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Road History / Britannia Intersection

Victoria Park / Pakapakanthi (Park 16)

This entry point has seen horses, trams and many different layouts since 1838.

photo-icon State Library of South Australia
photo-icon Stuart Nicol, Royal Automobile Association (RAA), Rebel on Wheels: One hundred years of the Royal Automobile Association of South Australia 1903-2003
photo-icon Courtesy of the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure (DPTI), Highway South Australia, June 1978
photo-icon Trial run of the Municipal Tramways Trust trolley bus (Number 409) at the corner of Rundle Road and Dequetteville Terrace seen next to tram 272, State Library of South Australia, B 9905, 10 July 1937

In 1838, the roads now known as Fullarton Road and Dequetteville Terrace were defined by Colonel William Light as part of his first survey of country lands in the colony of South Australia.

Kensington Road was established around 1850 at the same time Britannia Hotel was first licensed.

Wakefield Street was extended through the Park Lands to create Wakefield Road during the 1860s.

The suburbs of Kent Town, Norwood and Rose Park, surrounding the intersection, were laid out between 1854 and 1890.

Fullarton Road was originally known as Kent Terrace in the suburbs of Kent Town and Norwood. In Rose Park it was known as Victoria Avenue. The road was named Fullarton Road in the 1960s.

While no roads in the area were ever formally named Britannia Road, a number of roads appear to have been known locally by the name. This includes a proposed extension of Angas Street through the Park Lands to the Britannia intersection (City of Adelaide, W Fieldhouse, 1878) and Fullarton Road in the area of the East Park Lands and the Queen’s Maternity Home, Rose Park (SA Register, 1901).

The intersection of Fullarton Road, Dequetteville Terrace, Kensington Road and Wakefield Road continues to be known locally as Britannia Intersection.

Britannia Intersection is a well known eastern suburbs landmark and an important entry and exit point to the City of Adelaide.

In 1883, horse drawn trams travelled from Dequetteville Terrace to Kensington Road. Horse drawn trams were replaced by electric trams in 1911. The tram tracks were removed and the tram replaced by trolley buses in 1952.

In 1954, temporary traffic islands were established using sandbags and 44 gallon drums. These were removed in 1955 and replaced with the first fixed traffic islands.

In 1981, the traffic islands were replaced with a large irregular shaped roundabout increasing the lengths available for lane changing within the roundabout.

Bus lanes were added on Dequetteville Terrace and Fullarton Road. Modifications to the roundabout continued to be made over the next 20 years to improve driver safety.

In 2013, the intersection was transformed to create two roundabouts to improve safety for road users by decreasing speeds through the intersection and providing more time and space for vehicles to move through the intersection.

The upgrade of Britannia Intersection was opened by the Hon. Tom Koutsantonis, MP. Minister for Transport and Infrastructure on Tuesday 10 December 2013.

City of Adelaide acknowledges the traditional Country of the Kaurna people of the Adelaide Plains and pays respect to Elders past and present. We recognise and respect their cultural heritage, beliefs and relationship with the land. We acknowledge that they are of continuing importance to the Kaurna people living today. We also extend that respect to other Aboriginal Language Groups and other First Nations.

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