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From:  Wandsworth (TQ254752)
To:  Brighton (TQ310040)
Via:  Carlshalton, Coulsdon, Redhill, Crawley
Meets:  CSH8, NCN22, NCN21, NCN2
Primary Destinations
Route outline (key)
20 Wandsworth - Warwick Wold
(21) Warwick Wold - Three Bridge
20 Three Bridges - Tilgate
NCN20 20
20 Pyecombe - Brighton

NCN20 runs south from the River thames at Wandsworth, London to the south coast at Brighton where it meets NCN2. The vast majority of the route is paved, however parts run on old pavements that do have a rough surface, so are unsuitable for road bikes in places. South of Crawley, NCN20 ran through Tilgate forest on unpaved tracks, there is a signed alternative which remains entirely on a paved surface, but does have to content with steps on one side of the A264 crossing. Between Crawley and Pyecombe the route was removed in July 2020 due to having some undesirable crossings of some slip roads on the A23, as well as using some fairly busy B roads in places (B2118 & B2114), as such there is no official cycle route connecting London and Brighton, however the cycle infrastructure here remains and is adequate.


Wandsworth - Chipstead

Chipstead - Warwick Wold

Three Bridges - Tilgate

Three Bridges to Tilgate is a short part of NCN20 that remained south of NCN21. It likely remained since it is in an urban area where planning and highway changes would take into account the route, even if there is currently very little for it at the moment.

NCN20 in Crawley follows North Road and Jubilee Walk on road to the A2220, here it crosses using a Toucan Crossing before continuing on a shared cycle path to Furnace Farm Road The path is paved, however very rough and is about 3m wide, it has three uncontrolled crossings of roads and a bridge over the railway. It then runs on St. Leonards Drive for a short while before ending.

Tilgate - Pyecombe

Route was removed in July 2020 due to not being of high enough quality. This is mostly due to some uncontrolled crossings of A23 slip roads and busy B roads for parts of the route. The route followed the A23, either using a dedicated cycle track beside the dual carriageway, or by utilizing old parts of the A23 such as the B2118 and B2114.

Pyecombe - Patcham

The Northern end of the Southern Section starts at the Pyecombe Flyover at Pyecombe Junction. It runs south on a service road for a short while before entering a shared path. This path is paved and is about 1.5m wide. It runs beside the A23 and then the A273 exit slip road before crossing over a service road that connects onto the A273 slip road. From here it continues beside the A23 for a considerable distance with the occasional service road to access balancing ponds & railway infrastructure. At the border of Brighton and Hove & West Sussex there are the Patcham Pylons that were erected in the 1910s. Before reaching the Patcham interchange NCN20 has a sharp right turn onto an old bridge across the railway, the surface of this bridge is very questionable. NCN then follows a farm access road south on the Western side of the railway before going under the A27 and onto Mill Road. Turn left onto Mill Road and under the narrow and low railway bridge towards Mill Road Roundabout.

Patcham - Seafront

    • This section is due to be improved in 2023/2024**

Once under the bridge the footway on the right (South side) is a shared surface, allowing cyclists to avoid using Mill Road Roundabout, there is an uncontrolled crossover point here to allow inexperienced cyclists to make the right turn. The shared space then runs along the Western side of the A23, which is now a single carriageway. A few hundred meters south on-road cycle lanes appear, these are about 1.2m wide and a crossover point with an island is provided for those heading south. These cycle lanes then run to Carden Avenue (1.2km), the lanes are about 1.2m wide and have many junctions cross over them, as well as bus stops breaking them up. Parts of the footway either side also are shared spaces to connect side roads to toucan crossings to allow safer crossing of the road on bicycles.

At Carden Avenue there is a mini roundabout. Southbound the cycle lane disappears and cycles have to mix in with traffic, Northbound the cycle lane joins and exits the footway to avoid the roundabout. The 1.2m cycle lane reappears on the other side of the junction. At Withdean Park the A23 gets a southbound bus lane, this has the cycle lane running on the left side of the bus lane, apart from this it is very similar to the previous section with minimal features, many side road crossings and parts of the footway are shared spaces to allow crossings of the road via Toucan crossings. At Harrington lane the cycle lanes transfer to the footway using very narrow painted lanes. Through the junctions on the short bit of dual carriageway at Preston Drove the lanes reappear on the carriageway and stay on the carriageway for northbound traffic, but returns to the footway for southbound traffic, however here the footway is wider at about 3-4m, halfway down Preston park the southbound lane returns to the main carriageway too.

South of here the A23 goes into a gyratory system, however the NCN20 follows a route of backstreets to avoid messing up the A23, however the part of the route is very badly signposted and requires cyclists to make illegal turns. First southbound traffic has to switch over to the Western side of the road, this can be done by using the zerba crossings, or simply turning onto a side road. Between Stanford Avenue and Argyle Road NCN20 runs on the footway as a shared space, however there are many obstructions here and is the worst part of the route. Between here and the A270 NCN uses Argyle Road and Campbe Road which are one-way roads with contraflow. At the A270 cyclists then have to make a left turn across two lanes of traffic and ride in the centre of the road before making a right turn through no-entry signs onto Elder Place, then onto Providence Place and onto St. Peters Street, this runs parallel to the A23. The old route would continue running along back streets to the seafront, however since 2020 a new route has been opened as part of the Valley Gardens scheme, however there is not an easy way to transfer between these two routes, however this should be improved in 2026/27. The northern side of Valley Garden's cycle track connects to the NCN90. In Valley gardens NCN20 runs along a new 3m wide segregated cycle track that runs next to the A23, it is separated from pedestrians by a hedge and flowerbeds. It crosses over a few side roads, however at these crossings the cycle track mixes in with pedestrians, however these is normally a crossing green phase without pushing of the button required due to the high numbers of cyclists and pedestrians in the area. At the southern end of Valley Gardens there is routes for cyclists to take to return to the A23 to continue onwards to the seafront, this part is due to be improved in 2023/2024 as part of Valley Gardens Phase 3. At the moment the official route returns cyclists to the back streets going via New Road (where there is a ban on all vehicles at certain times), Then North Street and finally onto East Street where it then connects to NCN2 after crossing the A259 at a Toucan Crossing.


2014 A23 Handcross - Warninglid Widening (No longer part of the cycle network since July 2020)

Handcross - Warninglid Widening took place in 2014 on the A23. Previous to this the A23 between Handcross Junction and Warninglid Junction didn't have any provision for NMUs, so when the route was chosen for the NCN20 it was routed along the B2114 to Staplefield (fairly busy, moderate steepness, S2) then along Staplefield Lane (low traffic, low quality surface, narrow S2) to Warninglid Junction NCN would then pass over the A23 on the B2115 to join a cyclepath adjacent to the Northbound carriageway. The works included a high quality NMUs path alongside the whole of the A23 between the two junctions, however the southernmost section runs on a new service road. This new path is three metres wide, and features road markings and signage due to high-speed travel on the steep incline around 10% for a sustained period of the way. Most signage still shows the old route, however the majority of cyclists follow the new unsigned route.

July 2020

Much of the cycle route was reclassified from the NCN. This was the section between Crawley and Pyecombe, which was mostly a dedicated cycle track next to the A23, or uses the old alignments of the A23. It is likely that the route will fill this gap again, once the dangerous parts have proper provisions, this may be possible if the A23 becomes an expressway, as an alternative route for NMU will have to be provided.

August 2020

On completion of the Valley Gardens Phase 1&2 the Cycle route through the gardens has been rebuilt and segregated from pedestrians (except at junctions). The new A23 road layout has also improved interactions between the cycle track and the roads.


B&H Active Travel Scheme Tranche 2

As part of Brighton & Hove's second Active Travel schemes, it is proposed to greatly improve the route from Preston Circus to Patcham Roundabout. The scheme is likely to be constructed during 2023 These improvements include:

  • Reallocation of road space to permanently widen the cycle lane to provide a 2m cycle lane in each direction which in places will be on-carriageway, stepped & fully segregated. In places it may narrow to 1.5m at constraints.
  • Light segregation of said cycle lane
  • Extension of bus lane
  • About 7 floating bus stops & several other "Bus border stops" to allow cyclists to continue safely past busses alighting.
  • Improvements around the A23 one-way system where the NCN20 is, including parallel crossings and a new segregated two-way cycle track replacing one vehicle lane.
  • Minor side roads have their radii reduced
  • Mini roundabout at Carden Avenue replaced with traffic signal controlled junction
  • Traffic signal controlled junctions to gain cycle-only phases and early starts.

B&H Valley Gardens Phase 3

As part of the Valley Gardens phase 3, the cycle route will change through Old Stein onto a better, more-direct segregated cycle track. This is due to be constructed between spring 2023 and Winter 2024/5. It would realign the NCN20 onto the A23 on a completely segregated track, it would cross North Street at a signalised crossing, and then cross the A259 at a new dedicated cycle crossing at a redesigned Grand Junction, which would be of a CYCLOPS design. There has been separate recent developments on NCN2 in the area, so it interact with the A259 and NCN2 in a more suitable way.



Related Pictures
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Cycleway in King George's Park (C) Stephen Craven - Geograph - 2584209.jpg
Other nearby roads
NCN1 • NCN21 • A1 • A1(M) • A1/Sandbox • A2 • A2(M) (Kidbrooke - Falconwood) • A3 • A4 • A5 • A10 • A11 • A11(M) • A12 • A13 • A20 • A21 • A23 • A23(M) Provisional Allocation • A24 • A30 • A30/Sandbox • A40 • A41 • A101 • A127 • A216 • A233 • B269 • B519 • Balham Loop • E1 (Old System) • E2 (Old System) • E5 (Old System) • E8 (Old System) • E13 • E15 • E30 • E31 (via Carlisle) • E31 (via Newcastle) • E33 (London - Glasgow) • E105 (London - Fishguard) • E107 (London - Tilbury) • E108 (London - Southend) • East Cross Route • Ermine Street • EuroVelo 2 • EuroVelo 5 • Great North Road • Holyhead Road • London Inner Ring Road • Longest Lane • M1 • M3 • M4 • M11 • M12 (Brentwood - Chelmsford) • M12 (Woodford - Brentwood) • M12 (Woodford - Maplin) • M13 • M14 • M15 • M16 • M20 • M23 • M25 • M30 • M40 • M41 • M100 • NCN13 • NCN4 • Northern and Western Motorway • Orbital Tunnel Route • Ringway 2 • Ringway 3 • Ringway 4 • RM3 • South Cross Route • T1 (Britain) • T2 (Britain) • T3 (Britain) • T4 (Britain) • T5 (Britain) • T6 (Britain) • T8 (Britain) • T9 (Britain) • T10 (Britain) • T11 (Britain) • T12 (Britain) • T31 (Britain) • T32 (Britain) • T33 (Britain) • T34 (Britain) • T35 (Britain) • Watling Street
Gatwick Airport
NCN21 • A23 • A23(M) Provisional Allocation • A217 • B2036 • B2037 • M23 • M25 • POLO • T5 (Britain)
NCN2 • NCN288 • A23 • A27 • A259 • A270 • A277 (Brighton) • A2010 • A2038 • A2073 • B2066 • B2118 (Brighton) • B2119 • B2120 • B2121 • B2122 (East Sussex) • B2123 • B2137 • B2193 (Portslade-by-Sea) • C25 (Brighton and Hove) • C31 (Brighton and Hove) • C32 (Brighton and Hove) • C55 (Brighton and Hove) • C56 (Brighton and Hove) • C542 (Brighton and Hove) • C1060 (Brighton and Hove) • C2167 (Brighton and Hove) • C2400 (Brighton and Hove) • C2500 (Brighton and Hove) • C2666 (Brighton and Hove) • C4220 (Brighton and Hove) • C4500 (Brighton and Hove) • C4780 (Brighton and Hove) • C5060 (Brighton and Hove) • C5280 (Brighton and Hove) • C5360 (Brighton and Hove) • C5380 (Brighton and Hove) • C5600 (Brighton and Hove) • C5840 (Brighton and Hove) • C6000 (Brighton and Hove) • T5 (Britain) • T37 (Britain)
NCN Routes
NCN1 - NCN10·NCN11·NCN12·NCN13·NCN14·NCN15·NCN16·NCN17·NCN18·NCN19
NCN2 - NCN20·NCN21·NCN22·NCN23·NCN24·NCN25·NCN26·NCN27·NCN28·NCN29
NCN3 - NCN30·NCN31·NCN32·NCN33·NCN34·NCN35·NCN36·NCN37·NCN38·NCN39
NCN4 - NCN40·NCN41·NCN42·NCN43·NCN44·NCN45·NCN46·NCN47·NCN48·NCN49
NCN5 - NCN50·NCN51·NCN52·NCN53·NCN54·NCN55·NCN56·NCN57·NCN58·NCN59
NCN6 - NCN60·NCN61·NCN62·NCN63·NCN64·NCN65·NCN66·NCN67·NCN68·NCN69
NCN7 - NCN70·NCN71·NCN72·NCN73·NCN74·NCN75·NCN76·NCN77·NCN78·NCN79
NCN8 - NCN80·NCN81·NCN82·NCN83·NCN84·NCN85·NCN86·NCN87·NCN88·NCN89
NCN9 - NCN90·NCN91·NCN92·NCN93·NCN94·NCN95·NCN96·NCN97·NCN98·NCN99
NCN Routes (beginning with 2)
NCN2 - NCN20 · NCN22 · NCN22 · NCN23 · NCN24 · NCN25 · NCN26 · NCN27 · NCN28 · NCN29

NCN20 - NCN200·NCN201·NCN202·NCN203·NCN204·NCN205·NCN206·NCN207·NCN208·NCN209
NCN21 - NCN210·NCN211·NCN212·NCN213·NCN214·NCN215·NCN216·NCN217·NCN218·NCN219
NCN22 - NCN220·NCN221·NCN222·NCN223·NCN224·NCN225·NCN226·NCN227·NCN228·NCN229
NCN23 - NCN230·NCN231·NCN232·NCN233·NCN234·NCN235·NCN236·NCN237·NCN238·NCN239
NCN24 - NCN240·NCN241·NCN242·NCN243·NCN244·NCN245·NCN246·NCN247·NCN248·NCN249
NCN25 - NCN250·NCN251·NCN252·NCN253·NCN254·NCN255·NCN256·NCN257·NCN258·NCN259
NCN26 - NCN260·NCN261·NCN262·NCN263·NCN264·NCN265·NCN266·NCN267·NCN268·NCN269
NCN27 - NCN270·NCN271·NCN272·NCN273·NCN274·NCN275·NCN276·NCN277·NCN278·NCN279
NCN28 - NCN280·NCN281·NCN282·NCN283·NCN284·NCN285·NCN286·NCN287·NCN288·NCN289

NCN29 - NCN290·NCN291·NCN292·NCN293·NCN294·NCN295·NCN296·NCN297·NCN298·NCN299

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