Kenilworth

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Kenilworth is a place in Warwickshire, United Kingdom, etc. etc. - here, to be precise.

The mysterious A452

The route of the A452 through Kenilworth is a source of much confusion:

  • Signs are sporadic and inconsistent
  • The A452 disappears somewhere at the edge of the town, to be replaced by "B4103 (A452)".
  • In fact, approaching from the west (i.e. Birmingham), the signs don't even admit the A452 goes into Kenilworth - where the A452 veers right to become the A4177 to Warwick, a road to Kenilworth goes straight on. It has no number on the signs, but it's pretty obvious it's the A452.

So where does it go?

  • West of the town centre: Approaching from Birmingham, it clearly goes up Beehive Hill, as the road straight on is signposted as the B4103. Corroborated by this page at warwickshire.gov.uk.
  • Through the town centre: This WCC document routes it down Fieldgate Street between High Street and Upper Spring Lane. Since this is partly one-way, and traffic in the other direction is signed to follow Upper Spring Lane, it should follow that the latter should also be the A452 for westbound traffic. (This then joins the Coventry Road/New Street which the same document says is the A429.) East of here, the same document also says the A452 follows Rosemary Hill and Bridge Street.
  • South-east of the town centre: according to the same document, it follows Priory Road. This means it therefore has to follow Waverley Road - there is no other even slightly sensible route - to rejoin the "main" Warwick Road (which is expressly signed as the A452 at the St Johns railway bridge roundabout). (This BBC feed confirms that the junction is at Waverley Road.)

Which leaves us with this route:

Birmingham Road-Beehive Hill-(eastbound via Upper Spring Lane / westbound via Fieldgate Street)-
Bridge Street-Rosemary Hill-Priory Road-Waverley Road-Warwick Road

And coincidentally, with the exception of the Upper Spring Lane diversion for eastbound traffic, that's exactly what's shown on NPE. But - right now, it's not signed as such, seemingly deliberately (there are no signs at the turn into Waverley Road, for example).

What class is it?

Many of the A452 signs between the A4177 and the A46 which do exist are green, but a lot are black-and-white. So is it primary (OSM trunk) or non-primary (OSM primary)?

The signs are not conclusive. But the Oxford High Street Rule says that when a UK road is officially an A road of some type, but the road is utterly unsuitable for such a purpose and the authorities have gone out of their way not to sign it, it may be tagged as a lower class than it officially is.

Waverley Road and, especially, Fieldgate Street are in no way primary roads. More to the point, the primary route network is an "inter-urban" network designed to direct you to "primary destinations", and the fact that traffic from Birmingham is deliberately misled about the status of the A452 suggests that it has no inter-urban role.

In this light, highway=primary (i.e. non-primary A road) seems pretty obvious. In fact, it may even be flattering it. :)

Clear?