|Location Map ( geo)|
|Telford and Wrekin|
|Forward Destination on|
|M54, A5, A442, A464, A518|
|Next Primary Destinations|
|Birmingham • Bridgnorth • Shrewsbury • Stafford • Whitchurch • Wolverhampton|
|Other Nearby Primary Destinations|
|Other Nearby Destinations|
|Highways England Roads|
|Places related to the M54|
|Places related to the A5|
|Places related to the A442|
|Places related to the A464|
|Places related to the A518|
Telford is a New Town (and the largest town) in the Traditional County of Shropshire. It is named after Thomas Telford, one of the foremost historical figures in the civil engineering field, whose Holyhead Road runs through the town. Coalbrookdale and the Ironbridge Gorge are located within the town, which uses the slogan The Birthplace of Industry.
Most of the road network within the area was completely revamped during the construction of the New Town, and much of the historic layout in the area is now lost. It took over from Wellington as a Primary Destination as part of this process.
Before the New Town, the area that is now Telford consisted of three small towns: Wellington, Oakengates and Dawley, as well as many small mining villages. The road network was, as might be expected, therefore somewhat fragmented and there were only three routes within the area of regional importance on their way the county town of Shrewsbury (and beyond that, Wales) and other parts of the country: A5 towards Cannock, A464 towards Wolverhampton and A518 towards Stafford. The fact that the latter two roads terminated at Oakengates and Wellington respectively was merely co-incidence as only small amounts of traffic was generated by the Telford area itself; instead the geography of the area including the hill at The Wrekin and the Ironbridge Gorge to the south meant that the routes coincided.
The Ironbridge was constructed in what has become the southern suburbs of Telford in 1779. Famous as being the first bridge made of iron (as the name suggests), it is still in situ and is now part of the World Heritage site. It is, however, now closed to all vehicular traffic and serves solely as a tourist attraction.
In the mid-1830s, Thomas Telford constructed his Holyhead Road, which used what is now parts of the B5061 and A464 (as well as two unclassified sections of road) on the section between Shrewsbury and Wolverhampton, avoiding both Wellington and Oakengates town centres on the route.
In 1963, Dawley New Town was designated as an overspill for Wolverhampton and the Black Country, before being expanded and renamed to Telford New Town in 1968. As befitted a planned population of 250,000, the proposed New Town road network would see much change from the extant network. The planned system consisted of a circular grade-separated primary distributor network, with major links to the proposed motorway to Wolverhampton near to the sites of what is today M54 junctions 4 and 6. Within the New Town itself, the secondary distributor network were to be of a dual-carriageway standards, though with no grade-separation.
In the mid-1970s, however, the plans for Telford were scaled back to a target population of 150,000 and as such the proposed primary network was converted from the earlier ring to a cross system, where the former eastern side of the primary network would become the major north-south link.
By this time, work had started on the new road network, and in common with other New Towns, proposed dual carriageways were laid down with one carriageway first, with the space left for the other carriageway to allow for future growth. After the downsizing of the New Town, work continued on expanding the road network using the reserved highway land in one of two ways. The first option involved placing the single-carriageway replacement road in the centre line of the reserved land, often with full-width bridges for any future expansion. This approach can be be seen on the A4640 to the east of the town, whilst the second option, which involved the scaled-down road using the full width of the reserved land but meandering from side to side within the space allocated, can be seen on A4169 to the south of the town.
Several routes run through the Telford area.
|Wellington||former route of A5 and A464|
|Lawley||Out of zone|
|now part of A5|
|now unclassified, originally A5.|
See main article Named Junctions in Telford