A41/West Bromwich - Tong
|From:||West Bromwich (SP016904)|
|Meets:||A41, M5, A4252, A4031, A4041, A4196, A461, A4037, A461, A4038, A4444, A4098, A463, A4126, A4150, A454, A464, M54, A41|
|Old route now:||A4196, A464|
|Route outline (key)|
After coming past The Hawthorns (West Bromwich Albion's ground), we find ourselves at junction 1 of the M5, where an unclassified road signposted "West Bromwich Town Centre" marks the former route of the A41 through West Bromwich High Street. However, the current route follows the dual carriageway bypass "The Expressway". At peak times, this is a very busy route, and often tails back from the junction with the A4031 for Walsall to the motorway. The Expressway then continues for half a mile, up to the junction with the A4196, which is where the old route joins up again. Straight ahead of us lies the expanses of the Black Country Spine Road, which is a new dual carriageway that takes us all the way to the A463/A454 Black Country Route, which links with M6 junction 10. To the right lies the A4196, which is the old route of the A41 via the imaginatively named Hill Top and Wednesbury. The A41 here is a modern, wide dual carriageway in mainly industrial estate country, with most reached off roundabout junctions. Be careful: it's a 40 zone, although it feels much faster than that.
Anyway, after about a mile, the A461 from Dudley comes in and multiplexes with us for a short distance before leaving right for Wednesbury and M6 junction 9. Soon afterwards, we reach another roundabout where the character of the road changes as for this stretch we re-join the old A41 that has been upgraded to dual carriageway through Moxley. We then reach a roundabout with traffic lights where we TOTSO left (looks better on a map that it feels on the ground, believe me!) as the A4444 finishes the final stretch of the BCSR for us, and the A4038 goes towards Darlaston. The A41 then goes through Moxley High Street, and meets the A4098, which is the grand total of 1 mile long. After a period of time, we reach the A463 Black Country Route just as we enter Bilston.
The A41 continues in to Bilston Town Centre, and is very narrow and congested through the town. It gets wider and better the further into Wolverhampton we get, and after a small distance we multiplex with the Midland Metro at Priestfield. The Metro is street running all the way from here into Wolverhampton City Centre, past the former Royal Hospital and bus depot, up to the Wolverhampton Ring Road (A4150). The former route of the road through the city centre is impossible to follow now, as it's first cut off by the ring road, then has Sainsbury's car park on it, and then is one way (the other way!), is again cut off by the ring road before re-joining the current route.
On the opposite side of the city centre, the A41 re-emerges from the ring road (multiplexed with the A454) and continues its journey north-west through a very busy stretch of road called Chapel Ash, at the end of which the A454 forks left heading for Bridgnorth, and we fork right. The road follows quite a pleasant urban route out of the city here, with highlights such as the Halfway House pub, which is supposedly half way between London and Holyhead (follow the A41, A464 and A5 for the route!), and The Rock, which is a large ridge that the road cuts through. We are now entering the pleasant suburbs of Tettenhall and The Wergs, which we meander through before finally leaving the urban area. After about 1 mile of the border, we reach the junction with the A464, which forks left towards Telford and the A5, before we get to the Albrighton by-pass. This used to be a three-lane "Danger Alley", but nowadays it just has wide lanes. After the by-pass, we enter the village of Cosford, well known for the RAF base and aerospace museum (well worth a visit). The junctions have been much improved recently to enable better access for the base.
Rerouting north of Wolverhampton
The A41 originally ended on the A5 at its northern end as well as its southern, running along what is now the A464 and B5061 to Oakengates. In 1935 it was rerouted north of Wolverhampton and extended all the way to Birkenhead, over roads that were formerly part of A464, A529 and A51.