|Location Map ( geo)|
|From:||Clapham Common (TQ275750)|
|To:||White City (TQ235811)|
|Distance:||5.3 miles (8.5 km)|
|Meets:||A205, A3, A3036, A3205, A3031, A3212, A3217, A308, A304, A3218, A4, A315, A402, A40|
|Former Number(s):||A205, B316, B314, M41|
|Route outline (key)|
The A3220 is a major north-south route in west London.
Clapham Common - Chelsea
It starts at a gyratory on the western edge of Clapham Common, where it meets the A3 and A205. The road heads north along Elspeth Road and soon crosses the A3036 at traffic lights before going through a tunnel under many of the railway lines east of Clapham Junction station. On the far side there are no buildings to the left but there is a railway line instead. This moves away just before we go under another railway bridge and then meet the A3205 at traffic lights.
Things get a little complicated on the far side as we join a one-way system. Northbound traffic simply runs straight along Battersea Bridge Road and meets the southbound route after a short distance. Southbound traffic, however, is diverted to the east along Prince of Wales Drive to a set of traffic lights on the corner of Battersea Park where 5 roads meet including the A3031 Albert Bridge Road. A3220 traffic is directed to turn sharp right onto Cambridge Road (which may or may not be part of the A3031) to join the northbound route just to the north of the A3205. Albert Bridge Road also continues south to join the A3205 one block east of that junction; this is mapped as part of the A3220 and is the only way to reach the A3205 from the southbound A3220.
After the two carriageways rejoin the road continues north along Battersea Bridge Road and soon crosses the bridge to reach traffic lights on the far side. To the right, along the Chelsea Embankment, is the A3212 and the other two directions are numbered A3220. Straight ahead is a spur along part of Beaufort Street, which soon ends at traffic lights on the A3217 King's Road; the mainline of the A3220 TOTSOs left and we run along the river bank for a short distance before bearing to the right to turn inland along Cremorne Road. A one-way system starts shortly afterwards.
Chelsea - Holland Park (northbound)
The northbound A3220 continues along the remainder of Cremorne Road before bearing right into Ashburnham Road and heading roughly northwestwards. The King's Road is soon met at traffic lights; here this is the A308 to the left and A3217 to the right. The remainder of the A308 is met one block further north on Fulham Road, which is the A304 to the left.
After running along Finborough Road (with Brompton Cemetery behind the buildings to the left) the road crosses the A3218 at a skewed crossroads. After passing Earl's Court Square it reaches Earls Court Exhibition Centre and passes between that and the eponymous tube station. The road becomes residential again immediately afterwards and soon crosses the wide A4 West Cromwell Road at traffic lights. One block further north, Pembroke Road bears off to the right under a bridge between adjacent housing developments; this is marked as the A3220 on some maps and does lead to the road's southbound route. Continuing on we bear slightly left to cross the A315 at traffic lights next to the Bristol Cars showroom. The road follows Holland Road and shortly the southbound route comes in from the right, making the road two-way again.
Holland Park - Chelsea (southbound)
The southbound A3220 bears left off Holland Road onto Addison Crescent and bears right at the far end onto Addison Road. Now heading roughly southeastwards the road soon crosses the A315 Kensington High Street at traffic lights. The road then splits (remember we're still one-way) to pass either side of a column commemorating Queen Victoria and we run along Warwick Gardens, passing some remarkably grand houses. There are barriers at the A315 junction to close this road off at night, with traffic at this time diverted via the B316 to the east; presumably this is done for the benefit of the residents.
Warwick Gardens ends at traffic lights on Pembroke Road. Right is a two-way road taking us back to the northbound A3220 (as mentioned above) whilst the southbound A3220 TOTSOs left to meet the B316 at the next set of lights where it TOTSOs right onto Earl's Court Road. The A4 is crossed shortly afterwards then we run along a shopping street past an entrance to Earls Court tube station. The A3218 is then crossed at a skewed crossroads.
We continue south along the tree-lined, residential Redcliffe Gardens to a crossroads on the A308 Fulham Road. Now on Edith Grove we lose the trees and cross the A3217 King's Road before a final Georgian terrace (on the right) or a few sets of modern brick flats (on the left) takes us back to Cremorne Road and we bear left to rejoin the northbound route of the A3220 just before reaching the River Thames.
Holland Park - White City
Back at the northern end of the one-way system, the two-way A3220 continues north along Holland Road. Considering that the one-way section had at least two lanes in each direction the fact the S2 road now has to cope with two directions of traffic feels odd. The road is dead-straight and residential. We pass St John the Baptist church, which seems a bit too ornate for the area, before reaching a signalised roundabout where we cross the A402.
On the far side of the roundabout the character of the road changes completely as we move onto the West Cross Route, passing signs prohibiting cyclists and pedestrians. We've left the houses behind and the road is essentially D2M. We pass the Westfield London shopping centre on the left; there is a GSJ to provide access although we lose the hard shoulder through the junction. After going under the Hammersmith & City Line the two carriageways separate and take slightly different routes to reach a signalised roundabout on the A40 Westway. The A3220 ends here.
What is now the A3220 was cobbled together from the A3206 which crossed Battersea Bridge and several B-roads through the suburbs. However, after the road was put together as a coherent whole in the late 1930s it was not given the A3220 number but rather became part of the A205 - see that road's page for more detail on the route's original numbering. This followed the northbound route of today's A3220, ending on the A402 at Holland Park.
In the late 1950s the western end of the A205 was diverted to Chiswick, to form the South Circular we know today. That part of the road vacated was given the A3220 number. Later on the majority of the Middlesex section of the road was given a separate southbound route, by joining together most of the B316 and a short section of the B314 near Olympia together with a few unclassified roads.
The most recent change to the route of the A3220 took place in 2000 when the M41 was downgraded and the A3220 took over its full length.