|Location Map ( geo)|
|To:||Burgess Hill (TQ307180)|
|Distance:||17.8 miles (28.6 km)|
|Meets:||A23, B2037, A2011, A2220, M23, B2110, B2115, B2184, A272, A273, B2113, A273|
|Former Number(s):||A278, A272, A273|
|Old route now:||A273|
|Route outline (key)|
The B2036 in its original form achieved what the parallel A23 has never done, namely it actually directly connects a number of West Sussex's major settlements. Before the time of George IV this is likely to have been part of the main route from London to Brighton. It is notable that the road from Pyecombe to Horley (part of which is now the A273) is slightly more direct and a mile or so shorter than using the historic (or even the modern) A23.
Section 1: Horley – Maidenbower
The B2036 starts in Horley at a triangular roundabout with the A23 and heads directly in a southerly direction out of Horley. It then passes under the M23 Gatwick Spur before curving into Tinsley Green where there is a junction with the B2037. The road here has a surprisingly rural nature considering that it is passing between a motorway and a major airport, and is about to reach one of Sussex's largest towns. Crawley is then reached with a GSJ under the A2011; access is limited westbound only as M23 J10 is very close by to the east (so the B2036 cannot directly access the M23 from here). What once was a rural B-road now heads through nearly 2 miles of urban sprawl. Housing estates head off to the left and right and the A2220 (former A264) is met at a roundabout. The historic nature of this road through Crawley's suburbs is evident due to its rare straight lines. A mini-roundabout follows with the unclassified Turners Hill Road, which unsurprisingly leads to Turners Hill. The B2036 then would have once crossed the Crawley to East Grinstead rail line, whose route is still visible as a footpath. It then passes between Worth and Maidenbower, the former of which was once just a small village with a lovely church, now overlooking the M23. Even this road with its determined straight lines curves between two roundabouts here, both of which are part of J10A of the M23.
Section 2: Maidenbower – Cuckfield
The second roundabout of J10A has a number of empty stubs on it, as if daring planners to either extend Crawley beyond the M23 or at least provide a south facing slip road here. Then, as suddenly as Crawley was entered, it has been left and the road climbs up through the forest to meet the B2110 at a staggered crossroads. Continuing on a sweeping run it passes the odd house, but mainly goes through open countryside. Balcombe, having lent its name to the entire road so far, is finally reached. Avoiding the village centre the B2036 curves its way through the village before passing Balcombe station and crossing over the London-Brighton railway. Heading down out of Balcombe the road is at first narrow and twisty, then wide and straight (suspiciously so some might say) before returning to being narrow and twisty, along with currently being very badly surfaced. The speed limit then gradually reduces as the housing starts north of Cuckfield. The B2115 is then reached at a mini-roundabout.
Section 3: Cuckfield – Burgess Hill
Passing down Cuckfield High Street now, the short B2184 cuts the corner for traffic wishing to head to Haywards Heath. Next up is another mini-roundabout with the former A272, now unclassified. From here the B2036 would have once run in a multiplex with the A272, and as it squeezes down the high street and round the sort of bends that remind drivers why Cuckfield was bypassed there is an old sign on the wall of one of the buildings telling us that this is in fact the A272 to Billingshurst and the B2036 to Burgess Hill. Of course, it is no longer the former. Having squeezed between the village buildings drivers can then breathe out as open countryside is reached again, shortly followed by a roundabout with the modern A272. From here to the next mini-roundabout at Ansty, the B2036 multiplexes with the A272. That road then leaves to the right and the road continues south through Ansty. It then takes a reasonably direct and smooth route to Burgess Hill, or at least does it slightly better than the nearby A273.
In 2019 the plans for the Northern Arc housing development were published, this included alterations to the B2036 which would take place between 2020 and 2036 (however plans show it to be in Phases 1 & 2 out of the 4 phases). The plans would state it would favor East to West traffic to discourage use of the B2036 (although no reason for this was stated). A small amount of the B2036 (Cuckfield Road) would become part of the Northern Arc Avenue where the current B2036 (Cuckfield Road) would terminate on T-Junctions to the North and South.
There is then the shortest of multiplexes with the A273 between two adjacent roundabouts, with the Fairplace Bridge across a stream in the middle.
While originally the B2036 would have now continued to Pyecombe, between the inauguration of the A273 and the building of the Burgess Hill relief road, it would have ended here. It has now taken up part of its former route again as the relief road took the A273 number. However, as the relief road is a long way around, full of roundabouts and only has a 40 limit, any traffic wanting to head south from here continues to head through Burgess Hill on the B2036. This road itself has sprung numerous mini-roundabouts, but manages to be so grand as to have a short section of dual-carriageway before its junction with the B2113. The B2032 then heads due south to the a roundabout with the A273 and its termination.
Defunct Section: Burgess Hill – Pyecombe