|Location Map ( geo)|
|Distance:||6.8 miles (10.9 km)|
|Meets:||A4167, A435, A441, A38, A456, A457, A41, A34, A38, A38(M), A5127, A47, A45, A34|
|Former Number(s):||A4167, B4126, B4124, A45, B4143|
|Route outline (key)|
The A4540 forms the main ring road around the centre of Birmingham following the removal of the A4400 from the heart of the city centre. With numbered junctions and ring road signing throughout, Birmingham takes its existence very seriously, but as a road it is overcapacity and a long detour for through traffic, which still uses the A38.
There are numerous unrealised plans for the Middleway, for instance plans existed for flyovers at several junctions such as Dartmouth Circus. The road was not completed until the late 1980s, and is a mix of dual two- and three-lane with a few grade-separated junctions, such as the Bristol Street junction along the Belgrave Middleway section. The other main grade separated junction at Five Ways is 'back-to-front', as the minor road travels through an underpass. This was not always the case, as the underpass originally carried the A456.
The Middleway was part of the Birmingham Superprix Circuit in the 1980s, and the roundabout at the eastern end of Belgrave Middleway still retains the run off area for race cars.
The name "Middleway" dates back to when Birmingham had three signed ring roads, the A4400 in the city centre, the A4040 outer ring road and the A4540 Middleway between the two. With the abolition of the A4400 the Middleway became the only ring road. There are now no Class I roads within it with the exception of the A38 which runs straight through.
The majority of the A4540 was constructed by upgrading previously existing roads to D2 status. There were a few stretches of new-build, for example to cut off corners. The road's former classification is as follows:
- A4167 - Haden Circus to Five Ways (much of this was originally numbered B4126)
- B4126 - Ladywood Road
- B4124 - Ladywood Circus to Key Hill Circus
- Unclassified - New John Street
- A45 (originally B4143) - Dartmouth Circus to Garrison Circus
- B4143 - Garrison Circus to Camp Hill Circus
|Image||Name||Classified Road(s)||Grid Reference||More Info||Map|
|A435 / A4167||SP077850|
|A38 / A441||SP068854|
|B4124 / B4126||SP050866|
|Key Hill Circus
|(A41) / (B4100)||SP058882|
|Hockley Circus||A41 / B4100||SP057886||On loop of A4540 between Key Hill and Lucas Circuses.|
|(A41)||SP082856||Formerly known as Boulton Circus|
|New Town Row
|A38 / A38(M) / A5127||SP076882|
|A47||SP080876||also known as Aston Circus|
|A45 / B4128||SP086861|
|Camp Hill Circus
|A34 / B4100||SP083856|