A2 road (Great Britain)
Overview
 
The A2 is a major road in southern England, connecting 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...

 with the English Channel
English Channel
The English Channel , often referred to simply as the Channel, is an arm of the Atlantic Ocean that separates southern England from northern France, and joins the North Sea to the Atlantic. It is about long and varies in width from at its widest to in the Strait of Dover...

 port of Dover
Dover
Dover is a town and major ferry port in the home county of Kent, in South East England. It faces France across the narrowest part of the English Channel, and lies south-east of Canterbury; east of Kent's administrative capital Maidstone; and north-east along the coastline from Dungeness and Hastings...

 in Kent
Kent
Kent is a county in southeast England, and is one of the home counties. It borders East Sussex, Surrey and Greater London and has a defined boundary with Essex in the middle of the Thames Estuary. The ceremonial county boundaries of Kent include the shire county of Kent and the unitary borough of...

. This route has always been of importance as a connection between the British capital of London and sea trade routes to Continental Europe
Continental Europe
Continental Europe, also referred to as mainland Europe or simply the Continent, is the continent of Europe, explicitly excluding European islands....

. It was formerly known as the Dover Road.

Unlike the other single digit A-roads in Great Britain, the A2 does not form a zone boundary
Great Britain road numbering scheme
The Great Britain road numbering scheme is a numbering scheme used to classify and identify all roads in Great Britain. Each road is given a single letter, which represents the road's category, and a subsequent number, with a length of between 1 and 4 digits. Originally introduced to arrange...

 (in this case between Zone 1 and Zone 2).
Encyclopedia
The A2 is a major road in southern England, connecting 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...

 with the English Channel
English Channel
The English Channel , often referred to simply as the Channel, is an arm of the Atlantic Ocean that separates southern England from northern France, and joins the North Sea to the Atlantic. It is about long and varies in width from at its widest to in the Strait of Dover...

 port of Dover
Dover
Dover is a town and major ferry port in the home county of Kent, in South East England. It faces France across the narrowest part of the English Channel, and lies south-east of Canterbury; east of Kent's administrative capital Maidstone; and north-east along the coastline from Dungeness and Hastings...

 in Kent
Kent
Kent is a county in southeast England, and is one of the home counties. It borders East Sussex, Surrey and Greater London and has a defined boundary with Essex in the middle of the Thames Estuary. The ceremonial county boundaries of Kent include the shire county of Kent and the unitary borough of...

. This route has always been of importance as a connection between the British capital of London and sea trade routes to Continental Europe
Continental Europe
Continental Europe, also referred to as mainland Europe or simply the Continent, is the continent of Europe, explicitly excluding European islands....

. It was formerly known as the Dover Road.

Unlike the other single digit A-roads in Great Britain, the A2 does not form a zone boundary
Great Britain road numbering scheme
The Great Britain road numbering scheme is a numbering scheme used to classify and identify all roads in Great Britain. Each road is given a single letter, which represents the road's category, and a subsequent number, with a length of between 1 and 4 digits. Originally introduced to arrange...

 (in this case between Zone 1 and Zone 2). The Zone 1/2 boundary is the River Thames
River Thames
The River Thames flows through southern England. It is the longest river entirely in England and the second longest in the United Kingdom. While it is best known because its lower reaches flow through central London, the river flows alongside several other towns and cities, including Oxford,...

.

History of the route

The route of the current A2 follows a similar route to that of a Celt
Celt
The Celts were a diverse group of tribal societies in Iron Age and Roman-era Europe who spoke Celtic languages.The earliest archaeological culture commonly accepted as Celtic, or rather Proto-Celtic, was the central European Hallstatt culture , named for the rich grave finds in Hallstatt, Austria....

ic ancient trackway
Ancient trackway
Ancient trackway can refer to any track or trail whose origin is lost in antiquity. Such paths existed from the earliest prehistoric times and in every inhabited part of the globe...

. It was an important route for the Romans
Roman Britain
Roman Britain was the part of the island of Great Britain controlled by the Roman Empire from AD 43 until ca. AD 410.The Romans referred to the imperial province as Britannia, which eventually comprised all of the island of Great Britain south of the fluid frontier with Caledonia...

 linking London with Canterbury
Canterbury
Canterbury is a historic English cathedral city, which lies at the heart of the City of Canterbury, a district of Kent in South East England. It lies on the River Stour....

 and the three Channel ports of Rutupiae (now Richborough
Richborough
Richborough is a settlement north of Sandwich on the east coast of the county of Kent, England. Richborough lies close to the Isle of Thanet....

), Dubris
Dubris
Dubris or Portus Dubris was a town in Roman Britain. It is now Dover, Kent, England.As the closest point to continental Europe and the site of the estuary of the Dour, the site chosen for Dover was ideal for a cross-channel port...

 (now Dover) and Portus Lemanis
Portus Lemanis
Portus Lemanis was the name of an ancient Roman fort, settlement and port in southern Kent. The modern village of Lympne derives its name from the ancient port.-History:...

 (in modern Lympne
Lympne
Lympne is a village situated on the former sea cliffs above the Romney Marsh in Kent. It lies approximately west of Folkestone, 2 miles west of Hythe and east of Ashford....

). It had river crossings at Rochester over the River Medway
River Medway
The River Medway, which is almost entirely in Kent, England, flows for from just inside the West Sussex border to the point where it enters the Thames Estuary....

; Dartford
Dartford
Dartford is the principal town in the borough of Dartford. It is situated in the northwest corner of Kent, England, east south-east of central London....

 (River Darent
River Darent
The River Darent or River Darenth is a Kentish tributary of the River Thames in England. Its name is believed to be from a Celtic word meaning 'river where oak-trees grow'...

) and Crayford
Crayford
Crayford is a town and electoral ward in the London Borough of Bexley that was an important bridging point in Roman times across the River Cray, a tributary of the River Darent, which is itself a tributary of the River Thames.-History:...

 (River Cray
River Cray
The River Cray is a tributary of the River Darent in southern England. It rises in Priory Gardens in Orpington in the London Borough of Bromley, where rainwater permeates the chalk bedrock and forms a pond at the boundary between the chalk and impermeable clay...

). The Romans paved the road and constructed the first Rochester Bridge
Rochester Bridge
Rochester Bridge was for centuries the lowest fixed crossing of the River Medway in Kent, southern England. There have been several generations of bridge at this spot, and the current "bridge" is in fact four separate bridges: two carrying the A2 road, one carrying the railway and one carrying all...

 across the Medway. Access to London was via London Bridge
London Bridge
London Bridge is a bridge over the River Thames, connecting the City of London and Southwark, in central London. Situated between Cannon Street Railway Bridge and Tower Bridge, it forms the western end of the Pool of London...

 which was first constructed by the Romans in AD 50. The road was known as 'Item a Londinio ad portum Dubris' and appeared in the Antonine Itinerary
Antonine Itinerary
The Antonine Itinerary is a register of the stations and distances along the various roads of the Roman empire, containing directions how to get from one Roman settlement to another...

, a contemporary map of roman roads in Britain.

In Anglo-Saxon
Anglo-Saxon
Anglo-Saxon may refer to:* Anglo-Saxons, a group that invaded Britain** Old English, their language** Anglo-Saxon England, their history, one of various ships* White Anglo-Saxon Protestant, an ethnicity* Anglo-Saxon economy, modern macroeconomic term...

 times it became part a longer road known as Wæcelinga Stræt
Watling Street
Watling Street is the name given to an ancient trackway in England and Wales that was first used by the Britons mainly between the modern cities of Canterbury and St Albans. The Romans later paved the route, part of which is identified on the Antonine Itinerary as Iter III: "Item a Londinio ad...

 ('Watling Street' in modern English). Rochester Bridge was rebuilt in stone in 1391 and the 'Wardens and Commonalty of Rochester Bridge' were created to maintain the bridge, the modern equivalent of which, the Rochester Bridge Trust, still manages the current crossing.

By the 17th century the road had fallen into disrepair and sections where converted into turnpike roads by various Turnpike Acts
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...

 passed by Parliament
Parliament of the United Kingdom
The Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is the supreme legislative body in the United Kingdom, British Crown dependencies and British overseas territories, located in London...

. The section from Gravesend
Gravesend, Kent
Gravesend is a town in northwest Kent, England, on the south bank of the Thames, opposite Tilbury in Essex. It is the administrative town of the Borough of Gravesham and, because of its geographical position, has always had an important role to play in the history and communications of this part of...

 and Rochester was turnpiked in 1712 and then from Chatham
Chatham, Medway
Chatham is one of the Medway towns located within the Medway unitary authority, in North Kent, in South East England.Although the dockyard has long been closed and is now being redeveloped into a business and residential community as well as a museum featuring the famous submarine, HMS Ocelot,...

 to Canterbury in 1730; the section from there to Dover was only turnpiked in the 19th century by which time it was known as the Great Dover Road. Rochester Bridge was rebuild in cast iron in 1856 (and rebuilt again in 1914 with a second bridge in 1970). The London, Chatham and Dover Railway
London, Chatham and Dover Railway
The London, Chatham and Dover Railway was a railway company in south-eastern England from 1859 until the 1923 grouping which united it with other companies to form the Southern Railway. Its lines ran through London and northern and eastern Kent to form a significant part of the Greater London...

 completed a railway route from London to Dover in the 1860s. Access to London from the A2 across Thames was improved with the the completion of Tower Bridge
Tower Bridge
Tower Bridge is a combined bascule and suspension bridge in London, England, over the River Thames. It is close to the Tower of London, from which it takes its name...

 (1894), Blackwall Tunnel
Blackwall Tunnel
The Blackwall Tunnel is a pair of road tunnels underneath the River Thames in east London, linking the London Borough of Tower Hamlets with the London Borough of Greenwich, and part of the A102 road. The northern portal lies just south of the East India Dock Road in Blackwall; the southern...

 (1897) and the Rotherhithe Tunnel
Rotherhithe Tunnel
The Rotherhithe Tunnel is a road tunnel crossing beneath the River Thames in East London. It connects the Ratcliff district of Limehouse in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets north of the river to Rotherhithe in the London Borough of Southwark south of the river. It is designated as the A101...

 (1908).

The road was given the reference A2 within the Great Britain road numbering scheme
Great Britain road numbering scheme
The Great Britain road numbering scheme is a numbering scheme used to classify and identify all roads in Great Britain. Each road is given a single letter, which represents the road's category, and a subsequent number, with a length of between 1 and 4 digits. Originally introduced to arrange...

 in the 1920s. The Dartford Southern by-pass, which relieved chronic congestion on the old route through Dartford (along what is now the A207) provided considerable local employment during the Post–World War I recession. It as opened by the Prince of Wales
Edward VIII of the United Kingdom
Edward VIII was King of the United Kingdom and the Dominions of the British Commonwealth, and Emperor of India, from 20 January to 11 December 1936.Before his accession to the throne, Edward was Prince of Wales and Duke of Cornwall and Rothesay...

 in 1924. It is estimated that the project provided 63,500 days work to local unemployed people.

The Dartford Crossing
Dartford Crossing
The Dartford - Thurrock River Crossing, Dartford River Crossing is a major road crossing of the River Thames in England, connecting Dartford in the south to Thurrock in the north, via two road tunnels and the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge. It opened in stages, the west tunnel in 1963, the east tunnel...

 opened as a single tunnel in 1963 (then as a dual tunnel in 1980) and provided addition traffic on the A2 and the M2 Motorway opened in stages between 1963 and 1965 providing an alternative faster route for long-distance traffic avoiding the A2 through Rochester and Chatham. The 3-lane stretch of the A2 between Falconwood
Falconwood
-Southeastern Train Services:Nearest Train Stations* Falconwood railway station, Lingfield Crescent, Eltham, London, SE9 2RN.* Eltham railway station, Well Hall Road, Eltham, London, SE9 6SL....

 and Cobham
Cobham
- Towns or districts :* Cobham, Kent, England* Cobham, Surrey, England* Cobham, Virginia , multiple places- Other place names :* Cobham Intermediate School* Cobham Sports and Social Club...

 was built in stages from around 1963 until 1973. A section of Ringway 3
Ringway 3
Ringway 3 was the third from the centre of the series of four London Ringways, ring roads planned in the 1960s to circle London at various distances from the city centre...

 (part of the proposed M16 motorway
M16 motorway
The M16 motorway was the designation planned in the late 1960s and early 1970s for use on Ringway 3, a new motorway planned as part of the London Ringways Plan to run a circular route around London....

 linking to the A2, which later formed part of the M25 motorway
M25 motorway
The M25 motorway, or London Orbital, is a orbital motorway that almost encircles Greater London, England, in the United Kingdom. The motorway was first mooted early in the 20th century. A few sections, based on the now abandoned London Ringways plan, were constructed in the early 1970s and it ...

 opened between 1974 and 1977.

The Rochester Way Relief Road, was opened in 1988. The M20 motorway
M20 motorway
The M20 is a motorway in Kent, England. It runs from the M25 motorway to Folkestone, providing a link to the Channel Tunnel and the ports at Dover. It is long...

 to Folkestone
Folkestone
Folkestone is the principal town in the Shepway District of Kent, England. Its original site was in a valley in the sea cliffs and it developed through fishing and its closeness to the Continent as a landing place and trading port. The coming of the railways, the building of a ferry port, and its...

 was constructed in stages from the 1960s and provided a faster route to Dover following extensions built in the in early 1990s after which traffic levels on the M2 and A2 reduced. The Queen Elizabeth II Bridge
Queen Elizabeth II Bridge
The Queen Elizabeth II Bridge is a high and long cable-stayed road bridge across the River Thames in south east England. It was opened in 1991 by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II....

 opened in 1991.

A new flyover for A2 Westbound to M25 Northbound traffic was completed late 2007.

Proposed developments

A new Lower Thames Crossing
Lower Thames Crossing
The Lower Thames Crossing is a proposed new crossing of the Thames estuary linking the county of Kent with the county of Essex at or east of the existing Dartford crossing.-Description:...

 down river from the Dartford Crossing linking to the A2 has been proposed by the Department for Transport in 2009.

The route today

Its original alignment roughly followed a mix of the ancient Celtic route and the turnpike road to Dover. The Roman alignment, however, is not easy to identify and much of the original A2 does not exactly follow what is known of the Roman route (the straightness of many long stretches is misleading). A section of the modern A2 from Rochester to the Roman settlement of Vagniacae, modern Springhead
Springhead
Springhead lies at the source of the River Ebbsfleet, just southwest of the Gravesend suburban conurbations. Springhead forms one of the major quarters of the Ebbsfleet Valley development, with housing and the associated facilities now under construction...

, is believed to roughly follow the Roman route.

Borough to Shooter's Hill

The A2 starts at Borough
Southwark
Southwark is a district of south London, England, and the administrative headquarters of the London Borough of Southwark. Situated east of Charing Cross, it forms one of the oldest parts of London and fronts the River Thames to the north...

 in SE London, at a junction with the A3. The remains of a small Roman temple was excavated at Tabard Square in 2003. The A2 at this point is named Great Dover Street, and is the only part of the A2 within the congestion charging zone
London congestion charge
The London congestion charge is a fee charged for some categories of motor vehicle to travel at certain times within the Congestion Charge Zone , a traffic area in London. The charge aims to reduce congestion, and raise investment funds for London's transport system...

. At the end of the road, it meets the London Inner Ring Road
London Inner Ring Road
The London Inner Ring Road is the name commonly given to a route formed from a number of major roads that encircle the centremost part of London...

 and becomes a primary route. The A2 heads along Old Kent Road
Old Kent Road
The Old Kent Road is a road in South East London, England and forms part of Watling Street, the Roman road which ran from Dover to Holyhead. The street is famous as the equal cheapest property on the London Monopoly board and as the only one in South London....

 towards New Cross
New Cross
New Cross is a district and ward of the London Borough of Lewisham, England. It is situated 4 miles south-east of Charing Cross. The ward covered by London post town and the SE 14 postcode district. New Cross is near St Johns, Telegraph Hill, Nunhead, Peckham, Brockley, Deptford and Greenwich...

, where the A20 breaks away. The A2 continues east through Deptford
Deptford
Deptford is a district of south London, England, located on the south bank of the River Thames. It is named after a ford of the River Ravensbourne, and from the mid 16th century to the late 19th was home to Deptford Dockyard, the first of the Royal Navy Dockyards.Deptford and the docks are...

 and Blackheath
Blackheath, London
Blackheath is a district of South London, England. It is named from the large open public grassland which separates it from Greenwich to the north and Lewisham to the west...

 until it arrives at the Shooter's Hill
Shooter's Hill
Shooter's Hill is a district and electoral ward in south London, England, located in the London Borough of Greenwich. It lies east of Blackheath and west of Welling, south of Woolwich and north of Eltham...

 Interchange with the A102 near Greenwich
Greenwich
Greenwich is a district of south London, England, located in the London Borough of Greenwich.Greenwich is best known for its maritime history and for giving its name to the Greenwich Meridian and Greenwich Mean Time...

. A section of the Roman road has been identified running through Greenwich Park
Greenwich Park
Greenwich Park is a former hunting park in Greenwich and one of the largest single green spaces in south east London. One of the Royal Parks of London, and the first to be enclosed , it covers , and is part of the Greenwich World Heritage Site. It commands fine views over the River Thames, Isle of...

 on an alignment with Vanbrugh Park.

Shooter's Hill to Three Crutches

At Shooter's Hill, Watling Street and the A2 part company, as Watling Street continues along the A207. At this point the A2 joins 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...

, the Rochester Way (the carriageways to the north of this junction being the A102) with a 50 mph (80 km/h) limit.

The A2 meets traffic lights at Kidbrooke
Kidbrooke
Kidbrooke is a district of South East London, England, located in the London Borough of Greenwich.The district takes its name from the Kyd Brook, a watercourse which runs from Orpington to Lewisham, by which point it is part of the River Quaggy...

; this is the last set of lights out of Greater London
Greater London
Greater London is the top-level administrative division of England covering London. It was created in 1965 and spans the City of London, including Middle Temple and Inner Temple, and the 32 London boroughs. This territory is coterminate with the London Government Office Region and the London...

 (the lights only affect right-turns coast bound). Shortly after here, the A2 meets the South Circular Road and becomes a motorway in all but name, with 3 lanes and a hard shoulder in each direction. Within the London section the left hand lane is used for local traffic.

At Falconwood, the road becomes the East Rochester Way - this point was once the westbound terminus of the dual carriageway. There are exits for Bexleyheath
Bexleyheath
Bexleyheath is a main suburban district of Southeast London, England, in the London Borough of Bexley with a small percentage of the district itself being in the London Borough of Greenwich. Bexleyheath is located on the border of Inner London and Outer London. It is east south-east of Charing Cross...

, Black Prince (at Bexley
Bexley
Bexley is an South East London]] in the London Borough of Bexley, London, England. It is located on the banks of the River Cray south of the Roman Road, Watling Street...

), Dartford Heath and other London suburbs. Motorists should be aware of the numerous speed camera along this stretch. Once the A2 enters Kent
Kent
Kent is a county in southeast England, and is one of the home counties. It borders East Sussex, Surrey and Greater London and has a defined boundary with Essex in the middle of the Thames Estuary. The ceremonial county boundaries of Kent include the shire county of Kent and the unitary borough of...

, the speed limit increases to the national speed limit (70 mph, 113 km/h) and the road heads east towards Dartford
Dartford
Dartford is the principal town in the borough of Dartford. It is situated in the northwest corner of Kent, England, east south-east of central London....

, bypassing the town to the south and cutting through Dartford Heath. The next junction links the road to the M25 London Orbital Motorway at Dartford
Dartford (borough)
Dartford is the name given to a local government district and borough in north west Kent, England, which takes its name from its administrative capital. It borders Thurrock, to the north across the River Thames; to the west lies the London Borough of Bexley; to the south Sevenoaks district; and the...

; the next, (Bean Interchange), is for the B255 and A296 for Bluewater, where Watling Street rejoins the A2.

The A2 then bypasses Gravesend
Gravesend, Kent
Gravesend is a town in northwest Kent, England, on the south bank of the Thames, opposite Tilbury in Essex. It is the administrative town of the Borough of Gravesham and, because of its geographical position, has always had an important role to play in the history and communications of this part of...

, before merging into the M2 at Three Crutches Interchange, near Strood
Strood
Strood is a town in the unitary authority of Medway in South East England. It is part of the ceremonial county of Kent. It lies on the north west bank of the River Medway at its lowest bridging point, and is part of the Rochester post town....

.

This latter section, from the Pepper Hill Interchange (near Northfleet
Northfleet
Northfleet is a town in the Borough of Gravesham in Kent, England. Its name is derived from North creek , and the settlement on the shore of the River Thames adjacent to Gravesend was known as Norfluet in the Domesday Book, and Northflet in 1201...

 and the Ebbsfleet International railway station
Ebbsfleet International railway station
Ebbsfleet International railway station is a railway station in Ebbsfleet Valley, in the Borough of Dartford, Kent, 10 miles outside the eastern boundary of Greater London, England. It is near Dartford and the Bluewater shopping centre to the west and Gravesend to the east. Ebbsfleet International...

), to the Cobham
Cobham, Kent
Cobham is a village and civil parish in the Gravesham District of Kent, England. It is located south of Watling Street, the old road from Dover to London, six miles south-east of Gravesend. The hamlet of Sole Street lies within the parish, which covers an area of 1,240 ha and has a population of...

 Interchange underwent extensive works (2007–2009) to move the entire carriageway south to run alongside the Channel Tunnel Rail Link, so as to remove the road away from local housing - and to continue with a fourth lane in each direction, with grade separated junctions.

Three Crutches to Brenley Corner

The A2 reverts to a non-primary single carriageway road at this point. The M2 now parts company to bypass the Medway Towns, while the A2 heads into them. It enters Strood
Strood
Strood is a town in the unitary authority of Medway in South East England. It is part of the ceremonial county of Kent. It lies on the north west bank of the River Medway at its lowest bridging point, and is part of the Rochester post town....

 before crossing the River Medway
River Medway
The River Medway, which is almost entirely in Kent, England, flows for from just inside the West Sussex border to the point where it enters the Thames Estuary....

 into Rochester. The A2 bypasses the old High Street, heading instead along Corporation Street alongside the railway lines. It crosses the old High Street, climbs Star Hill and heads east into Chatham
Chatham, Medway
Chatham is one of the Medway towns located within the Medway unitary authority, in North Kent, in South East England.Although the dockyard has long been closed and is now being redeveloped into a business and residential community as well as a museum featuring the famous submarine, HMS Ocelot,...

 where it meets the A230
A230 road
The A230 is a short road running north-south in the Medway town of Chatham in Kent. The whole length of the road is within Medway Unitary Authority and is a non-primary route.- Present route :...

 and A231 by way of a one way ring road. The A2 heads to the south of Gillingham, where the A289 Medway Northern Bypass joins it. The A278
A278 road
The A278 is a road running north-south in north Kent, England. The whole length of the road is dual carriageway, within Medway Council but is a non-primary route.- History :...

 departs from the A2 to head south to meet the M2, whereas the A2 goes through Rainham and Newington
Newington, Swale
Newington is a village in Kent, England on the A2 road between Chatham to the west and Sittingbourne to the east. The local district council is Swale. Newington acquired its name in Saxon times meaning 'New Town' built on an old one, probably Roman and possibly the site of the Roman station...

 before entering green country for the first time since Three Crutches.

The road meets the A249
A249 road
The A249 is a road in Kent, England, running from Maidstone to Sheerness on the Isle of Sheppey. It mainly functions as a link between the M2 and M20 motorways, and for goods vehicle traffic to the port at Sheerness....

, now dualled, to the west of Sittingbourne
Sittingbourne
Sittingbourne is an industrial town about eight miles east of Gillingham in England, beside the Roman Watling Street off a creek in the Swale, a channel separating the Isle of Sheppey from mainland Kent...

, before going through the town itself (bypassing the now-pedestrianised High Street, as it does in Rochester and Chatham). Leaving Sittingbourne, the A2 continues east in almost a straight line, for it is still along the alignment of Watling Street at this point. At Ospringe it passes the Maison Dieu
Maison Dieu, Faversham
Maison Dieu is a hospital, monastery, hostel, retirement home and Royal lodge commissioned by Henry III in 1234.The building is located beside what is now the A2 road in Faversham, Kent. It is owned by English Heritage and managed by the Faversham Society...

, now a museum of Roman artifacts but originally a wayside hospital commissioned by Henry III
Henry III of England
Henry III was the son and successor of John as King of England, reigning for 56 years from 1216 until his death. His contemporaries knew him as Henry of Winchester. He was the first child king in England since the reign of Æthelred the Unready...

 in 1234. The A2 continues to Faversham, but doesn't (and never has done) go through the town, preferring to almost bypass it to the south. A mile (1.6 km) later, it arrives at Brenley Corner, junction 7 of the M2.

Brenley Corner To Dover Docks

At Brenley Corner, the A2 once again becomes a primary dual carriageway. Straight after the interchange, Dunkirk
Dunkirk, Kent
Dunkirk is a village and civil parish between Faversham and Canterbury in southeast England.-Toponymy:The origin of the village's name is still not very clear, but it is understood to come from a house called "Dunkirk", lived in by a Fleming from Dunkerque on the border between France and...

 and Boughton are bypassed as the A2 continues towards Canterbury and Dover. Formerly it went through Canterbury city centre, this has now been bypassed and the original route is now called the A2050. It breaks off from the A2 at Harbledown
Harbledown
Harbledown is a village to the west of Canterbury, Kent in England, now contiguous with the city, although still a separate village. It forms part of the civil parish of Harbledown and Rough Common. The High Street is a conservation area with many fascinating colloquial buildings either side of a...

 - just after Gate Services - taking all Canterbury traffic with it. At Wincheap, the A28
A28 road
The A28 is a trunk road in southern England. It runs south-west from the seaside resort of Margate in Kent via Westgate and Birchington, reaching open countryside at Sarre. The road continues via Upstreet and Hersden to Sturry, and on to the cathedral city of Canterbury...

 meets the A2, although only westbound traffic can exit the A2 at this point. The A2050 rejoins the A2 at Bridge
Bridge, Kent
Bridge is a village and civil parish near Canterbury in Kent, South East England.Bridge village is situated in the Nailbourne valley in a rural setting on the old Roman road, Watling Street, formerly the main road between London and Dover...

.

Traffic for the Channel Tunnel
Channel Tunnel
The Channel Tunnel is a undersea rail tunnel linking Folkestone, Kent in the United Kingdom with Coquelles, Pas-de-Calais near Calais in northern France beneath the English Channel at the Strait of Dover. At its lowest point, it is deep...

 and Folkestone
Folkestone
Folkestone is the principal town in the Shepway District of Kent, England. Its original site was in a valley in the sea cliffs and it developed through fishing and its closeness to the Continent as a landing place and trading port. The coming of the railways, the building of a ferry port, and its...

 leaves at the junction with the A260, and shortly after this junction the A2 loses its dual carriageway status, regains it, and loses it again within a few miles. Now single carriageway, the A2 forms the Dover bypass. It meets the A256
A256 road
The A256 is a key road running north-south through East Kent which connects the Thanet towns to Dover.- Thanet :The road begins in the outskirts of the Thanet town of Broadstairs, at a roundabout with the A255 where it heads westwards through the Westwood Retail Parks via "Westwood Road".The A256...

 for Sandwich
Sandwich, Kent
Sandwich is a historic town and civil parish on the River Stour in the Non-metropolitan district of Dover, within the ceremonial county of Kent, south-east England. It has a population of 6,800....

 and Ramsgate
Ramsgate
Ramsgate is a seaside town in the district of Thanet in east Kent, England. It was one of the great English seaside towns of the 19th century and is a member of the ancient confederation of Cinque Ports. It has a population of around 40,000. Ramsgate's main attraction is its coastline and its main...

 at a briefly dualled section, before reverting to single carriageway for the final time. The A2 breaks through the cliffs above Dover Docks before turning 180 degrees and "touching down" on land again at the entrance to the Eastern Docks, where both it and the A20 terminate.

External links

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