|Location Map ( geo)|
|Distance:||12 miles (19.3 km)|
|Meets:||A24, B2450, B2122, B2039, A25, A247, A3100, A320, A322|
|Old route now:||A25, B2122|
|Route outline (key)|
The A246 is an east-west road through the Surrey commuter belt.
The route starts at the Givons Grove roundabout, which is where the A24 TOTSOs to leave the Leatherhead bypass; the A246 continues the bypass west. This section is called Young Street, and was built by Canadian servicemen stationed here in the Second World War. It crosses the River Mole, then passes under the railway line to Dorking. As you go under the railway, a crawler lane starts, for a long straight uphill.
At the top is a roundabout; if you turned right onto the B2122 you would almost double back on yourself, and go back down the hill, into Leatherhead town centre (this is the pre-bypass line of the A246). To the left is a car park for walkers on Fetcham Downs, and one of those tourist farm things, Bocketts Farm.
After the roundabout is a short stretch of 40 mph limit, with houses along one side, then the limit drops to 30 mph as the road heads further into Bookham. Towards the centre, there's a turning on the left called "Leatherhead Road". Originally the main road through Bookham ran north–south: from Cobham, across the common (now a bridleway), up Bookham High Street, and on towards Dorking along what's still a single-track road. The roads from Guildford and Leatherhead met it at separate T-junctions about a hundred metres apart. Now that the A246 is the main through route (as it always has been in the era of road classification), it has been realigned to go straight through, but this short bit of Leatherhead Road is the original route.
Heading out of Bookham there's a short stretch with fields on each side, which used to be NSL but is now 40, before we get to Effingham which is all a 40 limit. At a traffic-light-controlled crossroads, left is a road called Beech Avenue (which was an appropriate name before the hurricane in 1987) up onto the North Downs at Ranmore. Right goes down the main street of Effingham, and continues to Effingham Junction and eventually joins the A3 at the Wisley interchange.
Heading out of Effingham there's a new 50 mph limit – probably justified as there are quite a few accesses and the road's quite bendy. As it approaches East Horsley there's a 40mph limit; there's a very sharp right turn, followed by a fairly sharp left turn. I suspect this also once had the main road going north–south. The road to the south is very small; that to the north is the B2039, which is the main road through East Horsley.
While East Horsley is quite large, it lies mostly along the B2039, and on the A246 we quickly leave it behind. After a while we come to a small roundabout. Right here takes you into West Horsley. The most notable feature here is the Lotus garage on the corner. There's then about a mile of fast single carriageway, before the dual carriageway starts at East Clandon.
There's an at-grade junction just 100 m into the dual carriageway, where you can turn right into the village, or left across the Downs towards Shere. If you turn off right here and go into East Clandon you can see the "Old Epsom Road", which presumably was the original route before the dual carriageway was built.
After about a mile of dual carriageway you reach the traffic-light-controlled Clandon Crossroads, which actually behaves like a signalised roundabout. The A247 starts here and goes off to the right. It used to go left too. Now left, and also straight on, are used by the A25. Let's follow the A25 for a bit, because it's a multiplex with the A246.
The dual carriageway continues for another mile. Westbound it's a fairly good road, though not up to modern standards. Eastbound it follows the original carriageway, and is rather narrow and twisty, so was recently reduced to one lane. There is a new roundabout for a park and ride. Shortly after this, the dual carriageway ends on another roundabout right on the edge of Guildford. Right is the B2234 which goes round the edge of Guildford to join the A3100 London Road near Sainsburys at Burpham. Left goes along for about a hundred metres before turning sharply left and heading up to join the A25 at Newlands corner: this was the original route of the A25. Continuing on the A25, formerly A246, we head slowly through the Guildford suburb of Merrow before coming to a traffic-light-controlled junction with Boxgrove Road.
At this point the A25 TOTSOs again, so we're back on the A246. A little further on into Guildford there's a traffic-light-controlled crossroads. I believe both straight on (Epsom Road) and right (Waterden Road) are the A246. Straight on rapidly comes to an end at a mini-roundabout on the A3100 at the top of the High Street. If instead you go right, it becomes a sort of inner bypass, crossing first the A3100 and then the A320 at traffic lights, before ending at a roundabout on the A322.
|0||0||Givons Grove near Leatherhead|
|1||1.7||Roundabout with B2122|
|2||3.3||Bookham (High Street)|
|3.4||5.4||Effingham (The Street)|
|8.3||13.4||Clandon Crossroads (A247/A25)|
|10.3||16.6||Boxgrove Road (A25)|
|11||17.7||Crossroads. A246 splits here|
|11.2||18||Straight on: Top of Guildford High Street (A3100)|
|11.7||18.9||Right: End on A322|
Eastbound: Leatherhead, Dorking (A25)
Originally the A246 started at the crossroads in the middle of Leatherhead. It went down Bridge Street, across the river, and up Hawks Hill along what is now the B2122. The current route, called Youngs Street, was built by Canadian serviceman during the war.
There has been a minor re-alignment in the middle of Bookham, as described above.
At the other end, it used to be all A246: the A25 ended on the A246 in Merrow. The A246 then continued into Guildford town centre to meet the A2004 and end on the A3 (now A3100) soon afterwards.
The A3 Guildford bypass was constructed in 1934. As part of the work, a road was built connecting the bypass through Boxgrove to meet the A246; this became a spur of the A246.
At some later point, it was decided that having a 2-digit road end on a 3-digit road was improper and so the A25 was extended over the A246 and then via that road's spur to end on the A3 bypass. At aound the same time the A25 was rerouted via the Clandon crossroads, lengthening the multiplex.
Road improvements in Guildford later required a route avoiding the town centre. The A246 was therefore given a spur, being extended along what was the A2004 (declassified in 1934) to end on the A321 (now A322).