|Location Map ( geo)|
|Blackwater Valley Road|
|Distance:||7.9 miles (12.7 km)|
|Meets:||A30, A321, M3, A325, A3011, A323, A31|
|Route outline (key)|
The A331 is a recently purpose-built primary route that straddles the boundary between Surrey and Hampshire and forms part of an alternative route to beat the congested western section of the M25. It also bypasses the adjacent A325 and B3411 (which was the A321 until the A331 was built).
Blackwater - Tongham
It starts almost at the exact point where Surrey, Hampshire and Berkshire intersect at a large roundabout with the A30 and A321 in Blackwater, where there's a giant concrete elephant nearby. Dual carriageway from the outset, it passes through various industrial estates and marshland to meet the M3.
Here, the A331 obtains primary status. It passes underneath the A325 at a rather complicated junction (the old A325 through Frimley also joins in here) and continues southwards. After a few miles, it meets the A3011 from Farnborough, where for a few years it terminated.
The next section was the most difficult part to build because it involved taking the road underneath the Basingstoke Canal, putting the latter in an aqueduct. Shortly after this, there's a junction with the A323, and not long after there's a terminal roundabout which leads onto the A31 just outside Farnham. That's it.
The road was built in three sections, with the centre section opening last. This was so materials for the centre section could be carried along the existing road.
It was planned to take traffic away from the A321 through Ash, the A325 through Heath End and the A324 through Badshot Lea. It was based on a route which had been safeguarded since the 1960s.
The original plan had been to bridge the Basingstoke Canal, but this would have needed an 11-metre high viaduct. A decision was taken to use an aquaduct instead.
The northern section was opened on 28 July 1994.
Original Author(s): Ritchie Swann