|Location Map ( geo)|
|Derby Outer Ring Road|
|Distance:||6.3 miles (10.1 km)|
|Meets:||A38, A516, A5250, A514, A6, A52, A6005|
|Old route now:||A38|
|Route outline (key)|
- 1 Route
- 2 History
- 2.1 The 1920s - the Southern section completed
- 2.2 Early 1930s - creating the A6 bypass
- 2.3 Late 1930s – The new Eastern road
- 2.4 Re- numbering
- 2.5 Early problems
- 2.6 The missing link
- 2.7 The 1950s onwards
- 2.8 The A38 changes
- 3 Summary
- 4 Videos
The A5111 is the Derby outer ring road; however, it doesn't form a complete ring.
Derby Outer Ring Road
The A5111 starts on the A38 at an at-grade signalised roundabout in the Mackworth area of west Derby. After a few hundred metres, it meets a road for a retail park at a roundabout. It then meets the dual carriageway A516 at a signalised junction. After this, the A5111 becomes a low-quality dual carriageway for a while as it makes its way through the suburbs of California and Normanton. During the first dual carriageway section, it meets the non-primary A5250 at a signalised junction.
Single carriageway resumes at the next roundabout (a junction with the unclassified Stenson Road) and the A5111 continues as single carriageway. It crosses the Derby to Birmingham railway line by Peartree station (a station which sees so few trains that platform access is via a locked gate and an intercom) and goes through a retail park to reach the Mitre Island junction with the A514. The roundabout here is spanned by a four-arm footbridge, each arm of which ends in steps and a ramp, hence the local name of Spider Island.
There's a brief D2 section before we become S2 once more to reach the old A6 at two roundabouts within 200 metres at Alvaston shopping centre, the second of which still serves the A6 into the city centre. The final section of A5111, all dual carriageway to the junction with the the A52 at Spondon, is named Raynesway.
Since the opening of the A6 Alvaston By-pass in 2003, the A6 has joined Raynesway at a new Raynesway Park GSJ, where the main flow seems to be northbound A6 onto eastbound A5111 and vice versa. We become trunk at this point and cross the River Derwent where a modified trumpet interchange provides access to the A52. Raynesway continues ahead, now numbered A6005, to reach Derby Road, the original line of the A52.
Derby Outer Ring Road was first proposed in the Second Derby Town Planning Scheme which evolved from 1919. The Ring Road one of 15 proposed road schemes in the Borough. It was originally known as Town Planning Road No.1.
"An inner circling road, 100 feet wide, commencing at Osmaston Road, near Allenton, then going westerly along Osmaston Park Road (already partly widened), Newdigate Street (to be widened), across the town planning sites to Stenson Road (already made), along the side of Normanton Recreation Ground (partly made), to Burton Road via Warwick Avenue (to be widened), thence along Manor Road (to be widened), and across the Rykneld Estate to Uttoxeter Road at Constable Lane (this forming a much needed link between Burton Road and Uttoxeter Road), then across land by the Mental Hospital to Ashbourne Road near the Lodge to Markeaton Park, across the Park to Kedleston Road at the junction of Penny Long Lane, along this lane (to be widened) to Duffield Road, thence across the land between Duffield Road and river to Darley Grove, along this old lane (to be widened), to the site of the Roman Bridge crossing the river at Old Chester Road, along this road and Mansfield Road (to be widened) to the bridge crossing the Midland Railway, thence across the Racecourse in an easterly direction, across fields at Chaddesden to the north end of Chaddesden Lane, near the Vicarage, thence across the fields to Locko Road, Spondon, and on across Dale Road, Spondon, and Victoria Avenue, Borrowash, to a point near Cole Lane, Borrowash (a branch going forward from this point easterly to the main road to Nottingham which would join near Hopwell Park). The main road turning southward, crossing the Nottingham and Draycott roads at their junction, crossing the canal, Midland Railway and river a little east of Borrowash Bridge, thence turning westward and skirting Elvaston Park, crossing London Road at Boulton Lane junction, and thence across the fields to the starting point on Osmaston Road junction with Osmaston Park Road"Roads No.2 and No.3 were an outer circling road near the extreme boundary of the Borough. It was Road No.1 that was started first and this ultimately became known as Derby Outer Ring Road.
Work on the Plan had started in 1919 following the Housing, Town Planning & c.Act 1919, and the line of the proposed roads was decided. This allowed an early start to Municiple housing schemes and enabled some initial sections of the Ring Road to be built.
Prior to the Second Derby Town Planning Scheme just the following sections of road, that would later form parts of the Ring Road, were in existence:
* Penny Long Lane between A6 Duffield Road and Kedleston Road * short stubs of Manor Road and Warwick Avenue at Littleover from the junction with A5250 Burton Road * Newdigate Street and Osmaston Park Road between Village Street, Normanton and A514 Osmaston Rd, Allenton * a short section of Alvaston Street north from former A6 Shardlow Road, Alvaston
The 1920s - the Southern section completed
The three sections required to complete the Southern part of the Ring Road were approved very quickly and in 1920 work was well under way. The urgency was the unemployment situation and the road schemes would go some way to provide jobs. The Council would receive 60% of the cost of wages from the Ministry of Labour. There were also proposals for a sports ground at Manor Road and for the tramways to be extended.
The short section of Kenilworth Avenue between Stenson Road and Derby Lane was completed in 1920. It was built to the 100 foot wide standard with 36 foot between the kerbs, the remainder being comprised of footpaths and grass sides. Houses were set back 15 foot from the boundary. Houses had also started to be built on Osmaston Park Road. Work had also started on the Warwick Avenue and Manor Road extensions from the short stubs each way from Burton Road. All the excavation of Manor Road had been completed, and the sides trimmed. Warwick Avenue, at the Stenson Road end, had also been started. Work was ongoing in 1922 and 1923. Both roads were constructed with dual 19 foot carriageways and a wide central reservation to permit double tram tracks to be laid on sleepers, like a railway. Warwick Avenue from Burton Road to Stenson Road was to open first, by November 1923. Within a short time there was concern about the collisions at the Burton Road junction through motorists increasing speed on Warwick Avenue to take the rise and failing to take account of the fast moving traffic on Burton Road. Manor Road, between Uttoxeter New Road and Burton Road, opened in early 1924.
There was now a through route from A516 Uttoxeter New Road to A514 Osmaston Road and this section was later numbered B5381. However, Village Street and Derby Lane in Normanton had to be used between the adjoining sections since the short direct route had not been built.
Road widening of other sections also took place, the main section being Osmaston Park Road. This road had been laid down in 1893 in tandem with the sale of part of the Osmaston Park Estate lands for development.
The Plan had been receiving objections and in March 1925 there was an inquiry by the Ministry of Health which lasted 3 days. Objections had been received from the neighbouring Councils to which the Plan encroached as well as numerous businesses and property owners. The Council opened the case by saying that the preparation of Town Planning schemes was now compulsory and that the Town Plan must be completed before development took place and one of the most important matters was the laying out of the lines of arterial roads. They pointed out that the Celenese factory at Spondon had already caused considerable alteration to the Plan originally proposed. Encircling roads were needed for safety and to avoid delay to through traffic in the centre of towns. Wide roads were one of the most necessary essentials of town planning and the cost of 100 feet roads were not more in the end to owners or local authorities than of narrow roads. Road widening would only take place when traffic necessitated the widening, and this would have to be done whether there was a plan or not. The difference was that the Plan prevented further building which would interfere with the necessary widening of the roads. It was pointed out that many objectors were not familiar with the Town Planning Act. The County Council's objections were not easy to understand and on the face of it seemed to object to every road and widening, despite their experience of rising road traffic. A large number of landowner objections were "whatever you do, leave my land alone". The Inspector reported back, after a few months, with areas that could be dealt with by negotiation. This included width and direction of the arterial roads. The plan then proceded to the stage when it could be in place.
Road widening continued on the main roads into the Town, but the continuation of the Ring Road had to wait until the next decade.
Early 1930s - creating the A6 bypass
Work on the Osmaston Park Road extension between A514 Osmaston Road, Allenton to A6 Shardlow Road, Alvaston was ongoing during 1930. When completed the initial householders were using Osmaston Park Road as a postal address since house numbers continued onwards from that road into the new road. It was not until 16 April 1931 that Derby Highways Committee decided that the name of the road should be Harvey Road. It had been decided that it should be named after an actor and Sir Martin Harvey was chosen. Derby Road Construction Company were given the contract for remaking Harvey Road, which had only been temporarily laid down.
The Western roads - Broadway, Queensway and Kingsway
The Western section of the Outer Ring Road from the A6 Duffield Road to the A516 Uttoxeter New Road had been sanctioned by the Town Council in July 1929 and by the Ministry of Transport in July 1930. Work commenced in August 1930. It was to be 100 feet wide and again was started under an unemployment grants scheme. The grant rate was 65 per cent. It had been hoped to start the work by December 1929 but the loan sanction had not been forthcoming then. They hoped to employ a large number of local men for some months. In fact there was a misunderstanding between the Council and Ministry so the start was further delayed. The scheme was expected to cost £100,000. Work was continuing satisfactorily in April 1931. There were 110 men employed on the scheme. Markeaton Bridge, which would connect Kedleston Road and A52 Ashbourne Road, was under construction. Work had also been started on the bridge near Albany Road to connect A52 Ashbourne Road and A516 Uttoxeter New Road. Rapid progress had been made by November 1931 and the number of workers increased to 200. At that stage they hoped to open the road in Summer 1932. The loan for the work on the section between A6 Duffield Road and A52 Ashbourne Road was sanctioned in January 1932. Work had already started there - the line had been cut and work on laying the sewerage, water and other systems undertaken. There had also been some slum clearance near to Kedleston Road.
On 30 January 1933 the Derby Daily Telegraph announced that the new road was open to traffic and “Derby now circled by a fine by-pass road”. Sub headlines declared ”Last link open for traffic”, ”Anti skid surface and special banking” and ”Engineering Triumph”. It described it as running in pleasing curves, through picturesque scenery and virgin country, with 100 feet between fences, a 30 feet carriage way, ten feet footpaths and grass verges of 25 feet. The slightly corrugated concrete surface was expected to last for 8 to 10 years or more and there was provision for future resurfacing with asphalt. The bends had been super-elevated and a variety of trees had been planted in the grass verges. The whole works had been carried out by the Borough surveyor Mr E.H. Bennett, his deputy Mr M.L. Francis and the staff. One of the big tasks was on the section between A52 Ashbourne Road and A516 Uttoxeter New Road. This was a 3 span bridge over the LNER railway of 60 feet between parapets. It was a steel girder bridge with blue brick and concrete abutments. There was also difficult engineering work experienced with the culvert to take the road over Markeaton Pond between Kedleston Road and A52 Ashbourne Road. The culvert was 9 feet by 10 feet and of reinforced concrete. The old pond bed containing 5 feet of slimy sludge had to be excavated and removed and the water by-passed into a temporary channel while the work proceeded. There was another bridge over Markeaton Brook. This was made entirely of concrete, the bridge deck being reinforced with steel bars and the abutments in massed concrete. Work on that section was expedited to enable it to be open for the Hospital Day Carnival held in Markeaton Park in July 1932. Much material was removed from the deep cutting south of A52 Ashbourne Road as the new road climbed the hill. It was 15 feet deep to enable the gradient to be kept to within the 1 in 20 maximum set for the road.
An average of 146 men had been employed on the scheme. 4,150 yards of sewers had been laid and 9,000 tons of concrete and 35,000 yards of steel reinforcements had been used. There was 8,300 yards of concrete kerbing and more than 4,000 tons of cement, 12,000 tons of sand and 11,000 tons of gravel put into the road. Excavations amounted to 42,000 tons, and 55,000 tons used for embankments. The bridges alone required 3,500 tons of concrete, and the fencing measured 2,000 yards.
Names for the new roads were given by the Derby Highways Committee on 15 June 1933 in advance of the King and Queen commencing their return journey to Chatworth House along the new roads on 5 July 1933. Hence, Kingsway between the A52 Ashbourne Road and A516 Uttoxeter New Road, and Queensway between the A6 Duffield Road and the A52 Ashbourne Road . However with the latter there was objection to the same name being used on both sides of Kedleston Road and this dragged on until 26 September 1933 when Queensway was shortened and the Highways Committee chose the name Broadway for the A6 Duffield Road - Kedleston Road section.
Alternative names suggested had included Rhodesway, Commonwealthway, Penny Long Way, Moult's Way (after the mayor) and Mile Ash Drive before the unimaginative name of Broadway was chosen. Broadway was actually an upgrade of an existing road, Penny Long Lane, and there was sentiment to retaining that name or a derivation of it. A fragment of Penny Long Lane remains as a loop off Broadway.
A bypass for Derby was now complete from the A6 Duffield Road to the A6 Shardlow Road. Such was the novelty of the new road that Derby Corporation ran a half hourly Sunday evening bus service around the Ring Road for a period after 4 June 1933. It was also useful for the traffic going to the Royal Show, held off Osmaston Road near Mitre Island in July 1933.
The final pre-war work on the Southern section of the Ring Road was the replacement of the bridge carrying Newdigate Street across the railway in 1938-39.
Late 1930s – The new Eastern road
The route envisaged in the original plan of the 1920s taking a wider sweep around Borrowash (and indeed some of the other planned routes) was now in the distant past and a perhaps more sensible route had been planned between the A6 Shardlow Road, Alvaston (near to where Harvey Road joined) and the A52 Derby Road, Spondon. It was known as Town Planning Road No. 4 and was to be the first and only part of the eastern side of the Derby Outer Ring Road to be built.
There was initial work by Alvaston and Boulton Urban Council in 1930 to widen Alvaston Street which would form the first quarter mile of the new road from the junction with A6 Shardlow Road. .Again it was to be a 100 foot arterial road. It would be Derby Borough Council who would take the road onwards across the meadows and River Derwent to Spondon and this took some time.
The road proposals were put to the Ministry of Transport who suggested that the road should have dual carriageways and cycle tracks. The revised plans were approved by the Town Council in 1935. Work on the road started in October 1936. It was to be 100 feet wide with dual carriageways and bridges 60 feet wide over river and railway. The grant of 60 per cent to the estimated £156,000 cost was approved by the Ministry of Transport in April 1937. The majority of the road was within the Borough but there were short sections at either end that were in the County area.
The road was completed earlier than expected and the opening date was set at 28 September 1938. Leslie Burgin, Minister of Transport, was to have opened the road but he had to cancel at short notice due to the more pressing matters of events in Germany and Czechoslovakia. Thus it was the Mayor, Alderman Edward Paulson, who opened the road at a ceremony at the Spondon end. He decided that, as a momento, the Minister should have the scissors used to cut the tape. He demanded the customary coin in exchange and this arrived by return of post.
The completed road was of 120 foot width, having two carriageways of 22 feet each, two verges each 7 feet, two cycle tracks each 9 feet, two side verges each 3 feet, and two footways each 8 feet. The sewers were laid under each cycleway and were of such a size as to cater for any future industrial development adjacent to the road. The carriageways were constructed in concrete, each carriageway having a difference of colour for each lane (the colours were not mentioned!). The cycle tracks were constructed of red concrete. Golden privet had been planted on the verges between the carriageways and the cycle tracks, and a selection of trees in the central reservation. It was described as a beautiful road.
There were two bridges, one over the L.M.S. railway and the other over the River Derwent.
The bridge over the railway was at a point where there were four tracks but provision was made for four extra tracks to be added when necessary. The centre line of the bridge formed part of an arc of 928 feet radius and the distance between abutments was 260 feet. There were five separate spans and the distance between parapets was 73 feet. Apart from the abutments the structure was of steel encased by concrete. It involved 60 tons of steel from the Butterley Ironworks Company.
The river bridge was a three span girder bridge. It was 190 feet between abutments and the width between parapets was 77 feet. Again, the bridge was of steel encased by concrete. The “gunite” method had been used - the composition of one part cement to three parts sand had been shot on the steelwork at a pressure of 40lbs per square inch. The Butterley Company had suppled the 300 tons of steel. The contract was carried out by Messrs. G. Fergus Kidd Ltd and cost £30,000.
Raynesway, which is the only road of that name in the UK, was named after William Robert Raynes who was Derby's first Labour councillor and later Mayor of Derby and MP for the town. He was Chairman of the Estates and Development Committee at the time of the road opening.
In his speech at the luncheon following the opening he emphasised how the road was an integral part of the development of the adjacent 300 acres of land suitable for industrial development, which had been relieved of flooding by the Riverlands Improvement Scheme (1930-33).
Derby Outer Ring Road was then renumbered from B5381 to A5111.
Traffic ignoring the A6 Bypass
A traffic census in 1935 revealed that there were 6000 more vehicles using St. Peter's Street, the main south-north throughfare in the town centre, than four years previous. There were several explanations:
* the Ring Road route was 7.25 miles long compared to 4 miles through town * lorry drivers disliked the many roundabouts on the Ring Road * the directional signs were considered inadequate and did not include nearby towns
Property was being bought in 1935 to enable the new Traffic Street relief road, south of the town centre, to be built. As well as providing an inner bypass route for A6 traffic it would also assist traffic heading north on the A61, a much more used route. This became part of A601 Inner Ring Road in due course.
The problem has always remained that the Outer Ring Road is a long way round.
The sub-postmaster who refused to move
One part of the Raynesway scheme that could not be completed by the time of its opening was the widening of the A6 Shardlow Road between the two Ring Road junctions of Harvey Road and Raynesway. It had been held up by the sub-postmaster at the Raynesway junction who had been refusing to budge since the property had been bought by the Council. There was some sympathy for him since his plans for a new house on adjacent land he owned had not yet been passed by the Ministry nor the Council who were trying to evict him. However at the Crown Court hearing of 17 May 1939 the possession order was granted to the Council. The work, which had already advanced, thus proceeded to complete the short dual carriageway section with adjacent service roads and roundabouts at the junctions.
Getting the road back from the War Department
In 1941 one of the carriageways of Raynesway was requisitioned by the War Department for use as an R.A.F. vehicle park. It took a joint action by Derby Borough Corporation and Derbyshire County Council in February 1946 to get the road entirely free for civilian traffic. It required repair work before it could be fully opened.
The river bridge collapse
In March 1947 the river bridge was affected by subsidence following the high river levels and floods which had also damaged the A6 Cavendish Bridge near Shardlow. The north pier on the western upstream bridge had sunk 3 feet into the river bed and it was considered serious. The concrete slab had broken through the road surface on that carriageway and there were cracks in the parapet. It was fortunate that the bridge had been built in two sections with a section for each carriageway, then linked together. Single line traffic had been implemented with a 25 ton weight limit on the eastern downstream carriageway not affected by the subsidence. The solution to save the unaffected carriageway bridge was to cut the bridge back into two so that the two adjoining carriageway sections were severed. The concrete blocks and steel of the centre section were removed.
The affected carriageway had dropped a further 2 feet by May 1947 and it looked a sorry state. Ministry experts had inspected the damage but the cause would not be known until the contract was let and a cofferdam erected around the damaged pier. A further year passed before the contract was agreed for Dorman, Long & Co Ltd to do the work for a fixed fee of £1,850 plus approved costs.
The 140 tons of protective steel piling to make the cofferdam was completed just after October 1947 although there had been problems with the ground conditions. The pier was then rebuilt. Tenders were invited on 9 December 1949 for a complete construction of the westerly carriageway in reinforced concrete with cycleway, footway and parapet above the bridge. The span of the bridge was 190 feet between abutments and 42 feet wide. The bridge was then rebuilt to allow the dual carriageway to reopen. Improvements were also required on the river approaches to prevent a reoccurance of the partial bridge collapse, although the River Trent Catchment Board refused to contribute to the cost.
There remained just 1.5 miles of new road and 1.5 miles of widening work to complete the Derby Outer Ring Road around the North-east part of town and connect the A52 at Spondon to the A6 at Duffield Road and make a complete "circle". From Raynes's speech at the opening of the road bearing his name, it is clear that Derby Outer Ring Road would have been completed in the 1940s had it not been for the outbreak of war.
The unclassified Acorn Way that appears to be a continuation of the Ring Road from Raynesway was built in the 1970s to improve access to the new Oakwood estate. Its route is not a guide to the intended route of the Ring Road, which would have closer followed the line of Oregon Way to a junction with Morley Road.
The cul-de-sac Willetts Road is the only part of the Morley Road - Wood Road link that was built. From Wood Road to Sussex Circus, the wide single-carriageway Max Road has the appearance of a road that boldly goes from nowhere to nowhere as it does not serve its original purpose. Max Road takes its name from local builder Max Nepolski who built the houses on both sides of the road and hundreds of others in Chaddesden.
From Sussex Circus the Ring Road would have descended into the Derwent valley to join the A608 Mansfield Road. After using Mansfield Road bridge to cross the railway, the Ring Road would have continued ahead along a widened Old Chester Road to a new bridge across the Derwent. A sharp curve to the right would have joined Darley Grove, uphill to an even sharper curve left into Darley Park Drive and so to A6 Duffield Road at the Broadway junction to complete the ring.
The 1950s onwards
There was little change to the form of the road for 30 years, after Raynesway had been completed. There remained just the four dual carraigeway sections of Manor Road, Warwick Avenue, Raynesway and the short section of Shardlow Road, Alvaston. Later improvements have included the following:
|1971||Manor Road and Warwick Avenue: undualled stubs off A38 Burton Road dualled|
|1971||Warwick Avenue: undualled quarter mile west of Stenson Road dualled|
|1972||Manor Road: undualled quarter mile east of A516 Uttoxeter New Road dualled|
|1975||Kingsway Roundabout built for A38 Mickleover bypass junction|
|1975||Kingsway: A52 Ashbourne Road to A38 Kingsway Roundabout dualled (except for quarter mile south of A52 Ashbourne Road)|
|1975||Kedleston Road junction roundabout built|
|1975||Harvey Road: half mile east of A514 Osmaston Road dualled|
|1981||Spondon Interchange with A52 Chaddesden bypass junction built|
|1983||Kingsway: undualled quarter mile south of A52 Ashbourne Road dualled|
|1983||Kedleston Road junction overbridge and A38 Queensway extension north built|
|1983||Broadway de-classified and access changed to Kedleston Road|
|1990||Kingsway: Kingsway Retail Park roundabout built|
|1990||Harvey Road: quarter mile west of A6 Shardlow Road dualled|
|1998||Osmaston Park Road: Sinfin Retail Park roundabout built|
|2004||Raynesway: A6 Alvaston bypass junction roundabout built|
|2011||Raynesway Park Junction with A6 Alvaston bypass junction built|
Date is the revision date of the Ordnance Survey map edition that it first appears on (not all editions yet available)
The A38 changes
There was no change to the A5111 ring when the A38 Mickleover bypass was opened in 1975 since the A38 terminated at Kingsway Roundabout. Nor was there any change after the Little Eaton and Ripley bypass had been built in 1978 and the A38 northern extension to Mansfield. The Queensway extension opened by 1983 and Broadway was de-classified but it was not until 1990 that Kingsway, north from Kingsway Roundabout, and Queensway to Kedleston Road was shown as A38 on Ordnance Survey maps and the A5111 truncated to start from Kingsway Roundabout.
The A5111 Derby Outer Ring Road may have lost some of its original purpose of taking long distance through traffic around the City but it remains an important highway between local centres. Later routes now offer more convenient routes such as A52 Brian Clough Way, A61 Sir Frank Whittle Way and A38 Abbey Hill across the “Missing Link”; also the A601 Inner Ring Road and A50 Derby Southern bypass. Without the road the development of Derby would have taken much longer. Over the years it has helped on unemployment relief and housing provision. Industrial development has been given access. The vision of those early town planners has come to fruition. A trip over the road today still reveals a lot of the heritage from its building – the layout, adjacent housing and shops, vegetation plantings and an iconic art deco pub. Enjoy the trip round.