|From:||East Sheen (TQ198753)|
|Length:||5.1 miles (8.2 km)|
|Meets:||A205, B353, A307, A3004, A310, A311, B358, A312, A316|
|Old route now:||A205, A316|
|Route outline (key)|
The A305 is an urban A-road in southwest London, now less than half its original length.
The route starts at one of the potentially most confusing TOTSO junctions, in East Sheen, where the west-bound South Circular Road (A205) abruptly turns right off the Upper Richmond Road towards Kew. The straight-on line of the Upper Richmond Road becomes the A305, and the similarity of numbers could appear to be designed to cause confusion. In fairness, the A205 did not exist in 1922 and the road was A305 as far east as the A3 at Wandsworth.
The A305 heads straight ahead to Richmond. Hisorically, until Tudor times, this area was part of Sheen, but was renamed by Henry VII, who had been Earl of Richmond (in Yorkshire), and built a palace here with that name. The town's one-way system is cramped and constrained by the old street plan, not helped by the dogleg along Hill Street to reach Richmond Bridge. The dogleg is caused because Paradise Road and Red Lion Street still aim for the site of the ferry at the end of Water Lane, which is slightly downstream of the bridge, built in 1777, and the oldest surviving bridge in London. Although the approaches have been raised to reduce the gradient, and it was widened in the 1930s, the bridge is still narrow by modern standards. Most of its traffic is now taken by Twickenham Bridge, built in 1933 on the A316 a little downstream. Although the whole length of the A305 is overshadowed by its younger neighbour, it is nevertheless very busy with local traffic.
Shortly after crossing the bridge, we come to another TOTSO, where the A3004 goes straight on for Isleworth whilst we turn left for Twickenham, passing Marble Hill Park, a house built by George II for his mistress. We pass through Twickenham itself, briefly multiplexing with the A310 and then bear right at Twickenham Green onto Staines Road, leaving the A311 Hampton Road to our left. The third side of Twickenham Green is called First Cross Road. There are then several more roads linking the Staines and Hampton Roads, known as Second Cross Road, Third Cross Road, Fourth Cross Road, Fifth Cross Road and ending at Sixth Cross Road, which is the B358. To the right this becomes Hospital Bridge Road, a dual-carriageway link across the River Crane to the A316 Great Chertsey Road, which is now very close. The last stretch of the A305 takes us to the Hanworth roundabout where it meets the A312. The 1922 Road Lists show the A305 as continuing from here to Sunbury (where it ended on the A308), but this final stretch has now changed out of all recognition as part of the A316, which, getting into its stride on the way to the M3, is carried on a flyover across the roundabout where the A305 now ends.