|Location Map ( geo)
|Gorcott Hill (SP086677)
|2.7 miles (4.3 km)
|B4160, A441, B4497, A435
|Old route now:
|Route outline (key)
Today's A4023 is one of Redditch's new urban dual carriageways. The current route is completely different from that of the A4023's previous incarnation (and extension) within the town and beyond.
Redditch - Gorcott Hill
The A4023 starts on a roundabout with the B4160 (Redditch Ringway). Immediately heading East it passes under a grade-separated junction with the A441 to cross the River Arrow and meet another GSJ with the B4497. It passes under Winyates Way, which is one of the bus-only roads in Redditch. The next junction is a roundabout with 4 unclassified roads; there is space for a flyover here which was never completed. At the eastern end of this junction is a new set of traffic lights serving an Amazon warehouse. Our final junction is a trumpet with the A435, just over the county boundary in Warwickshire.
The Coventry Highway has the dubious distinction of having all its junctions containing elements that were never built. The recently constructed set of traffic lights for the Amazon warehouse has been discounted as it was never an original proposal.
This junction was intended to form the start and end of the Redditch Ringway. The start was built as planned but the end would have ran parallel to the east of Other Road.
A quick glance will show this junction is complete but closer inspection of the A441 will reveal there is space for a flyover which would have made this a three level junction.
Third route to Birmingham
Original proposals for Redditch called for another high quality route northwards to Birmingham in addition to the A441 and A435. This route would have terminated on the A4023 at a trumpet situated between the A441 and B4497 junctions. There is no evidence at all of this junction apart from space for an extra lane on some of the bridges which would likely be due to weaving as this junction would have been close to those either side.
This junction appears to be completed as planned but take a look at the roads approaching it and there is something missing from the southwest corner. This would have been the Henley Highway, another major dual carriageway which would have joined the Warwick Highway. This junction went through several designs with a rather complex partial freeflow and a twin roundabout planned in 1967. By 1968 the proposal was for something more or less as built. A freeflow link enabling traffic from the town centre onto the Henley Highway to bypass the roundabout completed the design but, of course, this wasn't needed as there was no Henley Highway for it to plug into.
Moons Moat Drive/Alders Drive junction
The original intention for this junction is clearly visible with the splayed carriageways leaving room for a flyover which will now never be built. However, like the previous junction there was a different design planned in 1967 with an at-grade roundabout and a bridge with two further roundabouts. No matter which route was taken it would involve negotiating a roundabout.
This junction although complete has one element which was meant to be temporary. The slip road from the A4023 onto the A435 south ends at a give way sign rather than a merge. When the next section south was to be dualled to bypass Mappleborough Green and Studley this would have been converted into a conventional merge. This was planned twice, firstly in the late 1960's to early 70's and again in the early 1990's.
Bromsgrove Road, Redditch
The first life of the A4023 was as a short link road, connecting Birchfield Road (the original line of the A448) to the A441 Market Place in the Town Centre. These days the road is no more than a local road.
1970s: Redditch - Coventry
In the early 1970s, the A4023 was extended the considerable distance to Coventry along what was the B4101 (after a short multiplex with the A441). It was never an adequate road really, very twisty with sharp corners and narrow sections. This lasted until the M42 came along in 1986; around that time the A4023 was downgraded, again to the B4101. It seems likely that the section of the A4023 between the A441 and A435 was moved south to the current section of road before the Coventry extension was downgraded, just leaving that as the present A4023.