- A41 road
UK road routebox
The A41 is a formerly-major
trunk roadin Englandthat links Londonand Birkenhead, although as stated below it has now largely been superseded by motorways. It passes through or near various towns and cities including Watford, Hemel Hempstead, Aylesbury, Solihull, Birmingham, West Bromwich, Wolverhampton, Whitchurch, Chester and Ellesmere Port.
It follows part of the line of the old
Roman road, Akeman Street.
With the opening of the M40 right through to its link up with the M42 near Birmingham in 1990, much of the route has been downgraded in importance, and renumbered accordingly. The section between
Bicesterand the M42 near Solihull no longer possesses this number as a result, being known as the A4141 and A4177 between Solihull and Warwick and the B4100 between Warwick and Bicester. Much of the route is an adequate alternative to the M40, except sections in Oxfordshireat Adderbury(where the road has a sharp turn at traffic lights) and in Northamptonshireat Aynho, where the road narrows.
London to Watford
The southern section begins near
Marble Archin London, at the junction with Oxford Street(A40), near Selfridges. The north-bound traffic uses Gloucester Place, and the south-bound uses Baker Street. It is the main route from the West End of London to/from the north (M1). The road crosses Marylebone Roadclose to Madame Tussauds, Baker St tube station, and Marylebone railway station. Close to Regents Park, the two directions begin as one road. The road passes near Lord's Cricket Groundand Abbey Road Studios(Abbey Road runs parallel to the A41). It passes through Swiss Cottage, before becoming dual-carriageway on "Hendon Way". It intersects with the North Circular Road near Brent Crossshopping centre. The road passes through Hendonand begins to run parallel with the M1. From the junction with the A5150 (close to the Metropolitan Police's police college and the RAF Museum), it runs directly next to the M1. It overlaps the A1 at "Five Ways Corner", which is also junction 2 of the M1, with the section known as "Watford Way". It passes through Mill Hill, and separates with the A1 at a roundabout at "Apex Corner". It heads west, crossing the M1, the runs parallel to the A5 near Edgware. Near Elstree, it meets the M1 at junction 4, then meets the A5 at a roundabout, where the A5 becomes the A5183, near an Esso petrol station, [http://www.aldenhamsc.co.uk Aldenham Reservoir] and [http://www.wildlifetrust.org.uk/herts/reserves/hilfield%20park%20reservoir.htm Hilfield Park Reservoir] . It runs next to the M1 and enters Hertfordshireclose to Bushey. This section is known as "Elton Way", which ends at a roundabout with the B462 (for Aldenham) and near [http://www.patchetts.co.uk Patchett's Equestrian Centre] . The next section is dual-carriageway.
Running parallel to the M1, it intersects at junction 5, known as the "Berrygrove Interchange" or "
AldenhamTerminal", the original endpoint of the M1 pre-1967. The road passes over the River Colne east and north of Watford as a bypass, meeting the A412 at Garston at the Dome roundaboutwith a Shell and Sainsburys petrol stations as well as an Asda. There is the [http://www.westherts.ac.uk/about/all/leggatts.htm West Herts College] (Leggatts Campus). The road passes the North Watford mosqueand nearby Leavesden Film Studiosbefore meeting the £4.5m junction with the A405 opened in April 1978. It crosses the River Gade/ Grand Union Canalby a doglegknown as Hunton Bridge and meets the M25 at the "Hunton Bridge Interchange", also junction 20. The old route through Kings Langleyis now the A4251.
Watford to Tring
North of the M25 the road is a near
motorwaystandard "A" road with all junctions grade-separated via underpasses or flyovers, but curves and gradients a little steeper. There are no hard shoulders but frequent lay-bys. It climbs through the Chiltern Hillsand there are many scenic vistas of rolling hills and wooded valleys. A descent into the valley of the River Bulbournetakes it across water meadows just outside Hemel Hempsteadat Boxmoor. There are GSJ's with the A414, A4251 and A416. More striking open country is encountered north of here passing west of Berkhamsted. It passes the National Film Archive. Before Tring, near Wigginton, it crosses the Icknield Way Pathand Chiltern Way. An impressive arched footbridge spans the road just near the summit before it passes just east of Tring(for the Ridgeway footpath) and descends the Chiltern scarp into the Vale of Aylesbury.
Tring - Bicester
Tringbypass was built in 1973 as the A41(M) motorway, the first section of the Watford-Tring Motorway, although this section has been downgraded since July 6th 1987. The A41(M) was originally designed to run from Tringvia what is now M25 junction 19a to M1 junction 5. It starts with the junction with the A4251 (former A41) and B4635 (former route through Tring), and passes through Tring Park. The Tring bypass ends with the border of Hertfordshire, at the junction with the B4635, B4009 (former route through Aston Clinton) and B488.
The section to Tring was finally built in the early 1990s, although to a lower standard and only as far as M25 junction 20. There were two sections - the seven-mile £23.9m
Berkhamstedbypass, opened September 1993 and five-mile £32.7m Kings Langleybypass, opened August 1993. The road traverses the Chiltern Hills.
On October 3rd 2003, this section was extended to the three-mile £25m
Aston ClintonBypass, which was originally intended to be built at the same time as the two sections further south. It enters Buckinghamshireand the district of Aylesbury Vale. It crosses the Grand Union Canal, and there is a junction with the B489, and finishes at a roundabout, becoming "Aston Clinton Road". The road goes straight through Aylesbury, which is a bottleneck. It meets the A4157 at a roundabout as "Tring Road", and the next roundabout is near Aylesbury Grammar Schooland a Tesco. It meets the A418 ring-road and becomes "Exchange Street", then meets the A413 from Wendoverat a roundabout and becomes "Friarage Road", passing close to a Morrisonsand the train station. The A418 lefts to the left and it becomes "Gatehouse Road", then at the next roundabout, it leaves to left as "Bicester Road" near the Texaco"Aylesbury Service Station". After four roundabouts, it crosses the River Thame. It passes under a railway line, then through Waddesdon, then passes close to Westcott near the former airfield of RAF Westcott. At Kingswood, it passes the "Crooked Billet" and "Plough and Anchor" pubs. It enters Oxfordshireand the district of Cherwell, and at Blackthorn it crosses the River Rayand meets a low bridge of 14 feet.
Bicester - Solihull
The £5.7m two-mile first stage of the Bicester bypass opened in November 1990, with the two-mile £3.9m second stage (part of the A421 section to Wendlebury) opened in May 1993, and has many roundabouts. Since 1993, the road now heads south-west where it officially becomes part of the M40 at junction 9, meeting with the A34 (which also overlaps the M40 to Birmingham - to draw traffic off the previous routes). The former route went through
Warwick. From here to the M42, the original route is now mainly designated as the B4100 (multiplexing at points with the current A361 and A422 through Banbury, plus the A452 and A425 approaching and through Warwick) followed by the A4177 and A4141, the latter two both excellent wide roads. At junction 5 of the M42, the A41 follows its old course. Further north, the road bypasses Solihulland goes through the city centres of Birminghamand Wolverhampton.
olihull - Wolverhampton
Now as an A road, the road manifests from the junction (opened in November 1976) with the A4141 and M42 near
Berry Hall Farm[http://www.ewgreen.org.uk/solihull-11.htm (Picture)] , and crosses the River Blytheand bypasses Solihull. The former route through Solihull is now the B4025 and B425, which passes Solihull School. The A41 has a staggered junction with the B4102 (for Solihull and Catherine-de-Barnes) near the BUPA[http://www.bupahospitals.co.uk/solihull Parkway Hospital] . At Lode Heath, there is crossroads with the B425 (for [http://www.heartsol.wmids.nhs.uk Solihull Hospital] ) where the road is the "Seven Star Road". The A41 resumes the old route at another junction with the B425, becoming "Warwick Road", which is the name of the route all the way into Birmingham. At Worlds Endthere is the Shell Solihull garage on the left. Next is Ulverley Green and it passes the BPMereside garage on the right and passes under the Chiltern Main Line(for Leamington) near Olton station, [http://www.solihull.gov.uk/section.asp?catid=200259&docid=938 Olton Library] and Olton Reservoir. At the junction with the B4514, there is a Tescopetrol station and the road enters the city of Birmingham. The B4514 leads onto Olton Boulevard and can be used to bypass Acocks Green, although there is one section to be completed near Sparkhill. It passes Archbishop Ilsey RC School at Acocks Green, then meets the B4146 and B4217 at a roundabout near a Sainsburys. It meets the A4040 ring road at a staggered junction and crosses the Birmingham -Stratford Line near Tyseley station and the Tyseley Locomotive Works. At Sparkhill, it crosses the River Cole and meets the B4145 at a roundabout near [http://www.goldenhillock.bham.sch.uk Golden Hillock School] . At Sparkbrook, it meets the A34 "Stratford Road" and there is a crossroads with the A4540 and B4126. The two main routes overlap around central Birmingham and meet the A4540 Middleway inner ring road. The former route of the A41 through inner Birmingham is now the B4100 heading past the Digbeth National Expresscoach station, and passes near St Chad's RC Cathedral. The A41 resumes at Constitution Hill near Snow Hill train station, passing through Hockley where it meets the northern section of the A4540. There is a staggered junction with the A4040 as the road passes through Handsworth (at this point known as Soho Road) which is a particular bottleneck with narrow lanes, on-street parking and several close-set junction, often very badly congested. At the Hawthorns in West Bromwichit enters the borough of Sandwell. It meets the M5 at junction 1, where it also meets the A4168. In 2004, there were plans to re-route the road between Birmingham & West Bromwich along the current A457via Smethwick& up to the M5 at Junction 1 along the current A4168. These plans were scrapped soon after. It bypasses West Bromwich on a dual-carriageway called the "Expressway". There is a roundabout with the A4031 and the former route follows the A4196 from a roundabout. The new route is called the Black CountryNew Road, and crosses the Midland Metrotram near Guns Village. There is a roundabout with the B4149 at Swan Village. From the roundabout with the A461(for Dudley) at Great Bridge, it overlaps the A461 (to Walsall), crosses the Tame Valley Canal, meets the A4037 at a roundabout and goes under the Midland Metro near Wednesbury Parkway station. The A461 heads off to junction 9 of the M6 & Walsall. The A41 follows the old route from the next roundabout and enters the borough of Walsall. At the junction with the A4444 it crosses the Walsall Canal. There are junctions with the A4098 (where the road enters the borough of Wolverhampton) and B4163. The road goes straight through the middle of Bilston, where it meets the dual-carriageway A463 Black Country Routeat a busy roundabout. Close by is the Bilston Central station, near Morrisons. There is a junction with the B4484 (for the A454) near The Crescent station. At Priestfield, it meets the B4162, and passes the [http://www.wolverhamptoncollege.ac.uk/admin/howtofindus.html City of Wolverhampton College] Wellington Road Campus (Bilston) near Priestfield station. From here, the Midland Metro runs down the centre of the road. There is a roundabout with the A4126 and the road passes under the Wolverhampton loop of the West Coast Main Lineat Monmore Green, and crosses the Birmingham Canal. It overlaps the A4150 Wolverhampton Ring Road, then passes [http://www.nhs.uk/England/Hospitals/ShowHospital.aspx?id=5MV02 West Park Hospital] and crosses the Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal. It passes through Tettenhall, past [http://www.tettenhallcollege.co.uk Tettenhall College] .
Wolverhampton - Newport
It leaves the borough of Wolverhampton near
Wergswhere it crosses the River Penk. It passes [http://www.localhistory.scit.wlv.ac.uk/articles/Tettenhall/tetten06.htm Wrottesley Hall] , where there is a golf course. There is a junction with the A464 (for Shifnal), and the road enters Shropshire. It crosses the Wolverhampton to Shrewsbury Lineon the Albrighton bypass. The Monarch's Waycrosses and the road passes close to the RAF Museum at Cosford (through the middle of the RAF base). There is the M54 junction 3 and the road passes through Tong, and is crossed by the Monarchs Way. Close by to the east is one of the sites of the V Festivalat Weston Park. The road meets the A5 at a roundabout, which is on the border with Staffordshire. At Weston Heath, there is a junction with the B5314. At the junction of the B4379, the road enters Telford and Wrekin. Nearby is Woodcote Hall (now a nursing home). The five mile £6m Newport bypass opened in early 1985. The former route went through Chetwynd Aston. Newport is home of the [http://www.harper-adams.ac.uk Harper Adams] agricultural college, at Edgmond. The road meets the A518 (for Telford) at a roundabout. There is another roundabout with the A518 for the eastern direction (which passes nearby Aqualate Park). There is a roundabout with the A519 and B5062 (for Whitchurch).
Newport - Whitchurch
The road rejoins the old route and passes Chetwynd Park. It passes Standford Hall, crosses the
River Meeseand goes through Standford Bridge, then re-enters Shropshire. The £1.5m HinstockBypass opened in late 1983. It passes through High Heath, [http://www.cs.bham.ac.uk/~slb/fords/Shakeford.htm Shakeford] , Crickmery which is near [http://www.northshropshire.com/villages/wistanswick/wistanswick.php Wistanswick] . Nearby is RAF Ternhillnear Stoke Heath, a former wartime fighter base and a [http://www.hmprisonservice.gov.uk/prisoninformation/locateaprison/prison.asp?id=523,15,2,15,523,0 HM Young Offender Institution] . The road crosses the River Tern, meets the A53 at a roundabout with a Total garage at Ternhill. Close by at Market Draytonnext to the A53, is Müller Dairy, maker of popular yoghurts. After Bletchley Manor, there is three miles of dual carriageway. At Sandford, there is the B5065, Sandford Hall and Darliston. The road passes through Prees Higher Heath near a former airfield (RAF Tilstock), and meets the A49 at a roundabout near Tilstock. The three-mile £13.7m Whitchurch Bypass opened in July 1992, where the road meets the A49.
Whitchurch - Birkenhead
The final stretch of the road leaves Shropshire and heads north through Cheshire passing various castles such as Beeston and Peckforton. The road bypasses Chester, before running through the suburbs of
Ellesmere Port(where the road was downgraded for safety reasons in the early 1990s) it heads to the junction of the M53 and Merseysideborder. At Bebington, the road goes past the Odeoncinema at Spital. It goes through Port Sunlight, then there is a dual-carriageway section on the New Ferryand Rock Ferrybypass. It passes an oil terminal and Green Lane railway station. The road finally ends in Birkenhead just near the mouth of the Queensway Tunnelwhich passes under the River Mersey and enters Liverpool to meet the start of the A59. The A41 passes a junction with the A554 and A552 near the Birkenhead bus station. The end of the road offers spectacular views over the Mersey to Liverpool at Woodside Ferry Terminal, the home of Ferry 'cross the Mersey.
History of the road number
The original (1923) route of the A41 was
Stanmoreto Oakengates, meeting the A5 at both ends.
The A41 has since been extended at both ends. The northern extension dates from 1935. In Shropshire, the A41 swapped places with the A464 and the A529; the original A464 ran from Kingswood Common to Nantwich, and the original A529 ran from Hinstock to Chester. North of Chester, the A41 replaced part of the A51.
The southern extension dates from after the Second world war. Watford Way was opened in about 1930 as the A5088. In 1935, it was renumbered A500, and it later became the A41.
British road numbering scheme
* [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/beds/bucks/herts/3160720.stm BBC News - "Village gets bypass after 40 years" - 03/10/2003]
* [http://www.highways.gov.uk/roads/projects/a_roads/a41/aston_clinton_bypass Highways Agency - Aston Clinton scheme page.]
* [http://www.cbrd.co.uk/futures/completed/a41.shtml CBRD - Futures - A41 Aston Clinton Bypass.]
* [http://pathetic.org.uk/former/a41m/ Pathetic Motorways - A41(M)]
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