|Location Map ( geo)|
|Junctions related to the A448|
Prior to the construction of the eastern bypass, the Stratford Road ran through the site of the current junction, having had 3 numbers in its life. When the roads were first numbered in 1922 it took the A449 number, however this was revised to become the A491 in the 1935 revision. Evidence of the former route of the Stratford Road can be spotted in two oxbow roads to the east of the junction.
The first major change in the area came with the construction of the A448 Bromsgrove Highway in the 1970s, bypassing the existing routes between Bromsgrove and Redditch. This tied in with the existing Stratford Road where the roundabout is now located. As a result of this, the A448 was re-routed through Bromsgrove along the Stratford road, causing the A491 to be curtailed back to the Stourbridge Road / Birmingham Road junction, half a mile to the north west.
There was no junction at this site until the Bromsgrove Eastern Bypass was constructed in the 1980s, creating a roundabout on this site. As part of this, the oxbow road section of the Stratford Road became a one way access to the adjacent golf club, exiting onto the roundabout. The fifth exit to the roundabout didn't appear for another few years, to create access to the Oakhalls housing estate.
The junction as it stands today isn't entirely how it was planned to be constructed. It was designed to be a grade separated roundabout with the A38 passing below as a D2 route, see map. There is no evidence of the bigger plans for this junction on the ground, other than the wider than usual alignments of the A38 to the north and south of the junction.
Today, the junction regularly finds itself congested at peak times, with queues building up on all approaches. Traffic from the Oakhalls Estate has particular difficulty entering the roundabout because the exit is rarely used to break the flow of traffic. A recent scheme to improve safety at the junction has been branded confusing.
(M5 North, M42)
|Previously numbered A449 and A491|