|Pebble Mill Road|
|From:||Bristol Road (SP058838)|
|To:||Pershore Road (SP060836)|
|Distance:||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; 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 its site is taken up by a science park whose main entrance is on the A38; it remains to be seen whether, when the building work is complete, it will reuse the exit onto the A4029.
Despite its short length, the road sees frequent use, as the first easy opportunity to move between the A38 and A441 when travelling northbound on either road: 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 end of the A4029 itself, but opportunities to turn are provided when nearby pedestrian crossings hold up the traffic on the major routes it connects).
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 or A441 is closed, the other is frequently used as a bypass, and the A4029 typically serves as one end of the diversion (the placement of the other end depends on the location that needs to be closed). 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.