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M42 motorway: Map


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The M42 motorway is a major road in Englandmarker. The motorway runs north east from Bromsgrovemarker in Worcestershire to just south west of Ashby-de-la-Zouchmarker in Leicestershiremarker, passing Redditch, Solihullmarker, the National Exhibition Centremarker (NEC) and Tamworthmarker on the way. The section between the M40 and M6 road forms – though unsigned as such – a part of Euroroute E05. Beyond junction 11 the route is continued as the A42, the junctions on this section, 12-14, are numbered as a continuation of the motorway.


Planning and construction

When the M42 was going through the planning stages in 1977. There was great opposition to the development by the residents of Bromsgrove.

The first section opened in November 1976 linking Birmingham International Airportmarker with the M6 motorway.

The curve around the south-eastern side of Solihull opened in September 1985 followed by the section from the M6 motorway with the A5 at Tamworth in December 1985. The southern section of the motorway to Alvechurchmarker just north of Redditch to form a junction with the A441 and from A5 at Tamworth with the A444 at Meashammarker opened in 1986.

In 1987 the section to the A38 at Bromsgrovemarker, some 15 miles south of Birmingham was completed. and then in December 1989 the motorway was completed with the opening of the link from the A38.

The road used innovative road surfaces, which were not adopted elsewhere due of the noise created.

Operational history

The section of the M42 between junctions 7A and 9 was re-built as part of the M6 Toll works and now forms the link between the M6 and the southern end of the toll road.

The section of road between junctions 3A (M40) and the M5 was going to be renumbered as part of the M40 when it was extended to Birmingham, and the junction was built with priority going to the now westbound section of the M42 and the M40 towards London. However when the junction was opened, no renumbering took place.

The M42 was originally planned to extend all the way to the M1 near Nottingham, though this was never constructed, and the A42 link was constructed in its place.


Birmingham Motorway Box

Along with sections of the M5 and M6, the southern sections of the M42 form an orbital motorway around Birminghammarker. Much like the M25marker around Londonmarker, and the M60marker around Manchestermarker, there are areas where this orbital system does not work well. One such point is junction 3A, the link between the M42 and the M40, where traffic is often heavy in the rush hour. The intersection between the M42 and M6 is often very busy too, especially when travelling along the M6.

Active Traffic Management

The Highways Agency is currently implementing an Active Traffic Management (ATM) system between junction 3a and 7 of the M42. This is a scheme which combines a number of new technologies with some tried and tested motorway traffic management techniques. The scheme includes mandatory variable speed limits, as on the M25marker, enhanced driver information signs and a new congestion and incident management system. This system allows operators to open and close any lane to traffic in order to help manage congestion or an incident. This includes using the hard shoulder as a running lane between junctions under controlled conditions. This has proved very successful, with journey times decreasing by 26% northbound and 9% southbound. Drivers can also better predict their journey times as the variability decreased by 27%. It has also proved popular with motorists, 60% of whom want to see it expanded to other English motorways. The government has already announced the system will be expanded to the M6, with a feasibility study to be undertaken to determine other likely motorways where this technology can be implemented.

Journey Time Trial

The latest scheme to be tested on a long gently climbing stretch is one in which eastbound HGVs are not allowed to overtake during daytime hours. This scheme was implemented because the route is often congested on account of the motorway having only four lanes (two lanes in each direction) as it leaves the West Midlands.


Datafrom driver location signs are used to provide distance and carriageway identifier information.
M42 Motorway
km Northbound exits (B Carriageway) Junction Southbound exits (A Carriageway)
Start of motorway M5, J4a The South West, The North East M5
2.5 No access J1 Bromsgrovemarker A38
9.4 Birminghammarker (South) A441 J2
Hopwood Park services
Birmingham (South), A441
13.7 Birmingham (South), Redditch, Eveshammarker A435 J3 Birmingham (South), Redditch, Evesham A435
18.4 Londonmarker, Warwickmarker, Stratford-on-Avonmarker M40 J3a

London, Warwick, Stratford-on-Avon M40
23.1 Shirley A34 J4 Shirley A34
26.8 Solihullmarker A41 J5 Solihull A41
32.7 Birminghammarker (South East), The National Exhibition Centremarker (NEC), Birmingham International Airportmarker, Coventrymarker (South & West) A45 J6 Birminghammarker (South East), The National Exhibition Centremarker (NEC), Birmingham International Airportmarker, Coventrymarker (South & West) A45
The NORTH WEST, Birmingham (East, North & Central) M6 J7

No access
Londonmarker, Coventrymarker (M1) M6 J7a

No access
No access J7b Londonmarker, Coventrymarker, (M6) M6 Toll
No access J8 Birminghammarker (East, North, West & Central) M6
Lichfieldmarker, The NORTH WEST M6 Toll J8a No access
Lichfield A446
Sutton Coldfieldmarker A4097
J9 Lichfield, Brownhills, Sutton Coldfield A446, A4097
52.4 Tamworthmarker, Nuneatonmarker A5 J10
Tamworth services
Tamworth, Nuneaton A5
Burton upon Trent A444 J11 Start of motorway
Road continues as A42 to East Midlands Airportmarker & M1 Nuneatonmarker A444
Non motorway traffic

Coordinate List

See also


  1. CBRD - M42 - Accessed 7 February 2009
  2. Driver Location Signs, M42 J1-7 (map) - Highway Authority, 2009
  3. Start of M42
  4. Termination point M40
  5. Southern M6 / M42 intersection
  6. Northern M6 / M42 intersection

External links

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