M2 and A2

Despite its important-sounding number, the M2 is not very long and remains isolated from the rest of the national motorway network. When it first opened in the mid-1960s, it really was alone - it was built to bypass the slowest sections of the A2 on the long run through the Medway Towns. In those days, the rest of the A2 and much of the parallel A20 were just ordinary single-carriageway roads and the M2 was the fastest, widest, most extraordinary part of the drive. Today it's lost that distinction.

The M2 now forms just a section of the high-quality route that stretches from London via the Medway Towns to east Kent and (almost) to Dover. It doesn't even form the greatest part of that route, being just 25 miles of the 62-mile expressway. The rest is just the A2, but don't be fooled by the name: most of the widest and busiest parts are on the A2 sections, and the lengthy four-lane stretch that batters its way in an almost straight line from the M25 to the Medway is one of the widest and most impressive A-roads in the UK.

The purpose of the route is not to connect London and Dover, although it does do that - traffic between the two generally takes the M20 instead. The A2 and M2 are much more the route between London and the densely populated north coast of Kent, from Dartford to Gravesend to the Medway Towns to Thanet. At the eastern end of the M2, Brenley Corner, the motorway flows through an underpass directly into the A299 Thanet Way, the dual carriageway onward to Ramsgate and Margate, and the A2 connects to the motorway through a roundabout, highlighting the importance of north Kent over the road to Dover.

For a long time, the M2 was very much the junior party, a two-lane motorway that connected to a three-lane A-road. From the early 2000s, massive upgrade works to both the A2 and M2 have provided one of our most modern high-speed roads, a well-aligned four-lane route to Chatham and three lanes beyond there to Gillingham. Some of the M2's most notorious junctions, early examples of motorway design that had become dangerous and outdated, were also replaced. The works included the building of a second Medway Bridge parallel to the original and the wholesale realignment of several miles of A2.

So while the M2 may not be a long, important or significant motorway in its own right, when it's taken with its partner the A2 it's a force to be reckoned with.

You're not looking at the whole M2 and A2

This page is about the parts of the M2 and A2 that are designated a motorway or that have motorway characteristics. Other sections of this road will not be featured here and will not count towards the length of the road as shown below.

Start
London
End
Lydden
Passes
Dartford Crossing, Chatham, Gillingham, Canterbury
Connects to
Length
62 miles
Open Junctions Section
1963 J2-5 Medway Bridge → Stockbury
1965 J1-2 Three Crutches → Medway Bridge
1965 J5-7 Stockbury → Faversham

Exit list

Junction   Londonbound               Coastbound  
Central London
Peckham
Greenwich
A2
Docklands
Blackwall Tunnel
Woolwich Ferry
A102









A2

A2213
LONDON
A102









A207
Central London
Peckham
Greenwich
A2
LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes Signs LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes
LanesLanesLanesLanesLanesLanes Signs
0.9 miles, 2 lanes 0.4 miles, 3 lanes
Local traffic
LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes
  0.5 miles, 2 lanes
Kidbrooke A2213
Kidbrooke Station
A2213

A2213
Kidbrooke A2213
Kidbrooke Station
LanesLanesLanesLanes Signs LanesLanesLanesLanes Signs
0.7 miles, 2 lanes 0.7 miles, 2 lanes
South Circular Road
Lewisham (A20)
Woolwich
A205
A205
(A20)
A205 South Circular Road
Lewisham (A20)
A205
LanesLanesLanesLanes LanesLanesLanesLanes
1.75 miles, 2 lanes  
  1.75 miles, 2 lanes
Local traffic
LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes
1.8 miles, 3 lanes 1.8 miles, 3 lanes
Bexleyheath
Sidcup A221
Blackfen (A210)
A210

A221

B2210


A221
Bexleyheath
Sidcup A221
Blackfen (A210)
LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes
1.5 miles, 3 lanes 0.8 miles, 3 lanes
Local traffic
LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes
  0.7 miles, 3 lanes
Crayford
Bexley A223
Bexleyheath
A220
A223
A220

A223
Bexleyheath
A220
Crayford
Bexley A223
LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes
0.7 miles, 3 lanes 0.7 miles, 3 lanes
Signs Signs
0.5 miles, 3 lanes 0.5 miles, 3 lanes
24 km Foots Cray
Bexley
A2018
Wilmington
A2018 A2018 Dartford
A2018
Wilmington
LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes
2.7 miles, 3 lanes 2.7 miles, 3 lanes
M25 J2
28.5 km
Gatwick Airport (M23 Link)
M25 Link
City Airport, Excel
(M11 Link, M1 Link)
Dartford Crossing
A282 Link
Dartford (A225)
M25
(M23)
(A225)
A282
(A225)
Channel Tunnel
Dover (M20 Link)
Gatwick Airport
Dartford Crossing
M25 Link
LanesLanesLanesLanesLanesLanes LanesLanesLanesLanesLanesLanes
1.8 miles, 4 lanes 1.8 miles, 4 lanes
31.8 km Greenhithe
Bluewater
Bean
B255

B255
A296

B255


Greenhithe
Bluewater
Bean
B255
LanesLanesLanesLanesLanesLanes LanesLanesLanesLanesLanesLanes
1.5 miles, 4 lanes 1.5 miles, 4 lanes
34 km Gravesend (W)
Northfleet
A2260
Ebbsfleet Int'
l

A2260
Gravesend (W)
Northfleet
A2260
Ebbsfleet Int'
l
LanesLanesLanesLanesLanesLanes LanesLanesLanesLanesLanesLanes
0.8 miles, 4 lanes  
35.3 km Pepperhill B262
Longfield (B260)
B262
(B260)

B262

LanesLanesLanesLanesLanesLanes
1.4 miles, 4 lanes 2.2 miles, 4 lanes
37.5 km Gravesend (Cen)
Wrotham
A227
A227 A227 Gravesend (Cen)
Wrotham
A227
LanesLanesLanesLanesLanesLanes LanesLanesLanesLanesLanesLanes
1.2 miles, 4 lanes 1.2 miles, 4 lanes
39.6 km Gravesend (E) Gravesend (E)
LanesLanesLanesLanesLanesLanes LanesLanesLanesLanesLanesLanes
0.5 miles, 4 lanes  
40.4 km Services Cobham
LanesLanesLanesLanesLanesLanes
1 mile, 4 lanes 1.5 miles, 4 lanes
41.9 km Cobham
Shorne
Cobham
Shorne
LanesLanesLanesLanesLanesLanes LanesLanesLanesLanesLanesLanes
1.2 miles, 4 lanes 1.2 miles, 4 lanes
1
44 km
Gillingham
Grain (A228)
A289
M2 becomes A2
A289

A2


Gillingham
Grain (A228)
A289
Rochester
Strood
A2
A2 becomes M2
LanesLanesLanesLanesLanesLanes Signs LanesLanesLanesLanesLanesLanes Signs
1 mile, 4 lanes 1 mile, 4 lanes
2
46.5 km
Rochester
West Malling
A228
A228 A228 Rochester
West Malling
A228
LanesLanesLanesLanesLanesLanes LanesLanesLanesLanesLanesLanes
4 miles, 4 lanes  
River or canal Medway River or canal Medway
  4 miles, 4 lanes
3
52.5 km
Maidstone
Chatham
Rochester
A229
A229
(M20)




B2097

A229





Maidstone
Chatham
A229
Channel Tunnel
(M20 Link)
LanesLanesLanesLanesLanesLanes LanesLanesLanesLanesLanesLanes
4 miles, 3 lanes 4 miles, 3 lanes
4
58.5 km
Gillingham
A278
A278 Gillingham
A278
LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes
1 mile, 2 lanes 1 mile, 2 lanes
60.5 km Services Medway Services Medway
LanesLanesLanesLanes LanesLanesLanesLanes
3 miles, 2 lanes 3 miles, 2 lanes
5
64.5 km
Maidstone
Sheerness
A249
The WEST
(M20 Link, M25 Link)
A249
(M20)
(M25)
A249 Sittingbourne
Maidstone
Sheerness
A249
Channel Tunnel
(M20 Link)
LanesLanesLanesLanes LanesLanesLanesLanes
10 miles, 2 lanes 10 miles, 2 lanes
6
81.5 km
Faversham
Ashford
A251
A251 A251 Faversham
Ashford
A251
LanesLanesLanesLanes LanesLanesLanesLanes
2 miles, 2 lanes 2 miles, 2 lanes
7
84.2 km
Faversham A2
Whitstable
Herne Bay
Ramsgate
A299
A2 becomes M2
A2


A299

Faversham A2
Margate
Ramsgate
A299
M2 becomes A2
LanesLanesLanesLanes Signs LanesLanesLanesLanes Signs
2.8 miles, 2 lanes 0.3 miles, 2 lanes
85.2 km Dunkirk
Boughton
LanesLanesLanesLanes
   
89.3 km Dunkirk
Boughton
Services Gate
LanesLanesLanesLanes
0.9 miles, 2 lanes 3.4 miles, 2 lanes
90.3 km Chartham Hatch Services Gate
LanesLanesLanesLanes LanesLanesLanesLanes
2.7 miles, 2 lanes 0.5 miles, 2 lanes
91.6 km Upper Harbledown
Chartham Hatch
LanesLanesLanesLanes
  0.7 miles, 2 lanes
92.6 km A2050 Canterbury
Harbledown
A2050 (A28)
LanesLanesLanesLanes
   
95 km Canterbury
Ashford
A28
A28 A28
LanesLanesLanesLanes
3 miles, 2 lanes 4.5 miles, 2 lanes
99.6 km Canterbury
A2050
A2050 Bridge
LanesLanesLanesLanes LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes
LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes
1.8 miles, 2 lanes 1.8 miles, 2 lanes
102.6 km Bishopsbourne
Bridge
Kingston
Barham
Kingston
Barham
Bishopsbourne
LanesLanesLanesLanes LanesLanesLanesLanes
1.25 miles, 2 lanes 0.7 miles, 2 lanes
103.7 km Local traffic
LanesLanesLanesLanes
   
104.5 km Kingston
LanesLanesLanesLanes
0.3 miles, 2 lanes  
105 km Out Elmstead Lane
LanesLanesLanesLanes
1.6 miles, 2 lanes 1.5 miles, 2 lanes
106.3 km



B2046
Channel Tunnel
Folkestone A260
Aylesham
Wingham
B2046
LanesLanesLanesLanes
  0.95 miles, 2 lanes
107.5 km Channel Tunnel
Folkestone A260
Aylesham
Wingham
(B2046)
A260




Woolage
LanesLanesLanesLanes LanesLanesLanesLanes
1.1 miles, 2 lanes  
109.3 km Shelvin
LanesLanesLanesLanes
0.2 miles, 2 lanes 1.3 miles, 2 lanes
109.7 km Wootton Barfrestone
LanesLanesLanesLanes LanesLanesLanesLanes
0.7 miles, 2 lanes 0.7 miles, 2 lanes
110.8 km Shepherdswell
Eythorne
Shepherdswell
Eythorne
LanesLanesLanesLanes Signs LanesLanesLanesLanes Signs
0.2 miles, 2 lanes 0.2 miles, 2 lanes
111.2 km Lydden
Temple Ewell

A2
COAST
Lydden
Temple Ewell
LanesLanesLanesLanes
LanesLanesLanes Signs
LanesLanesLanesLanes
LanesLanesLanesLanes Signs
Routes

Picture credits

With thanks to Simon Hollett and David Biagi for information on this page.