|Location Map ( geo)
|Baginton, Coventry (SP338754)
|Burton upon Trent (SK257231)
|34.5 miles (55.5 km)
|A45, A46, A4082, A4114, A428, B4110, B4109, B4113, B4118, M6, B4112, A4254, B4102, B4114, A47, A5, B4116, M42, A42, B5493, A514, B5353, A5189, A511, B5008
|A46, B584, A511
|Old route now:
|B4087, A452, B4113
|Route outline (key)
The route begins today about two miles south of Coventry city centre, at the A45/A46 three-level junction (known as Stivichall Interchange) at Baginton. It then heads north as the Cheylesmore bypass, and comes to a halt at a roundabout (known as Whitley Island) with the A4114 into Coventry city centre, and the A4082 towards eastern Coventry. There is a flyover at the roundabout, which provides freeflow from the A4114 to the A444 southbound.
It was originally intended that the A444 should carry on over the roundabout, where there are currently allotments, cross the River Sherbourne, the mainline railway, and a length of disused railway. This would have eliminated the present gap in the A444 between here and its resumption at the Binley Road Roundabout on the A428 a mile east of the city centre. Instead we must reach the latter point via the A4082 and B4110.
We now continue northwards along Phoenix Way, initially following the route of an old railway line (bridged by local streets), but before long come to the first of half a dozen roundabouts giving access to the surrounding residential districts, retail parks, and the Coventry Building Society (formerly Ricoh) Arena. The last of these, which has the potential to be converted into a three-level interchange in the future, is Junction 3 of the M6.
Past the M6, the road continues on a modern bypass of Bedworth, before reaching the old road at Griff at an oval-shaped roundabout, which could suggest a bypass of Nuneaton towards the east. Instead, we turn left to head northwards into Nuneaton, bypassing the southern part of the town. When the road enters the town, it forms the eastern half of a ring road, with the other half being the A47.
Leaving the ring road, we cross the West Coast Main Line railway and head north-north-westward, the road now pressing its way through the suburbs and out into the countryside, where it meets the A5 at a staggered junction on the Warwickshire/Leicestershire border. Although this junction was improved in 2004, care is needed as it remains a notorious accident black-spot.
From the Redgate public house the road travels northwards along what was originally the B584 (to Ashby-de-la-Zouch) as far as Twycross. Here, it takes over the former A511 towards Burton upon Trent. Soon, the road comes to a grade-separated roundabout junction with the M42 (junction 11). From here, the road travels a further twelve miles to reach its end via rolling farmland and former industrial landscapes. Overseal (cameras!), Castle Gresley (the bypass), and Stanton flash by before the roads reaches the outskirts of Burton upon Trent and crawls (usually!) down the hillside into the town. The A5189 southern relief road is met at a roundabout and we turn right to run along the right bank of the River Trent and end at a signalised crossroads on the A511.
The A444 ran originally from the then A41 at Oakley Wood to the Royal Red Gate Inn on the A5. It began at the junction with the present day B4100 (just a few hundred yards south of the M40 Junction 13), ran along the B4087 through Bishops Tachbrook to Royal Leamington Spa, and then the modern A452 and B4113 through Coventry to Bedworth and Nuneaton. It is followed by the modern A444 from Nuneaton to the A5.
The southern end of the route was renumbered as an extension of the A452 first, as early as 1935. For many years, therefore, the A444 started on the A452 at Blackdown just north of Leamington. The route was later cut back to the southern side of the Coventry Ring Road with the opening of the new A46 Dual Carriageway. The section of A444 between Stivichall Interchange (A45/A46) and Whitley Island (A4114/A4082) was previously a part of the A46.
Castle Gresley Bypass - the 0.8 mile single carriageway road from High Cross Bank Roundabout to Mount Pleasant Road was opened on 16 June 1995 by Edwina Curry, M.P. for South Derbyshire. The £1.4 million cost was financed by British Coal / RJB Mining as part of planning permission for opencast operations at High Cross. Contractor was Taylor Woodrow.