|To:||Lower Leighton (SJ244066)|
|Distance:||2 miles (3.2 km)|
|Meets:||A458, A490, A458, A483, B4388|
|Former Number(s):||B4391, B4390|
|Route outline (key)|
The B4381 is a short link road running through Welshpool.
The road starts on the western side of town at a roundabout on the A458 and A490. Our road heads east along Brook Street and is signed as an alternative to the A458 for Shrewsbury or Oswestry avoiding the town centre; that doesn't stop it reaching the town centre, however, although we do avoid the narrower streets. It's not long before we merge into the A458 one-way system by Sainsbury's. We then follow that road, bearing right onto Church Street (there's a short section here where traffic drives on the right) then left at traffic lights onto Severn Street to regain the B4381 number. Westbound traffic goes straight across the traffic lights onto the A458 Broad Street then right onto Jehu Road before bearing left back onto Brook Street.
The B4381 continues east along Severn Road over the Montgomery Canal to a mini-roundabout by the station. Turn left here for the A453 but we turn right to go over a bridge over that road and the railway line. From the bridge it can be seen that the station building visible from the roundabout now only fronts onto the A453, which has been built on the old track bed. The railway line still exists on the far side but has been much reduced.
We return to ground level at another mini-roundabout in an industrial estate and turn right to regain our easterly route. The road soon reaches open country and makes a beeline for the hills visible ahead. After crossing the River Severn we follow a dead-straight route climbing gently to end at a T-junction on the B4388, still in the river valley.
In 1922 the only part of the present B4381 that was classified was the short link from the pre-bypass A483 in the town centre and the station, which was numbered B4390. Brook Street gained Class II status later in the 1920s, as an extension of the B4391.
The B4381 came to the area in 1935. It is certain that the road ran east of Welshpool and so the road must have taken over the whole of what was the B4390. As the B4391 was cut back so it no longer reached Welshpool it is likely that the B4381 took on that road's old route in the town as well but this is not definitely known.