|Location Map ( geo)|
|To:||Willaston (S) (SJ326762)|
|Distance:||10.4 miles (16.7 km)|
|Meets:||A553, A5027, A552, B5150, M53, A5137, B5137, B5136, B5133, A540|
|Former Number(s):||A553, B5136|
|Route outline (key)|
The B5151 goes down the centre of the Wirral Peninsula.
The road starts at traffic lights on the A553 Bidston bypass and heads west into Bidston village, where it TOTSOs left onto Boundary Road, doubling back on itself. It climbs through a cutting before levelling out. At this point there are houses on the left but not on the right. A short distance further on the road reaches a T-junction and crosses an unclassified road via a staggered crossroads but keeps the name Boundary Road.
The B5151 passes a cemetery before crossing the A5027 at traffic lights. It now has buildings on both sides of the road. It zigzags through Oxton before descending to another set of traffic lights, where it crosses the A552. After going through Prenton the road becomes semi-rural once again. It crosses a double roundabout before skirting Higher Bebington. Soon after passing the B5150 the road enters open country, although to begin with there is a golf course on the left. Presently the road reaches a roundabout. This is M53 junction 4, where it also meets the A5137 and B5137.
On the far side of the roundabout is a short dual-carriageway section passing Clatterbridge Hospital. The road then narrows once more and continues through the Cheshire countryside. It meets the B5136 at the next roundabout before continuing for a couple of miles to a T-junction in the village of Willaston. There is a short multiplex along the B5133 east into the centre of the village.
The B5151 regains its number by turning south by the village green. It passes the disused Hadlow Road station on the line from Hooton to West Kirby. Since closure the line has been turned into the Wirral Country Park and the station has been preserved as a museum and visitor centre with a section of track and the level crossing gates in situ.
The road enters open country once more and continues south along Hadlow Road. It ends a few hundred yards further on at traffic lights on the A540.
The B5151 is a good road for social historians as it emphasises the changes that have occurred in the UK since 1922 - the closure of the railway line from Hooton to West Kirby is just one of these changes.
The B5151 is described in the 1922 Road Lists as Clatterbridge Workhouse - Birkenhead. It started on the B5136 by the workhouse (now Clatterbridge Hospital) and headed north through what was mostly open country to end on the A552 on the edge of the Birkenhead urban area.
By 1932 the road had been extended in both directions, receiving more-or-less its current route. In the north it ended on the A553 in the centre of Bidston; in the south it multiplexed along the B5136 and B5133 to reach the A540 south of Willaston.
In the years since, much of the road has been taken over by the spread of the Birkenhead/Wallasey conurbation. The northern end has been extended along a short section of A553 when that road was rerouted onto the Bidston bypass.
Things are a little more complicated where the B5136 is concerned. This road originally met the B5151 where the roundabout by Clatterbridge Hospital is now (having come in from Bebington along Old Clatterbridge Road). When the B5151 was extended south the B5136 was the dominant number in the multiplex. However, when the M53 was built this severed the road's original line, requiring a rerouting. Despite the fact that the B5136 was originally the dominant partner in multiplexes with the B5151 and B5137 the rerouting swapped the dominant road in both cases. As such the M53 roundabout is now the northern end of a B5151/B5136 multiplex, with the B5151 dominant (although the B5136 does not actually reach the roundabout as it multiplexes along the B5137 east of here). The B5136 number reappears about a mile further south, with the B5151 having taken over part of its route south of the hospital.