|Length:||12 mi (19 km)|
|South end:||Lydiate Ash
| M5 motorway J4
|North end:||Wall Heath
The A491 is an A road in Zone 4 of the Great Britain numbering scheme.
The road north of Oldswinford forms part of an ancient road, probably of Anglo-Saxon origin, joining the burhs of Worcester and Stafford. The crossing of the River Stour was probably the swine-ford that gave rise to the placenames Kingswinford and Oldswinford, and later to the name Stourbridge.
The road from Wordsley Green to the Market House in Stourbidge and so to Bromsgrove was turnpiked in 1753. The same act also dealt with several other roads from that Market House, as well as the road from Birmingham through Halesowen and Hagley to Blakedown Pool, but that was managed by separate trustees from 1773. Its continuation north of Wordsley Green, through Wolverhampton, and Stafford to Stone, much of it now part of A449 road was turnpiked by the Wolverhampton Turnpike Act of 1760.
In the original 1922 road numberings, A491 was assigned to the Shrewsbury, Welshpool, Mallwyd and Cemmaes Road route, now part of the A458 and A470. The route between Wall Heath and Bromsgrove was assigned the A449 number.
Lydiate Ash - Stourbridge
Starting at junction 4 of the M5, the road heads West on a single carriageway alignment, meeting the B4091 at a roundabout, then becoming a dual carriageway. There are local accesses for the villages of Belbroughton, Clent, Romsley and Holy Cross. Following a roundabout in Hagley the A491 is concurrent with the A456 for a short period before heading north towards Stourbridge. At Pedmore the A4036 leaves at a roundabout towards Dudley. The A491 then continues to join the Stourbridge ring road.
Stourbridge - Wall Heath
The A491 resumes again on the northern side of the Stourbridge ring road. This final section is entirely single carriageway in an urban environment. The road passes through Amblecote, Wordsley and Kingswinford, passing numerous traffic light controlled junctions, before terminating on the A449 at a roundabout just north of Wall Heath.
Bypasses and Realignments
- Holy Cross (Now bypassed by a dual carriageway to the North)
- Stourbridge Town Centre (Traffic now uses the ring road)
- Fairfield - Finstall (Part of this route is now B4091, A448 and unclassified)
- P. W. King, 'Some roads out of north Worcestershire' Transactions of Worcestershire Archaeological Society 3rd ser. 20 (2006), 88.
- Statutes, 26 Geo. II, c.47; 13 Geo. III, c.107.
- Statute, 1 Geo. III, c.38.
- "SABRE 1922 Road Lists". Retrieved 2008-09-20.
Media related to A491 road (England) at Wikimedia Commons