Green light for new West Midlands motorway relief road

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Construction work can start on a major motorway relief programme in the West Midlands after the project was handed development consent by the Secretary of State for Transport.

The £282 million scheme at junction six of the M42 in Solihull is aimed at relieving congestion at a notorious bottleneck on the region’s motorway network.

The junction is renowned for its traffic problems as it serves Birmingham Airport, the NEC complex, Resorts World Arena and the National Motorcycle Museum as well as connecting to the A45 Coventry Road.

It is also close to the planned HS2 Interchange station.

The project will see a new 1.5-mile dual carriageway link road constructed to the west of Bickenhill between the A45 Clock Interchange and a new exit on the M42 south of junction six near Solihull Road.

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This will allow access to the NEC and airport for vehicles travelling north only on the M42 after junction five (see map below).

There are also plans to improve traffic flow at the junction six roundabout, with dedicated left turn links between the M42 and A45 at the NEC and the north east side of the roundabout.

Highways England will be undertaking other improvement works to this roundabout, Clock Interchange and the section of the A45 between these two sites.

New local roads are also proposed around Catherine de Barnes Lane and St Peters Lane.

The five-year project will be led by Skanska, working in collaboration with design partner Mott MacDonald and Highways England, with construction set to begin later this year.

The Planning Inspectorate previously examined the project and recommended it for approval earlier this year.

Map of the proposed new link road near junction six of the M42
Map of the proposed new link road near junction six of the M42

Highways England’s senior project manager Jonathan Pizzey said: “We’re delighted to receive the Secretary of State’s decision which represents a major step forward in developing a scheme to unlock congestion and promote economic growth in the West Midlands.

“The M42 is an important strategic route.

“Upgrading junction six will increase capacity, enhance safety and support planned development, improving access to HS2, the National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham Airport and future developments such as UK Central Solihull.”

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