Just finished reading your book which I thought was great and some uncannily similar experiences and route. I also struggled crossing the dual carriageway outside Uttoxeter; unfortunately,this was a few days before I got to this section of your book otherwise I might have avoided the issue.
I am cheating by doing the walk in 5 stages. I completed stage 1 (to Bath) last year and stage 2 (to Edale) in April. I went the other side of Birmingham - along the Heart of England Way which I would recommend. I am booked to do stage 3 starting 19 August, to Jedburgh, obviously mostly on the Pennine Way. Stages 4 and 5 will be next year.
Thanks for the tips and I will report back when completed.
Subject: Edale and onwards
Ah, Uttoxeter! I can still remember the frustration, even after 16 years. It's strangely reassuring to hear that I'm not the only one who gets lost round there... 😀
At least on your next section, along the Pennine Way, you will be much better served by good signposts and worn trails. Here's hoping you get good weather for August, as that makes all the difference up there.
Congratulations on getting this far, and good luck for the rest of the walk!