A5/Tamworth - Gailey
|Meets:||A5, M42, A51, A453, A38, M6 Toll, A5127, A5148, A461, A5195, A460, A34, A4601, M6, A449, A5|
|Old route now:||B5404|
|Route outline (key)|
We now reach a new section of the A5 bypassing Tamworth, which is grade-separated dual carriageway and has very nice low-spray tarmac that you'll really notice as you leave this section if it's raining. The B5404, which leaves almost immediately, is the old route through Fazeley. The A51 passes under us, and the A453 makes an appearance from Tamworth town centre.
We now alight upon the new Hints and Weeford bypass, opened in September 2005, which climbs up over The Devil's Dressing Room and its associated quarry and back down to the old Roman road at the newly refashioned A38 junction (this was built in 1972 originally as an over large roundabout to accommodate a grade-separated junction for the A38 later). The A38 now goes under the A5 GSJ roundabout and the recently made M6 Toll connection - junction T4. The A5 is now shadowed by the toll road all the way to Churchbridge, near Cannock, starting with a fine view of the exit toll plaza to the south west as you leave the roundabout.
After about 1½ miles we reach Wall Island, the junction with the A5127 to Lichfield, the A5148 link to the A38, and Junction T5 of the M6 Toll. Before construction of the toll road, the roundabout was very strange and had all the ramps for grade separation between the A5 west of the junction and the A5148. These were reformed and the exit from the toll road eastbound onto the A5148 was engineered to pass under a radically changed A5/A5127 roundabout. The A5 then becomes a dual carriageway as we pass the village of Wall, until we reach the A461 Walsall - Lichfield road at Muckley Corner (actually a roundabout, not a corner). After leaving rural Staffordshire we enter the Metropolitan Borough of Walsall, and then a further mile west the M6 Toll passes below us from left to right heading for Chasewater. Junction T6 lies just to the north of us a mile further along at Chasetown. The A452 meets us at a strange triangular roundabout, and goes off on its way to M6 J5 and the NEC, and back out into Staffordshire we go.
After a section of dual carriageway, we find ourselves at Churchbridge, on the outskirts of Cannock. Here the A5 crosses the M6 Toll by virtue of a new junction (T7) and massive reworking of the roads in the area, resulting in a Magic Roundabout! The toll road heads off to our left to join the original M6 near Little Saredon. After passing under a railway bridge we continue past a series of grotty-looking retail parks, but after just over a mile we're back in rural countryside. This section is nice and wide, with reservoirs on either side of the road, and very, very straight as befitting the Roman Road, and before we know it, we've reached the M6 at Junction 12. Here much of the long-distance traffic which has bypassed the West Midlands continues its journey north on the motorway.
After passing the M6, the A5 continues pretty much unchanged: wide and very straight. Before too long, we reach the junction with the A449 at Gailey, where all of the Wolverhampton-bound traffic that joined us at the M6 turns off.