|Location Map ( geo)|
|To:||Chelmsley Wood (SP197852)|
|Distance:||3.7 miles (6 km)|
|Meets:||B4102, A45, A446, A452|
|Route outline (key)|
The road starts at a roundabout on the B4102 to the east of Catherine-de-Barnes and heads north. Initially wooded, the road soon reaches open fields and presently passes to the west of Bickenhill. After bearing to the right a complicated GSJ is met.
We go under a freeflow slip road linking the westbound A45 to Birmingham Airport, then reach the roundabout providing access to the main road. On the far side the B4438 becomes dual-carriageway and remains so for the rest of its route. At the next roundabout the right turn is for Birmingham International station but we turn left towards the airport, then right at the next roundabout away from it. After passing under the railway connecting the airport to the station we go over the main railway line then descend to a further roundabout serving a trading estate and airport hotel.
Continuing on, we cross another couple of roundabouts providing access to businesses or hotels. After a roundabout se, but is not connected to, rving the NEC, we bear left and end at another roundabout junction where we can join the A446 or A452. This roundabout is built over the M42.
An amended OpenStreetMap trace for this route awaits uploading to the SABRE Wiki.
The B4438 first came into existence in the mid-1920s but followed no part of the route described above. Originally it started on the B4102 in Hampton-in-Arden. From here it headed northwestwards along Old Station Road before ending on the A45 after about a mile. This junction was destroyed when the M42 was built and its J6 placed in more-or-less the same place. Although access still exists for pedestrians, the entire B4438 was moved a short distance to the west. For some time it retained its original northern terminus on the A45 but upgrades of the road network around the airport and NEC led to the extension of the B4438 northwards, giving the road its current trace.