|From:||West Hendon (TQ220880)|
|To:||Seven Sisters / Tottenham Hale (TQ336889)|
|Distance:||8.7 miles (14 km)|
|Meets:||A5, A41, A502, A1, A5000, A598, A1000, A1201, A103, A1080, A105, A10, A503,|
|Former Number(s):||A502, A5000 A503|
|Route outline (key)|
The A504 is an east-west road in north London.
Section 1: West Hendon - Muswell Hill
The A504 begins in West Hendon off the A5 West Hendon Broadway. It starts as a one-way system, up Herbert Road, although Perryfield Way opposite is in pink on the maps suggesting that it is also part of the A504. (Perryfield Way is used for right-turning as there is no right turn from Station Road into West Hendon Broadway, nor from West Hendon Broadway into Herbert Road). So if this is the case then technically it starts in the 4-zone by a few yards.
As we ascend we meet up with Station Road and head North East for now, crossing over the M1 just as it has started and pass Hendon (Thameslink) station to enter Hendon itself. There is a road on the right ahead indicated as leading to Hendon Central called Vivian Avenue, which by all rights should be part of the B551 as it is an extension of Queens Road on the other side of the A41, but is unclassified.
Next we cross the A41 to become The Burroughs by the war memorial and pass the library and the Town Hall on the left hand side, and the Borough Of Barnet's Fenella building on the right. Hendon used to be a separate borough to Barnet and so many of the borough's main buildings are here and not in Barnet. There is a fire station on the left hand side. Then as we pass Middlesex University on the left we bend around to the right and head East towards Hendon Quadrant, the junction where the A502 (to the right) becomes the B552 (to the left). Crossing over, the road becomes Finchley Lane, which is in Hendon, and then cross over the A1 and we are in Hendon Lane, which is in Finchley. Confusing? There is also a Hendon Avenue on the left hand side, and you cannot get to Hendon by driving down that road, although there is an alleyway that leads to Holders Hill Road which is in NW4, the only bit of NW4 to fall outside of the A1/A406/M1 boundary.
Continuing along Hendon Lane we have a strange TOTSO as we must turn right into Gravel Hill, and this is a regular right turn, with no traffic light or roundabout. Continuing straight ahead would be the unsignposted A5000 for a few yards before merging with the A598 at Finchley Central station, but from Gravel Hill we cross the A598 to join East End Road. The first roundabout has Manor View on the left, which if you followed it would become Squires Lane, and would take to the junction of the North Circular Road (A406) with the A1000. In fact to go East on the North Circular you would go straight ahead at this light onto the slip-road, and in the reverse direction this road is used by many to escape the junction from hell.
From the A504 if you did miss the junction you cannot turn onto the North Circular Road directly because we pass right over it – there used to be a regular roundabout there until 1993 but in those days the traffic wasn't as bad as it was now. In fact, the North Circular is now in tunnel here ans so it's not easy to spot that we cross it. As we pass the North Circular Road we remain as East End Road but are now in N2 (East Finchley). Church Lane on the left is an alternative route to reach the A1000; it becomes one-way northbound a short way down.
Instead we continue ahead until the road bends sharply to the left – ahead would be The Causeway which is a dead-end, and right is Deansway which leads to the famous Bishops Avenue, albeit the slightly less-smart north side. We then bend round to the right again and cross the A1000 into Fortis Green.
This is N2 but becomes N10 (Muswell Hill) and at the next traffic light, the A504 takes one of the strangest diversions. Queens Avenue, ahead, is the straight route to where we are going, but the A504 first TOTSOs to the right into Fortis Green Road, then to the left for a short multiplex with the B550 Muswell Hill Road, meeting up at a roundabout again with Queens Avenue on the left (which is actually the signposted route to Finchley and Hendon). The A504 now takes the 4th exit, the road simply called Muswell Hill. The 2nd exit is Muswell Hill Broadway which becomes Colney Hatch Lane and is the B550, and the 3rd exit is Dukes Avenue which is unclassified and is a shortcut through to the B106.
Muswell Hill is one of the steepest roads in London, and in fact I can claim to have once cycled down the hill at 40mph, thus breaking the speed limit on a bicycle. Going westbound is heading up a steep hill and it's quite strange because the left lane is a joint bus and lorry lane. I've never actually driven up it during rush hour (I usually use the faster unclassified Cranley Gardens anyway).
Section 2: Muswell Hill - Seven Sisters / Tottenham Hale
At the bottom of the hill is a traffic light, where left is the road past Alexandra Palace, the most famous landmark we are passing on this journey. That is N22, and turning right is Park Road, the start of the A1201 and is Hornsey, N8, as is Priory Road, the road into which we continue. The road changes its name to Hornsey High Street as we enter a small built-up area, though most of the shops in Hornsey are either at Crouch End (junction of the A1201 and A103) or in Tottenham Lane (A103), and not on this road, so the traffic flow is fairly smooth. The road on the right at the roundabout is Middle Lane which also heads towards Crouch End. At the next set of traffic lights is Church Lane on the right; this is the A103 but one-way Northbound so we cannot turn here, but must turn into Tottenham Lane, just ahead, for which there is no traffic light. Hornsey mainline station is just down that road, and we pass under the railway bridge. There are no roads crossing that railway line between Harringay and Hornsey so you must either cross here or in Finsbury Park (Harringay does not have its own postcode but shares N4 with Finsbury Park), in Upper Tollington Park. So now the next junction with the B183 is busy, partly because many turn right into Wightman Road to avoid the busier Green Lanes, or are turning left to get to Wood Green faster, possibly having only joined our road from the A103.
Ahead is Turnpike Lane and is a busy shopping area. At the traffic lights is the junction with Green Lanes, A105, and if you go ahead you will be on the A1080 towards Lordship Lane (A109) and the A10 northbound.
But the A504 isn't quite finished. We turn right into Green Lanes then after a brief multiplex turn left into West Green Road, N15 (South Tottenham, though the area is known as West Green, not to be confused with nearby Wood Green, N22). Heading Westbound, we should go round the one-way system and turn right then left into Turnpike Lane, but you'd probably cut through Willoughby Road and possibly even one of the Westbound one-way rat-runs through to Wightman Road to rejoin the A504 there. There's a set of traffic lights with the B155 Downhills Way on the left, and a mini-roundabout with Black Boy Lane on the right (which takes you to St Ann's Hospital) and then a small one-way system where we need to go around to the right and then left to remain in West Green Road. If we continue straight ahead that is the B153 Philip Lane.
Continuing along the A504 West Green Road takes us through a busy shopping area to Seven Sisters Station itself on the right hand side, at a junction of the A10 and A503. This used to be a gyratory and you had to turn left and go all the way around it. However recently they have changed this route to be 2-way and you can actually continue ahead into Broad Lane. Looking at the signs coming in the reverse direction, it appears that as Broad Lane is no longer needed as part of the A10 or A503, it has been assigned as an extended part of the A504, and it will swing around to the left through various shopping and industrial estates to meet the A503 (again) at Ferry Lane close to Tottenham Hale station.
HistoryFrom a book I have recently got my hands on "The National Road Book" from 1937, it would appear that back then the A504 began with Gravel Hill, and that the whole of Hendon Lane and the part through Hendon was the A5000.
The book is taking a route from Edgware to Tottenham, and after turning into The Burroughs it followed the existing A504 up to the junction with the A1 (which was not the A1 back then), then turned right, went around past Henlys Corner, joined the North Circular Road and turned right onto East End Road (you could make that turn as recently as 1993) joining the A504 there. That route was chosen rather than continuing along into Hendon Lane and turning into Gravel Hill.
The route continued at Turnpike Lane by continuing along Westbury Road and then finishing along Lordship Lane. This would now be the A1080 and A109 but there is no mention here of a number change. Possibly the A504 did originally go along Westbury Road and was only later changed to West Green Road.
(Notably it also lists Colindeep Lane as the B551. Now it is the A5150 and the B551 is nearby Queens Road. Perhaps back then both these roads were the B551 which explains perhaps why Vivian Avenue is not part of that classification.).
Hendon Way (which is called Watford Way where it crosses the A504) was classified back in 1937 as the A5088.
Original Author(s): Earl Purple