|Location Map ( geo)|
|Forward Destination on|
|A34, A51, A520|
|Next Primary Destinations|
|Leek • Nantwich • Newcastle • Rugeley • Stafford • Stoke-on-Trent|
|Places related to the A34|
|Places related to the A51|
|Places related to the A520|
Stone is an old market town and Primary Destination in Staffordshire. It is one of those places that is less important than it used to be - but it has always been a transport centre, emphasised by the number of primary A-roads meeting in the town. However, Stone was deemed too unimportant to merit its own motorway junction with the building of the M6 and so traffic has to travel to Newcastle-under-Lyme or Stafford despite the fact the M6 is only a couple of miles from the town.
It was removed as a Primary Destination in 2011 at the request of Staffordshire County Council though it reappeared on the official list as of March 2012. Its actual status as a Primary Destination is therefore unclear, although it is still listed as being one within the Traffic Signs Manual in April 2020; and has appeared as one in Ordnance Survey 1:250,000 mapping since 2017.
In turnpike days, the point where the main road to North Wales (the present-day A51) split off the main north-south road (the present-day A34) was situated just to the north of Stone. Eventually seven major roads met within a mile of the town centre, six of which were given A-road status in the 1922 Road Lists. The road to Nantwich and Rugeley became the A51, the road to Newcastle and Stafford became the A449 and the road to Leek and Eccleshall became the A520. The Uttoxeter road was given B-road status as the B5026. Interestingly, the A449 already bypassed the centre of town. Although not in the original 1922 lists, the road to the station was given the number B5315 in the mid-1920s.
In 1935, it was decided that the main road between Manchester and Birmingham (and beyond) should have a single number. The A449 was therefore renumbered as part of the A34. Whereas the A51 was the original dominant partner in the multiplex to the north of the town, this was also renumbered as A34.
No further renumbering was done until the 1970s, when the B-road mileage in Stone increased. The B5026 which had ended in Eccleshall was extended over the A520 as far as the A34 in Stone. Soon afterwards, Stone gained a southern bypass taking A51 traffic away from the centre of town. The old A51 became a spur of the B5027, with the exception of a small section right in the middle of town which became A520 for obvious reasons.
However, this renumbering still gave the narrow Stone High Street A-road status. A one-way system was brought in, with northbound traffic diverted away onto Crown Street. It was not until 1995 that southbound traffic was also diverted, onto the newly built Christchurch Way, allowing the High Street to be pedestrianised.
|Newcastle-under-Lyme, Stoke-on-Trent, M6 North||Stoke is reached via A500|
|Stafford, M6 South|
|Leek||Passes through a corner of Stoke-on-Trent, although the city is not signposted this way|
|Town Centre||The original A51 through Stone|
|Railway Station||Not marked on any signs|
|Newcastle-under-Lyme||Accessed via A51, now the A34|
|Stafford||Accessed via A520, now the A34|
|Eccleshall||Now the B5026|