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Location Map ( geo)
Cameraicon.png View gallery (18)
From:  Rochester (TQ746679)
To:  Hurst Green (TQ732279)
Distance:  28.9 miles (46.5 km)
Meets:  A2, A230, B2097, M2, M20, B2012, A20, B2010, A274, B2163, B2079, A262, B2086, B2085, A268, B2244, A21
Former Number(s):  A230, A265
Old route now:  B2097, B2244, A21
Primary Destinations
Highway Authorities

East Sussex  • Kent  • Medway

Traditional Counties

Kent • Sussex

Route outline (key)
A229 Rochester - Blue Bell Hill
A229 Blue Bell Hill - Hurst Green
A229 Hawkhurst - Baldslow, Hastings

A long standing route of importance, the A229 runs through the middle of Kent, and changes from a very important motorway link to a winding rural road.


Section 1: Rochester – Maidstone

The A229 in Rochester

The first section of the road starts at a roundabout on the A2 in Rochester, just up the hill from the High Street. It then runs along City Way, meeting various bits of 1930s Medway Town suburbia. The A230 joins in from the left at Horsted, and after the next roundabout, the road widens out to dual-carriageway, though still very much urban at this point. There's then a flyover with the B2097 from central Rochester. Dover-bound traffic for the M2 is directed off here and along the former A2045 to reach the motorway at J2. London-bound traffic stays on the A229 till the next junction and along a spur of the A229 to reach the motorway. Here is where the road splits off its original alignment and starts to turn into a major primary route.

The A229 descending Blue Bell Hill

The 40 mph limit then finally gives way to NSL for the descent down Blue Bell Hill. At the bottom of the hill is the M20 which is met at the unusual hybrid dumbbell which is J6. Here the road becomes an urban dual carriageway again as it hugs the east bank of the River Medway into Maidstone, until meeting the A20 (and just missing the eastern end of the A26) from the west over the Medway bridge, where the dual carriageway ends. From here, the road is mostly single-carriageway and less dominated by bypasses.

Section 2: Maidstone – Hurst Green

The A229 is the dominant road through the one-way system in Maidstone, running around the south of the town centre, to end up on Loose Road heading south once more, as it passes through numerous garages, supermarkets and housing estates. The A274 forks off to the left towards Headcorn, while we head through Loose proper. The B2163 is met at a set of traffic lights, and we finally taste the Kent countryside heading towards Staplehurst.

Once there, the A229 heads over the railway bridge past the station and runs on a reasonably straight route through the middle of town. Out the other side, it's back into countryside, where the picturesque A262 is met en route from Biddenden to Goudhurst. Past this, there's a TOTSO to bypass Cranbrook (the original route through the town is straight on), as the road winds around plenty of semi-rural houses. Finally, there's a climb up the hill right into the centre of Hawkhurst, where the A268 crosses at a very busy set of lights, causing frequent jams.

Just beyond Hawkhurst, the A229 now swings abruptly to the right to follow the former route of the A265, meeting the A21 at Hurst Green for a quicker run down to Hastings. The old route, meanwhile, remains a nice fast drive to Cripp's Corner and Sedlescombe, before meeting up with the A21 again.


The A229 originally ended a lot closer to Hastings. The road coming in from the west in this map is the A21, now the A2100.

The A229 fomerly ran from Hawkhurst via Sedlescombe to Baldslow on the northern side of Hastings, ending on the A28. The A21 took over the latter part of this route in the 1950s, while the remainder was downgraded in the mid-1990s to the B2244 when the southern end of the A229 was moved to Hurst Green (still ending on the A21) having taken over some of the A265.

The original northern end of the A229 was a junction with Maidstone Road and Rochester High Street here. On 1st April, 1933, the A229 was rerouted onto City Way, taking over the southern section of the A230, with the former route becoming the B2097. City Way had opened in 1931.

Opening Dates

Year Section Notes
1931 Rochester: City Way The 1.8 mile road from the top of Star Hill (A2) to Fort Horsted (A230) was opened on 24 March 1931 by Margaret Bondfield, Minister of Labour. Cost £45,000.
1960 Cranbrook Bypass Upgrade of Angley Road (previously unclassified). Opened on 9 August 1960.
1972 Blue Bell Hill - M20 The 2.5 mile offline dual carriageway from just south of Barham Common Lane (and former Upper Bell pub) to M20 Sandling Interchange was opened on 26 February 1972. The 1 mile climb section up the chalk escarpment had a gradient of 5.2% and a crawler lane. Contractor was Mears Construction Ltd., cost £1.75 million.
1985 Blue Bell Hill Bypass The road near the M2 was due to be opened on 15 April 1985 by Tony Hart, County Council leader (per the Maidstone Telegraph of 12 April 1985). Cost £4.5 million.
1995 Maidstone Spine Road Royal Engineers Road. The 1.6 mile dual carriageway from M20 J6 Sandling Interchange to the Town centre Medway Bridges (Fairmeadow) was officially opened on 25 April 1995 by Lord Kingsdown, Lord Lieutenant of Kent. Parts had opened earlier. Contractor was Miller Group, contract price £6 million, total cost £37 million.

M2 to M20 Upgrade Proposals

The link between the M2 and M20 is part of the Main Road Network, but is more strategic in nature, carrying at times almost 70% strategic traffic. Improvements to the link formed part of some of the 2013 Lower Thames Crossing options, but the upgrade was not selected as part of the final build.

However, in 2020 Kent County Council consulted on three options for improvements to the section, principally concerned with the Bluebell Interchange and Sandling Interchange at each end of the section:

Related Pictures
View gallery (18)
The A229 Dual Carriageway to Chatham - Geograph - 1645836.jpgA229bluebell.JPGGeograph-3913217-by-Marathon.jpgMaidstone Road Proposals late 60s.pngA2a229rochester.JPG
Other nearby roads
Medway Towns
A20 • A20(M) • A26 • A249 • A274 • A2011 (Maidstone) • A2020 • B2010 • B2011 (Maidstone) • B2012 • B2013 • B2078 • B2246 • E2 (Old System) • E5 (Old System) • E15 • M20 • T4 (Britain)
NCN2 • A21 • A28 • A259 • A2100 • A2101 • A2102 • A2690 • B2092 • B2093 • B2094 • B2159 • B2172 • T37 (Britain)
A200 • A201 • A202 • A203 • A204 • A205 • A206 • A207 • A208 • A209 • A210 • A211 • A212 • A213 • A214 • A215 • A216 • A217 • A218 • A219
A220 • A221 • A222 • A223 • A224 • A225 • A226 • A227 • A228 • A229 • A230 • A231 • A232 • A233 • A234 • A235 • A236 • A237 • A238 • A239
A240 • A241 • A242 • A243 • A244 • A245 • A246 • A247 • A248 • A249 • A250 • A251 • A252 • A253 • A254 • A255 • A256 • A257 • A258 • A259
A260 • A261 • A262 • A263 • A264 • A265 • A266 • A267 • A268 • A269 • A270 • A271 • A272 • A273 • A274 • A275 • A276 • A277 • A278 • A279
A280 • A281 • A282 • A283 • A284 • A285 • A286 • A287 • A288 • A289 • A290 • A291 • A292 • A293 • A294 • A295 • A296 • A297 • A298 • A299
Defunct Itineraries: A239 • A268 • A270 • A273 • A274 • A277 • A278 • A280 • A282 • A285 • A292(W) • A292(E) • A295

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