The second Willenhall Bypass in 1987
Old tollhouse on the B4464
Willenhall is a small Black Country town in Staffordshire to the east of Wolverhampton, historically and functionally part of the city. It is historically known for the manufacture of locks and keys, and is one of the few places within the United Kingdom that have been bypassed three times.
In 1821, the New Road through Willenhall did not exist, and the main route was via Wolverhampton Street and the rather wonderfully named Doctor's Piece. The present New Road is, however, shown on the 1835 Ordnance Survey Old Series map of the area, as it was built in that great pass of turnpike road building in the Wolverhampton area in the late 1820s and early 1830s. Indeed, one of the old tollhouses still exists on the route.
In 1922, the A454 ran along the New Road through Willenhall town centre. However, by the early 1950s, it was very clear that the amount of traffic passing through the town was unacceptably high, and Willenhall required a bypass. The original planning for the bypass called for the Bilston Link Motorway from the planned M6 junction at Bentley Interchange to the A4123 southwest of Bilston, with a short spur motorway to Portobello serving to complete the Willenhall Bypass.
After much deliberation, a start was made on the Willenhall Bypass (as an all-purpose road) in the early 1970s, and for a time the A454 was diverted down the new road (known as The Keyway) to the present B4484 junction. As a consequence, the road through Willenhall gained a new number of B4464. After many false starts, the A454 Black Country Route was finally completed in the early 1990s, and so the B4464 was extended eastwards, once again over the former A454 route, to M6 junction 10 at Bentley.
The roads within the town are managed by a combination of City of Wolverhampton Council in the western part, and Walsall MBC in the town centre and eastern areas. There are no Trunk Roads managed by Highways England within the town.
The Primary Routes through Wilenhall are the A454 and A463, whilst the M6 passes just to the east of the town.