|From:||Staines Bridge (TQ032713)|
|Length:||16 miles (25.7 km)|
|Meets:||A308, A317, St Peter's Way, A319, A245, A3046, A324, A247, A3, A25, A246, A3100|
|Route outline (key)|
The A320 is a useful link road that runs between Guildford, Woking, M25 J11, Chertsey and Staines. As with so many of the other roads in this area, it was supposed to have been relieved by the arrival of the M25, but events have proved otherwise. This road is regularly very congested on numerous sections of its route, but if it is clear, it's actually quite a nice drive.
Section 1: Staines Bridge - Woking
It begins at the Egham Roundabout in Egham Hythe. This roundabout, at the southern end of Staines Bridge, is the junction with the A308 (the former A30). Heading southeast from the roundabout, the road passes a few offices and runs under the London Waterloo - Reading railway line. It runs broadly parallel to the Thames for the first couple of miles and for that reason, this section is prone to flooding. For example, it was closed for almost a month in the winter of 2003. As one approaches the first roundabout on this road, you can see the tops of some of the rides at Thorpe Park, the most notable of which is Colossus, which at the time of its opening in March 2002, had more inversions than any other coaster in the world. The park is on the right hand side of the roundabout, with the entrance to Penton Hook Marina on the left.
Leaving the roundabout, the road becomes a dual carriageway and starts to climb up to the bridge over the M3. Apart from the views of the rides, the overwhelming image in this area is of water everywhere, with gravel pits on the right hand side and the Abbey River, a reservoir and the Thames on the left. The A320 used to peel off to the left near here and run through the centre of Chertsey but that route was severed when the M3 was constructed. The A320 now takes a more southerly route via the Twynersh Roundabout, at which the road TOTSOs to the left. The road is residential at this point and after half a mile another roundabout is reached, at which the straight ahead route becomes the A317 towards Weybridge. Meanwhile the A320 TOTSOs to the right. Climbing sharply, the road crosses over the Chertsey Loop railway line and past Sir William Perkins School. After passing under the M25 and crossing over a couple of mini roundabouts, the road curves around the eastern edge of St. Peter's Hospital. Crossing over a roundabout, we reach the roundabout junction with St. Peter's Way, the spur up to Junction 11 of the M25, which may or may not be part of the A320.
From here to the ambulance station in Ottershaw, both sides of the road are given over to the growth of Christmas trees. Crossing over the Ottershaw Roundabout, which is the junction of the A319 to Chobham, the A320 goes up a hill and then through a mile of woodland before reaching the Paragon Roundabout. The Paragon, opened in 2004, is the home of the McLaren F1 team. Another mile of straight road brings us to the Six Crossroads junction with the A245 in northern Woking. The A320 continues south into the centre of Woking, crossing the Basingstoke Canal just before reaching the centre of town. Bearing around to the right, the A320 is now a dual carriageway passing a new hotel, the New Victoria Theatre and 'The Peacocks' shopping mall before it curves around to the left at the junction with the A324 to Aldershot. Passing under the LSWR main line at 'Victoria Bridge', there is then a small one-way system that passes Woking police station.
Section 2: Woking - Guildford
Heading out of Woking, the A320 is still fairly urban and residential for the next couple of miles. The A247 is met at the Turnoak Roundabout, and the road leaves town after the junction with the B380 at the Mayford Roundabout. The old A320 used to follow a more easterly routing here while the 'new' route goes straight across. This particular section of the road, between here and Slyfield, a northern suburb of Guildford, was supposed to have been dualled in the late 1980s /early 1990s but a coalition of environmentalists and local residents managed to block it. Consequently this single-carriageway route, whilst fairly rural in character, is still prone to heavy congestion and still includes some dangerous, blind bends near Jacobswell. After crossing over the 'Salt Box' roundabout, the A320 enters Guildford. Running along a 'relief road', built just to the west of the original route, the A320 crosses another roundabout and a bridge over the River Wey before reaching the junction with the northbound A3 at 'Stoke Mill'.
Running under the A3 and through a set of lights, we reach the 'Stoke Crossroads' junction with the A25 'Ladymead Parkway'. This junction used to be a notorious roundabout which locked up at least twice a week. It was replaced by lights in the early 1990s and whilst it's still very congested, the situation is markedly better than it used to be. We pass Guildford College on the left, go under the Guildford to Cobham railway line and cross the 'York Road' section of the A246. After another half a mile, we pass the back entrance to the Royal Grammar School , and finally reach the end of the road, at the junction with North Street and the original A3 (High Street).
|5||St. Peter's Way||Spur up to the M25|
|16||Guildford Town Centre|
The signage on this road is not very logical. For example, going northbound, there are some signs to Staines before you reach Chertsey and heading south, the same is true of Guildford and Woking. Nevertheless the standard sequence is: NB: Woking, Chertsey, Staines. SB: Chertsey, Woking, Guildford.
Original Author(s): Graham Mackay