|Location Map ( geo)|
|From:||Folkestone Harbour (TR231357)|
|Distance:||10.7 miles (17.2 km)|
|Meets:||A2033, B2011, A259, A20, A2, B2046|
|Former Number(s):||A2033, A2|
|Old route now:||A259|
|Route outline (key)|
The A260 is the main route from Folkestone to Canterbury, although it only gets halfway to Canterbury before surrendering to the A2. Once upon a time it started at the Churchill Avenue roundabout, meeting the A259 and then the A20. Since the A20 D2 to Dover opened in the early 1990s, the A260 has been extended down to Folkestone Harbour by consuming some of the A2033 around a series of one-way systems.
The road starts (on maps at least) on the one-way system at the east end of Marine Parade, presumably to serve the mothballed Folkestone Harbour station. It heads north along Harbour Street to another, larger, one-way loop which may be numbered A260 or A2033.
The first sign for the A260 is at the roundabout for Southern Way. From here we head under the railway line, travelling north up Dover Road and passing the former site of a speed camera. We continue left along Hill Road, before meeting the B2011 (former A20) to Capel-le-Ferne. A very short stretch of D2 (with a 30 mph limit) awaits us before we cannon off the A259.
Leaving Folkestone behind, we head up the hill towards Hawkinge. A crawler lane is there for northbound traffic. Afterwards we descend towards the junction with the A20. Previously the A260 went through Hawkinge, but it now goes around it on the relief road, Spitfire Way.
The southern section of Spitfire Way opened circa 2000, again with a crawler lane. At the top is a roundabout, with access to some housing estates and where previously Spitfire Way ended. A pedestrian crossing has recently been installed. The new road starts here, with a 40 mph limit – it was due to open in April 2007 but problems with the streetlights meant it was delayed until the July of that year. After another roundabout junction – with Aerodrome Road (for the Battle of Britain museum) – Spitfire Way heads to the north of Hawkinge before rejoining the old route.
Still at 40 mph, we pass the rubbish dump before entering Densole. After the caravan site we can speed back up to 60 mph on a nice stretch of straight road that is popular with speeders, although there are a couple of dips in the road, so take care. It's also popular with what I've dubbed "260 Drivers", also known in some cultures as "Sunday drivers". 2 miles or so later we arrive in Selsted, where a nice double bend causes a lot of traffic to slow down to 40 mph.
The next stretch to Denton runs along the brow of a hill and is covered by trees for much of the way. Heading down into Denton, we have a splendid view of the village and of the road ahead, and so if you want to overtake it is safe to see what is coming in the other direction. Entering Denton, we have to slow down to 30 mph, partly because of the old overhanging building next to the road. Despite this, motorists do speed through Denton, so a lifesize plastic figure in a fluorescent jacket is often there to try and deter them.
Leaving Denton, we climb another hill (but get back up to 60 mph) and at the top the A2 is visible (just). Passing Barham Crematorium, we come to the original end of the road. Before the current A2 was built, it ran along what is now the last mile of the A260. The current A2 is right next to us, running alongside - and we've already met the westbound offslip. At the end, traffic for Dover and the B2046 turns off, as we merge straight onto the A2 for Canterbury.
Note: Throughout the A260's length the road signs alternate from white to green and back. The route has never been a primary route, but nevertheless green signs do exist.
Except for the extension of the A260 along the former A2 at the northern end and the bypass of Hawkinge, the road has remained largely unchanged since classification in 1922, except in Folkestone.
The original southern end of the road seems to be more-or-less where it is now. It then ran up via Foord and the current route of the A259 to meet its current route on the first Folkestone bypass.
Road improvements in the Folkestone area since, including the construction of the A20 bypass, have moved the roads onto their current routes. The current A260 out of Folkestone was originally the A259, became the A20 in the 1950s, and was then renumbered A2033 when the A20 was rerouted onto the bypass.