbered A2020. Seven years later, the Swanley Bypass opened and that allowed traffic to bypass the busy town. As the M20 was slowly being extended, the A2020 was renumbered back to A20 in 1974 and then in 1976, the Swanley Interchange was fully rebuilt to commutate the M20 & M25. Although the overbridge woundn't be used for ten years, it didn't affect the junction that much.

With the opening of the Wrotham Hill Interchange in 1980, the section of A20 from Swanley to Maidstone would lose most of its traffic apart from raceday at Brands Hatch. As the British Grand Prix used to be hosted at Brands, it was ultra busy but after 1986, the grand prix went to Silverstone and the A20 was never that busy again. In 1981, the eastern section of the M20 opened, part of it on the Ashford Bypass. There was still a ten mile gap on the M20 and the A20 took the brunt of the traffic between Maidstone and Ashford.

Roundhill Tunnel bores in 1991
It would be the coming of the Channel Tunnel that saw the biggest changes on the A20. The Sidcup bypass was upgraded to D2 and a new section, the Ruxley bypass open to link it to the Swanley Bypass. The M20 between Junction 8 and Junction 9 was built to take the strain off the A20 and an all new section was built between Folkestone and Dover containing a impressive tunnel though one of the hills and great views. All the works for the roads were finished in 1993. Since then there have been no major works on the A20, however its junction with the A228 was upgraded when the A228 became D2 in the late 00's.



A20 history
Other nearby roads
LondonA1 • A1(M) • A10 • A101 • A11 • A11(M) • A127 • A13 • A2 • A2(M) (Kidbrooke - Falconwood) • A20 • A21 • A216 • A23 • A23(M) • A233 • A24 • A3 • A30 • A4 • A4/Great West Road • A4/Slough - London • A40 • A40/Central London - Denham • A41 • A41/Central London - Watford • A41/Watford - Aylesbury • A5 • A5/Central London - Brockley • B269 • B519 • E1 (Old System) • E105 (London - Fishguard) • E107 (London - Tilbury) • E108 (London - Southend) • E13 • E15 • E2 (Old System) • E30 • E31 (via Carlisle) • E31 (via Newcastle) • E33 (London - Glasgow) • E5 (Old System) • E8 (Old System) • East Cross Route • Ermine Street • EuroVelo 2 • EuroVelo 5 • Great North Road • Holyhead Road • London Inner Ring Road • Longest Lane • M1 • M100 • M11 • M12 (Brentwood - Chelmsford) • M12 (Woodford - Brentwood) • M12 (Woodford - Maplin) • M13 • M15 • M16 • M20 • M23 • M25 • M3 • M30 • M4 • M40 • M41 • NCN1 • NCN13 • NCN20 • NCN21 • NCN4 • Northern and Western Motorway • Orbital Tunnel Route • South Cross Route • T1 (Britain) • T10 (Britain) • T11 (Britain) • T12 (Britain) • T2 (Britain) • T3 (Britain) • T31 (Britain) • T32 (Britain) • T33 (Britain) • T34 (Britain) • T35 (Britain) • T4 (Britain) • T5 (Britain) • T6 (Britain) • T8 (Britain) • T9 (Britain) • Watling Street
LewishamA20 • A21 • A212 • A2210 • A2211 • A2212 • A2212 (Lewisham) • A2213 • B208 • B209 • B210 • B212 • B2142 • B218 • B220 • B227 • B236 • E2 (Old System) • E5 (Old System) • NCN21 • South Cross Route
MaidstoneA20 • A20(M) • A2011 (Maidstone) • A2020 • A229 • A249 • A26 • A274 • B2010 • B2011 (Maidstone) • B2013 • B2078 • B2246 • E15 • E2 (Old System) • E5 (Old System) • M20 • T4 (Britain)
AshfordA20 • A2042 • A2070 • A251 • A28 • A292 • A292 (Magazine Road, Ashford) • Ashford Bypass • B2072 (Ashford) • B2074 • B2229 • E15 • E2 (Old System) • E5 (Old System) • M20 • T4 (Britain)
DoverA2 • A20 • A2007 • A256 • A258 • B2011 • B2059 • E15 • E2 (Old System) • E5 (Old System) • EuroVelo 5 • Euroroute • NCN1 • NCN2 • Pilgrims Way • T34 (Britain) • T4 (Britain) • Watling Street
A1-A99
The First 99           A1  •  A2  •  A3  •  A4  •  A5  •  A6  •  A7  •  A8  •  A9  • A10 • A11 • A12 • A13 • A14 • A15 • A16 • A17 • A18 • A19
A20 • A21 • A22 • A23 • A24 • A25 • A26 • A27 • A28 • A29 • A30 • A31 • A32 • A33 • A34 • A35 • A36 • A37 • A38 • A39
A40 • A41 • A42 • A43 • A44 • A45 • A46 • A47 • A48 • A49 • A50 • A51 • A52 • A53 • A54 • A55 • A56 • A57 • A58 • A59
A60 • A61 • A62 • A63 • A64 • A65 • A66 • A67 • A68 • A69 • A70 • A71 • A72 • A73 • A74 • A75 • A76 • A77 • A78 • A79
A80 • A81 • A82 • A83 • A84 • A85 • A86 • A87 • A88 • A89 • A90 • A91 • A92 • A93 • A94 • A95 • A96 • A97 • A98 • A99
Motorway sectionsA1(M): (South Mimms - Baldock • Alconbury - Peterborough • Doncaster Bypass • Darrington - Leeming • Barton - Birtley)
A3(M) • A14(M) • A38(M) • Cardiff spur • A57(M) • A58(M) • A64(M) • A66(M) • A74(M) • A92(M)
DefunctA1(M) Newcastle CME • A2(M) Medway Towns Bypass • A4(M) • A5(M) • A8(M) • A14 • A18(M) • A20(M) • A36(M)
A40(M): (Westway • Denham -Stokenchurch) • A41(M) • A42 • A48(M): (Port Talbot bypass • Morriston bypass) • A88 • A99
UnbuiltA2(M) Rochester Way Relief Road • A6(M): (Western route • Eastern route) • A46(M) • A61(M)