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The A41 is a formerly-major trunk road in Englandmarker that links Londonmarker and Birkenheadmarker, although it has now largely been superseded by motorways. It passes through or near various towns and cities including Watfordmarker, Hemel Hempsteadmarker, Aylesburymarker, Solihullmarker, Birminghammarker, West Bromwichmarker, Wolverhamptonmarker, Newportmarker, Whitchurchmarker, Chestermarker and Ellesmere Portmarker.

It follows part of the line of the old Roman road, Akeman Street and the eighteenth century Sparrows Herne turnpike.

With the opening of the M40 extension in 1990 linking with the M42 near Birmingham, much of the route was downgraded in importance - with the sections between Bicestermarker and the M42 near Solihull being renumbered as the A4141, A4177 and B4100.


Map of Route

London to Watford

The southern section begins near Marble Archmarker in London, at the junction with Oxford Streetmarker (A40), near Selfridges. The north-bound traffic uses Gloucester Place, and the south-bound uses Baker Streetmarker. It is the main route from the West End of London to/from the north (M1). The road crosses Marylebone Roadmarker close to Madame Tussaudsmarker, Baker St tube station, and Marylebone railway station. Close to Regents Parkmarker, the two directions begin as one road. The road passes near Lord's Cricket Groundmarker and Abbey Road Studiosmarker (Abbey Roadmarker runs parallel to the A41). It passes through Swiss Cottagemarker, before becoming dual-carriageway on Hendon Way. It intersects with the North Circular Roadmarker near Brent Crossmarker shopping centre. The road passes through Hendonmarker and begins to run parallel with the M1. From the junction with the A5150 (close to the Metropolitan Police's police college and the RAF Museummarker), it runs directly next to the M1. It overlaps the A1marker at Five Ways Corner, which is also junction 2 of the M1, with the section known as Watford Way. It passes through Mill Hillmarker, and separates with the A1 at a roundabout at Apex Corner. It heads west, crossing the M1, the runs parallel to the A5 near Edgwaremarker. Near Elstreemarker, 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, Aldenham Reservoir and Hilfield Park Reservoir. It runs next to the M1 and enters Hertfordshiremarker close to Busheymarker. This section is known as Elton Way, which ends at a roundabout with the B462 (for Aldenham) and near 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 Aldenhammarker Terminal, the original endpoint of the M1 pre-1967. The road passes over the River Colnemarker east and north of Watford as a bypass, meeting the A412 at Garston at the Dome roundabout with a Shell and Sainsburysmarker petrol stations as well as an Asda. There is the West Herts College (Leggatts Campus). The road passes the North Watford mosque and nearby Leavesden Film Studiosmarker before meeting the £4.5m junction with the A405 opened in April 1978. It crosses the River Gade / Grand Union Canalmarker by a dogleg known as Hunton Bridge and meets the M25marker at the Hunton Bridge Interchange, also junction 20. The old route through Kings Langleymarker is now the A4251.

Watford to Tring

North of the M25 the road is a near motorway standard "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 Hillsmarker then descends into the valley of the River Bulbourne crossing water meadows just outside Hemel Hempsteadmarker at Boxmoormarker. There are grade separated junctions with the A414, A4251 and A416. The route returns to open country north of here, passing west of Berkhamstedmarker. It passes the National Film Archive. Before Tring, near Wiggintonmarker, it crosses the Icknield Way Path and Chiltern Way. An arched footbridge spans the road just near the summit before it passes just east of Tringmarker (for the Ridgewaymarker footpath) and descends the Chiltern scarp into the Vale of Aylesburymarker.

The Tringmarker bypass was built in 1973 as the A41(M) motorway, the first section of the Watford-Tring Motorway, although this section was downgraded on 6 July 1987 . The A41(M) was originally designed to run from Tringmarker via what is now M25marker 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 Parkmarker. The Tring bypass ends with the border of Hertfordshiremarker, 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 M25marker junction 20. There were two sections - the £23.9m Berkhamstedmarker bypass, opened September 1993 and the £32.7m Kings Langleymarker bypass, opened August 1993.

Tring to Bicester

On 3 October 2003, the dual carriageway section was extended to the three-mile £25m Aston Clintonmarker Bypass, which was originally intended to be built at the same time as the two sections further south. It enters Buckinghamshire and the district of Aylesbury Valemarker. It crosses the Grand Union Canalmarker, 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 Schoolmarker and a Tescomarker. It meets the A418 ring-road and becomes Exchange Street, then meets the A413 from Wendovermarker at a roundabout and becomes Friarage Road, passing close to a Morrisons and the train stationmarker. 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 Thamemarker. It passes under a railway line, then through Waddesdonmarker, then passes close to Westcottmarker near the former airfield of RAF Westcottmarker. At Kingswoodmarker, it passes the Crooked Billet and Plough and Anchor pubs. It enters Oxfordshire and the district of Cherwellmarker, and at Blackthornmarker it crosses the River Raymarker and meets a low bridge of 14 feet.

Plans for an Aylesbury bypass exist and are well supported locally but no government decision has been made.

Bicester to 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 Warwickmarker. 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 Solihullmarker and goes through the city centres of Birminghammarker and Wolverhamptonmarker. This renumbering took place in 1991. The A4141 and B4100 are new designations, while the A4177 is an extension of an existing route.

Solihull to Wolverhampton

Now as an A road, the road manifests from the junction (opened in November 1976) with the A4141 and M42 near Berry Hall Farmmarker (Picture), and crosses the River Blythemarker and bypasses Solihullmarker. The former route through Solihull is now the B4025 and B425, which passes Solihull Schoolmarker. The A41 has a staggered junction with the B4102 (for Solihull and Catherine-de-Barnesmarker) near the BUPA Parkway Hospital. At Lode Heath, there is crossroads with the B425 (for 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 End there is the Shell Solihull garage on the left. Next is Ulverley Green and it passes the BP Mereside garage on the right and passes under the Chiltern Main Line (for Leamingtonmarker) near Olton stationmarker, Olton Library and Olton Reservoirmarker. At the junction with the B4514, there is a Tescomarker petrol station and the road enters the city of Birminghammarker. 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 Greenmarker, then meets the B4146 and B4217 at a roundabout near a Sainsburysmarker. It meets the A4040 ring road at a staggered junction and crosses the Birmingham -Stratfordmarker Line near Tyseley stationmarker and the Tyseley Locomotive Worksmarker. At Sparkhillmarker, it crosses the River Cole and meets the B4145 at a roundabout near Golden Hillock School. At Sparkbrookmarker, 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 Digbethmarker National Express coach stationmarker, and passes near St Chad's RC Cathedralmarker. The A41 resumes at Constitution Hill near Snow Hill train stationmarker, passing through Hockleymarker 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 Hawthornsmarker in West Bromwichmarker it 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 A457 via Smethwickmarker & 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 Countrymarker New Road, and crosses the Midland Metro tram near Guns Village. There is a roundabout with the B4149 at Swan Village. From the roundabout with the A461 (for Dudleymarker) at Great Bridge, it overlaps the A461 (to Walsallmarker), 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 & Walsallmarker. The A41 follows the old route from the next roundabout and enters the borough of Walsallmarker. 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 Bilstonmarker, where it meets the dual-carriageway A463 Black Country Route at 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 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 Linemarker at Monmore Greenmarker, and crosses the Birmingham Canal. It overlaps the A4150 Wolverhampton Ring Road, then passes West Park Hospital and crosses the Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canalmarker. It passes through Tettenhallmarker, past Tettenhall College.

Wolverhampton to Newport

It leaves the borough of Wolverhampton near Wergs where it crosses the River Penkmarker. It passes Wrottesley Hall, where there is a golf course. There is a junction with the A464 (for Shifnalmarker), and the road enters Shropshiremarker. It crosses the Wolverhampton to Shrewsbury Line on the Albrightonmarker bypass. The Monarch's Way crosses and the road passes close to the RAF Museum at Cosfordmarker (through the middle of the RAF base). There is the M54 junction 3 and the road passes through Tongmarker, and is crossed by the Monarch's Way. Close by to the east is one of the sites of the V Festival at Weston Parkmarker. 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 Hallmarker (now a nursing home). The five mile £6m Newportmarker bypass opened in early 1985. The former route went through Chetwynd Aston. Newport is home of the Harper Adams agricultural college, at Edgmondmarker. The road meets the A518 (for Telfordmarker) 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 to Whitchurch

The road rejoins the old route and passes Chetwynd Parkmarker. It passes Standford Hall, crosses the River Mease and goes through Standford Bridge, then re-enters Shropshiremarker. The £1.5m Hinstockmarker Bypass opened in late 1983. It passes through High Heath, Shakeford, Crickmery which is near Wistanswick. Nearby is RAF Ternhillmarker near Stoke Heath, a former wartime fighter base and a HM Young Offender Institution. The road crosses the River Ternmarker, meets the A53 at a roundabout with a Total garage at Ternhillmarker. Close by at Market Draytonmarker next 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 Whitchurchmarker Bypass opened in July 1992, where the road meets the A49.

Whitchurch to Birkenhead

The final stretch of the road leaves Shropshire and heads north through Cheshire passing Beestonmarker and Peckfortonmarker Castles. The road bypasses Chester, before running through the suburbs of Ellesmere Portmarker (where the road was downgraded for safety reasons in the early 1990s). It heads to junction 5 of the M53 motorway and the Merseyside county boundary at Hootonmarker. From this junction it is named New Chester Road, passing through Easthammarker and Bromboroughmarker. At Port Sunlightmarker the A41 diverts onto a dual-carriageway section bypassing New Ferrymarker and Rock Ferrymarker before rejoining New Chester Road at Tranmere Oil Terminalmarker. Passing Green Lane railway stationmarker, the road finally ends in Birkenhead town centre. The A41 provides the southern approach to the Queensway Tunnelmarker, which passes under the River Merseymarker and enters Liverpoolmarker to meet the start of the A59. The road then passes a junction with the A554 and A552 near Hamilton Square railway stationmarker, terminating at the bus station at Woodsidemarker. The end of the road offers spectacular views over the Mersey to Liverpool and transport links to Mersey Ferrymarker services.

History of the road number

The original (1923) route of the A41 was Stanmoremarker to Oakengatesmarker, meeting the A5 at both ends.

The A41 has since been extended at both ends. The northern extension dates from 1935. In Shropshiremarker, the A41 swapped places with the A464 and the A529; the original A464 ran from Kingswood Common to Nantwichmarker, and the original A529 ran from Hinstockmarker to Chestermarker. 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.

See also


External links

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