|Distance:||12 miles (19.3 km)|
|Meets:||A61, B6388, B6081, B6068, B6054, B6051, A619|
|Old route now:||B6388, B6081|
|Route outline (key)|
The A621 crosses the moors south of Sheffield.
Sheffield - Baslow
The road begins at the Bramall Lane roundabout on the Inner Ring Road in Sheffield. It heads down Bramall Lane, multiplexes for a short while with the A61 and the heads right onto Wolseley Road. We then turn left onto Abbeydale Road and it follows the old tram route out into the suburbs (although there are no trams here now). This section is lined with houses and shops, and can get very congested. We continue through Millhouses, with some useful dual-carriageway as we go. This side of Sheffield is a world away from the east of the city where all the industry was concentrated; on the contrary we pass attractive recreational areas and woodland before too long.
The road shadows the Midland Main Line for about five miles until Dore, which literally means "door" in the sense of a gap in the hills: in days of yore this was the boundary between Mercia and Northumbria; the Limb Brook, crossed just before Dore & Totley station, later became the Yorkshire/Derbyshire county boundary. The traffic starts to get lighter as we get here and, once through its twin suburb of Totley (with more dual-carriageway), we are quickly out into the wilds of the Peak District, and climb up onto the moors where the views are either stunning or non-existent, depending on the fog. Soon there's a strange sausage-shaped "roundabout" at Owler Bar, inspired it would appear by the layout of a Roman chariot-racing circuit; here we meet the B6051 and B6054. From here, more-or-less the highest point, the descent south of the watershed is picturesque: wild moorland with the rocky outcrops of Froggatt Edge to the west. Eventually the road terminates just outside Baslow at a spacious roundabout, where it meets the A619, having survived for eleven miles.
This is a heavily-used road, particularly by HGVs, and the return journey from Baslow to Sheffield in particular can be slow going. It is, surprisingly, not a primary route, but a glance at the map will suggest that it ought to be, as it accepts Sheffield-bound traffic from Macclesfield, Buxton, and even Stockport and Manchester. Possibly the Peak District National Park Authority originally lobbied against this when the primary route system was set up in the 1960s, much as the "greening" of the A684 further north was opposed.
After turning right to leave the A61, the S2 urban section through Abbeydale can get very congested - journey times of 15 minutes for the two-mile stretch are not uncommon.The uphill approach to Owler Bar roundabout (which is indeed shaped like an elongated sausage!) has been straightened - the old alignment is now a lay-by on either side of the present route - plus it has two lanes going up the hill too.
Historic route in Sheffield
In 1922 the A621 started on the A57 High Street near the Anglican cathedral. It ran along Fargate, Pinstone Street and The Moor, passing the start of the A625 before continuing along London Road and Abbeydale Road. The road was later extended north along a short multiplex along the A57 and then the former A6019 to meet the A61 at the Snig Hill/West Bar junction.
After Arundel Gate was built the route moved to run along Arundel Gate and Eyre Street to the Bramall Lane junction with the Inner Ring Road A6134 as was, with the London Road/Abbeydale Road section downgraded to B6388 and B6081. After the Supertram was built the start point was moved yet again to Sheaf Square roundabout and started off along Commercial Street.
As of 2007 all the city centre routes have been renumbered downgrading almost all roads within the Inner Ring Road, so the A621 now starts at the Inner Ring Road, now the A61.
Original Author(s): Simon Mold
Sheffield City Council