The A50 is a much longer road than just this - it reaches from Leicester to Warrington, with the odd gap here and there. The bit that concerns us here is the relatively new high-speed route between the East Midlands and Stoke-on-Trent, connecting the M1 and (nearly) M6.

The route had been planned since at least the early 1970s, and was initially going to be a new link in the motorway network called M64. Its strategic purpose was to provide a northern bypass of the Birmingham area, as it was already becoming clear that the M6 through the north of the city was going to be insufficient for projected traffic growth. It would also provide a much-needed fast road between Nottingham, Derby and the Potteries. Unfortunately this plan was scrapped in a spending review in 1976 following the oil crisis.

It wasn't until the early 1990s that action was taken, and it was the old story of too little, too late. Upgraded bits of dual carriageway roughly on the line of the M64 began to appear, the spectre of the former plan appearing in the new road's number, A564. When the whole was linked together and completed in 1997 it was renumbered to be part of the much longer but more important-sounding A50.

Unlike the M64, however, the new road didn't have a direct connection to the M1 (requiring the circumnavigation of one or two roundabouts depending on which way you go), didn't bypass Stoke (it actually just ploughs into the south-west of the urban area), wasn't fully grade-separated (stopping at a total of seven roundabouts, some on the newest sections) and crucially, stopped three miles short of actually reaching the M6. At its western end it stops abruptly on the already congested A500.

The result is a road that connects Stoke and Derby adequately but does nothing to encourage traffic to avoid the Birmingham area. Except for those in the know, of course.

You're not looking at the whole A50

This page is about the parts of the A50 that are designated a motorway or that have motorway characteristics. Other sections of this road will not be featured here and will not count towards the length of the road as shown below.

Start
Kegworth
End
Stoke-on-Trent
Passes
Derby, Burton-upon-Trent, Uttoxeter
Length
42 miles

Exit list

Junction   Eastbound               Westbound  
M1 J24
71.2 km
The NORTH
Chesterfield
M1 Link
Nottingham
A453
Kegworth
A6
The SOUTH
Leicester
M1 Link
East Midlands Airport
A453




A453
EAST
A6










M1




A453
N/A
LanesLanesLanesLanes LanesLanesLanesLanes
1 mile, 2 lanes 1 mile, 2 lanes
M1 J24A
72.5 km
The NORTH
Chesterfield
M1 Link






M1
LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes LanesLanesLanesLanesLanesLanes
1 mile, 3 lanes 1 mile, 3 lanes
1
74.4 km
Long Eaton
B6540
Castle Donington
B6540


Long Eaton
B6540
Castle Donington
LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes
3 miles, 3 lanes 3 miles, 3 lanes
2
79.3 km
Derby
A6

A6
Derby
A6
LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes
1.5 miles, 2 lanes 1.5 miles, 2 lanes
3
82.6 km
Chellaston
Swadlincote
A514
A514 A514 Chellaston
Swadlincote
A514
LanesLanesLanesLanes LanesLanesLanesLanes
5.5 miles, 2 lanes 5.5 miles, 2 lanes
4
91.5 km
Burton-upon-Trent
Lichfield
Derby
A38 Link
Toyota
A38 A38 Burton-upon-Trent
Lichfield
Derby
A38 Link
Toyota
LanesLanesLanesLanes LanesLanesLanesLanes
3 miles, 2 lanes 3 miles, 2 lanes
5
95.5 km
Hilton
Mickleover
A5132
A516 A5132 Hilton
A516
LanesLanesLanesLanes LanesLanesLanesLanes
3.5 miles, 2 lanes 3.5 miles, 2 lanes
101.1 km Tutbury
Burton-upon-Trent
A511
A511 Tutbury
A511
LanesLanesLanesLanes LanesLanesLanesLanes
1 mile, 2 lanes 1 mile, 2 lanes
102.5 km Foston Foston Hall
LanesLanesLanesLanes LanesLanesLanesLanes
1 mile, 2 lanes 1 mile, 2 lanes
104.4 km Lichfield
A515
A515 Lichfield
A515
LanesLanesLanesLanes LanesLanesLanesLanes
1 mile, 2 lanes 1 mile, 2 lanes
106.2 km Ashbourne
A515
A515 Ashbourne
Leek
Buxton
A515
LanesLanesLanesLanes LanesLanesLanesLanes
3 miles, 2 lanes  
110.1 km Doveridge
LanesLanesLanesLanes
1 mile, 2 lanes 4 miles, 2 lanes
112.1 km Uttoxeter
Stafford
A518
A518 Uttoxeter
Stafford
A518
LanesLanesLanesLanes LanesLanesLanesLanes
1 mile, 2 lanes 1 mile, 2 lanes
113.4 km Rocester
A518 (B5030)
Uttoxeter
B5030
A518
(B5030)
B5030 Uttoxeter
B5030
Rocester
A518 (B5030)
LanesLanesLanesLanes Signs LanesLanesLanesLanes Signs
0.5 miles, 2 lanes 0.5 miles, 2 lanes
114.5 km Uttoxeter
Stramshall
A522


A522
A522


Upper Tean
Cheadle
A522
LanesLanesLanesLanes LanesLanesLanesLanes
8.5 miles, 2 lanes 8.5 miles, 2 lanes
127.3 km Cheadle
A521
Upper Tean
A521 Blythe Bridge
A521
LanesLanesLanesLanes LanesLanesLanesLanes
1 mile, 2 lanes 1 mile, 2 lanes
129 km Meir Heath
Blythe Bridge
B5029
B5029 B5029 Cheadle (A521)
Stone (A520)
LanesLanesLanesLanes LanesLanesLanesLanes
0.5 miles, 2 lanes 0.5 miles, 2 lanes
129.9 km Blythe Bridge
A521
A521


Blythe Bridge
A521
LanesLanesLanesLanes Signs LanesLanesLanesLanes Signs
1 mile, 2 lanes 1 mile, 2 lanes
131.2 km Leek
Stone
A520
A520 A520 Leek
Stone
A520
LanesLanesLanesLanes LanesLanesLanesLanes
0.5 miles, 2 lanes 0.5 miles, 2 lanes
132.4 km Normacot
A5007
A5007 Normacot
A5007
LanesLanesLanesLanes LanesLanesLanesLanes
1 mile, 2 lanes 0.5 miles, 2 lanes
133.1 km
A5005
A5005

A5035

Longton A5005
Newstead
A5035
LanesLanesLanesLanes
   
134 km Longton (A5005)
Newstead
(A5035)
LanesLanesLanesLanes
0.5 miles, 2 lanes 1 mile, 2 lanes
135.2 km A5007


Fenton
Mount Pleasant
A5007
LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes LanesLanesLanesLanes
0.5 miles, 3 lanes 0.5 miles, 2 lanes
136.2 km Sideway
Britannia Stadium
Fenton
(A5007)
Sideway
Britannia Stadium
LanesLanesLanesLanesLanesLanes LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes
LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes
0.2 miles, 4 lanes 0.2 miles, 4 lanes
136.7 km N/A

A500

A5006

WEST

A500
(M6)
(A34)
Stone
Newcastle
A500 Link (A34, M6 Link)
Stoke-on-Trent
(City Centre)
A500 Link
LanesLanesLanesLanesLanesLanes Signs LanesLanesLanesLanesLanesLanes Signs
Routes

Picture credits

With thanks to Andrew Martin, Martyn Clapham and Nick for information on this page.