A456 road


A456 road

UK road routebox
road= A456
length-mi= 40
length-km= 64
direction= East-West
start= Birmingham
destinations= Kidderminster
end= Woofferton
construction-date=
completion-date=
junctions= Junction 3
ukroadsmall|4540
ukroadsmall|4040
ukroadsmall|4123
ukroadsmall|458
ukroadsmall|459
ukroadsmall|491
ukroadsmall|450
ukroadsmall|449
ukroadsmall|451
ukroadsmall|442
ukroadsmall|4117
ukroadsmall|443
ukroadsmall|4112
ukroadsmall|49

The A456 is a main road in England running between Birmingham and Woofferton, Shropshire, south of Ludlow.

History

Much of the road is almost certainly medieval in origin. However, the road was laid out, essentially in its present form (except where there are modern bypasses) by a series of 18th century turnpike trusts.

From Birmingham to Blakedown section was the responsibility of one trust established in 1753 to improve roads from the market house in Stourbridge. Blakedown was then part of Hagley, giving rise to the name for it of 'Hagley Road'.

The section from Blakedown to Bewdley Bridge represents two of the eight roads from the market house in Kidderminster that were maintained by a trust established in 1759. The turnpike road passed through Halesowen, following what is now A458 road and B4183 to Hayley Green. Halesowen was bypassed in the mid 20th century, and Manor Lane became part of A456. Then in the 1970s the Qunton Expressway was opened to connect with M5 motorway junction 3, when the northern section of M5 was opened in the 1970s.

From the Welsh Gate of Bewdley to Newnham Bridge, it was managed by the Bewdley Trust established in 1753. From Monksbridge (the Shropshire boundary, to Woofferton and so to Ludlow, the road was repaired by the Ludlow First Turnpike Trust of about 1751. The intervening section was handled by the Hundred House Turnpike Trust of 1753. The Hundred House at Great Witley was probably the meeting place for Doddingtree Hundred. This trust was unusual in being responsible for several roads radiating from a place that was not a town. [Details of the trusts are taken from the original Acts of Parliament establishing the trusts.]

Route

Birmingham - Kidderminster

The A456 starts on the Middleway (A4540) in Birmingham, heading West through the Birmingham suburbs of Edgbaston and Quinton using a mixture of dual carriageway and single carriageway roads, though maintaining at least 2 lanes in each direction. Just beyond Quinton, the A458 exits towards Halesowen, while the A456 bypasses the town to the South, meeting the M5 at Junction 3. The road resumes its original route on the West side of Halesowen, entering Worcestershire and passing over the Clent Hills. The A491 is crossed in the village of Hagley, where the road becomes single carriageway once more, passing through the village, closely followed by the village of Blakedown. Beyond there a dual carriageway section takes the road to Kidderminster, crossing the A449, before following the town's Ring Road to the North side.

Kidderminster - Woofferton

Now on the West side of Kidderminster, the road passes the General Hospital before leaving the town and passing the West Midlands Safari Park. The next town of Bewdley is now bypassed by a single carriageway road to the South and West. Continuing West, the road is entirely rural in nature, passing the Wyre Forest eventually meeting the A443 at a "T" junction. The road passes just to the North of Tenbury Wells, the A4112 providing access to the Town. The A456 terminates shortly after on the A49 in Woofferton.

Former Routes

Bypasses and Realignments

* Bewdley (Bypassed in the late 1980s, now B4190)
* Halesowen (Former route now A458 and B4183)
* Kidderminster (Now follows the route of the Ring Road rather than through the town centre)

Downgrading

* Birmingham (Broad Street, downgraded in the early 2000s)

Notable places

* Birmingham Oratory, Edgbaston
* West Midlands Safari Park
* Severn Valley Railway
* Wyre Forest
* River Teme

References


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