|Location Map ( geo)|
|From:||Herne Hill (TQ320740)|
|To:||Crystal Palace (TQ337707)|
|Distance:||2.3 miles (3.7 km)|
|Meets:||A215, A205, A212|
|Route outline (key)|
Running south across central South London, the A2199 has an odd number that befits a route with a twist in the tail.
It begins in Herne Hill, just south of the monstrous junction under the railway, at a signalised T-junction on the A215 opposite the lovely Brockwell Park. Heading away from Herne Hill this is a nice point where traffic divides and disperses, but northbound vehicles on both roads will find themselves at a familiar situation in South London where two inadequate radial routes bang into each other and continue as one even-less-adequate radial route.
The A2199 spends much of its life as Croxted Road, passing under the railway line between Tulse Hill and Herne Hill and then turning sharply to the right to begin its southward journey. It runs almost in a straight line between Victorian terraces for a considerable distance, crossing the A205 South Circular Road at a set of traffic lights next to West Dulwich station.
After a lazy bend to the left, the road opens out to multiple lanes and traffic islands, at a large (but uncontrolled save for Give Way lines) T-junction with Alleyn Park. South Croxted Road then immediately finishes at a large roundabout beside the park at the bottom of Gypsy Hill, giving this area a much greener and more open appearance than is actually the case. The enormous roundabout here is the beginning of this road's delusions of grandeur, which continue as we turn to the left and begin a long uphill slog on Dulwich Wood Park and then College Road.
Travelling around the former Borough of Camberwell, it becomes clear that at some point in its past - probably in the 1950s or 1960s - the Borough had a policy of providing dual carriageways on its A-roads whenever they encounter a hill. This is never more evident than here, where the A2199 leaves the big roundabout and - after crossing a much newer mini-roundabout - widens rapidly to dual carriageway. The road is now only marked out for one lane each way, with turning lanes for the junction, but it hardly matters because it twists and turns so sharply that overtaking within the 30mph limit would be dangerous and impossible anyway.
After some Alpine bends (or as close as you will find in South London, anyway), the road makes one final push up the remarkably steep College Road and swings sharply left to end at another signalised T-junction on the A212 Crystal Palace Parade, beneath the famous television transmitter and in what would have been the shadow of the Crystal Palace itself.