|To:||Much Wenlock (SO621997)|
|Distance:||12.3 miles (19.8 km)|
|Meets:||A464, B4379, A442, B4373, A5223, B4380, B4378, A458|
|Former Number(s):||B4379, B4380, B4378|
|Old route now:||B4379, B4373|
|Route outline (key)|
The A4169 is a local road in mid-Shropshire, which runs around the edge of Telford. It's a partial mix of old B roads and new-build route where it crosses the New Town area of Telford, including a short multiplex with the A442.
The road starts on the western side of the small town of Shifnal, located between Telford and Wolverhampton, at a roundabout with the A464 - originally part of Thomas Telford's Holyhead Road, where it is simply signed as "Kemberton A4169".
The road runs under the Wolverhampton to Telford railway line before bearing right at a roundabout and leaving town. It then heads generally southwestwards through the Shropshire countryside before peeling off into Halesfield, an industrial area seemingly full of warehouses at the southeastern end of the Telford urban area. The B4379 turns off left here; Kemberton is off that road.
Less than a mile after entering the urban area, the A4169 meets the A442 at a large grade-separated junction, giving away the size of the New Town plans. Here, the A4169 disappears (although in this direction we can just stay in the left-hand lane) only to reappear half a mile further north as the washed-up remains of the Telford Southern Primary Route, originally proposed to urban motorway standards - but the modern A4169 betrays none of that, winding from side to side across the reserved land and meeting flat roundabout junctions.
At the junction with the A5223 we both leave the Southern Primary Route line and the Telford urban area and head once again southwestwards through the Shropshire countryside and down into the Severn Valley on a route constructed in the 1980s. We TOTSO left to take over the former B4378 and immediately cross the river and head back south out of the valley, on the way borrowing a former railway line to ease out a bend just to the north of the village of Farley.
Presently the route reaches the picturesque small town of Much Wenlock. It bears right onto the relatively accurately named New Road to skirt the town centre before terminating at a T-junction on the A458.
The A4169 came into being in the 1960s when the B4379 from Shifnal to the A442 south of Brockton was upgraded to Class I status. Later the road was redesignated as a distributor for Telford and therefore rerouted west along the line of the B4380, thus giving the southern end of the B4379 its number back (and explaining the long multiplex on that road).
Originally the A4169 took on the whole section of the B4380 from Halesfield west through Madeley and Ironbridge to the crossing of the River Severn just east of Buildwas. Here the A4169 turned off across the river and south to Much Wenlock along what was the B4378 (this originally went through the centre of the town, which is now bypassed). Later, the central section of the A4169 was bypassed. A new road was plugged into a trumpet junction on the A442 which had existed for some years; this then ran west and south to bypass Ironbridge and rejoin the old line of the road by the Severn crossing. The old route was largely declassified although part of it is now the B4373.
In addition to this, there are also indications on mid-1980s Ordnance Survey 1:10,000 sheets that the A4169 may have been temporarily routed via the original route of A442 to the west of the present A5223 from Lawley to Wellington. The number appears once at a sheet boundary rather than at the start and end of a section as is usual.