|To:||St Mary Cray (TQ470684)|
|Length:||7.6 miles (12.2 km)|
|Meets:||A225, B2173, A224|
|Route outline (key)|
Dartford - St. Mary Cray
The road begins on the A225 to the south of Dartford. This is quite a nasty junction, though not as bad as in previous years due to the moving of Power Mill Lane (a local road) to a new junction. The first section of the road is quite hilly and has quite a few trucks and lorries due to a lorry depot. Quite soon afterwards it goes over the A2 into Wilmington Village. We soon pass pubs and shops before we come to a double mini-roundabout. During term-time it is full of schoolkids due to Wilmington having 4 schools: one Primary and three Secondary, two of which are Grammar Schools. We TOTSO left and briefly enter the countryside, the road being 40 mph - it was formerly NSL but too many locals demanded a lower limit so it's 40 mph now. We soon hit Hextable which is quite a uninspiring village and also has a slow traffic-calming system, which has been here since 1996 at least. We soon hit another double roundabout by the Post Office, a hot spot for trouble here. After the roundabouts, we carry on towards Swanley, passing a road that takes you to Swanley Village, the original Swanley.
We now enter Swanley proper and this part is not the best area. We soon arrive at the B2173 roundabout where we multiplex for ½ mile. We quickly hit another roundabout where you can turn right for ASDA, straight for car parking or, where we're going, left. We take that left and go over the railway line. This particular line formerly ran the Eurostar trains from Waterloo before its move to St Pancras in November 2007. After a few hundred yards/metres we TOTSO once more at the next roundabout. We now head towards the station, the reason the 'new' Swanley was built: it was built around a railway junction. This station, Swanley, takes takes you to either London, Hastings or East Kent. We don't go to the station though. We carry on beyond the station. After crossing the A20, we are back into the countryside briefly before we enter Crockenhill, a small village.
We once again TOTSO - this time it's right. We soon leave Crockenhill and after roughly ½ mile, we enter Greater London by Crouch Farm. We then past the hamlet (yes a hamlet in London - well, LB Bromley anyway) of Kevingtown. After that, we pass a school before curving to the right into St Mary Cray. Very soon we have to TOTSO once again to the right and then we go under the railway line where we TOTSO left to a traffic-light-controlled junction with the A224. As ever there are three options. These are straight on for local roads to Chislehust, right for some retail units, Sidcup and London or left for Orpington and Sevenoaks. However, the B258 goes no further.
The B258 is used by a fair amount of traffic because it is a useful cross-country route from Dartford to Orpington.
The first section is hilly as the B258 climbs out of the Darent Valley.
After the lorry depot we pass St Michael & All Angels, the parish church of Wilmington.
Hextable is a Quaker village and as a consequence there are no public houses in the village.
New Barn Road, opposite the turning for Swanley Village, leads to Swanley Park, a popular place for families as there are a boating lake, model railway and café. Swanley has a few Victorian houses in the centre and along the London Road from when it was Swanley Junction but most of the town developed after the Second World War. Confusingly for a while Swanley Village and Swanley Junction were both called Swanley.
Prior to the construction of the roundabouts, there was a simple crossroads with traffic lights with the B2173. The B2173 was originally the A20 until the Swanley Bypass was built in 1966. The first two roundabouts were built around the early 1980s when Bartholomew Way was built. Originally the B258 went straight on to the now-pedestrianised Station Road.
The first railway line we cross is from London Victoria to the North Kent coast and Dover.
Where the B258 TOTSOs right into Goldsel Road was a no through road called Bevan Place. However the second phase of the road improvements saw this built around the late 1980s.
The current Swanley station dates from 1959 when the station was rebuilt as part of the Kent Coast electrification. There are trains from here to the Medway Towns, Sittingbourne and Faversham, Sevenoaks, Maidstone and Ashford, as well as London Victoria and Blackfriars. There are no direct trains to Hastings. The original Swanley Station was located on the actual junction.
Before the Swanley Bypass was built, the B258 used to bear right where the bridge is now into Green Court Road and TOTSO left, still in Green Court Road, and turned right back on to the current B258. Goldsel Road was built on a straighter alignment at the same time as the construction of the bypass.
After Kevingtown where we pass the school, the B258 also passes Kevington Hall, a Palladian mansion which is open by prior appointment with the owners.
The B258 used to end on the A223 at St Mary Cray. However the A223 was downgraded in the late 1970s/ early 1980s. For a while the B258 just finished on an unclassified road but the B258 was extended north to meet the A224.
The B258 passes under an impressive viaduct (same line as per Swanley) uses the widened Millbrook Road. This was built in the late 1970s to bypass the narrow but atmospheric St Mary High Street. We turn left into Station Road and the B258 finishes on the A224.
Four things have changed since classification. Firstly the B258 originally ended on the A20 in Swanley (Junction). It was extended to St Mary Cray in the early 1920s. Secondly, the A20 was rerouted to by-pass Swanley so that road was renumbered B2173. Thirdly, Asda was built in 1980 so forming today's multiplex with the B2173. Lastly, the A223 was renumbered sometime in the 1970s and so the B258 ended on a unclassified road for a few years. By 1994 it was extended so it would meet a classified road, in this case the A224.