|Location Map ( geo)|
|From:||Holland Park (TQ247803)|
|To:||Kensal Rise (TQ237829)|
|Distance:||1.8 miles (2.9 km)|
|Meets:||A402, B415, B412, A404, B413, B451|
|Route outline (key)|
The B450 is the main road through Notting Hill, known as Ladbroke Grove. The market, known as Portobello Road, runs parallel with it to the east for a part of this run.
At its south end it starts on the A402 Holland Park Avenue, which is the old route of the A40, and heads north. Various roads cross it and there are a few traffic lights - one such road is Elgin Crescent, of which the east side forms part of the B415, which is a route through to Notting Hill Gate station for southbound traffic (although some of the traffic from Kensington Park Road may have continued on to its junction with Westbourne Park Road, which is the B412). The B412 also appears to terminate on the east side of the B450 but it does not, as will become apparent later.
Up to the junction with the B412 Westbourne Park Road, Ladbroke Grove itself has been a residential road. The main shopping area is Portobello Road, which runs to the east parallel to the B415 before continuing north across Westbourne Park Road. However, once we cross this junction we are now also in more of a high-street as we pass Ladbroke Grove station whilst at the same time heading under the A40 Westway. There is a restaurant there that specialises in Belgian beers. The high-street section can be fairly busy.
The B412 resumes its path towards the west just after we pass the Westway, at the junction of Cambridge Gardens after which we resume the status of a residential road.
I am not certain of the type of resident that actually lives in this area any more. The film Absolute Beginners was themed around the redevelopment of this area in the 1960s and how many of the residents were forced out by the property developers because they could not longer afford it. Then of course the film Notting Hill, from 1999, starring Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts, was based around a local resident who owned a bookstore in the area. All this was before Ken Livingstone extended the Congestion Charge Zone west to cover this area (it has since been removed), which had a further effect on small businesses around here. That is, of course, only the small businesses. Sainsbury's was not affected as they were able to persuade Ken to allow residents from the other side of the Harrow Road to continue shopping there. So the border was at this junction and not even further south allowing access through Barlby Road to hit the B412 at Shepherds Bush (North Pole Road).
The famous Notting Hill Carnival happens once a year at the end of August and Ladbroke Grove is closed off to traffic so that parades can come down this street. The walkways along the Canal also make a popular spot for various goings on.
Once we've crossed the canal we reach the A404 Harrow Road to enter North Kensington, and the road changes its name to Kilburn Lane. A few yards further at a fork that road name sneaks off on the right fork to end up on the B413 (although maps suggest the first block is a spur of the B450) whilst the left fork remains as the B450 as Chamberlayne Road. Banister Road, a bit further north, is an alternative entry to the B413.
We cross over a railway which carries the Bakerloo Line and also part of the Overground and at another set of traffic lights we have a junction with what looks like a relatively small residential road, Mortimer Road on the left and Harvist Road on the right. This road is, however, actually classified and is the B451.
The road ahead narrows a bit as we approach Kensal Rise (overground) station, a busy junction with a siding for the station and several shops; traffic over this hill is quite slow. However if you are here you are no longer on the B450 as our road lost its classification at its junction with the B451. It is difficult to understand why the classification ends where it does, but that's the Ministry of Transport.
The road continues on afterwards to be a very pleasant through-route to Willesden where, at a double junction, All Souls Avenue merges in and then Donnington Road, where Willesden Sports Centre is; they merge out into Chambers Lane and Sidmouth Road, and you may well plan your route to use one of these roads (I would generally avoid Chambers Lane myself unless it is actually Willesden High Road you are trying to get to).
In 1922 the B450 only consisted of the quarter-mile between the A404 and B451. It was extended south later although it is unclear exactly when. Most of this southern extension was originally unclassified although a short section was numbered B412.