|Length:||13 miles (20.9 km)|
|Meets:||A4123, A4039, A463, A457, B4175, B4588, A4168, B4177, B4171, A461, A4037, B4173, A4100, A4099, A458, A456, B4551|
|Old route now:||A449, B4588, B4177, B4551, A491, A38|
|Route outline (key)|
The A459 is the historic route between Wolverhampton and Dudley, although its importance was diminished with the construction of the A4123 Wolverhampton - Birmingham New Road in 1927. South of Dudley, it serves traffic to Halesowen, and formerly out to the original course of the A38 at Marlbrook near Bromsgrove.
Wolverhampton - Halesowen
Most maps are inconclusive about exactly where the A459 starts. In the Snow Hill Junction area of Wolverhampton, two almost parallel roads exist, Dudley Road and Birmingham Road. These have now both been turned into one way roads, or alternatively the two carriageways of a dual carriageway… The signposting suggests that both are part of the A4123, but most mapping suggests that Dudley Road (the inbound one!) is part of the A459.
In any case, the A459 heads out through the suburbs, passing through the locally well-known junction with A4039 known as Fighting Cocks, despite the fact that the pub it has been named after was demolished many years ago. The road then works its way up the hill into Sedgley, passing into the congested town centre, where it meets the end of the A457.
At this point, we are going to require translation services to talk to the locals in Gornal, and finally we get to Dudley. The route through the town centre is much changed with the opening of the Southern By-Pass, and we now pass Dudley Castle and Dudley Zoo, and meet the A461 at a roundabout.
To continue along the route, we must now travel almost back on ourselves, along the A461, until the route can finally throw off those shackles and reassert itself, passing through the Black Country townships of Old Hill and Blackheath, until we meet the A458 at Halesowen town centre.
The section south of Bishops Walk, near to Old Hill - where the road switches between Sandwell and Dudley boroughs - had a 40 mph limit up to the junction with the A458, but this was reduced by Dudley Council in July 2012 to 30.
There's only a short stretch to go now, as the journey ends half a mile later on the A456. However, just before we get there, the A459 has a spur running round the southern edge of Halesowen town centre to end at a roundabout on the B4183.
The original starting point of this route was at Queen Square in Wolverhampton city centre, until the pedestrianisation of Dudley Street in the late 1960s. This then lead to the A459 taking over the routes of the then-B4158 and B4160, along with the section of A460 between Princes Square and Elephant & Castle. The northern terminus, therefore, moved to Five Ways, just north of the city centre. This did not last long, as with the completion of the northern part of the A4150 Inner Ring Road in the 1970s, this section has been usurped by the A449 and the A459 truncated back to Snow Hill Junction.
The 1922 southern terminus of the A459 was in Halesowen, on the original line of the A456 (now A458). It was extended south along the B4096 to meet the A38 at Marlbrook very early on. However, possibly because of the proximity of the M5, this southern extension has been downgraded again and is now the B4551 and A38.
Steve's Roads Gallery