|Location Map ( geo)|
|Distance:||16.4 miles (26.4 km)|
|Meets:||A31, A281, A3100, A246, A25, A3, A323, B380, A324, A319, B311, M3, A30, A332, B3430, A3095, A329|
|Former Number(s):||B3018, A321|
|Route outline (key)|
Guildford – M3
The route starts at the Bridge Street Gyratory in the centre of Guildford, next to the Friary shopping mall. It then heads along Woodbridge Road past plenty of industrial estates, before meeting the A25 at a set of lights. The A25 takes a "useless" multiplex for half a mile or so before it terminates at a roundabout where there's westbound access to the A3, whereupon the A322 reappears. However, heading towards Guildford town centre, both numbers are signed.
The A322 then briefly climbs upwards to meet the A323, which terminates at the traffic lights here. It then runs out of the Guildford suburbia and climbs the hill towards Worplesdon. Just before it gets to the top, there's a sharp swing round to the right at a roundabout with a road sometimes marked as a spur of the A323 but currently unclassified. (It definitely cuts the corner off the A323 and the A322 at any rate.)
After Worplesdon, the A322 heads back down the hill to meet the B3032 (ex-A321) at Fox Corner, the original start of the A322. From here, the road heads into woodland and runs straight past Brookwood Cemetery. The main road to the cemetery joins up with us immediately before we cross under the main London to Southampton railway, before meeting the A324 at a set of traffic lights (the often congested Brookwood Crossroads). Just beyond this, the A322 crosses the Basingstoke Canal, whereupon there's a slow crawl through Bisley and West End. There have been numerous plans to bypass this section, but these have been shelved. Consequently, the traffic along this bit can be a nightmare.
Eventually, the A322 meets up with the A319 and B311 at the Gordon Boys roundabout, whereupon it turns into a dual carriageway bypass around Lightwater. The Lightwater Bypass meets the M3 at junction 3 which, for a good few years, was where the M3 terminated. During the peak periods, the northbound approach to junction 3 can involve long queues with delays of anywhere between 10 and 30 minutes. Frustratingly, the state of the traffic is not known until you round the curve on the bypass. Ironically, this leads to many drivers rat-running through Lightwater rather than bypassing it.
M3 – Bracknell
At this point, the A322 continues to be dual carriageway, as an alternative route to the M25 around Heathrow. Unfortunately, there are numerous problems with it, the first being a set of lights at the bottom of the hill at Bagshot. In 1922, the A322 made a bee-line for the A30 where it terminated. However, it was extended in the early 1930s. So, there's now a really sharp bend (for a dual carriageway) under the A30, whereby we leave Surrey for Berkshire and head up to meet the A332. Northbound traffic has a continuous lane through here; southbound isn't so fortunate and the queues for the lights can be very lengthy.
The A322 then has a good fast run through forest up to Bracknell, where it meets the Nine Mile Ride (now the B3430) at a set of traffic lights (which replaced a roundabout here in early 2016). It then runs over a 'hamburger' roundabout with dual carriageway through the middle.
At the next roundabout, the NSL speed limit gives way to 40 and we're heading into Bracknell. At the next roundabout, we revert to single carriageway and plod down the most congested bit of this primary road. The traffic along here in the rush hour is mostly stationary. It finally packs it in at the bottom of the hill where it meets the gridlock that is the Twin Bridges Roundabout, giving way to the A329 (which takes up the primary route) and the A3095.
The A322 has been extended at both ends - it originally ran from the A321 at Fox Corner (near Worplesdon) north to the A30 at Bagshot. In 1935 it was extended to Bracknell and the A329 along the B3018. Then in the 1970s the A321 had its southern section rerouted considerably. The A322 therefore took on that road's old route into the centre of Guildford.