CRES 65/191

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Eltham: M2 Motorway: link to Sidcup Road and Rochester Way Relief Road

Date range1962-1992
LocationNational Archives (see all files stored here)
CatalogueSee entry
File baseSeries CRES, subseries CRES 65

Thumbs up.png This file is truly delightful.
It is likely to bring a smile to your face, probably because it contains the sort of thing that makes trawling through dusty archive documents worthwhile. The thing in this file that makes your day might actually have nothing to do with its subject matter.


This is a Crown Estates file, and exists because the Crown owned several properties near Eltham that would have been affected by the road projects listed in the title.

The projects themselves were a 1960s scheme to bypass the A2 between Falconwood and Sun-in-the-Sands, and to build a connecting link from that road at Kidbrooke to the A20 at Mottingham. Together those roads would have formed an extension of the Blackwall Tunnel Southern Approach to reach the nearest major radial routes, but they would also have formed the beginnings of a motorway network in this part of London, from which would spread the A20(M) and the South Cross Route.

It runs from the genesis of this version of the Dover Radial Route proposal, in 1962, through to its cancellation in 1976, and then the creation of the Rochester Way Relief Road, which was built and opened in 1986.

Contents of note

  • A report from 14 December 1965, extracted from GLC minutes, describing the road as planned at that time - i.e. from Sun in the Sands to Falconwood, and a link to the A20 Sidcup Road at Mottingham.
  • A copy of a report in The Surveyor from three days earlier.
  • A newspaper article about demolition of the Yorkshire Grey, which is described as "South East London's top banqueting hall". It's now a McDonald's.
  • A further report from the GLC, which indicates that hard shoulders were added at this time and a decision had been taken to designate it a motorway.
  • A letter from the GLC with a plan attached showing Yorkshire Grey junction. Bingpot!
  • A nice press cutting from 24/11/67 in which a report about the public inquiry into the project included testimony from Mr FHE Layfield - for it is he - representing Ind Coope, Ltd, owners of the Yorkshire Grey.
  • A letter from 20/1/77 which helpfully sets out the timeline for project since the 1960s.
  • A brown envelope of "plans" at the back which contains an assortment of things, including engineering plans of the whole project including the Sidcup Link.

People with camera copies

Chris Marshall has a partial copy.