A4400 road

A4400 road

The A4400 is a main road in Birmingham, United Kingdom. It was first planned by Herbert Manzoni in the 1943 and an Act of Parliament permitting construction was passed in 1946. Due to financial controls, the first part of the ring road, Smallbrook Queensway, did not begin construction until 1957 and was completed in 1960. The entire ring road was opened by the Queen Elizabeth II in 1971.

The current A4400 comprises parts of Suffolk Street, Great Charles Street and St Chads Queenway in the city centre. The road previously covered a ring around Birmingham city centre and was known as the Queensway and acted as Birmingham's Inner Ring Road. However, in the past ten years, some of Queensway has been altered in order to reverse the earlier strict separation of road and pedestrian traffic with a view to providing a more attractive environment for pedestrians and reducing the severance effects of the Inner Ring Road. A number of the altered junctions are in regeneration areas, such as Masshouse. In early 2008, the St Chads Queensway area near the Cathedral of Saint Chad, Birmingham was modified to remove pedestrian underpasses and bring all pedestrian and car traffic back on to the traditional street level.

The present A4400 remains, in effect, a "de facto" high speed "half-ring road" (with vehicular underpasses for through traffic) on St Chads Queensway, Great Charles Street Queensway and Suffolk St Queensway. Some at-grade pedestrian crossings go over these roads, but most crossings remain as subways and bridges. Using this "half-ring" is often faster for motorists than a shorter route on the downgraded sections of the Inner Ring Road or other city streets, so the continuing existence does arguably reduce traffic in other parts of the city centre.

The road previously consisted on the following roads (anticlockwise from A38(M) approach (Aston Expressway):
* St Chads Queensway (now A38)
* Lancaster Street Queensway, roundabout under St Chads Queensway (remains A4400)
* St Chads Circus Queensway, roundabout over St Chads Queensway (remains A4400)
* Paradise Circus Queensway, roundabout over Suffolk Street Queensway (now A456), below Birmingham Central Library
* Great Charles Queensway (now A38)
* Suffolk Street Queensway (now A38)
* Holloway Circus Queensway (now A38)
* Smallbrook Queensway (unclassified)
* St Martin's Queenway (demolished to make way for new Bullring development)
* Moor Street Queensway (unclassified) rebuilt into "Bus mall" renamed Moor Street Ringway
* James Watt Queensway (unclassified)
* Masshouse Circus Queensway, formerly roundabout over James Watt Queensway (demolished)

The designation A4400 is still given to the slip roads and roundabouts at St Chad's Circus and Lancaster Circus Queenway's which sit over the A38, with the rest of the network being reclassified, or in some cases designated as unclassified roads.

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