M42 motorway

The M42 motorway runs north east from Bromsgrove in Worcestershire to just south west of Ashby-de-la-Zouch in Leicestershire, passing Redditch, Solihull, the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) and Tamworth on the way, serving the east of the Birmingham metropolitan area. The section between the M40 and junction 4 of the M6 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 like a continuation of the motorway, but the road has non-motorway status from here.


M42 motorway (Great Britain) map
M42 A45 junction 10y07
Looking south towards junction 6
Route information
Part of E05
Maintained by Highways England
Length40.0 mi (64.4 km)
HistoryOpened: 1976
Completed: 1989
Major junctions
Southwest endCatshill
M5 motorway
Junction 3a.svg

J3a → M40 motorway
Junction 7.svg UK-Motorway-M6.svg
J7 → M6 motorway
Junction 7a.svg UK-Motorway-M6.svg
M6 motorway
Junction 8.svg UK-Motorway-M6.svg
M6 motorway
Junction 9.svg
UK-Motorway-M6 Toll

M6 Toll
Northeast endAppleby Magna
CountiesWorcestershire, Warwickshire, West Midlands, Leicestershire
Birmingham Airport
Road network
M42 A45 junction 10y07
The M42 from a bridge just east of the M42/A45 junction (J6)


Planning and construction

Plans for a new motorway by-passing the south and east of Birmingham, reaching Tamworth and connecting the M5 and M6 motorways, were announced in 1972.

The first section opened in November 1976 linking Birmingham International Airport with the M6 motorway.[1]

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.[2] The southern section of the motorway to Alvechurch just north of Redditch to form a junction with the A441 and from A5 at Tamworth with the A444 at Measham opened in 1986.[3]

In 1987 the section to the A38 at Bromsgrove, some 15 miles (24 km) south of Birmingham was completed.[4] and then in December 1989 the motorway was completed with the opening of the link from the M5.[5]

A planned section north of the M6 running to the M1 near Nottingham was never constructed as planned being replaced by the A42 link, a trunk road which was completed in August 1989 to link with the M1 motorway near Nottingham.[6]

Operational history

Junction 3a was remodeled to give priority to traffic operating between the now westbound section of the M42 and the extended M40 motorway, which opened in stages between December 1989 and January 1991. The section of M42 between the M40 (J3A) and the M5 (J4A) was scheduled to be re-designated as an extension of the M40 at the same time, but this re-designation never took place.

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 M6 Toll opened in 2003.

Active Traffic Management with hard shoulder running and variable speed limits were introduced in 2006.

Since the 1980s, there have been constant plans to build a new service station on the motorway south of Birmingham Airport and the NEC, but this has yet to be built.[7]


Birmingham Outer Ring Road

Along with sections of the M5 and M6, the southern sections of the M42 form the Birmingham Outer Ring Road motorway around Birmingham. Much like the M25 around London, and the M60 around Manchester, 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.

Managed motorways and Active Traffic Management

Active Traffic Management (ATM) was launched as a pilot scheme on the M42 operating between junction 3a and 7 with mandatory variable speed limits, hard shoulder running, better driver information signs and a new incident management system. This system allows operators to open and close any lane to traffic in order to help manage congestion or an incident. Since it started in 2006 journey times have decreased by 26% northbound and 9% southbound and journey time variability has decreased by 27%.[8] Due to the success of the trial this system was later extended northbound to junction 9 of the M42 (and onto the adjacent M6 to Junction 5) and southbound along the M40 to Junction 15 as part of the first phase of a nationwide roll out of the rebranded 'Managed motorways; concept.

Incidents and accidents


Data from driver location signs are used to provide distance and carriageway identifier information.[10] If a junction extends over several hundred metres and both start and end points are known, both are shown.

M42 motorway junctions
mile km Southbound exits (A carriageway) Junction Northbound exits (B carriageway) Coordinates
The NORTH WEST, Birmingham (W, N & C), Stourbridge, (M6) M5(N)
The SOUTH WEST, Worcester M5(S)
M5 J4A Start of motorway 52°20′53″N 2°04′28″W / 52.348029°N 2.074571°W
Bromsgrove A38 J1 No access (on-slip only) 52°21′20″N 2°02′45″W / 52.355618°N 2.045828°W
Birmingham (S) A441
Hopwood Park services
Birmingham (S) A441
Hopwood Park services
52°21′43″N 1°56′56″W / 52.361843°N 1.948872°W
8.4 13.5 Entering Worcestershire J3 Birmingham (S), Redditch, Evesham A435 52°21′18″N 1°53′09″W / 52.354897°N 1.885893°W
8.8 14.1 Birmingham (S), Redditch, Evesham A435 Entering Warwickshire
End of variable speed limit UK traffic sign 671.svg J3A
[coord 1]
Start of variable speed limit UK traffic sign 879.svg 52°20′55″N 1°48′41″W / 52.348593°N 1.811435°W
London, Warwick, Stratford M40 London, Warwick, Stratford M40
Entering Warwickshire Entering West Midlands 52°21′46″N 1°48′15″W / 52.36288°N 1.80429°W
Shirley A34 J4 Shirley A34 52°22′47″N 1°47′11″W / 52.379699°N 1.786523°W
Solihull A41 J5 Solihull A41 52°24′19″N 1°45′00″W / 52.405142°N 1.750045°W
Birmingham (E), Birmingham International BR-logo.svg, Birmingham Airport interchange, N.E.C., Coventry A45 J6 Birmingham (E), Birmingham International BR-logo.svg, Birmingham Airport interchange, N.E.C. A45(W)

Coventry (S & W), N.E.C. A45(E)

52°26′42″N 1°42′36″W / 52.445064°N 1.709898°W
No access (on-slip only) J7
[coord 2]
The NORTH WEST, Birmingham (C & N) M6(N) 52°28′26″N 1°42′41″W / 52.473776°N 1.711485°W
Entering West Midlands Entering Warwickshire 52°28′28″N 1°42′41″W / 52.47441°N 1.71139°W
No access J7A
[coord 3]
London (M1), Coventry M6 52°28′53″N 1°42′37″W / 52.481473°N 1.710262°W
London (N & E) (M1), Coventry (N & E) M6 No access (on-slip only) 52°29′28″N 1°42′54″W / 52.491195°N 1.715112°W
24.5 39.4 Birmingham (Central, E, N & W) M6(N) J8 No access (on-slip only) 52°30′33″N 1°43′32″W / 52.509143°N 1.725497°W
No access (on slip only) J9 The NORTH WEST, Cannock, Lichfield M6 Toll 52°31′45″N 1°43′47″W / 52.529277°N 1.729617°W
26.7 42.9 Start of variable speed limit UK traffic sign 879.svg Kingsbury A4097, Lichfield A446 52°32′20″N 1°43′35″W / 52.538818°N 1.726313°W
The NORTH WEST M6 Toll, Coleshill A446, A4097 End of variable speed limit UK traffic sign 671.svg
32.4 52.2 Nuneaton, Tamworth A5, Lichfield (A38)
Tamworth services
Nuneaton, Tamworth A5
Tamworth services
52°36′12″N 1°38′30″W / 52.603334°N 1.641576°W
Entering Warwickshire Entering Leicestershire 52°40′19″N 1°33′40″W / 52.67201°N 1.56122°W
39.7 63.9 Start of motorway UK motorway symbol.svg J11
[coord 4]
Burton upon Trent, Measham A444 52°41′20″N 1°32′54″W / 52.688987°N 1.548450°W
40.0 64.4 Nuneaton A444
Non-motorway traffic
End of motorway Mauritius Road Signs - Information Sign - End of Motorway.svg
Road continues as
A42 towards East Midlands Airport
52°41′35″N 1°32′50″W / 52.692928°N 1.547098°W
  • Distances in kilometres and carriageway identifiers are obtained from driver location signs/location marker posts. Where a junction spans several hundred metres and the data is available, both the start and finish values for the junction are shown.
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

Coordinate list

  1. ^ 52°20′56″N 1°48′35″W / 52.3488°N 1.8097°W Termination point M40
  2. ^ 52°28′39″N 1°42′39″W / 52.4774°N 1.7109°W Southern M6 / M42 intersection
  3. ^ 52°29′01″N 1°42′38″W / 52.4837°N 1.7106°W Northern M6 / M42 intersection
  4. ^ 52°41′36″N 1°32′49″W / 52.69346°N 1.54695°W J11, A42

See also


  1. ^ "Chronology Map 1976". CRBD. Archived from the original on 20 September 2010. Retrieved 23 April 2010.
  2. ^ "Chronology Map 1985". CRBD. Archived from the original on 20 September 2010. Retrieved 23 April 2010.
  3. ^ "Chronology Map 1986". CRBD. Archived from the original on 25 November 2009. Retrieved 23 April 2010.
  4. ^ "Chronology Map 1987". CRBD. Archived from the original on 20 September 2010. Retrieved 23 April 2010.
  5. ^ "Chronology Map 1989". CRBD. Archived from the original on 20 September 2010. Retrieved 23 April 2010.
  6. ^ CBRD – M42 – Accessed 7 February 2009
  7. ^ "Unbuilt Services". Motorway Services Online. Retrieved 1 January 2012.
  8. ^ "'Extra lane' plan to be extended". BBC News. British Broadcasting Corporation. 25 October 2007. Retrieved 31 December 2007.
  9. ^ "M42 death crash driver wins back his licence". Archive.worcesternews.co.uk. 10 November 2001. Retrieved 6 November 2010.
  10. ^ Driver Location Signs, M42 J1-7 (map) – Highway Authority, 2009

External links

Route map:

1997 M42 motorway crash

On 10 March 1997 a multiple-vehicle collision occurred on the M42 motorway near Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, in central England. Three people were killed and more than 60 others were injured in the crash, which happened in dense fog during the early morning rush hour.

At around 6:20 a.m. a lorry, driven by David Fairclough of Wednesfield, entered the M42 from a slip-road at a speed of 56 miles per hour (90 km/h) and, after slowing to 32 miles per hour (51 km/h), rammed into the rear of a tanker, which then struck a car in front and exploded. The ensuing pile-up involved 160 vehicles on a 400-yard (370 m) stretch of the motorway, including 30 on the opposite carriageway 20 minutes later.Five air ambulances and 25 ambulances ferried injured drivers and passengers from the scene to three hospitals. A police car was also involved in the pile-up; one firefighter responding to the crash criticised other motorists for overtaking his fire engine in excess of 70 miles per hour (110 km/h) in the dense fog. Several cars and lorries were burnt to a shell and more than 30 occupants had to be cut free from their vehicles by firefighters.Lisa Dodson, a 21-year-old student from Chaddesley Corbett, was the driver of the car, a Peugeot 205, struck by the tanker and she died from asphyxiation. Malcolm MacDonald, 53 and from Redditch, and 63-year-old Margaret Vining, from Gloucester, suffered fatal injuries in the pile-up.

Fairclough, then aged 46, suffered bleeding to the brain and leg injuries. In 1999, he was acquitted at Worcester Crown Court of causing death by dangerous driving but convicted of dangerous driving for his role in the collision. His driving licence was suspended for four years and he served three months in Hewell Grange prison. In November 2001 he successfully brought legal action to have the licence reinstated. A judge ordered him to take an extended driving test.

1997 crash

1997 crash can refer to:

1997 M42 motorway crash

FedEx Express Flight 14

October 27, 1997, mini-crash

A42 road (England)

The A42 is a major trunk road in the East Midlands region of the United Kingdom. It links junction 23A of the M1 motorway to junction 11 of the M42 motorway. The A42 is in effect a continuation of the M42, and its junctions are numbered accordingly.

It is built to a similar standard to the M42, being a grade separated dual carriageway. The 6-mile (9.7 km) Measham and Ashby-de-la-Zouch bypass section was opened in August 1989 at a cost of £33m.


Birchmoor is a former coal mining village in the North Warwickshire district of Warwickshire, England. It lies about one mile south-west of Polesworth (Where population details can be found), and around 2m east of Tamworth, from which it is separated by the M42 motorway and the Staffordshire county boundary.

Birchmoor Colliery (also known as Cockspur Colliery) was opened in 1860 and closed in 1927.

Birmingham Interchange

Birmingham Interchange is a planned High Speed 2 railway station in the Metropolitan Borough of Solihull, West Midlands, England, expected to open in 2026.Unlike the city centre based Birmingham Curzon Street railway station, the interchange station will be a parkway, serving the east side of Birmingham and surrounding urban areas.The station will be on the opposite side of the M42 motorway from the National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham Airport and Birmingham International railway station. The interchange will be connected by a people mover to these locations with a capacity of over 2100 passengers per hour in each direction in the peak period.Journey time from this station to London is planned to be 38 minutes.

Blythe Valley Park

Blythe Valley Park is a district of the town of Solihull in the West Midlands conurbation. It is adjacent to Junction 4 of the M42 motorway, on the A34 Stratford Road between Solihull and Hockley Heath. The area was agricultural land administered by Sydenhale Farm until the late 1990s. After the death of the last landowner in 1984, the land was purchased by Solihull Council in preparation for development. The first phase of the project began in 1999 and is now completed. There is further land for development in the future. The project is composed of two principal elements; a public park along the valley of the River Blythe and a business park. Because of the location of the site and its proximity to the motorway network and Birmingham Airport it was deemed prime land for office development. The development consists of large office blocks set in parkland. The most apparent element of the development is the Blythe Bridge over the M42, which stands out amongst the functionalist motorway architecture. Junction 4 of the M42 was remodelled and altered to allow for direct access from the motorway.

Elmdon Heath

Elmdon Heath is an area of Solihull, West Midlands, United Kingdom. It is located to the north of the town centre, at a distance of approximately one mile. It is primarily residential, though there are a few shops, a garage, a community centre a secondary school, a primary school and a church centre. The area is centred on the Damson Lane thoroughfare and the Greville Arms public house. In addition to this there is a further pub at the Red House. Elmdon Heath is on the edge of the West Midlands conurbation and bordered by the Land Rover factory, Solihull town centre, the residential area of Damsonwood and open countryside. The housing was largely constructed between the 1930s and 1950s, though infill development continues apace. Much of the residential land was previously farmland until it was commandeered during World War Two. The former church of St. Francis of Assisi, which was located on Cornyx Lane, closed when the rector was relocated and no substitute was offered. It was vandalised repeatedly, ending in it burning down and has been demolished, the land under residential development.The Grand Union Canal runs through the area, and Elmdon Heath used to be the site of Solihull Wharf, which is now remembered only in the name of Wharf Lane. A large gasworks waited on Wharf Lane. This was demolished by British Gas and replaced with their national offices. When these were moved to nearby Blythe Valley Park the land became available for development, as a very large new estate of high-density housing has been constructed, which has more than doubled the population of the area. Local residents met this with mixed opinion, some believing it was a good use of the land, while some thinking that the estate is an eyesore, the new 'bright orange' buildings standing out against the more traditional housing.The nearest railway stations are Solihull and Birmingham International at Birmingham Airport, at distances of 1.5 and 3 miles respectively. The area is served by the 966 bus, which connects Solihull to Birmingham Airport, Chelmsley Wood and Erdington, via Elmdon Heath. The S1 bus also connects Elmdon Heath to Damsonwood and Solihull. The M42 motorway is located about 2 miles away. Elmdon Heath is in the parish of Elmdon and the ward of St. Alphege, within the constituency of Solihull.


Forhill is a hamlet in the Bromsgrove District, in the English county of Worcestershire. The Roman Road Icknield Street passes through the hamlet. It is near Junction 2 of the M42 motorway.

Hopwood, Worcestershire

Hopwood is a small settlement in Worcestershire, located south of Birmingham, England on the Worcester and Birmingham Canal. The settlement is developed around an inn, where users of the canal would have broken their journey.

Today's Hopwood is the location of Hopwood Park services, a motorway service station on the M42 motorway.

Places nearby include: Barnt Green, Alvechurch, Bittell Reservoir and Longbridge.

Hopwood Park services

Hopwood Park services is a motorway service station in Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, England situated off Junction 2 of the M42 motorway on the A441 road to Redditch south of Birmingham. It opened in August 1999. Services include a Shell Petrol Station, Waitrose, Starbucks Coffee, WHSmith, and KFC.

This motorway service area is operated by Welcome Break.

Knowle, West Midlands

Knowle is a large village situated 3 miles (5 km) east-southeast of the town of Solihull, West Midlands, England. Knowle lies within the historic county boundaries of Warwickshire, and since 1974 it has been part of the Metropolitan Borough of Solihull within the West Midlands. It lies a few miles from the modern Warwickshire border and has a population of around 11,000 residents.

Knowle is in the constituency of Meriden.

Lickey End

Lickey End is a village in the Bromsgrove District of Worcestershire, England. It is situated just north of Bromsgrove, to the south-east of the junction of the A38 Birmingham Road and the M42 motorway, and has a population of 2,764. The Old Birmingham Road goes north out of the village, passing through Marlbrook before ending up at the village of Lickey. Lickey End developed during the early 1990s with the addition of a large modern housing estate. The Parish Council that was created in 2001 was abolished following a ten-year campaign, with effect from 31 December 2010 according to the Lickey End Parish Council Dissolution/Abolition Order of 17 December 2010.

List of Statutory Instruments of the United Kingdom, 2011

This is a complete list of all 3131Statutory Instruments of the United Kingdom in 2011.


M42 or M-42 may refer to:

In science:

Messier 42, a nebula also called the Orion Nebula

the 42nd Mersenne prime, 225964951-1, discovered in 2005

an Y-chromosomal mutation, see Haplogroup B-M42In transportation:

M42 motorway, a motorway in the United Kingdom

M-42 (Michigan highway), a state highway in Michigan

M42 (New York City bus), a New York City Bus route in Manhattan

BMW M42, a 1989 automobile piston engine

Dodge M42, ¾-ton command truck, 1950s

Grand Central Terminal level M42, a World War II era sub-basement and power stationIn photography:

M42 lens mount, a standard for camerasIn firearms and military equipment:

Ag m/42, a Swedish semi-automatic rifle which saw limited use by the Swedish Army from 1942 until the 1960s

M42 Duster, a United States Army self-propelled anti-aircraft gun

M42 (gas mask), a United States military gas mask

M/42 (bicycle), a Swedish military bicycle

45 mm anti-tank gun M1942 (M-42), a Soviet anti-tank gun (Motovilikha Plants)

Duperite M42 helmet, an Australian WWII helmet

M42 Stahlhelm, a type of German WWII helmet

M42, a Smith & Wesson hammerless revolver

M42 United Defense submachine gun, an American weapon used in World War IIIn manufacturing:

M42 is the Unified numbering system code ("miscellaneous nonferrous metals and alloys") for a grade of high speed steel with cobalt


Monkspath is a housing estate and community in Solihull, England, south-east of Shirley (and served by Junction 4 of the M42 motorway). Monkspath is in the Blythe ward of the Metropolitan Borough of Solihull.

National Exhibition Centre

The National Exhibition Centre (NEC) is an exhibition centre located in Solihull, England. It is near junction 6 of the M42 motorway, and is adjacent to Birmingham Airport and Birmingham International railway station. It has 20 interconnected halls, set in grounds of 611 acres (2.54 km2) making it the largest exhibition centre in the UK. It is the busiest and seventh-largest exhibition centre in Europe.

Opened by Elizabeth II in February 1976, the first event to be staged at the venue was International Spring Fair, which has returned every year since. Growing annually, the event now occupies all of the NEC's 20 halls and the Resorts World Arena.

Tamworth services

Tamworth services is a motorway service station on the M42 motorway near Tamworth, in Staffordshire, England, opened in 1990. It is owned by Moto. The service station is situated off junction 10, and is thus accessible to non-motorway traffic via the A5.

Known brands include Greggs, a Marks and Spencer 'Simply Food' store, Burger King, Costa Coffee and WHSmith. There is also a Travelodge motel and a Ladbrokes bookmakers on site, not operated by Moto.

Vincent Palmer

Vincent Michael Palmer (1966, Birmingham – January 22, 2004, Milton Keynes) was a notorious English criminal, whose criminal activities during the 1990s saw him labelled the most wanted criminal in the English Midlands. 60 foot high mugshots of Palmer were displayed outside West Midlands Police headquarters in Birmingham.Arrested after a bungled armed robbery at a post office, he absconded from Birmingham Crown Court at his trial in 1997 and was sentenced to 13 years imprisonment in his absence. He was finally re-arrested on 6 January 2004, after seven years on the run. He was also questioned regarding the murder of Haulage firm owner Martin Sylvester, who was shot dead in his car in Great Bridge in August 2001. He was also linked to the murder of an off-duty soldier at Tamworth motorway services on the M42 motorway in March 2002.Palmer committed suicide after 16 days in his cell at Woodhill Prison.

Warwickshire ring

The Warwickshire ring is a connected series of canals forming a circuit around the West Midlands area of England. The ring is formed from the Coventry Canal, the Oxford Canal, the Grand Union Canal, the Stratford-upon-Avon Canal and the Birmingham and Fazeley Canal. It is a popular route with tourists due to its circular route and mixture of urban and rural landscapes.

The ring totals 106 miles and has 115 locks, although there are two alternative routes through the southern part of Birmingham - from Kingswood Junction, one route follows the Grand Union Canal to Salford Junction, where it joins the Birmingham and Fazeley Canal, and the other follows the Stratford Canal (north) and Worcester and Birmingham Canal to Gas Street Basin in central Birmingham. The latter route is slightly longer and has more locks, but many consider it to be more scenic and interesting.

Great Britain
Northern Ireland
Related articles
Transport in Worcestershire
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