|To:||Ellesmere Port (SJ396776)|
|Distance:||4.2 miles (6.8 km)|
|Meets:||A41, A5117, B5132, M53, B5463|
|Old route now:||M53, B5463|
|Route outline (key)|
The A5032 is the main Class I road into Ellesmere Port, entering town from the south.
The road starts at a traffic-light-controlled junction with the A41 on the outskirts of Backford, just north of Chester. It's quite an acute angle. The road is NSL here and mostly straight with a few minor curves. It heads north, passing mainly through a couple of fields and then over the M56 before it drops down into a very small wooded area. There are then a couple of houses on either side of the road leading to a large roundabout with the A5117, locally known as the "Strawberry Roundabout". On the other side of the roundabout, on the corner, there used to be a single-storey pub called "The Strawberry", which quite literally burnt to the ground in the 2000s; it's now been replaced by housing. On the other corner opposite, there is a petrol station.
We continue over the roundabout into the outer suburbs of Ellesmere Port, with large houses on the left and a couple of small sports fields on the right (the speed limit is now 30 mph and remains so for the rest of its length). We then come to two large T-junctions very close together controlled by traffic lights – you could almost call it a 'double junction'. We continue along the road, which is pretty straight, past more houses on both sides until we go over a mini roundabout (for a small Morrisons store – this is looking to move to a greenfield site and so more houses will be built on the old site, if it ever happens...). The road then sweeps slowly down past some shops towards Ellesmere Port town centre, where we meet the local police station on the right and a major signalised junction with Sutton Way and Stanney Lane, the B5132. 100 yards further down the road we meet another set of lights, this time for residential streets on the left and the town hall and main bus station on the right.
The road now slowly works its way through the town centre past shops. It then continues over a small bridge over the railway line, called the Westminster Bridge. The alignment of the original road (before I was born!) runs immediately alongside the bridge to the right where the railway line cuts it in two; the right-of-way is preserved by the station footbridge. We then continue through the 'back end' of the town, past some large retail premises on the right and then to Junction 9 of the M53. Again, an original alignment (again, before I was born) before the motorway lies here too. Just before you get to the roundabout with the motorway, the road curves to the right and becomes a very short section of dual carriageway. The old road can clearly be seen going straight on beyond the pavement – basically a dead end leading to a church. Access to it is from a tiny little road on the left immediately before the roundabout.
Many presume the A5032 ends here, even locals, but actually it doesn't! The motorway did 'cut off' the final section, which is known as Merseyton Road. It's not signposted as the A5032 in any way shape or form, but it is. Map books show it as a tiny little red road between junctions 8 and 9, running parallel to the east of the motorway. To get onto the final section from this point at Junction 9, you need to go up the northbound sliproad of the M53 and then left down a secondary sliproad (before you reach the mainline of the motorway) to a roundabout where we turn right, heading underneath the motorway and then quite a sharp left up a small but steep incline. There's a parallel road on the eastern side of the motorway carrying A5032 traffic the other way. We are now running along the final section. Quite boring really. The docks are down to the right (with largely abandoned buildings and warehouses) and to the left are a small number of terraced houses (most of them to my knowledge have stood empty for as long as I can remember) and a small number of commercial units. The road then sweeps round to the left and then to the right where it's now practically side by side with the motorway, hard up against the southbound on slip from Junction 8. It continues bending to the right where it passes a major entrance to the docks on the right with some more industrial/commercial premises along a private road and then head up a hill to the left where it curves round (bushes and trees on either side of the road) to meet the roundabout: Junction 8 of the M53. The end!
The history of the A5032 is somewhat convoluted!
In 1922, the current route of the A5032 was numbered A555 whereas the A5032 itself only ran between the A550 at Ledsham and then-A51 (now A41) at Little Sutton. In the 1930s, it extended east to meet the A555 in Ellesmere Port and then in 1935 the whole road was renumbered A5032.
In the 1960s, the unclassified road north out of Ellesmere Port was upgraded to become a spur of the A5032 – and was upgraded further in 1974 to become the M531 (now M53). Later, the section of A5032 west of Ellesmere Port (including its original section) was downgraded to B5463, leaving only the ex-A555 as the route of the A5032.