|Location Map ( geo)|
|Distance:||2.5 miles (4 km)|
|Meets:||A454, B4484, A462, M6, A454|
|Former Number(s):||A454, A463|
|Route outline (key)|
Starting at the roundabout junction with A454 at Portobello, the route heads eastwards into Willenhall town centre, passing through an extremely run-down area as it does so, including an abandoned school and a former car showroom. A poor road surface completes the depressing set, with the B4484 heading off to the north towards Wednesfield in this section. Things do improve somewhat as the route reaches the town centre itself; whilst the road is still poor quality, at least there are signs of life with some shops and offices and perhaps even some people. In the centre of the town, the B4484 (formerly B4157) heads off southwards towards Bilston, and the slightly depressing run-down feeling continues all the way to County Bridge, passing the parish church of St. Giles on the way, where we have a short multiplex with the A462.
In 1821, the New Road through Willenhall did not exist, and the main route was via Wolverhampton Street and the rather wonderfully named Doctor's Piece. The present New Road is, however, shown on the 1835 Ordnance Survey map of the area, and so we can suggest that it was built in that great pass of turnpike road building in the Wolverhampton area in the late 1820s and early 1830s. Indeed, one of the old tollhouses still exists on the route.
In 1922, the A454 ran along the New Road through Willenhall town centre. By the early 1950s, it was very clear that the amount of traffic passing through the town was unacceptably high, and Willenhall required a bypass. The original planning for the bypass called for a motorway from the planned M6 junction at Bentley to the A4123 southwest of Bilston, with a short spur motorway to Portobello serving to complete the Willenhall Bypass.
After much deliberation, a start was made on the Willenhall Bypass (as an all-purpose route) in the early 1970s, and for a time the A454 was diverted down the new road (known as The Keyway) to the present B4484 junction. As a consequence, the road through Willenhall gained a new number of B4464. After many false starts, the A454 Black Country Route was finally completed in the early 1990s, and so the B4464 was extended eastwards, once again over the former A454 route, to M6 junction 10 at Bentley.
It can be said, therefore, that Willenhall is one of the few towns that have been bypassed three times.