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Highway Authority
Forward Destination on
M6, M69, A45, A46, A423, A428, A429, A444, A4114, A4540, A4600
Next Primary Destinations
Banbury • Birmingham • Leicester • Northampton • Nuneaton • Rugby • Warwick
Places related to the M6
Wolverhampton • Stoke-on-Trent • Stafford • Carlisle • Wigan • Birmingham • Rugby • Penrith • Lancaster • Preston • Gretna • Abington • Walsall
Places related to the A45
Places related to the A46
Places related to the A423
Places related to the A428
Bedford • Cambridge • Northampton • Rugby • St Neots • DIRFT
This article is about the city.
For the Highway Authority based around the city, see Coventry Council

Coventry is a city located in the historic county of Warwickshire. Coventry Cathedral is one of the newest in the world, the original cathedral having been destroyed in the Second World War.

The city has an infamous ring road, where all but one of the junctions are grade-separated and spaced closely together. It was also one of the first cities to receive a bypass in the 1930s, which is now showing its age, particularly where the A45 meets the A429.


Early changes

Coventry as it was in 1946

Perhaps the earliest significant road improvement is Holyhead Road built as part of Thomas Telford's route between London and Dublin. This provides a more direct route between the city centre and Allesley than the former road, Allesley Old Road.

The first major road built in Coventry since the birth of the motor car is the A45 bypass in the 1930s. Each section ends in the word Highway, a naming convention identical to a planned bypass around the east of the city. This would have started at Whitley and run northwards to Longford. Only the central section, Hipswell Highway, Sewall Highway and Proffitt Avenue, was initially built. The southern section opened several decades later as Allard Way. The section north of B4082 Old Church Road was never built.

Finally, there was yet another bypass planned at the time although only one segment conforms to the Highway naming convention. This one runs around the northwest of the city and follows the line of Norman Place Road-Wallace Road-Bruce Road-Beake Avenue-Parkville highway-Nunts Lane-Wheelwright Lane. The ultimate aim was to start where the A4114/B4076/B4106 roundabout now is in Allesley and end up in Exhall. There is one small piece of evidence still visible on the ground showing where the extension to Allesley would have gone. This is a strip of land between houses at the junction of Normal Place Road and Hollyfast Road.

Given that these latter two roads would have been suburban single carriageways lined with houses for much of their length one can wonder how they would have coped with rising traffic levels in the following decades.

Post-war changes

1970s proposals

During the second half of the 20th century the plans become more complex. Out with the suburban streets masquerading as bypasses and in with urban motorways. The two most significant roads are the North-South Motorway and the East-West Motorway. Whilst the line of these roads makes them more of throughpasses compared to the earlier plans they offer much more capacity than the war-time schemes could have offered. To complement these two motorways there would have been a network of other new roads, all dual carriageway, to keep the city moving. These 1960s proposals were refined in the following decade by improving some of the junction layouts. It is these proposals from 1973-1974 which are shown here. It should be noted the word motorway was omitted from the north-south and east-west routes by this time but the standard of these roads remained the same.

By this time it became clear the entire highway plan wouldn't be complete for another 30 to 40 years due to the amount of funding central government would provide. On the plus side the inner ring road was built exactly as planned in its entirety and with the grade separation intact. The other parts of the plan to be completed were the southern end of the North-South Road and one carriageway of the A4082 Allard Way. The next section in the pipeline was the North-South Road between M6 J3 and Holbrooks along with the Holbrook spur. This was not built and the remainder of the road schemes were scrapped in 1981 apart from the link between Junction 3 of the inner ring road and Gosford Green Island which was heavily watered down from the original proposals.

Sky Blue Way (the Far Gosford Street Relief Road) was a dual carriageway from the Ringway Whitefriars link roundabout to Binley Road (by Gulson Road) and was officially opened on 4 July 1988. It threaded through a narrow corridor at the back of premises on the north side of the Street such that only a few properties needed to be demolished (the 1960's scheme to the south would have demolished 350 properties including 5 listed building). Contractor was Galliford and Sons of Wolvey, contract price £1.5 million, cost £4.9 million.

Since then there has been progress. The North-South Road north of Gosford Green Island was completed in the 1990s although to a much lower standard. The eastern bypass was built around the same time. Coundon Wedge Drive was also a 1990s creation although only a single carriageway instead of the dualled 1970s proposals. More recently Tollbar End has been grade separated although it favours the A46 instead of the A45. The other two roundabouts on the eastern bypass are also due to receive similar treatment over the coming decade.


Route To Notes


(M1) London
(A14) Rugby


The NORTH WEST, Birmingham


The NORTH (M1)
Hinckley, Leicester
Hinckley is accessed via A5


London (M45, M1 (S))
Northampton (M45)
Rugby (A4071)
M1 is accessed via M45


Birmingham, M42 (M6) Accessed by A4114


Warwick, M40, Banbury, The SOUTH Banbury is accessed via M40


Southam Accessed via A45




Coventry Ring Road




Walsgrave on Sowe, M6











Keresley, Radford














Howes Lane




Keresley now part of B4098

A45 • A46 • A423 • A427 • A428 • A429 • A444 • A445 • A4023 • A4053 • A4082 • A4114 • A4170 • A4273 • A4600 • B4027 (Warwickshire) • B4076 • B4082 (Coventry) • B4098 • B4101 • B4105 (Coventry) • B4106 • B4107 • B4107 (Coventry city centre) • B4108 • B4109 • B4110 • B4111 (Coventry - Kilworth) • B4113 • B4115 • B4118 (Coventry) • B4428 • B4454 (Coventry) • B4481 • B4544 • Coventry East-West Motorway • Coventry North-South Motorway • Droitwich - Leicester Motorway • E24 • E28 (Birmingham - Ipswich) • E33 (London - Glasgow) • E33 (Northampton - Liverpool) • Holyhead Road • M6 • M45 • M69 • Northern and Western Motorway • Sherbourne Valley Road • T11 (Britain) • T44 (Britain) • T114 (Britain)
Related Pictures
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Stoke, Coventry - Geograph - 5138.jpgBinley Woods Roundabout - Geograph - 37150.jpgTollbar End roadworks showing A46.JPGTollbar End improvement works (north side).jpgGosford Green Interchange traffic light scheme.png
Places in the West Midlands region
Major citiesBirmingham • Coventry • Stoke-on-Trent • Wolverhampton
Primary DestinationsBirmingham International Airport • Bridgnorth • Bromsgrove • Brownhills • Burton upon Trent • Cannock • Dudley • Evesham • Hereford • Kidderminster • Leamington Spa • Leek • Leominster • Lichfield • Newcastle • Nuneaton • Oswestry • Redditch • Ross • Rugby • Rugeley • Shrewsbury • Solihull • Stafford • Stone • Stourbridge • Stratford • Tamworth • Telford • Uttoxeter • Walsall • Warwick • West Bromwich • Whitchurch • Worcester
Other placesBewdley • Bilston • Coseley • Droitwich • Halesowen • Ledbury • Ludlow • Malvern • N.E.C. • Smethwick • Southam • Sutton Coldfield • Wednesbury • Wednesfield • Wellington • Willenhall


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