|Distance:||2.5 miles (4 km)|
|Meets:||A41, A4444, A462, B4200, A4148|
|Route outline (key)|
The A4038 is an unremarkable urban route running across the north of the Black Country, forming a link from both Wolverhampton and Walsall to the small Black Country town of Darlaston, though it is not used as a through route from centre to centre.
The route starts at Moxley Junction where it meets the A41 and A4444, which provide access into Wolverhampton city centre, and heads eastwards into Darlaston via what seems to be a pointlessly short dualled section, before meeting the A462 at Bull Stake, a staggered junction (with the A4038 as the through route) in the town centre.
East of Darlaston, we pass out of Wolverhampton's sphere of influence and into that of Walsall through low-quality housing and general industrial decline before passing under the M6 without a junction. The next landmark is the rather ugly wine warehouse glorying in the name of "Chateau Pleck" before the road terminates on the A4148, Walsall's Ring Road.
Other than being given the draft number of A4039 before the final allocation of numbers in 1922, where it (in common with numbers around it) got shuffled down one place in the list, the A4038 is pretty much as it was then, with no realignments (save a very minor one at Moxley Junction) and no gains in length.
The A4038 even has the same eastern end as it has always had. The A461 (the main road into Walsall from this direction) ran along Bescot Road, turning into Wednesbury Road when it met the A4038. Wednesbury Road was declassified with the inauguration of the A4148 bypass, which took that route north along Old Pleck Road.
However, heading further back in time, it is interesting to note that the section between the western terminus and Dangerfield Lane, Darlaston, was created as a turnpike road, set up in 1776. Prior to the opening of the turnpike road, the original route between Bilston and Darlaston was via what is now A4098 and Bull Lane, with a link across to Dangerfield Lane that was lost even before the building of the current estate on the site.