Ace of Spades (junction)

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The Ace of Spades roundabout is a road junction in Hook in the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames. It is situated at the junction of the A243 Hook Road and the A3 Road, known as the Portsmouth Road, as well as the conclusion of the A309 Kingston Bypass.

It takes its name from a once well known 1930s roadhouse[1] at the same location. The Ace of Spades Roadhouse was a pioneer establishment, serving meals 24hrs a day in a restaurant with seating for up to 800, dancing until 3am, open air swimming pool, a miniature golf course, polo ground, riding school and an air strip. Acts such as Billie and Renée Houston as well as Collinson and Dean appeared there.[2] Once spotted at the swimming pool was Diana Dors[3] trying to teach her husband Dennis Hamilton how to swim. The roadhouse eventually fell into decline, and burned down in the mid 1950s.

Later the Hook Underpass was dug, the first underpass of this kind in the country.[citation needed] A model of it was displayed in the Science Museum in London.[citation needed] It initially had road surface heating powered by two local generators,[4] but this was eventually decommissioned. In the months after opening it attracted motorcyclists keen to ride the underpass at high speed.

Today there is a traffic "black spot"[5] during peak hours going northbound before the Hook underpass. The road reduces from three lanes to two in the underpass. The speed limit at this point reduces from 70 miles per hour (110 km/h) to 50 miles per hour (80 km/h), with the first of many GATSO speed enforcement cameras situated before the road bears to the right and under the bridge. The traffic from the A309 also joins just before the underpass.

References[edit]

Coordinates: 51°22′30″N 0°18′14″W / 51.375138°N 0.303951°W / 51.375138; -0.303951