|To:||Chandler's Ford and Allbrook (SU450219)|
|Distance:||8.6 miles (13.8 km)|
|Meets:||A33, A3024, A3035, A35, A27, M27, B3037, M3, B3043, B3335|
|Old route now:||B3335|
|Route outline (key)|
The A335 is non-primary throughout, though still a very important link from Southampton to the M3. It's a rather unusual road, in that it forks in two halfway through to two completely separate destinations!
The A335 originally started next to what was Southampton Terminus Station, heading up St Mary Street to Six Dials. By the 1970s, the A33 had taken over this section, leaving the A335 to start at Charlotte Place on Southampton's central ring road. It has now moved a few hundred yards north to meet the A33 itself at a set of lights, cutting the corner slightly.
From here it runs Onslow Road to Bevois Valley, where at Bevois Valley Hill it branches off. The old road continued straight up the hill through Portswood, and the new road runs to the right.
Thomas Lewis Way
Opened in 1989, Thomas Lewis Way is an A335 bypass for Portswood which is essentially a watered-down M272. It's wide, open and surprisingly slow. It is one of a number of main roads in Southampton which are known mainly by name, its notoriety aided by local traffic reports.
Firstly it merges with another road down the hill from Bevois Valley. There is one set of lights for the industrial estate nestled amongst it before the road turns on to its main alignment, parallel to the main railway line.
At the junction with the A3035 it rises, opens out and deviates from its route: clues that had the road been built to a better standard, something greater than the wide signalised junction would have been required. Instead, it quietly returns to its normal course for a ruler-straight run to the end of the road, interrupted only by two sets of traffic lights for Portswood. The single overpass is the closest it gets to grade separation.
The old road through Portswood merged with the A35 at the Black Cat junction. Here the A335 took over and headed broadly north, taking it to the A27. The two roads then multiplexed to dog-leg under Fleming Arch, before the A335 continued towards Eastleigh as Wide Lane.
Today, Thomas Lewis Way emerges slightly east, bending sharply to meet the A35 without touching the railway line. The A335 then takes over as a narrow dual carriageway, Stoneham Way, built offline c. 1985, but following the same alignment as the previous road.
At Fleming Arch, the signalised junction is odd as traffic emerging from the A27 cannot turn right or head straight on: to reduce red light time for Stoneham Way, only cyclists can cross the road.
From here, the road now continues on as a more typical motorway link road, albeit now reduced to 50mph. It meets the M27 at the Stoneham Interchange (J5).
Rather than being built in the path of one of them, M27 J5 was built between two existing local roads, and needed two new link roads to connect it to the local road network.
One of these ran north-east to meet Wide Lane at a small roundabout. Wide Lane already had a bend in it here as it had to dog-leg over the railway line again. With the opening of Stoneham Way, the A335 diverted on to the new road and most traffic had little reason to use the old road. The expansion of the airport, and surrounding business parks, has changed this.
The extra diversion that this added to the course of Wide Lane, plus the existence of the motorway, allowed for the creation of Southampton Airport Parkway station.
As it enters urban Eastleigh, Wide Lane becomes Southampton Road. It follows the route of the railway line and is surrounded by industry and Victorian terraces which were mostly only added when the railway itself was built.
Campbell Road serves an isolated row of houses in the middle of Eastleigh's railway works, and it towers over the A335 on a railway bridge before meeting it at a sharp junction, making the main road feel quite claustrophobic. Next, two mini-roundabouts have been added to serve the Swan Centre; a third has been proposed many times to reduce congestion at Chestnut Avenue, home of several large colleges, but this hasn't yet happened.
An innocuous junction with Leigh Road marks the original road to Chandler's Ford. This is now mostly pedestrianised. Instead, the A335 drops down over Station Hill, before reaching a small, busy - and confusing - roundabout. The B3037, the easiest one to follow, is the road to Fair Oak which crosses Eastleigh station on the Bishopstoke Road bridge. This has then been diverted up to meet the roundabout.
The A335 itself is signed as heading off in two directions - one for Chandler's Ford, and one for Twyford, both serving the M3.
Chandler's Ford Branch
The road to the west was also part of the B3037, but it cheekily borrowed the A335's identify when the A33 Chandler's Ford Bypass opened. As it is signed throughout as the A335, it is only fair to include a full description of it here.
It first follows Romsey Road, which was built to relieve Eastleigh town centre. This then merges with the original Leigh Road to create the wide, pleasant but busy road to the west. Mostly it takes in industry which, after a few years of being derelict, became modern housing estates.
After Passfield Avenue the road becomes a dual carriageway, taking in several retail units and an alarming number of traffic lights, including those forming part of M3 J13, the main Eastleigh exit.
Even here it is hard to say where the A335 ends. Sone maps imply that it is the western end of J13, but others - and some signs - suggest it continues to the B3043 (original A33) junction - it would be a shame to leave a small section out.
Twyford Road climbs over the railway line and around the fringe of Eastleigh's expanded northern end before reaching a roundabout at Woodside Avenue - the road through Eastleigh's main industrial estates.
Heading straight here, the A335 once again opens out on to Allbrook Way, another purpose-built motorway link road, this one retaining its NSL status and even a couple of (very popular) lay-bys on a single carriageway. Boyatt Lane, an old local road, is broken in two by the new one. The true end of the road, on the M3 at the Allbrook Interchange, is unusual in featuring two roundabouts but with all the local roads being on one side. Another new link road provides access to the B3043 which crosses the M3 to the north of the junction.
Former A335 to Twyford
A third branch for luck!
At the Woodside Avenue junction, before the opening of the A33, the A335 originally curved sharply to the right to run under the railway line and through Allbrook, opening out in to a faster road through Highbridge, skirting the outside of Brambridge and then merging with the A333 towards Winchester.
With the opening of the motorways, this is now the B3335 (with badly patched signs to prove it); this number then takes on the ex-A333 as far as the north-facing sliproads of M3 J11 on the edge of Winchester.