A30/Hounslow - Bagshot
|Location Map ( geo)|
|Distance:||16.8 miles (27 km)|
|Meets:||A4, A312, A315, B3003, B378, A308, A3044, B376, B3047, A328, B389, A329, B383, A330, B3020, B386, A322, B3029|
|Old route now:||A308|
Highways England • Transport for London • Surrey Council • Windsor and Maidenhead Council
Berkshire • Middlesex • Surrey
|Route outline (key)|
London - Bagshot
The A30 starts its long trek to Cornwall from a roundabout junction with the A4 Great West Road, called Henlys Roundabout, just west of Hounslow. It has its own rather grand title in opening: Great South West Road, which befits its ultimate destination. Traffic from the A4 westbound has the benefit of 2 lanes cutting the corner of the roundabout and thus making a free-flowing route. This seems to have been recently reduced to 1 lane, according to Google maps. However, this being an urban area, there are two zebra crossings on the short cut.
The road is dualled and has two lanes each way, but also has an area at either side marked out with painted lines for residential parking. As an obvious dualled route to Heathrow and the M25, it is naturally teeming with traffic: In this direction, particularly in the evening peak period. It is also bedevilled with speed cameras. As a point of note; this section is one of the few remaining places on the UK road network still illuminated via catenary lighting.
Within a mile is a major traffic light junction with the A312. In advance of the junction, the road widens to 4 lanes in this direction. It reverts immediately to 2 lanes after the junction, resulting in many a drag race from the lights. Another traffic light allows westbound traffic to turn left on the unclassified Dick Turpin Way and make a subsequent right to cross the A30 to get to Heathrow Terminals 1, 2 or 3 at the next junction, Hatton Cross. This is due to there being no right turn or left turn here for traffic heading in this direction. Despite the no turns, the road again opens up at the junction; this time with three lanes.
A garage is passed and the catenary lighting gives way to lights on very stubby poles. An aircraft warning sign confirms the reason, as the road passes very close the threshold of Heathow’s southern runway. When air traffic is landing on this runway (27L) it can be very disconcerting to have a large airliner pass very closely overhead. The next junction is marked with a fork sign to Terminal 4 and sure enough it is this road’s first GSJ, a partial trumpet. Because of the presence of Heathrow, the road is dominated in this section by ancillary services and businesses for the airport, such as courier, catering and hire car companies.
Next is another traffic light controlled crossroads, with the unclassified Stanwell Road. Three lanes and a right turn lane at the junction this time. The next junction is called Clockhouse Roundabout and is the junction with the A315 and the B3003. It is a signal controlled roundabout. At Bedfont Lakes, the A30 becomes London Road for the first time. Still a dual-carriageway, it passes Ashford Hospital and reaches another traffic light junction called The Bull Dog (named after the pub on the corner) and then passes the Staines Reservoir. This section was originally a Roman road, and is fittingly, completely straight.
At the Crooked Billet roundabout, the present road leaves its traditional path for the first time. Whilst the original route takes the A308 through Staines-upon-Thames town centre, the Staines bypass curves away towards Junction 13 of the M25 through the middle of a 'hamburger' roundabout. The longer official name of Staines was adopted in 2012.
At Staines Moor roundabout, there is a free-flowing filter for traffic continuing west on the A30 to skirt the signalised roundabout. The other two lanes have to go through the roundabout and are marked for M25 south and north respectively. There is also a junction here with a spur of the B376. It is actually possible to take the A30 route and still join the M25 south as the roads run together after the roundabout. However, this weaving is discouraged by the lane markings. As the traffic leaves for the M25, the A30 opens up to two lanes. At this point, there are 14 parallel lanes of traffic, with 2 lanes each way being used by the A30. The road loses its primary status as it joins the M25.
After crossing the River Thames on the Runnymede Viaducts, there is 270 degree loop, to join the A308 out of Staines on a road known as The Glanty, and this crosses under the M25 and into the Runnymede Roundabout. The A30 and the A308 part here and there is also a junction with the B3407. Runnymede is, of course, famous as the site of the signing of the Magna Carta in 1215, and further details can be found here.
After the roundabout, the road runs around Egham on its bypass, and at the Egham Hill Roundabout meets the B3407 again. The road continues to be dualled for a very short while after the roundabout but then goes down to single carriageway. It climbs up Egham Hill and passes Royal Holloway College to reach a traffic light controlled crossroads with the A328 and an unclassified route. As the road skirts the southern edge of Windsor Great Park, there is the first feeling that London is being left behind. At Virginia Water there is parking for the lake and a traffic light for the left turn onto the B389. Shortly afterwards is the traffic light crossroads for the A329 and the entrance to the Wentworth Estate and the golf club; one of Britain's most prestigious golf courses. Both of these junctions were signalised in July 1967, to improve safety for locals turning onto the busy A30(T) as it was then. On entering Sunningdale, (another exclusive area with a famous golf club), the road enters the Royal County of Berkshire, as its sign proudly proclaims and reaches a couple of separate t-junctions with the B383. At Sunningdale Station there is a level crossing which causes delays on this section. This short stretch was dualled in the late 60's, to help ease the huge jams that occurred when the gates were closed.
The next junction is a turn for the A330 towards Ascot. Immediately afterwards the roads goes back into Surrey. Continuing on its straight course it passes a junction on the right for the B3020, which had been signalised circa 2014, and on the left for the B386. Just after passing north of Windlesham, the A322 is reached at a partial, albeit elongated, cloverleaf. From this direction is an initial roundabout for a link for traffic to and from the A322 south. The road then crosses rail lines and the dualled A322 on adjoining bridges, reaches a fork for the other direction for the turn to the A322 north and from that road to exit onto the A30 towards London and finally, after passing the large Cricketers pub and hotel and the entrance to Bagshot Park (home of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor), are the remaining connectors: A30 in this direction to A322 north and the reverse. This GSJ was built in 1968/69 and, replaced a tight signalised T junction.
The road descends into Bagshot where there is a traffic light junction with the B3029 and a turning on the left for the High Street at The Fighting Cocks Pub. This is also numbered B3029 and both were the top end of the A322 in 1922.
The section from the start to Hatton Cross, which, with a new section of the A4 formed the Hounslow bypass, was not open at the time of first numbering in 1922. It was already planned/under construction at that time and part of the route to the A4 new junction had already been assigned the A30 number. How different the road must be from those days in 1922. Heath Row and Hatton Cross were tiny hamlets in the countryside and the airport was not even a dream (or nightmare).
The Staines bypass was opened in 1961. The old road through the centre of Staines was given the number A308. In 1983 a second viaduct was built over the Thames to incorporate the parallel M25 between the A30.