The ancient abbey of Merton, at the point where the Roman Road to the south coast (now the A24) crossed the River Wandle, is the meeting point of several modern roads. The A218 follows the western side of the River Wandle at a short distance all the way to the River Thames at Wandsworth. The area between the road and the river is largely given over to light industry – historically the river was needed for many industries and the area was also liable to flooding until fairly recently, so was not favoured for residential use.
Merton - Wandsworth
Passing Haydon's Road station
Leaving what is now the A238 in Merton, the A218 is named Haydon's Road, and passes the railway station of that name before reaching the junction with the B235 Plough Road. The stadium that was the spiritual home of Wimbledon Football Club used to stand on the corner (it's now flats) – its body may have gone to Milton Keynes and its soul to Kingston, but this was its birthplace.
Beyond the junction, the road (now called Durnsford Road) passes on a long narrow viaduct across the main London to Southampton railway line, with extensive carriage sidings on both sides of the road. The ground rises steeply on our left up to Wimbledon Park, but we continue towards Wandsworth along Merton Road. Shortly before journey's end, the road splits: the right hand fork (straight ahead) takes you into the middle of the Wandsworth one-way system where traffic has to turn left onto the A3: the left hand one takes you to West Hill, where the A218 also ends with a left-turn only restriction onto the A3