|Distance:||17.2 miles (27.7 km)|
|Meets:||A224, A223, A21, A233, B265, A2022, A214, A215, B243, A212, A236, A23, B275, B271, B272, A237, B277, B278, B2230, A217, A2043, A24, B2200|
|Old route now:||B2200|
|Route outline (key)|
The A232 is an important east-west route in the south of Greater London. 17.2 miles long, it suffers from under-capacity throughout as there is no other obvious east-west route in the area lying between the South Circular Road and the M25.
Route: Orpington – Croydon
The road starts as non-primary at a junction with the A224 Orpington by-pass. That is a single carriageway route built in 1926. This first part of the A232 was built at the same time (but not given the number until 1935), and appears to have its original name: Spur Road. Though single-carriageway and near to the centre of Orpington, the space available in the 1920s is evidenced by a wide road and houses set well back. After half a mile comes Orpington's War Memorial Roundabout. Turn left for the A223 which leads to Green Street Green and the A21; turn right for Orpington High Street, also part of the A223 until the 1970s. Continuing straight, the A232 passes under the railway line at Orpington Station.
After passing a mini roundabout for a local road junction it continues ahead to reach the first major junction known as The Fantail. This is a light-controlled, staggered junction with the primary A21. So turning right onto the A21 and immediately taking the left fork is necessary. At this point the A232 gains primary status, which it retains until the end. This point is also the original eastern end of the road - what went before was at one time the B2187. After a short while the houses on either side become very grand and there are several private roads. In keeping with the thinning out of the houses there starts a 40 mph limit. This is retained for a short while until we near the next village and drop to 30 mph again. A crossroads with the A223 is here at Keston Mark. The former pub on the crossroads of the same name has been knocked down and re-developed as flats. A sign indicating the former inn is all that is left. There are often delays here and the lights have a pedestrian-only phase.
After the junction it's back to a 40 mph limit and the houses disappear altogether. This is Hayes Common, one of the fragments of former ancient forest now in the care of a London Borough. Then there is a traffic-light-controlled crossroads with the B265. More common and woodland is passed and then the road drops to a 30 mph limit again. The road narrows and drops sharply through the trees. There are high walls on either side, with evidence of scrapes. At the bottom of the hill the suburban area of Coney Hall, with its row of shops and houses, is reached. At this point the road becomes a dual carriageway, but parked vehicles mostly fill lane one. This lasts for no more than a quarter of a mile.
At another roundabout turn left for the A2022 (which shadows our route till the end) or right for a local road to Hayes Station. Now approaching West Wickham, there is a traffic-light-controlled crossroads. Right is the A214 leading to Eden Park and Elmers End. Left is unclassified. West Wickham High Street is a shopping area, busy during shopping hours.
At the end of the High Street is a roundabout with a couple of local roads. Continuing straight on, the road moves from Kent into Surrey and from the London Borough of Bromley into the London Borough of Croydon at Shirley. After negotiating a couple of traffic light crossroads in Shirley, the Trinity School of John Whitgift and golf course next door are ahead. At a roundabout turn right for the continuance of the A232. At this point the road is dualled again, divided by a grass and tree covered embankment. Two lanes sweep gently downhill and three lanes on the way back. Into the left hand lane for a necessary left turn at the roundabout ahead. Straight on becomes the A215.
It is back down to S2 at this point. This part of Croydon (Addiscombe) is quite pleasant and the houses are large and detached and set high above the road. The first speed camera of the route is here, half hidden in the trees. During the morning peak, the queue from Croydon Centre goes right out past this point. After about a mile a former roundabout with three other local roads has been replaced with multi-phase lights to cope with the Croydon Tramlink which crosses the A232 here. All three tram routes run in both directions at this point and with the minor roads also having a green phase, the wait for the green light on the A232 can be lengthy.
Continuing, the road is divided at this point in a short D1 arrangement. Ahead is a roundabout. Left is a branch of the B243 leading to South Croydon, right is a local road. Continuing we gain an extra lane for D2 again. We are close to Central Croydon and there is a traffic-light-controlled junction with a road leading to East Croydon Station. Three lanes continue to a large oval-shaped roundabout and the large office blocks of Croydon Centre dominate the skyline. The A212 is the left and right turn and the latter of these takes us through Croydon underpass on another D2 road.
Route: Croydon – Ewell
Going straight ahead is another part of the incomplete Croydon Ring Road. It is 40 mph, D2, and grade-separated. A couple of off-ramps lead down to the old A235, now unclassified, and A236 respectively, while the A232 takes the flyover. Very soon a sign indicates a "lane closed" on the nearside. There is hatching ahead to allow a local road to exit into the fast stream of traffic. Back down to a 30 limit and single carriageway.
Dropping down Duppas Hill with fields on the left a complex junction and short multiplex with the A23 is reached. Westbound traffic crosses eastbound traffic to enter a one-way street and meet the A23. It then turns right at the lights, again crossing the eastbound route, to multiplex with the A23 on an S4 arrangement for a hundred yards and then turns left at another set of lights to get off the multiplex. Travelling Eastbound on the A232 involves a right turn onto the A23 multiplex, taking the inside lane of the S4 only because of the turn, straight on at the lights where the westbound carriageway comes out, then queue again for Fiveways Corner lights ahead before turning left and cross the Westbound carriageway again.
In Beddington the road is a wide S2 and a dedicated cycle lane, protected by traffic islands, is on the nearside carriageway. At the next traffic lights is a right turn onto the B272. There are two lanes for traffic continuing on the mainline, but there is no D2 after the lights. After another mile of so of suburbia is the Wallington Green crossroads with the A237. We are now approaching the pleasant Carshalton with its narrow main street and duck pond on the right. Shortly after the pond is a sharp deviation to the left and another awkward junction with the B278 and B271. These are three-phase lights requiring the right turn.
A large DIY warehouse is on the left with its own traffic signal, then immediately after is Sutton town centre and its one-way system. We sweep to the left on two lanes here. Eastbound has the former mainline so westbound involves a loop. There is a traffic-light-controlled crossroads with the B2230 Sutton High Street. The road then goes round a right bend and joins the eastbound road where the one-way system ends.
At the A217 is a big traffic-light-controlled crossroads for these two primary routes. Straight across and immediately at Cheam Village is another set of lights, this time with Station Way (left turn) and the A2043 (right turn).
Continuing ahead and leaving the shops, Nonsuch Park is reached. This is the site of a palace built by Henry VIII (but not finished before he died) and demolished in the 17th Century. After a sharp deviation to the left Greater London is left behind and a sign welcomes traffic to Surrey. A roundabout is next but there is only one other road here, which is an unclassified route from Belmont. Taking the right fork leads into East Ewell. Going under the railway bridge for the station of the same name and here is another set of lights with a couple of minor roads. Finally the end of the road is reached near Ewell Village on the A24 bypass. Straight across at the lights is the B2200 (the pre-bypass western end of the A232) to Ewell. Turn left for Epsom (and the western end of the A2022) and right towards Tolworth, the A3 and Kingston.