|Location Map ( geo)|
|Distance:||7.4 miles (11.9 km)|
|Meets:||A24, M25, A244, A3, A309, A3210, A307|
|Old route now:||A245, B2430|
|Route outline (key)|
The A243 is a main north-south road on the edge of southwest London, providing a route from the M25 to Kingston upon Thames. Unlike most of the other A24x roads, this is primary for most of its length - from the start in Leatherhead to the A3.
Leatherhead - Kingston upon Thames
The road starts at the Knoll roundabout on the A24. This is where the Leatherhead bypass crosses the Leatherhead to Epsom road. The bypass South of here is A24, as is the road to Epsom; from here to the town centre is the B2122, while the A243 is the northern part of the bypass.
Leaving the Knoll roundabout, there are three lanes, two of them southbound. Before the M25 was built, the road used to curve round to the left along what is now the A245, with the bypass ending on the Plough roundabout, leaving A243 traffic to go through North Leatherhead along Kingston Road, a road that's quite badly congested these days just from local traffic. At the end of that, it forked to the right up what's now a dead end past B&Q (the left fork was the beginning of the A244), and came out level with the roundabout we'll get to shortly.
Now there's a large roundabout, which is in fact half of M25 J9. You can turn left here to go towards the Plough roundabout down what used to be the last little bit of bypass, and is now the start of the A245, or you can turn right and join the M25 clockwise.
The A243 goes straight over, along some high quality dual carriageway built at the same time as the M25. After about half a mile this reaches another roundabout, which is the other half of M25 J9. This time you can turn left to join the M25 anti-clockwise. Straight on is the start of the A244, while the A243 goes off to the right. This is where we rejoin the pre-motorway route of the A243.
From here the A243 heads roughly North, and very straight, with Ashtead Common (owned by the City of London Corporation; I don't know why a local authority would own common land in other areas) on our right, and the Star pub on the left. A little further on you reach the Malden Rushett crossroads with the B280. Left is called Fairoak lane, and ends up on the A244 at Oxshott, and gets quite busy as it's a signposted route for Chessington World of Adventures; right is called Rushett lane and joins the A24 in the middle of Epsom. There's not a lot to Malden Rushett itself, though a TVR garage is a notable feature.
The A243 continues, still very straight, and passes the Chessington World of Adventures theme park on the left. I haven't been there for years, but when I did it was nowhere near as good as Alton Towers. Beyond that we get into Chessington itself, which despite having two stations is really nothing special. The road gets slightly bendier here, before coming to a roundabout.
Left here goes nowhere apart from some residential streets. While right, called Bridge Road, is unclassified, it's a dual carriageway and a fairly important local route. There are many less important B roads in the area. It becomes the B2200 to Ewell and also provides access to Epsom via the B284.
Continuing on the A243 there's some dual carriageway through Hook, heading for the Hook junction with the A3. This roundabout interchange, with the A3 in an underpass, provides access to the Northbound A3 (actually running slightly south of east at this point) but not to the Southbound A3. The slip roads that look like they're going onto the Southbound A3 actually force you to take the A309.
Crossing the A3, it's back to single carriageway as we head, now non-primary, towards Surbiton. At first this is in the same direction as the A243 has been going since leaving Leatherhead, but after a while it curves round to the left. The nearby A240 does the opposite curve, so that they don't quite touch, but get very close, and are linked by two very short (300 m) roads, the B3364 and A3210.
Anyway, the A243 is now heading Northwest and interestingly is called Brighton Road. It passes under the South West Mainline railway near Surbiton station (this is about a mile North of the junction where the Guildford "new" line via Cobham leaves the main line); immediately after this is a turning on the right, which is the B3370 Victoria Road, where many of the shops in Surbiton are. The A243 runs down past a parade of shops, and soon comes to an end, where it meets the A307 at a traffic-light-controlled T-junction by the bank of the Thames. On the far side of the river (albeit some distance without getting wet) is Hampton Court Park.
|0||0||Leatherhead Knoll Roundabout (A24)|
|0.4||0.7||M25 J9 clockwise|
|1.4||2.2||M25 J9 anti-clockwise|
|3.1||5.0||Malden Rushett (B280)|
|5.5||8.9||Hook junction (A3)|
Original Author(s): Mark Baker