The A242 is a short road running for approximately 2 miles between the A23 north of Redhill to the A25 just east of Reigate town centre. At one time this alignment formed part of the main London to Brighton road which continued south of Reigate on what we now know as the A217. The current A23 through Redhill (Redhill didn't become a proper settlement until the coming of the London to Brighton Railway) and onwards to Horley was constructed as a later cut-off. This was a response to the heavy coaching trade which established during the 1800s when Brighton changed from a insignificant coastal town to a fashionable seaside resort with as many as 40 scheduled coaches using the road in addition to all the private traffic.
Redhill - Reigate
The A242 starts at a junction with the A23 halfway between Redhill and Merstham at a point locally known as "Gatton Point" where the A23 curves sharply round to the left. The A242 continues in a southwesterly direction with Gatton Park on the north side and housing on the south. The road is climbing at this point as it has to pass over a spur extending out from the North Downs. Having done this the road descends with housing appearing on the north side to Wray Common. Turning right here takes you to the A217 just short of the M25.
Following a break while the road traverses the common, housing returns as the road heads towards the A25. Shortly before passing under the Redhill to Reigate railway, the road passes Surrey Fire Brigade's training facility (although I am told it is used by West Sussex Brigade as well). As it incorporates Reigate's fire station there are the usual Warning lights at the entrance. Having passed under the railway the A242 has another quarter of a mile to go before finishing a a light-controlled T junction with the A25. The centre of Reigate is just to the right.
Original Author(s): Phil