Stafford Road, A449, Wolverhampton

OS 1937-61
Modern Map
Date opened/built:



Coven Heath to Standeford, 1.95 miles, (3.13kms) Standeford to Gailey 1.87 miles (3kms).


6ft (1.83m).

Adjoining footway:

Yes, period.

Road type:

Rural dual carriageway.


Modern asphalt.

Both sides of road:


Adjacent to social housing:


Period mapping:

OS Six inch surveyed/revised 1956 to 1965, published 1967 Shows widened road with hatchings.

OpenCycleMap status: Cycleways marked both sides of road; no footways marked.


Period maps, newspaper reports.

Today’s shared use path on Stafford Road.

The footways beside the road from Wolverhampton to Penkridge are likely to be 1930s-era 6-ft-wide cycle tracks; the adjoining footways may be buried under the tree line. The plans for the road to be equipped with cycle tracks date to 1936 when they, and the widening, were approved after a public inquiry. A 1939 newspaper report confirmed they had been built. It’s probable there were gaps of provision.

“Work is being pushed ahead with a dual arterial road stretching for [seven and a half] miles between Wolverhampton and Penkridge on the main road to Stafford and the North. The road, which will ultimately cost more than £500,000, begins at The Three Tuns, inside the Wolverhampton boundary. Four stretches of dual roadway have already been constructed, including by-pass between Coven Heath and the Harrows which eliminates a narrow winding stretch of road,” reported the Evening Despatch in June 1939.

“On this particular section, the road in each direction includes tracks for vehicular traffic with a green stretch between them, cycle tracks between green stretches and tracks for pedestrians. The carriage-ways are 22ft. and cycle tracks 6ft. and the footpath 5ft.”

The newspaper added: “Cycle tracks are provided in the section starting from The Harrows to Gailey cross roads where the main road is intercepted by Watling-street and considerable use has been made [of] existing trees, hedges and shrubs to give a boulevard effect.”

At Coven, there’s evidence of the cycle track next to the footway: For much of the rest of the road there’s no evidence of the adjacent footway.

There was a 1939 plan to extend the widened road — with narrow cycle tracks and footways — from Gailey to Penkridge but war scuppered this plan.


The plans for the road to be ... “Public Inquiries at Stafford Proposals for extensive improvements to a section the Stafford Wolver- hampton main road and the construction of a by-pass road ... The inquiry was conducted bv Mr. W. . Clemens. The scheme provides for the widening improvement, and diversion the road from Crateford cross-roads to Rodbaston Gate, and from a point 170 cards north of Saredon Brook. Standeford, to Brinsford Lane, Coven. The scheme provided for the widening of the road to a width of 115 feet, except the approaches of the railway bridges. Provision was made for foot paths six feet wile, with a two-foot verge between the footpath, and a six foot cycletrack. The other section of road was from Standeford to Brinsford Lane, Coven, and that was the proposed by-pass road. This length road, generally speaking had a minimum width of 106 feet. It would have a footpath six feet wide on either side divided from six foot cycle tracks bv three-foot verge. There would be verge of three feet between the cycle tracks and tlie dual carriageways, which would be 22 feet wide with a central margin of 22 feet The policy of constructing footpaths, cycle tracks and dual ways was in accordance with that of the Ministry of Transport. Replying to the objections raised. Mr. Hayward submitted that no serious challenge the necessity of carrying out the proposed road improvements had been put forward. There was nothing in the objections that could not met by way of compensation. The inquiry was closed.” Staffordshire Advertiser, 31 October 1936

Four stretches of dual roadway ... Evening Despatch, 8 June 1939.

There was a 1939 plan ... “A tender has now been accepted for the construction a new bridge over the railway line at Rodbaston at a cost of about £22,000 The existing dangerous bridge, situated at the north end of the section, will be replaced with a structure 72ft. Sin. between the parapets, to carry dual carriageways 20ft. wide. There will be a central margin 4ft. wide, and the two verges.’each 14ft. 4in will accommodate 6ft. cycle tracks and 5ft. footpaths. From this point to Penkridge, a distance of about a mile, is section to be undertaken this year at an approximate cost of £54,000. It is anticipated the work will start in the early part of the summer. The road through the village Penkridge was entirely reconstructed comparatively recently, and though this is a single carriageway, it was made wide enough, and freed from dangerous bends, to meet modern requirements On the Stafford side of Penkridge, the Ministry of Transport’s new trunk road from Bloxwich will run, according to present proposals, as far as Acton Gate, and will continue, by way of a by-pass, round the west side of Stafford into the Stone-road, and to the north For the road north of Stafford to Newcastle and the Cheshire boundary, schemes for certain sections have already been completed, and negotiations for the acquisition of the land are in hand. When has been obtained these schemes will be pushed ahead. These comprise the section of load as far as Yarlet, and two sections north of Newcastle. So far as the section which is to pass through Newcastle is concerned, it is stated that the acquisition of the site is being awaited.” Staffordshire Sentinel, 11 January 1939. “Towards the reconstruction of the Stafford-Wolverhampton road, one of the most important roads in the country, it is proposed this year to carry out an improvement scheme between Penkridge and Rodbaston, distance of about one mile. The existing single carriageway, 24 feet wide, is inadequate, and there are few footpaths. The new road will have dual carriageways, each 22 feet wide, cycle tracks and footpaths, and danger spots will be removed by the use of wider curves, superelevation, and roundabouts. A grant has been made from the Road Fund towards the estimated £54,000 cost of this year’s scheme.” Gloucestershire Echo, 9 January 1939.

Explore the tracks