|Distance:||50.4 miles (81.1 km)|
|Meets:||A38, A450, A449, A451, A456, A4535, A458, A4169, A464, A5, A518, A5223, A53|
|Former Number(s):||B4192, A518|
|Old route now:||A449, B5065|
|Route outline (key)|
Section 1: Droitwich - Bridgnorth
The road begins at a roundabout on the A38 Droitwich Spa bypass to the northwest of the town and to the southwest of M5 junction 5. Clearly great things were planned for this roundabout as the A38 central reserve broadens out to allow room for future grade separation, but so far, great things have failed to happen.
We head north(ish) past Berry Hill, running alongside an unclassified road and some business units, before passing through Hampton Lovett on a reasonably straight, reasonably level alignment. A couple of bends then take us under the railway and we head due north through farmland and a few small villages before curving to the North-West to reach a roundabout with the A450 outside Torton. Shortly after, we cross a railway and reach the A449, with which we multiplex to Kidderminster, a few miles to the north.
The next challenge is to find which of Kidderminster's many A roads carries the multiplex to a point where the A442 resumes its own identity. We leave the A449 to the south of the railway, then continue until we get to the main ring road.
Also, Crowther Street is not the A442, but is a road parallel to the A442 which is here called Proud Cross Ringway, despite going in the exact opposite direction from what should have been the last part of the ring road.Also worth noting that the rather dodgy traffic light junction with the narrow railway bridge and tight bends where the A442 from Droitwich joins the A449 coming from Worcester would have been moved and become a GSJ had the bypass ever been built.
We run North-West, now on a Primary Route, across a roundabout with the B4190, then we finally leave the town. Now the road is hillier, and we pass through the occasional tranche of woodland and through a narrow stretch of historic Staffordshire before entering Shropshire. We pass the edge of Alveley, a village situated about a mile east of the Severn Valley, with which we eventually converge at Quatford. Shortly after we reach a roundabout with the A458 on the southern fringe of Bridgnorth.
Section 2: Bridgnorth - Hodnet
After passing through Bridgnorth, we continue North, this time enjoying a much closer relationship with the River Severn, for the first mile at least! Once again we move away from the river, adopting a course around 1000 m to the East. Once again, the countryside is flat open farmland, until we reach a roundabout marking the beginning of a dual carriageway route into Telford.
Returning to the A442, we pass a limited access junction (north-facing slip roads) with the A4169 before negotiating a trumpet which means that Southbound traffic has to turn off to stay on the A442 (the third road is the other direction of the A4169). The A442 itself provides the main distributor route around the east side of Telford and is grade separated. A junction with the A464 provides access to the M54 at junction 4. The next exit provides a link to the A5 which leads to junction 5.
It's also worth remarking on the fact that the two major through routes in Telford (A442 and M54) do not actually meet, but can only be reached via third parties (the A5 from J5, and the A464 from J4).The road is also locally known as "The EP" (a holdover from the original New Town planning term, "Eastern Primary Route"), but the official name is Queensway...
From the M54, we pass through northern Telford, initially as grade-separated dual carriageway, but reducing to single at another curious junction, a dumbbell arrangement with the A518 where the dumbbell straddles either side of a railway. From here it is a short stretch into countryside, though we stay close to northern Telford (Hadley) for a couple more miles to a roundabout with the A5223.
Here we turn north on a reasonably good alignment across flat countryside, the landscape illustrating the main industry round here - farming. We pass through villages like Sleapford and Crudgington, reaching Hodnet where the road terminates some 10 miles north of Telford on the A53.
Originally, the road continued south of Kidderminster and onto the county town of Worcester via what is now A449 before terminating on the A38, whilst what is now the A442 between Kidderminster and Droitwich was numbered B4192.
Before the A53 Hodnet bypass was built, the A442 continued beyond the A53 through Marchamley to terminate on the A41 between Prees Higher Heath and Sandford. It now terminates at the hodnet bypass at the Espley roundabout just south of Hodnet.
Before Telford was built, the A442 went through Dawley and Wellington, along an alignment that is mostly still in existence but requires an old map and some imagination to follow. The original number of the current route taken by the A442 was A518.