The A214 is a road of two halves in south London. It starts off very grandly as a small part of the Ringway 1 scheme and is a primary route until we reach Streatham. Strangely, this section of road was only Class II in 1922 (as the B233) and did not become part of the A214 until the 1930s.
We leave the roundabout with the A217 and A3205 just to the south of Wandsworth Bridge and take the dual carriageway (Trinity Road) under the London to Ascot railway. Next we pass under the only grade separated junction on the A214 with the A205 South Circular and climb up the hill where we pass over several series of lights with the B234 and the B229 and pass over the mainline from Waterloo to the West Country. Over to our right is Wandsworth Prison and to our left is Wandsworth Common. By now Trinity Road has become a traffic-clogged S2 and at Tooting Bec we reach the junction with the A24. The Bec part of the name comes from an abbey in Normandy of the same name who were lords of the manor.
Tooting Bec Road
The A214 carries straight on along Tooting Bec Road with Tooting Bec Common on our left and we leave the London Borough of Wandsworth for the London Borough of Lambeth. Eventually we arrive at the traffic clogged Streatham One-Way System. The A214 briefly multiplexes south along the A23 and then we turn left by the sylvan beauty of Streatham Common. We follow Streatham Common Northside and Crown Lane and pass through two sets of lights.
The boundary between the boroughs of Lambeth and Croydon now runs down the middle of the A214 until we reach the roundabout with the A212 on the edge of Crystal Palace Park. At the second set of lights en route we cross over the A215 and go down Crown Dale pass the B232 and then up Central Hill where we join the infamous Upper Norwood gyratory at Westow Hill where we meet the roundabout with the A212. Four London Boroughs meet here and they are Lambeth, Southwark, Bromley and Croydon.
For the rest of our journey we will be in the London Borough of Bromley and we take Anerley Hill. On our left is a small but interesting museum about the Crystal Palace that was destroyed by fire in 1936. Another point of interest, if my sources serve me correct, is that Anerley Hill is where the first road traffic accident took place. The A214 passes over two railways in succession, as Anerley Hill becomes Anerley Road. We meet the A213 at the Robin Hood at Anerley and go straight on to Elmers End Road. In a short while the A214 widens to pass under the Crystal Palace to Beckenham Junction railway plus Croydon Tramlink by Birkbeck station and we are officially in Beckenham. After this we pass the expansive South Norwood Country Park (formerly a sewage works) on our right and then pass over the humped back bridge over the Mid Kent Line to Hayes.
The A214 turns left at the lines and briefly multiplexes with the A222 along Croydon Road until we reach a large and quite fast roundabout with pretty flowerbeds in the middle. We go almost back on ourselves and take Upper Elmers End Road and we pass under the Mid Kent Line which we shall follow for almost the rest of the journey. We pass Eden Park Station and the A214 becomes Links Way. We meet the B230 at a roundabout and go straight on up South Eden Park Road, past all the large houses, which becomes Beckenham Road. We are now in West Wickham and we go straight on at the traffic lights into Station Road and journey's end, the next set of lights on the A232.