|Location Map ( geo)
|Pebble Mill Road
|Bristol Road (SP058838)
|Pershore Road (SP060836)
|0.2 miles (0.3 km)
|Route outline (key)
The A4029 is a short link road, dual carriageway for its entire length, connecting the A38 and the A441 in Edgbaston, Birmingham, close to its border with Selly Park. It is unsignposted from both the A38 and A441. The road has marked parking spaces on the south-west side of both carriageways, meaning that they are on what appears to be the wrong side for A441-bound traffic. Being very short indeed, it is easily possible to see one end from the other.
The road was previously the route of the Birmingham City Transport Pershore Road trams which is why the route has an unusually large central reservation. Upon the abandonment of the system in 1953 the tram tracks here were used to park trams before being sent for scrap. At its southern end it meets the A441 opposite Birmingham Nature Centre, a small zoo on the edge of Cannon Hill Park. The BBC's Pebble Mill Studios were adjacent until their demolition in 2005; for several years, a longabout in the centre of the road no longer has any exits other than the A4029 itself, but previously served as an effective junction for traffic joining and leaving the BBC. Nowadays it provides access to some hospitals which were previously built on the old BBC site.
Despite its short length, the road sees frequent use, as the first easy opportunity to move between the A38 northbound to A441 northbound: the previous classified road that does so is the A4040, which (because the roads are much further apart and the A4040 connects at an angle) is a relatively long detour; the nearer unclassified roads have traffic-calming measures to prevent them being used as a shortcut; and most opportunities closer to the centre of Birmingham (such as the nearby B4217) are slower as a result of needing to wait for traffic lights at both intersections (there are no traffic lights on the junctions at the A441 end of the A4029, but opportunities to turn are provided when nearby pedestrian crossings hold up the traffic on the major routes it connects). It was previously useful for the converse movement (A441 northbound to A38 northbound), but this movement is no longer possible as of the building of the new cycle path along the A38, and the angle of the A4040 makes it a more reasonable alternative when doing this.
For similar reasons, the A4029 is frequently used as a diversionary route between the two busy A-roads at its ends; if part of the A38 towards Birmingham or A441 towards Cotteridge is closed, the other road is frequently used as a bypass, and the A4029 typically serves as one end of the diversion. It sometimes also forms part of a diversionary route for roadworks further away, in order to prevent the diverted traffic needing to wait for multiple sets of traffic lights at Belgrave Interchange.