|Location Map ( geo)|
|From:||Brenley Corner, Faversham (TR040598)|
|To:||Ramsgate Harbour (TR379641)|
|Distance:||24.1 miles (38.8 km)|
|Meets:||M2, A2, A2990, A290, A291, A28, A253, A256, A255, unclassified|
|Old route now:||B2205, A2990, A255|
|Route outline (key)|
The A299 is one of the major roads in north Kent. It takes up the M2's baton just to the east of Faversham, and is now dual carriageway with graded junctions throughout virtually its entire length. Although a primary route, it's never been a trunk road as far as can be determined, which is surprising since it does for Margate and Ramsgate what the A127 does for Southend.
Brenley Corner - Ramsgate
It's a fast road nowadays. Starting from M2 J7, the road bypasses Whitstable, Swalecliffe and Herne Bay, all of which it had bypassed before only to become clogged by ribbon development; the old road is now A2990 and beset with roundabouts. Just beyond Beltinge is the exit to Reculver, Roman Regulbium. At the junction was the pub where the cast of Only Fools and Horses stopped their bus on their 'jolly boys outing' to Margate. But that's now a private residence. It's quick and straight these days until the first roundabout since London, where the A28 Canterbury-Margate road crosses.
The next two miles to the Monkton roundabout are straight, after which there's a slight turn to the left on meeting the A253 and the road to Monkton. The next roundabout to the east provides the junction to the B2190 which did serve for Manston Airport before it closed. After which there's a newer build dual carriageway that reaches the Cliffsend Roundabout. It's a right turn at the roundabout to avoid Cliffsend and a further new build dual carriageway takes the route to another roundabout junction with the A256. A tiger tail makes the route free flowing coastbound. The A299 briefly multiplexes with this road (although the A299 number is dominant), passing under the main Ashford - Ramsgate railway line. A new station is currently being built here Thanet Parkway and the road is cordonned down to one lane to allow site traffic to access the building works. The road continues up to the Lord of the Manor roundabout which marks the end of the dual carriageway. A short distance further takes us to yet another roundabout, where the A299 TOTSOs right, the old road into Ramsgate now having become the A255.
The final stretch of the A299 sweeps down to the new harbour through the Ramsgate Tunnel, 2,493 feet long through "low strength, highly discontinuous Cretaceous Upper Chalk", as the engineers inform us. At the far end the road virtually meets the sea, to terminate at the ferry port. However, since the suspension of ferry services in 2013 there is nothing the driver can do from here, not even stop. The unclassified road ahead continues along the Ramsgate front - although a barrier has previously been used to restrict traffic to those with a permit. It was reported that as of 2018 it appeared that the no-through-road signs that had been installed at the terminal roundabout have been bagged up and an escape, other than whence you came, was at least possible. However, as of December 2020, this possible escape route was once again suggesting a no-through-road ahead and since the entrance to the harbour was blocked with concrete slabs, there seems little alternative but to retrace your steps and the no-through-road signs should be shown before the tunnel. This must currently be a candidate for the least trafficked and most pathetic end to a Primary Route in the country.
Original Author(s): Simon Mold
The original route of the A299 was a simple upgrade of a medley of 'B' roads, specifically the B2158, B2040 and B2045. It still started at Brenley Corner, but ran west of the current alignment, and then followed a zigzag course through Goodnestone, Graveney and Seasalter, before meeting the A290 at Whitstable and the A291 at Herne Bay. It then ran through Highstead and Chislet to terminate on the A28 at Upstreet, just before the historic site of the Wansum Channel.
The rerouting onto Thanet Way occurred in stages during the 1930s. The section from Herne Bay to the A28 near St Nicholas at Wade was the first to be built in 1933, followed by the section from Brenley Corner to Herne Bay in 1934 and 1935, and finally the section from the A28 to the A253 in 1939. The original road was wide single carriageway, (formerly S3), which was subsequently dualled or bypassed in the 1990s.
The extension over the A253 to the Port of Ramsgate occurred around 2003, in order that a single number could be used for the route from the M2 to the ferry terminal. The dualling past Manston and the Cliffsend bypass opened in 2012.