|Location Map ( geo)|
|To:||Swanley Interchange (TQ526677)|
|Distance:||3.6 miles (5.8 km)|
|Meets:||A211, A223, A20, B258, A20, M20, M25|
|Route outline (key)|
The B2173 is basically the old A20 between the A223 and what is now Swanley Interchange (M25 J3/M20 J1). The Eastern section of the road had been renumbered to B2173 by 1966. Asda opened in 1980 forcing the road onto today's alignment and multiplex with the B258. Lastly the Western part of the B2713 became part of the road in 1988.
The road begins at Ruxley Corner on the A223 Sidcup bypass. The roundabout has five exits so it is quite a busy junction. Once on the road, its former status as the main A20 is quite clear. Although TfL has now lowered the speed limit to 40 mph and added GATSOs, it is still a wide road.
We first pass various retail units including Ruxley Garden Centre. This is a border area between suburb and town so we have some Kentish countryside though there are a few houses and also a scrap yard. After passing both ends of Old Maidstone Road (an oxbow which was bypassed early on) we parallel the A20 to the right. We then pass a service area housing a McDonalds restaurant (you have to be on the A20 to access it) and then leave the London Borough of Bexley.
The road now mslopes downhill and a side road can be seen on the right. It was around here where the Swanley By-Pass started and the old slip road still remains as a slip road for the A20 back to London. That road then bends south to avoid Swanley whilst we continue ahead into town. We enter Swanley at the former Deja-Va-Vu nightclub, which was often violent, so much that it had to be closed; it has now been rebuilt into a Premier Inn and Beefeater. Here is a fairly new traffic junction for the unclassified Birchwood Road into Dartford. The far end reaches the richest part of Dartford but this end is more modest, being next door to a Vauxhall garage.
As we near the centre of Swanley, the road is still very straight as we pass various houses from different ages. It is quite dull - typical for Swanley really. Soon, we cone to the first roundabout since Ruxley Corner which only serves parts of Swanley. In fact, the only major shop in Swanley is ASDA so it hasn't got much.
Still we now TOTSO left and we skirt the perimeter of ASDA before coming to the B258 at a roundabout, where we TOTSO again and multiplex, the original A20/B258 junction being lost. Whilst the B258 used to go straight to the station now it turns left (yes another TOTSO) and we go too. After passing more shops, we come to the penultimate roundabout. The B258 goes off right towards Orpington and we go straight on. |It's still very straight as we pass more houses, a Jet garage which also has a Supermarket (ASDA in Swanley is more mini-Hypermarket) and Swanley old Bus Garage which was a victim of the poorly implemented De-regulation bus rules of 1986 before we come to the old junction with the A20.
Very little remains of this junction although the Coastbound slips are partially there, as is the bridge over the A20 for the former Northbound slips which now carries the B2173. The whole of the former Londonbound slips are now lost under a factory.
Then we come to the reason the old junction was abandoned, the new Swanley Interchange which was built in the late 1970s for the M20 and M25 towards Dartford (the M25 bridge wasn't used for some years before the penultimate section of the M25 opened in late Summer/early Autumn of 1986). This is where the B2173 ends. There are a few options for the driver: the A20 back to London, the M20 to the Coast, the M25 for the North & South and lastly the start of the non-primary A20 here.
Original Author(s): A Beaton