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A23 road

A23 road

Overview
The A23 road is a major road in the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 between London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

 and Brighton
Brighton
Brighton is the major part of the city of Brighton and Hove in East Sussex, England on the south coast of Great Britain...

, East Sussex
East Sussex
East Sussex is a county in South East England. It is bordered by the counties of Kent, Surrey and West Sussex, and to the south by the English Channel.-History:...

. It became an arterial route following the construction of Westminster Bridge
Westminster Bridge
Westminster Bridge is a road and foot traffic bridge over the River Thames between Westminster on the north side and Lambeth on the south side, in London, England....

 in 1750 and the consequent improvement of roads leading to the bridge south of the river by the Turnpike Trust
Turnpike trust
Turnpike trusts in the United Kingdom were bodies set up by individual Acts of Parliament, with powers to collect road tolls for maintaining the principal highways in Britain from the 17th but especially during the 18th and 19th centuries...

s. The increase in population of Brighton in the late eighteenth century, which transformed it from a small fishing village
Traditional fishing village
A fishing village is a village, usually located near a fishing ground, with an economy based on catching fish and harvesting seafood. The continents and islands around the world have coastlines totalling around 356,000 kilometres...

 to a large seaside resort, enhanced the importance of this road, as did the residence there of George IV
George IV of the United Kingdom
George IV was the King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and also of Hanover from the death of his father, George III, on 29 January 1820 until his own death ten years later...

, as Prince of Wales, who made Brighton a place of fashion.
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Encyclopedia
The A23 road is a major road in the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 between London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

 and Brighton
Brighton
Brighton is the major part of the city of Brighton and Hove in East Sussex, England on the south coast of Great Britain...

, East Sussex
East Sussex
East Sussex is a county in South East England. It is bordered by the counties of Kent, Surrey and West Sussex, and to the south by the English Channel.-History:...

. It became an arterial route following the construction of Westminster Bridge
Westminster Bridge
Westminster Bridge is a road and foot traffic bridge over the River Thames between Westminster on the north side and Lambeth on the south side, in London, England....

 in 1750 and the consequent improvement of roads leading to the bridge south of the river by the Turnpike Trust
Turnpike trust
Turnpike trusts in the United Kingdom were bodies set up by individual Acts of Parliament, with powers to collect road tolls for maintaining the principal highways in Britain from the 17th but especially during the 18th and 19th centuries...

s. The increase in population of Brighton in the late eighteenth century, which transformed it from a small fishing village
Traditional fishing village
A fishing village is a village, usually located near a fishing ground, with an economy based on catching fish and harvesting seafood. The continents and islands around the world have coastlines totalling around 356,000 kilometres...

 to a large seaside resort, enhanced the importance of this road, as did the residence there of George IV
George IV of the United Kingdom
George IV was the King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and also of Hanover from the death of his father, George III, on 29 January 1820 until his own death ten years later...

, as Prince of Wales, who made Brighton a place of fashion. The original A23 has been bypassed around Croydon
Croydon
Croydon is a town in South London, England, located within the London Borough of Croydon to which it gives its name. It is situated south of Charing Cross...

, and by the M23 motorway
M23 motorway
The M23 motorway is a motorway in England. The motorway runs from south of Hooley in Surrey, where it splits from the A23, to Pease Pottage, south of Crawley in West Sussex where it rejoins the A23. The northern end of the motorway starts at junction 7 on what is effectively a spur north from...

 for the section between Hooley
Hooley
Hooley is a small village in Surrey, England. It lies in a "pass" which is the lowest crossing point of the North Downs for some distance in either direction. Both the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway and the South Eastern Railway recognised this pass as the best route to Brighton and built...

 and Crawley
Crawley
Crawley is a town and local government district with Borough status in West Sussex, England. It is south of Charing Cross, north of Brighton and Hove, and northeast of the county town of Chichester, covers an area of and had a population of 99,744 at the time of the 2001 Census.The area has...

.

The 53 miles (85.3 km) route from London to Brighton forms the basis of the route of the annual London to Brighton Veteran Car Run
London to Brighton Veteran Car Run
The London to Brighton Veteran Car Run is the longest-running motoring event in the world. The first run was in 1896, and has taken place most years since then. To qualify, the cars must have been built before 1905...

. This is featured in the film Genevieve
Genevieve (film)
Genevieve is a 1953 British comedy film produced and directed by Henry Cornelius and written by William Rose. It starred John Gregson, Dinah Sheridan, Kenneth More and Kay Kendall as two couples comedically involved in a vintage automobile rally...

, although most of the rural motoring scenes were shot in Buckinghamshire
Buckinghamshire
Buckinghamshire is a ceremonial and non-metropolitan home county in South East England. The county town is Aylesbury, the largest town in the ceremonial county is Milton Keynes and largest town in the non-metropolitan county is High Wycombe....

. The A23 is used for various other London to Brighton events
London to Brighton events
The route along the A23 from London to Brighton in south-east England is popular for races, tours, charity rides and rallies...

.

Route


The A23 begins as Westminster Bridge Road near Waterloo station
Waterloo station
Waterloo station, also known as London Waterloo, is a central London railway terminus and London Underground complex. The station is owned and operated by Network Rail and is close to the South Bank of the River Thames, and in Travelcard Zone 1....

. Almost immediately it turns south; the straightness of much of the heading south shows its Roman origins.

The road becomes:
  • Kennington Road
    Kennington Road
    Kennington Road is a long straight road, approximately a mile in length, in the London Borough of Lambeth in London, England, running south from Westminster Bridge Road to Kennington Park Road....

    : 1 miles (1.6 km) long; near Kennington Park it joins the A3 (Kennington Park Road), but soon bears south again, becoming in turn over the next 5 miles (8 km):
  • Brixton Road
    Brixton Road
    Brixton Road is a road in the London Borough of Lambeth , leading from the Oval at Kennington to Brixton, where it forms the high street and then forks into Effra Road and Brixton Hill at St Mathews church at the crossroads with Acre Lane and Coldharbour Lane...

  • Brixton Hill
    Brixton Hill
    Brixton Hill is the name given to a 1 km section of road between Brixton and Streatham Hill in south London, England. It slopes downhill towards central London.Brixton Hill and Streatham Hill form part of the traditional main London to Brighton road...

  • Streatham Hill
  • Streatham High Road
    Streatham High Road
    Streatham High Road, some two miles in length, is part of the main A23 road from London to Brighton, and is in the London Borough of Lambeth...

  • at Norbury
    Norbury
    Norbury is a town in the London Borough of Croydon, also crossing the London Borough of Merton. It shares the postcode London SW16 with nearby Streatham. Norbury is south of Charing Cross.-History:...

     the road becomes London Road; after 1.25 miles (2 km), at
  • Thornton Heath
    Thornton Heath
    Thornton Heath is a district of south London, England, in the London Borough of Croydon. It is situated south-southeast of Charing Cross.-Geography:...

     the Croydon
    Croydon
    Croydon is a town in South London, England, located within the London Borough of Croydon to which it gives its name. It is situated south of Charing Cross...

     bypass, Thornton Road and then Purley Way
    Purley Way
    Purley Way is a section of the A23 trunk road in the London Borough of Croydon, in the areas of Purley, Waddon and West Croydon, and has given its name to the out-of-town shopping area alongside it with a catchment area covering most of South London. It was designed as a bypass for Croydon and was...

     (known for its superstores, particularly Ikea
    IKEA
    IKEA is a privately held, international home products company that designs and sells ready-to-assemble furniture such as beds and desks, appliances and home accessories. The company is the world's largest furniture retailer...

    , and for the site of Croydon Airport
    Croydon Airport
    Croydon Airport was an airport in South London which straddled the boundary between what are now the London boroughs of Croydon and Sutton. It was the main airport for London before it was replaced by Northolt Aerodrome, London Heathrow Airport and London Gatwick Airport...

    ) takes the place of the original road through Croydon, now the A235, rejoining the A23 at Purley
    Purley, London
    Purley is a place in the London Borough of Croydon, England. It is a suburban development situated 11.7 miles south of Charing Cross.The name derives from "pirlea", which means 'Peartree lea'. Purley has a population of about 72,000....

     near the Purley War Memorial Hospital, now named Brighton Road
    Brighton Road
    Brighton Road is a major road running through Croydon and Purley, in south London, England. The northern part of its length is designated the A235, and further south it becomes the A23....

    .
  • continuing south through Coulsdon
    Coulsdon
    Coulsdon is a town on the southernmost boundary of the London Borough of Croydon. It is surrounded by the Metropolitan Green Belt of the Farthing Down, Coulsdon Common and Kenley Common...

     on the newly-opened Farthing Way (the relief road for Coulsdon town centre), over the North Downs
    North Downs
    The North Downs are a ridge of chalk hills in south east England that stretch from Farnham in Surrey to the White Cliffs of Dover in Kent. The North Downs lie within two Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty , the Surrey Hills and the Kent Downs...

     to Hooley
    Hooley
    Hooley is a small village in Surrey, England. It lies in a "pass" which is the lowest crossing point of the North Downs for some distance in either direction. Both the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway and the South Eastern Railway recognised this pass as the best route to Brighton and built...

    , the start of the M23 motorway.
    • here is now Surrey
      Surrey
      Surrey is a county in the South East of England and is one of the Home Counties. The county borders Greater London, Kent, East Sussex, West Sussex, Hampshire and Berkshire. The historic county town is Guildford. Surrey County Council sits at Kingston upon Thames, although this has been part of...

  • through the built-up areas of Merstham
    Merstham
    Merstham is a village in the Reigate and Banstead borough of Surrey, England, in the London commuter belt. It is just north of Redhill, near the intersection of the M25 and M23 motorways, on the edge of the North Downs and on the North Downs Way.-History:...

    , Redhill
    Redhill, Surrey
    Redhill is a town in the borough of Reigate and Banstead, Surrey, England and is part of the London commuter belt. Redhill and the adjacent town of Reigate form a single urban area.-History:...

     and Salfords
    Salfords
    Salfords is a village in the borough of Reigate and Banstead in Surrey, England. It lies approximately 3 miles or 5 km south of Redhill on the A23 London to Brighton road. It was the original UK home of the Monotype Corporation and Salfords railway station was originally built to service the...

    , skirting Horley
    Horley
    Horley is a town in Surrey, England, situated south of the twin towns of Reigate and Redhill, and north of Gatwick Airport and Crawley.With fast links by train to London from Horley railway station, it has grown popular with commuters in recent years...

    • here is now West Sussex
      West Sussex
      West Sussex is a county in the south of England, bordering onto East Sussex , Hampshire and Surrey. The county of Sussex has been divided into East and West since the 12th century, and obtained separate county councils in 1888, but it remained a single ceremonial county until 1974 and the coming...

  • making an end-on connection with the M23 spur to Gatwick Airport
    London Gatwick Airport
    Gatwick Airport is located 3.1 miles north of the centre of Crawley, West Sussex, and south of Central London. Previously known as London Gatwick,In 2010, the name changed from London Gatwick Airport to Gatwick Airport...

     the A23 becomes a dual carriageway
    Dual carriageway
    A dual carriageway is a class of highway with two carriageways for traffic travelling in opposite directions separated by a central reservation...

     as it is diverted round the airport; it rejoins the original route at Lowfield Heath
    Lowfield Heath
    Lowfield Heath is a former village within the boundaries of the Borough of Crawley, a local government district with Borough status in West Sussex, England. Situated on the main London to Brighton road approximately south of London and north of Crawley, it was gradually rendered uninhabitable by...

     and continues south into Crawley as London Road
  • Crawley
    Crawley
    Crawley is a town and local government district with Borough status in West Sussex, England. It is south of Charing Cross, north of Brighton and Hove, and northeast of the county town of Chichester, covers an area of and had a population of 99,744 at the time of the 2001 Census.The area has...

     Ring Road: the original road was through the town
  • Pease Pottage
    Pease Pottage
    Pease Pottage is a small village in the Mid Sussex District of West Sussex, England. It lies on the southern edge of the Crawley built up area, in the civil parish of Slaugham....

    , southern junction with the M23
  • through the relatively rural countryside of West Sussex
    West Sussex
    West Sussex is a county in the south of England, bordering onto East Sussex , Hampshire and Surrey. The county of Sussex has been divided into East and West since the 12th century, and obtained separate county councils in 1888, but it remained a single ceremonial county until 1974 and the coming...

    , the road runs into Brighton over the South Downs
    South Downs
    The South Downs is a range of chalk hills that extends for about across the south-eastern coastal counties of England from the Itchen Valley of Hampshire in the west to Beachy Head, near Eastbourne, East Sussex, in the east. It is bounded on its northern side by a steep escarpment, from whose...

  • the road ends at Old Steine, Brighton, at a roundabout intersecting with the coastal A259 road, and opposite the entrance to the Palace Pier.

Major roads intersected by the A23

  • A3 and A202 at Kennington
  • A205 South Circular Road
    A205 road
    The A205 or South Circular Road is a direct route which crosses South London, UK, running from Woolwich in the east to the junction of the A406 , the M4 and the A4 at Gunnersbury in the west....

     at Streatham Hill
  • A214 at Streatham
  • A232
    A232 road
    The A232 is a road running east-west across South London, which connects the A24 in Ewell with the A224 Orpington bypass.Between Croydon and Ewell the road runs close to the Sutton & Mole Valley Line...

     at Waddon
  • M23
    M23 motorway
    The M23 motorway is a motorway in England. The motorway runs from south of Hooley in Surrey, where it splits from the A23, to Pease Pottage, south of Crawley in West Sussex where it rejoins the A23. The northern end of the motorway starts at junction 7 on what is effectively a spur north from...

     close to Junction 7 (no southbound access)
  • A25
    A25 road
    The A25 road is one of the three cross-country two-digit numbered roads in the southeast of England, the others being the A26 from Newhaven to Maidstone and the A27 along the south coast. It carries traffic from Guildford in Surrey through Dorking, and thence eastward along the southern edge of the...

     at Redhill
  • A264
    A264 road
    The A264 is an east-west road in southern England that runs from Pembury in west Kent to Five Oaks in West Sussex.There have been a number of notable changes in this important east-west route which follows the north Sussex border with Kent and Surrey....

     at Crawley
    Crawley
    Crawley is a town and local government district with Borough status in West Sussex, England. It is south of Charing Cross, north of Brighton and Hove, and northeast of the county town of Chichester, covers an area of and had a population of 99,744 at the time of the 2001 Census.The area has...

  • M23
    M23 motorway
    The M23 motorway is a motorway in England. The motorway runs from south of Hooley in Surrey, where it splits from the A23, to Pease Pottage, south of Crawley in West Sussex where it rejoins the A23. The northern end of the motorway starts at junction 7 on what is effectively a spur north from...

     at Pease Pottage
    Pease Pottage
    Pease Pottage is a small village in the Mid Sussex District of West Sussex, England. It lies on the southern edge of the Crawley built up area, in the civil parish of Slaugham....

  • A272
    A272 road
    The A272 is a road in South-East England. It follows an approximate East-West route from near Heathfield, East Sussex to the city of Winchester, Hampshire. It has achieved somewhat unlikely fame in recent years by being the subject of a book by the Dutch author, Pieter Boogaart...

     at Bolney
  • A27 Brighton Bypass
    A27 road
    The A27 is a major road in England. It runs from its junction with the A36 at Whiteparish in the county of Wiltshire. It closely parallels the south coast, where it passes through West Sussex and terminates at Pevensey in East Sussex.Between Portsmouth and Lewes, it is one of the busiest trunk...

    at Mill Road Roundabout

Improvement scheme


On March 18, 2010, plans to widen the section between Handcross and Warninglid in West Sussex to three lanes, removing the accident prone bend was given the go ahead. Work will start in autumn 2011.

External links