The A3 spans a huge 61 miles in the south-west of England. This historic route has, for centuries, allowed its passengers to journey from the capital to the country's momentous dockyard in Portsmouth. It also provides a strong link to the east facing A272 that flows through the South Downs National Park, as well as being an alternative route into London for Winchester.
1960s, parts of the A3 have developed into a fully-functioning motorway, with upgrades to the network in construction since the 20th century. The A3(M) supports the congestion nearest to Portsmouth from the A27 before it flows up to London as a dual carriageway.
What’s interesting about the A3 is that it accommodates for its natural surroundings. The A3 Hindhead Tunnel, near Haslemere, is the longest land tunnel in the UK. It opened in 2011 to preserve a natural area of special scientific interest, nicknamed the Devil’s Punchbowl. Working with the National Trust, during the build The Highways Agency planted more than 200,000 new trees and shrubs, which now supports the thriving wildlife and protected birds in the area.
As it’s such a busy link into London and to the coast for road users in the east and south of England, we recommend you look for any A3(M) travel updates as well as keeping an eye on the A3 traffic news before you set off for your journey. Use the RAC Route Planner app to help you plan your route.
Worst Junctions on the A3
Merging from the modest A3(M), the A3 takes you 62 miles from Portsmouth into London. With a long, winding distance to travel, be mindful of these junctions that can be tricky to navigate around. Be prepared for any journey using the RAC Route Planner App for up to date A3 travel news.
Guildford and Godalming Bypass - This route is rather old with narrow one lane roads that join onto the A3. As this road does need updating, go at a steady pace when merging.
Hook Interchange - On entry into Tolworth, traffic from the A309 flows east to join the A3 which adds pressure to the narrow underpass. With the drop in lane, traffic builds up on approach to the A243 roundabout. Do make sure you give yourself enough time to prepare to slow down.
Wandsworth High Street - The approach to Wandsworth High Street via Junction 2 on your way into South London can be troublesome due to a large amount of traffic heading in both directions. As well as this, Wandsworth High Street loops around the Council building, taking a shape that is similar to a one-way roundabout. Do make sure you find your lane early so you don’t get caught in the one-way ring road.
Accident Hotspots on the A3
The A3 can become very congested during peak times which can cause accidents if you’re not careful. When you’re making your way down the A3, take care especially around the below black spots which can be troublesome. The RAC Route Planner App can give you up to date A3 traffic news so you can be better prepared on the road.
Merging onto the A3(M) from the bustling A27 can be problematic. This may be because of the great amount of heavy-load vehicles and lorries making their way from the Portsmouth Dockyard into the rest of the UK. Be patient on this junction and stick to your lane until the traffic breaks up.
The closer you get to London, the more pressure of congestion, especially when you reach the Wimbledon area. With the increase in traffic and complex one-way systems, it can be tricky to navigate through. Plan your route with the RAC Route Planner App to keep on top of any A3 traffic updates.
There have been previously reported accidents by junction 3, near Clapham North Underground. This box junction is on a busy crossing with cars, buses, vans, cyclists and motorcycles all trying to navigate through. Do take your time, plan ahead and make sure you’re using your indicators.
Upcoming A3 Major Roadworks
The A3 is a vast route spanning from London to Portsmouth, with road users making their commute into London. Highways England is always looking for ways to improve and update our network of roads, which can cause short-term congestion. Do make sure you check the RAC Route Planner app ahead of time for any A3 travel updates before you set off for your journey.
Upcoming major roadworks on the A3 include:
No current plans are set but please check Highways England for up to date scheduled roadworks.