Chepstow to Liverpool - Local Knowledge Required

richpuk1 Posts: 21
Next Sunday I am riding from Chepstow to Birkenhead, near Liverpool.
I am going to try and go for the route given by AA Routeplanner.

Could anyone who has some knowledge of the roads shown (A49, A5, A41...) tell me if these A roads are ok to cycle on.
There are a few A roads in the South West I know of that are pretty dangerous as they have motorway speeds (A303, A30), and I was wondering if there is going to be any similar on the route.




  • knedlicky
    knedlicky Posts: 3,097
    I've not cycled on the route, but I've driven it twice in the last couple of years, from Hereford to Merseyside, and vice versa, and I don't think I'd enjoy cycling it.
    North of Whitchurch it's pretty busy, and also around Shrewsbury. Elsewhere there's less traffic but it's fairly speedy.

    On the other hand, the chip shop just near the main junction in Leominster is, I think, one of the best two chippies in the UK, perhaps the only ones worth visiting (the other being at Newton between Preston and Blackpool).
  • Doobz
    Doobz Posts: 2,800
    those roads are very busy indeed. A lot of HGV traffic use that route as an alternative to the motorway. I remember going down south and using it to avoid mways and I was scared in a car nevermind a bike. I would not ride them for all the tea in china.
  • on the road
    on the road Posts: 5,631
    If you're a competent cyclist then you should be able cope on those roads, I can.

    I can only comment from Milton Green towards Birkenhead.

    I've ridden on the A41 from as far as Milton Green many times, and although the roads are busy they're not too bad. What you might find is that traffic travels in bunches so there will be times when there is a lot of traffic, and then you'll have the road to yourself for a while.

    As you get towards Chester the traffic starts to build, you need to get in to the right hand lane so you can turn right at the roundabout, don’t leave it too late or you'll end up in Chester (which won't be a bad thing).

    The road becomes a dual carriageway at this point. When you get to Port Sunlight go straight ahead at the roundabout on to the B5136 (New Chester Road), don't go on the by-pass, traffic travels on it at motorway speed and there are some loonies on it. So by-pass the by-pass and you’ll be back on the A41 in a while.

    The A5227 is the fly-over, it’s a single lane so you might want to pick up speed, an alternative route might be to turn left on to the B5149 (Green Lane), go straight ahead and turn right on to Queen Street / Hinderton Road, the road bends to the right, then it’s a right turn on to Argyle Street South then left on to Helena Street.

    Like someone has mentioned, there are a few HGV’s on it, but there’s not many, remember it’s a Sunday.

    It’s quite an easy run from Milton Green to Birkenhead, no hills to deal with.
  • vernonlevy
    vernonlevy Posts: 969
    I've ridden most of the proposed route and I think that it shouldn't prove to be a problem. You might like to compare the route proposed by using the bike option after choosing the start and finish points.
  • toontra
    toontra Posts: 1,160
    I rode most of this route on my end2end in May. Indeed most of the 870 miles was on major roads, and I had no problems. Once you get used to fairly busy A roads with stretches of dual-carriageway they are no more daunting (perhaps even less so) than busy narrow roads, or even twisty country lanes.

    They also have the benefit of evening out the contours, a real plus on long rides.

    a serious case of small cogs
  • on the road
    on the road Posts: 5,631
    The A5227 is the fly-over, it’s a single lane so you might want to pick up speed, an alternative route might be to turn left on to the B5149 (Green Lane), go straight ahead and turn right on to Queen Street / Hinderton Road, the road bends to the right, then it’s a right turn on to Argyle Street South then left on to Helena Street.
    Meant to say, this is in Birkenhead.
  • JamesB
    JamesB Posts: 1,184
    I don`t know how keen you are to ride on A roads(for logistical support reasons?)
    -- but for the Chepstow> Leominster bit there are much nicer routes :) eg Chepstow > Trelleck along top above Wye Valley (quiet but hilly); > Monmouth> country lanes to Skenfrith> B road to Broad Oak >follow through and across A49 to Hoarwithy along Wye valley > Fownhope > Mordiford and follow towards east side Hereford> cut across city limits to Bodenham> Leominster; beyond Leominster you could work your way towards Clun ? bishops Castle, up along Onny valley to Shrewsbury????
  • Chris James
    Chris James Posts: 1,040
    I know the roads fairly well. I used to live in Cheter and worked in Weston-super-Mare for a while so have driven the route a few times as well as cycled the roads around the Chester area.

    I woudl say that none of the roads are especially dangerous. However, I would have though cycling along them would not be enjoyable due to the weight of traffic and the speed of the vehicles.
  • richpuk1
    richpuk1 Posts: 21
    Many thanks for everybodys replies. I think we're going to brave it and stick to the A roads given by AA routeplanner. Reasons being that these will be quicker, we are on a bit of a time limit to get to Birkenhead and it shouldn't be too difficult to get lost on the A roads, rather than on small B roads.
    I am using a Garmin Forerunner to record my ride - I'll put an update on this thread after Sunday to show the route.
  • guv001
    guv001 Posts: 688
    Last year on a Sunday morning I cycled from Hereford to Chester which is most of your route. My main points would be, 1) The road was very quiet I set off at 0730. 2) I used the road from Shrewsbury via Ellsmere to get to Wrexham this road was very quiet and enjoyable. 3) The centre of Shrewsbury was not well signed although by fluke I made it through. 4) The A5 is a busy dual carrageway. If you need more info just let me know..
  • simon_e
    simon_e Posts: 1,706
    A bit late on this one, however in case anyone is thinking of a similar route...

    The A49 from Craven Arms to Shrewsbury is congested and not the nicest, but alternatives are winding, hilly B roads. If you start early on a Sunday it will definitely be a lot quieter than the rest of the time.

    I'd avoid the A5 dual carriageway around Shrewsbury. If the intention is to go N from Shrewsbury on the A49 I'd suggest going straight across the A5 after leaving Bayston Hill, to Meole Brace, following the A5112 ring road around the South and East of the town. After crossing the river Severn at Heathgates Island take the 2nd exit onto Whitchurch Road, which joins the A49 after you leave the outskirts of town.

    You could get to Whitchurch via the A528 Ellesmere Road and B5476 through Wem. The simplest way to get onto this is to follow the instructions above but on Whitchurch Road turn L by the Lidl, go along Harlescott Lane to the end then turn R to join the A528. About 3 miles up the road the A528 turns off L beside a pub (the Bridgewater Arms) at Harmer Hill, while the Wem road bears R.
    Aspire not to have more, but to be more.
  • cougie
    cougie Posts: 22,512
    How did it go ?? The silence is worrying....
  • Hi all

    Sorry for the incredibly late reply .Well we made it! It was tough, but we got there. Weather wasn't too kind to us, not too windy - but rained on and off.

    The A5 near Shrewsbury was a pig, cars doing motorway speeds and not much room between the white line and kerb for us to squeeze through. See below for the route we took. ... 009277&z=8

    We got there with only 20 minutes spare to get the train home. Spent way too long at our lunch break near Shrewsbury.

    9hr 20min riding time and averaged 16.1mph not too bad for 150 miles. Looking at going for 200 miles next year
  • iain_j
    iain_j Posts: 1,941
    Well done! That bit between Shrewsbury and Whitchurch, A5 and A49, I drove that a few weeks ago and didn't like it - too busy for my liking! I was planning a similar journey earlier this year but the opposite way, and keeping clear of the busy A-roads. I wasn't sure whether to push for it in one day, or split the journey at Clun youth hostel. But things came up and it never happened :roll: