|Location Map ( geo)|
Gailey Island is a small roundabout at the junction of the A5 and A449 in the hamlet of Gailey to the north of Wolverhampton, Staffordshire. It is often confused with Gailey Interchange, which is the junction with the M6 a mile to the east.
The junction was originally a crossroads. The roundabout was built in the mid 20th century when the A449 was dualled. The junction has remained the same ever since.
The early 1970s saw plans for a motorway, M54, running between the M6 and the then new town of Telford. Three routes were shortlisted and the northernmost of these routes would have ran parallel to the A5. This had the potential to alter Gailey Island. At the time it was planned to be built to D3M standard. There would be a lane drop at Gailey to allow the remaining two lanes to continue to the M6 merge. This is common to all the layouts shown here.
A feasibility study was produced in 1970 which suggested a layout where the M54 would split at Gailey with one part heading towards Gailey Interchange for M6 north traffic and the other part freeflowing onto the M6 south immediately to the south of Gailey interchange. Two layouts were produced - the one shown here and another where the split would be to the east of Gailey and C/D lanes would be provided to remove weaving between the two Gailey junctions. The layout shown here would have resulted in most of the buildings surrounding the roundabout being demolished. The existing roundabout is located near the top of the enlarged roundabout. Both these layouts would be complex and as we will soon see the more serious proposals a few years later would simplify the design.
Fast forward to around 1973 and now the designs are looking more realistic. Gone is the freeflow connection between the M54 and A5 towards Gailey Interchange, this traffic has to make do with using the roundabout and existing A5. This layout omits the eastbound entry slip so traffic from the roundabout wanting the M6 south has to use the A5.
An alternative design has the M54 running slightly further south. This means the existing roundabout remains intact and a much larger roundabout is added to the south. No east facing slips are provided for reasons unknown. Again, M54 traffic wanting the M6 north has to leave and use the A5 to Gailey Interchange.
Despite the work involved in designing these junctions the original 1970 study recommended the M54 southern route should be adopted and Telford Development Corporation also preferred the southern route so it's unlikely a motorway was ever going to be built at Gailey Island.
|Cannock, M6 (M5)|
|Stafford, Penkridge, Rodbaston Visitor Centre|
|Telford (M54), Wolverhampton|
|Telford, Weston Park|