A491 shield
Route information
Length12 mi (19 km)
Major junctions
South endLydiate Ash
52°22′44″N 2°02′50″W / 52.3788°N 2.0473°W / 52.3788; -2.0473 (A491 road (southern end))
Major intersections M5 J4
North endWall Heath
52°30′30″N 2°10′20″W / 52.5083°N 2.1721°W / 52.5083; -2.1721 (A491 road (northern end))
CountryUnited Kingdom
Road network

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.[1]

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.[2] 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.[3]

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.[4]


The dual carriageway near Fairfield, Worcestershire
The dual carriageway near Fairfield, Worcestershire

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 former northern section of the A450 (now B4187) from Worcester joins from the left. The A491 then continues to join the Stourbridge ring road. The one-way ring road forms part of the A491 and is concurrent with the A458 and forms the starting point of the A451 to Kidderminster.

Stourbridge - Wall Heath

The original route of the A491 resumes on the northern side of the Stourbridge ring road. This final section is entirely single carriageway, apart from a short distance between the staggered junction with the A461, in an urban environment causing major delays. The road passes through Amblecote, Wordsley and Kingswinford, passing numerous traffic light controlled junctions including those with the A4101 and B4175, before terminating on the A449 at a roundabout just north of Wall Heath.

Former routes

Bypasses and realignments



  1. ^ * King, Peter W. (2006). "Some Roads out of North Worcestershire". Transactions of Worcestershire Archaeological Society. 3rd. 20: 88.
  2. ^ Statutes, 26 Geo. II, c.47; 13 Geo. III, c.107.
  3. ^ Statute, 1 Geo. III, c.38.
  4. ^ "SABRE 1922 Road Lists". Retrieved 20 September 2008.
  5. ^ Amphlett, John (1860). A short history of Clent. Parker. p. 175. There was great distress in the Lye and the districts around Stourbridge in 1834 and numbers of men were employed in lowering the cutting in the sandstone rock
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Media related to A491 road (England) at Wikimedia Commons

Coordinates: 52°25′55″N 2°07′47″W / 52.4319°N 2.1296°W / 52.4319; -2.1296 (A491 road)