|Location Map ( geo)|
|From:||South Woodford High Road (TQ401903)|
|To:||Chigwell Road (TQ407898)|
|Distance:||0.7 miles (1.1 km)|
|Route outline (key)|
The B168 is synonymous, although not entirely coterminous, with George Lane, the commercial centre of South Woodford. George Lane is the high street they cut in two.
The road starts at traffic lights on the A1199 and starts to head southeast along George Lane. It's not long, however, before the road duals, with the southeastbound carriageway known as The Shrubberies. A roundabout is reached where the road turns left to cross The Viaduct, a C-shaped bridge over the Central Line, reaching a one-way system on the far side.
In this direction we turn left, then take the next right into Daisy Road, then right again into Cowslip Road to rejoin George Lane, which is followed by northwestbound traffic past South Woodford station back to The Viaduct. George Lane is now two-way as far as the road's end at traffic lights on the A113 Chigwell Road.
The route is bisected by the railway line at South Woodford station and here was originally a level crossing. When the running of the ECR was taken over by London Transport (as was) as part of the Central Line, and South Woodford station was remodelled in the late 1940s, George Lane was permanently divided. Pedestrians had a new subway to negotiate and vehicles had a fairly compact horseshoe-shaped dual-carriageway viaduct ("The Viaduct") to maintain a road connection; it's now D1 with parking. The concrete-beamed viaduct undercroft is a car park. Old road signs directing traffic to the different sections of George Lane can still be seen.
The diversion away from the level crossing at South Woodford station was created in the early 1950s.
(Similar fates befell other roads on this stretch of the Central Line after the New Works upgrades, except that there are no longer road connections. The road formerly crossing Woodford station was renamed Snakes Lane East and West; near Buckhurst Hill station are Queens Road and Lower Queens Road; and near Snaresbrook station are Eagle Lane and its divorced section renamed Falcon Way.)