|Location Map ( geo)|
|Distance:||11.2 miles (18 km)|
|Meets:||A380, B3199, A379, B3201, B3060, A385, B3203|
|Former Number(s):||A380, A379, A385, B3203|
|Old route now:||A380|
|Route outline (key)|
The A3022 is one of the main roads in the Torbay area of Devon. It has a zigzag route, meaning that it seems to turn up everywhere when least expected – and it's certainly not a road you'd ever use from end to end.
The road starts from the continued A380 at a traffic light controlled intersection in the Torquay suburb of Edginswell at the end of the South Devon Highway. That road turns right from the intersection to form the town's western bypass whilst the A3022 continues North East to meet the old A380 at traffic lights. The road then turns South East into the town centre. Initially dual, the road narrows after passing an out-of-town retail park. The first few miles of the road run adjacent to the Exeter to Paignton railway line; this is seldom visible but Torre station is right beside the road and adjacent to traffic lights where the road bears right.
We now diverge from the railway and head south along Avenue Road, which is reasonably pleasant as its name suggests. The road splits by traffic lights by the gates to Torre Abbey, with the road in this direction continuing along The King's Drive, which is squeezed into a narrow space between the Abbey grounds and the town's cricket club. Presently the sea comes into view and the road continues on to traffic lights on the water's edge where it meets the A379 and TOTSOs right, beginning a multiplex with the A3022 number dominant. Outbound traffic turns right at the next set of lights to run along the equally narrow Rathmore Road past Torquay station before bearing right to Torre Abbey gates and the southbound A3022.
The mainline of the A3022 follows the coast southwards, remaining straight as the coastline curves and so not always being within sight of the sea. The railway line is crossed and the road passes almost imperceptibly from Torquay into Paignton, now leaving the coast behind. A one-way loop is then reached, with Torquay-bound traffic following the straight road and Paignton-bound traffic using the other three sides of the rectangle. The road continues on into the town centre where it meets another one-way loop. Traffic in this direction detours along Hyde Road past the station, before seeing the A379 reappear. It then heads back towards Torquay for a short distance before the onward A3022 bears left. Torquay-bound traffic simply follows the straight road.
The A3022 leaves Paignton heading west along Totnes Road. After passing the zoo a set of traffic lights is reached at the other end of the A380 bypass – if this is where we wanted to end up then that would have been a far better route to take. Ahead is the A385 for Totnes and the A3022 TOTSOs left. Now heading south along Brixham Road we skirt the edge of the urban area and pass the suburb of Goodrington before reaching Galmpton Warborough and a set of traffic lights. Here we meet the A379 again, which we left behind in Paignton and which has taken a quicker route to get here – and now it's that road's turn to be the dominant number in a multiplex. We turn right to pass through Galmpton and cross the Dartmouth Steam Railway by Churston station (the "C" in Agatha Christie's The ABC Murders). The A379 then TOTSOs right and the A3022 regains its number by continuing ahead, still on Brixham Road.
A wooded section of road takes us past Churston Ferrers to reach the edge of Brixton. We head into the centre of town along New Road, which is lined with typical Victorian terraced houses. There is a right-hand bend in the town centre leading to a signalised crossroads, where the road ends unexpectedly and without ceremony. No other roads here are classified, although the road to the right was once numbered B3205.
The A3022 came into existence in the late 1950s to connect Brixham to the A-road network. The road took over the B3203 (renumbered from B3204 in 1935) between the B3205 and the A379 in Churston. By the 1970s the road had been extended north via a multiplex with the A379 along the remainder of the B3203 to Collaton St Mary and the A375 and thence north past Marldon and east to reach the then-A380 in Torre.
The northern section was partly taken over by the A380 Torquay bypass and partly declassified. In return, the A3022 gained that road's old route into Torquay before returning via Paignton and the old eastern end of the A385. The Torquay to Paignton road was originally the A379. That road was downgraded as a through route in this area and so the A3022 took on its old route. In more recent years the A379 has come back. The A3022 remains dominant here – but is now the junior partner in the other multiplex at Galmpton.