The M5 is a motorway in England linking the Midlands and the South West. It runs from Junction 8 of the M6 at West Bromwich near Birmingham to Exeter in Devon. Heading south-west, the M5 runs east of West Bromwich and west of Birmingham through Sandwell Valley. It continues past Bromsgrove (and from Birmingham and Bromsgrove is part of the Birmingham Motorway Box), Droitwich Spa, Worcester, Tewkesbury, Cheltenham, Gloucester, Bristol, Weston-super-Mare, Bridgwater and Taunton on its way to Exeter, ending at Junction 31. It is the primary gateway to South West England. Congestion is common during the summer holidays, on Friday afternoons, and school and bank holidays on the section south of the M4.
Looking south towards junction 20
|Maintained by Highways England|
|Length||162.9 mi (262.2 km)|
|Northeast end||West Bromwich|
J4a → M42 motorway
J8 → M50 motorway
J15 → M4 motorway
J18a → M49 motorway
|Counties||West Midlands, Worcestershire, Gloucestershire, Bristol, Somerset, Devon|
The M5 follows the route of the A38 road quite closely. The two deviate slightly around Bristol and the area south of Bristol from Junctions 16 to the Sedgemoor services north of Junction 22. The A38 goes straight through the centre of Bristol and passes by Bristol Airport, while the M5 skirts both, with access to the airport from Junctions 18, 19 or 22. The A38 continues south into Devon from the motorway's terminus at Junction 31, near Exminster. Between Junction 21, Weston-super-Mare and Junction 22, Burnham-on-Sea, the M5 passes by an isolated landmark hill called Brent Knoll. The Willow Man sculpture is visible from both carriageways, and acts as a landmark just to the south of Junction 23.
Junction 15 of the M5 is a large four level stack interchange, called the Almondsbury Interchange, where the M5 meets the busy M4. The Avonmouth Bridge, between Junctions 18 and 19, is often a bottleneck during heavy traffic periods, due mainly to lane drops at either ends of the bridge for the respective junctions, and the sharp angle in the centre of the bridge, which causes larger vehicles to slow considerably. There are split-level carriageways where the M5 ascends the hill sides above the Gordano Valley, between Portishead, Junction 19 and Clevedon, Junction 20. Junction 1 surrounds a surviving gatehouse from the former Sandwell Hall.
The first 26 miles (42 km) of the M5 motorway to be built were constructed as a dual two-lane motorway (two lanes in each direction), with Worcestershire County Council acting as engineer. This section, from Junction 4 (Lydiate Ash) in the north to a trumpet junction with the M50 in the south, opened in July 1962. The southern end was called a trumpet junction because of its shape: a 270 degree curved bend. There were no other exits from this trumpet junction though room was left for a planned extension to the south.
Worcestershire County Council, the Police and particularly the County Surveyor of Worcestershire made repeated representations that a dual 3-lane standard motorway was appropriate, however the Ministry of Transport insisted that a dual 2-lane motorway would be built at a cost of around £8 million. The Motorways archive also records that the carriageways were also built to a lower overall width of 88 feet rather than 100 to reduce the loss of agricultural land. When the decision became necessary to widen the Worcestershire section of M5, it cost £123 million.
The 2 miles (3.2 km) dual two-lane section between Junctions 16 and 17 built at Filton, near Bristol, was also opened in 1962, and was intended to replace the pre-war Filton bypass. Gloucestershire County Council acted as engineer for this section, which was widened to a dual three-lane motorway in 1969.
North of Junction 4 the M5 was constructed in sections, from 1967 to 1970, together with the Frankley services. Much of the northern section beyond Junction 3, from about Quinton to the junction with the M6 motorway, was constructed as an elevated dual 3-lane motorway using concrete pillars.
The short section between Junctions 27 and 29 was built between 1967 and 1969, by Devon County Council, as the A38 Cullompton Bypass, with the intention that it should become part of the M5. The termini for this section have since been removed, although part of the southern terminal roundabout is now used as an emergency access. The section was developed to motorway standards, and incorporated into the M5 in 1975.
The section from Junctions 16 and 18 was illuminated in about 1973 as part or a wider policy announced by UK Minister for Transport Industries in 1972 to illuminate the 86 miles (138 km) of UK motorway particularly prone to fog.
In the late 1980s Junction 4a was built as part of the M42 motorway construction project. The route of the M42 was decided as early as 1972 but, owing to planning delays, the short section of the M42 north of Bromsgrove did not open until December 1989.
As the M5 traffic increased in the 1980’s Junction 11, the main Gloucester & Cheltenham access (via the A40 Golden Valley by-pass) became increasingly congested. At the same time there were plans for large scale business & housing developments at Brockworth, near Gloucester. To relieve Junction 11 of some of the new traffic generated, & avoid more congestion around both Cheltenham & Gloucester, a new junction, Junction 11A, some 3.5 miles south of Junction 11, was constructed & opened in the mid 1990’s.
The first-built section of the M5, from Junctions 4 to 8, was widened to provide six lanes (three lanes in each direction) in the early 1990s. During this work the northbound Strensham services was rebuilt further away from the new junction. Junctions 7 and 8 were also remodelled into a roundabout junction.
The Avonmouth Bridge was converted to eight lanes (four lanes in each direction) in the early 2000s. Later, in 2005–2006, parts of the M5 between Junctions 17 and 20 were widened to 7 lanes (four lanes climbing the hills and three lanes descending the hills); variable message signs were added and parts of the central reservation was converted to a concrete step barrier. During this stage of construction the M5 became Britain's longest contraflow system, spanning 9 miles (14 km) between Junctions 19 and 20. The M5 contraflow was said to be the most complicated ever built in the UK as the motorway is on a split level around the steep hills of the Gordano Valley; meaning four lanes plus an additional emergency vehicle lane were squeezed into that section.
In 2002 extended exits for Junction 12 were constructed. The Highways Agency did not anticipate the traffic flows through the junction and the resultant queues can now extend back onto the motorway. This is because of an increase in traffic from Stroud intending to use the M5 northbound. The distance from Junctions 12 and 13 is similar and traffic congestion is heavy on the A419 towards Junction 13 whereas it is usually lighter on the B4008 towards Junction 12. As traffic leaving the M5 northbound towards Gloucester needs to give way to this traffic coming from the B4008, the queue on the motorway can extend beyond the first sign for the junction. More improvements are scheduled, as at 2010.
At Junction 28 the Cullompton services are signed on the motorway in the northbound direction only. This was implemented to reduce congestion at the low capacity junction, although there is still access available to the services southbound through the junction. Also, the northbound exit slip to the junction was reduced to one lane instead of two to reduce traffic on the small roundabout at the west side of the junction.
In 2009 it was announced that the lighting between junctions 30 and 31 had been turned off between midnight and 5.00am to save energy.
Proposals were announced in September 2009 for a new Gloucester Services between junctions 11a and 12. A planning application was submitted in December 2009. Stroud District councillors approved the services in August 2010. The Services opened in May 2014
There have existed movements to petition the Government for an extension of the M5 south, to the city of Plymouth, which currently relies on the A38 road. The argument for such an extension has intensified in light of the closure of Plymouth City Airport in 2011, and the 2014 breaching of the South Devon Railway sea wall following storms that in turn, cut off Plymouth and Cornwall's rail access.
Improvements to junction 25 at Taunton were approved with an £18 million programme that will include the enlargement of the junction roundabout, the widening of the eastern junction slip road exit, and an additional roundabout South East of the junction to connect a new business park.
On the evening of Friday 4 November 2011, seven people were killed and a further 51 injured in a major crash involving over 50 vehicles which included cars, vans and large goods vehicles near Junction 25 in West Monkton, near Taunton. Several vehicles were burnt out in the fire which developed at the scene as the result of a series of explosions, and the road surface was seriously damaged, not just by the fire and explosions, but also by fuel spillage. The cause of the crash, which took place in wet foggy conditions close to a firework display, was investigated. One person was charged for breach under health and safety laws and found not guilty.
In October 2009, workmen clearing vegetation from the bottom of the M5 at Junction 14 discovered human bones in a black bin bag dumped in the bushes at the side of the motorway. The police were called soon after, and it was soon established that the bones were those of a young female. A few days later, DNA found on the remains confirmed that the body was that of Melanie Hall, who disappeared in June 1996 after a night out in Bath, Somerset, and who had been declared dead in absentia in 2004. Dental records confirmed that the body was hers, and the police began a formal investigation into her murder. As of 2016 no one has been prosecuted in connection with this case.
|M5 motorway junctions|
|mile||km||North-east bound exits (B carriageway)||Junction||South-west bound exits (A carriageway)||Coordinates|
|0.0||0.0||London (M1, M40), Birmingham (N&E), The NORTH WEST, Walsall, Wolverhampton M6||M6 J8||Start of motorway|
|West Bromwich, Birmingham (NW) A41||J1||West Bromwich, Sandwell, Birmingham (NW) A41|
|Dudley, Wolverhampton, Sandwell A4123||J2||Birmingham (W), Dudley A4123|
|Birmingham (W&C) A456||J3||Kidderminster A456|
|Entering West Midlands||Entering Worcestershire|
|Frankley services||Services||Frankley services|
|Birmingham (SW) A38, Stourbridge A491||J4||Birmingham (SW), Bromsgrove A38|
|16.1||25.9||End of variable speed limit||J4A||London (M40), N.E.C., Birmingham M42|
|16.6||26.7||The NORTH EAST, N.E.C., Birmingham M42||Start of variable speed limit|
|Bromsgrove, Droitwich A38||J5||Droitwich A38|
|Worcester (N), Kidderminster A449||J6||Worcester (N) A449, Evesham A4538|
|Start of variable speed limit||End of variable speed limit|
|Worcester (S), Evesham A44||J7||Worcester (S) A44|
|Strensham services (northbound)||Services||No access|
|No access||Strensham services (southbound)|
|39.7||63.9||Entering Worcestershire||J8||SOUTH WALES, Ross M50|
|40.0||64.4||SOUTH WALES, Ross M50||Entering Gloucestershire|
|Entering Gloucestershire||River Avon|
|River Avon||Entering Worcestershire|
|Tewkesbury A438 Evesham A46||J9||Tewkesbury A438 Evesham A46|
|No access||J10||Cheltenham A4019|
|Cheltenham, Gloucester A40||J11||Cheltenham, Gloucester, Staverton Airport A40|
|Gloucester, Cirencester A417||J11A||London, Cirencester A417|
|Gloucester Services||Services||Gloucester Services
|Gloucester (A38)||J12||Gloucester (A38)|
|Stroud A419||J13||Stroud, Dursley A419|
|71.9||115.7||Michaelwood services||Services||Michaelwood services|
|Dursley B4509||J14||Thornbury B4509|
|SOUTH WALES, Chepstow (M48) M4(W)
|J15||London, Bristol (C) (M32) M4(E)
SOUTH WALES, Chepstow (M48) M4 (W)
|Thornbury, Filton A38||J16||Thornbury, Filton A38|
|Bristol (West), Cribbs Causeway A4018 B4055||J17||Bristol (West), Cribbs Causeway A4018|
|SOUTH WALES, Cardiff, Newport M49 (M4(W))||J18A||No access (on-slip only)|
Avonmouth, Docks (A403)
|J18||Avonmouth, Bristol (West), Airport A4|
|Avonmouth Bridge||Bridge||Avonmouth Bridge|
|90.1||145.0||Portishead, Royal Portbury Dock, Clifton (Toll) A369
|Portishead, Royal Portbury Dock A369
|96.7||155.6||Nailsea, Clevedon B3133||J20||Clevedon, Nailsea B3133|
|102.3||164.6||Weston-super-Mare, Bristol (South) A370||J21||Weston-super-Mare A370|
|109.1||175.6||Sedgemoor services||Services||Sedgemoor services|
|111.7||179.8||Burnham-on-Sea, Bristol (South), Airport A38
|J22||Highbridge, Burnham-on-Sea A38|
Glastonbury, Wells A39
|J23||Glastonbury, Wells A39
|Bridgwater, Minehead A38
|Minehead, A38 (A39)
Bridgwater services, North Petherton
|Taunton, Yeovil A358||J25||Honiton, Yeovil, Weymouth A358, Taunton (A38)|
|133.3||214.5||Taunton Deane services||Services||Taunton Deane services|
|Wellington, Taunton A38||J26||Wellington A38|
|Barnstaple, Tiverton A361, Wellington A38||J27||Barnstaple, Tiverton A361, Willand (B3181)|
|Cullompton B3181, Honiton A373|
Exeter International Airport
|J29||Honiton A30 (East)
Exeter International Airport
|Exeter A379, Exmouth A376
Sidmouth (A3052), Exeter services
|Exeter, Dawlish A379
Sidmouth, Exmouth A376
|Start of motorway||J31||Bodmin, Okehampton A30|
|162.7||261.8||Bodmin, Okehampton A30
|Road becomes A38 to Plymouth and Torquay (A380)|
|1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi|
Junction information gathered from Advanced Direction Signs March to June 2011 (J4A – J31). Coordinates from Google Maps, taken at the approximate centre of the junction
On 4 November 2011, a multiple-vehicle collision occurred on the M5 motorway near Taunton, Somerset, in South West England. The crash involved dozens of cars and articulated lorries, and a large fireball ensued.Seven people were killed and 51 others were injured, making the pile-up the deadliest on a British motorway since 13 people – 12 of them children – died in a minibus crash on the M40 in 1993.
In October 2012, a man who had organised and was operating a fireworks display for Guy Fawkes Night at Taunton Rugby Club's ground, which is adjacent to the motorway, was charged with seven counts of manslaughter. In January 2013, the manslaughter charges were dropped and instead he faced a single charge under health and safety laws of failing to ensure the safety of others. In December 2013 he was found not guilty of the charge.
In April 2014, the West Somerset coroner concluded that the accident was caused by dense fog, and that smoke from fireworks may have been a contributory factor, but was not the prime cause of the incident.A369 road
The A369 is an A road running from Ashton Gate junction with the A370 and the A3029 to Portishead in South West England. The first part is relatively flat and the route passes through several villages which are Leigh Woods, Abbots Leigh, Easton in Gordano to Portishead. The road crosses the M5 motorway at Junction 19 which is where the single complex Gordano services are located.During the rush hour period the road gets extremely busy since it is the main commuter route from Portishead to Bristol. There is lots of congestion on the A369 which is why one of the primary reasons for reopening the Portishead Branch Line.A4018 road
The A4018 is an A-road connecting the city centre of Bristol to the M5 motorway at Cribbs Causeway. It is one of the four principal roads which link central Bristol to the motorway network (the others being the M32 motorway, the A38 and the Portway).Almondsbury Interchange
The Almondsbury Interchange in South Gloucestershire, is one of the United Kingdom's largest motorway stack interchanges. The interchange is one of only three four-level stacks in the UK, spanning a range (including slip roads) of 1 km by 1 km. It is the interchange for the M5 at junction 15 and M4 at junction 20, and is situated at the northern fringes of Bristol close to the village of Almondsbury, the Aztec West industrial estate, and Bradley Stoke. When it opened in 1966, it was the most complex junction on the British motorway network, a free-flowing interchange on four levels. Since then traffic volumes have increased and at busy periods, the Interchange becomes more difficult to negotiate safely. A managed motorway project has been introduced in an effort to relieve congestion.Avonmouth Bridge
The Avonmouth Bridge is a road bridge that carries the M5 motorway over the River Avon into Somerset near Bristol, England. The main span is 538 ft (164 m) long, and the bridge is 4,554 ft (1,388 m) long, with an air draught above mean high water level of 98.4 ft (30 m). It also has a separate footpath and cycleway which connects with Avonmouth station.Bridgwater services
Bridgwater services is a motorway service station on the M5 motorway near Bridgwater in Somerset, England. The services are located off junction 24, near the Somerset town of Bridgwater and can be accessed from both carriageways via a roundabout on the A38 road. It is owned by Moto. It used to be operated by First Motorway Services.Cullompton services
Cullompton services is a motorway service station on the M5 motorway near Exeter. It is owned by Extra MSA. It has a McDonald's restaurant which is owned by Extra, a small WHSmith and a Costa Coffee which is owned by Moto Hospitality. There is also a Shell petrol station nearby.Exeter services
Exeter services is a motorway service station on the M5 motorway near the city of Exeter in Devon, situated at Junction 30. Owned and operated by Moto Hospitality, the station is accessed from both directions of the motorway. It opened in 1977.Frankley services
Frankley services is a motorway service station on the M5 motorway between Junctions 3 (A456, Quinton Interchange) and 4 (A38, Lydiate Ash), near Birmingham, and taking its name from the nearby village of Frankley.Gloucester Services
Gloucester Services is a pair of Motorway Service Areas (MSA) serving the northbound and southbound carriageways of the M5 between Junction 11A and Junction 12, near Whaddon, Gloucester. It specialises in selling artisanal food, and does not offer outlets for popular chain food brands.
Construction of the northbound services began in early 2013, and they officially opened on 7 May 2014.
Construction of the southbound services commenced in March 2014 and they opened on 19 May 2015.Gordano services
Gordano services ( gor-DAY-noh) is a motorway service station located at junction 19 of the M5 motorway at the southern end of the Avonmouth Bridge, west of Bristol, England, and close to Portishead. It is owned by Welcome Break and offers KFC and Burger King food outlets, a general shop, a cafe, toilets and shower facilities. New to Gordano services from February 2013 was the opening of another Fonebitz shop offering mobile charging leads, satnavs and ancillaries associated with motorway or general driving.
The services are located off the actual junction; as such, there is only one station rather than a twin complex across the carriageway. The services lie on the Bristol side of the motorway (to the east). The grounds offer views to the Severn Bridge.
The name Gordano comes from Old English and is descriptive of the triangular shape of the whole valley from Clevedon to Portishead, being the ablative singular of the Latinised form of Gorden meaning muddy valley.M5 Motorway (Sydney)
The M5 Motorway is a 30-kilometre-long (19 mi) motorway located in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia that is designated with the M5 route and forms part of the Sydney Orbital Network. The M5 route number comprises two separate parts, separately owned and operated.
The original section that opened in 1992 is titled M5 South-West Motorway and is a toll road operated by Interlink Roads. Its southwestern terminus is south of an interchange near Prestons where the M5 meets the Westlink M7 and the M31 Hume Motorway. The M5 South-West Motorway eastern terminus is located 20 kilometres (12 mi) to the east at an exit junction with King Georges Road at Beverly Hills.
The M5 continues east as the 10-kilometre-long (6.2 mi) and untolled NSW Government-owned M5 East Motorway that includes substantial tunnels, opened in 2001 to connect with General Holmes Drive (M1) at Kyeemagh.
A third section of the motorway, referred to as the New M5, is currently under construction, having started in mid 2016, with completion expected in early 2020. This segment, part of the WestConnex project will link to an upgraded King Georges Road interchange on the existing M5 East at Beverly Hills and continue along a separate 11 km (6.8 mi) route via twin tunnels to St Peters.M5 highway (Russia)
The Russian route M5 (also known as the Ural Highway) is a major trunk road running across a distance of 1879 km from Moscow to the Ural Mountains. It is part of the European route E30 and the Trans-Siberian Highway.
The highway starts at the crossing of the Moscow Ring Road and Volgogradsky Prospekt and runs southeast through Lyubertsy, crossing the Oka River at Kolomna. The Ural Highway continues across nine regions of Russia, passing through a dangerous mountain stretch before terminating at Chelyabinsk. The road continues from Chelyabinsk further east to Omsk, Novosibirsk, Irkutsk as the Russian route R254.M5 motorway (Hungary)
The M5 motorway (Hungarian: M5-ös autópálya) is a Hungarian motorway which connects Budapest with the south-eastern regions of the country, the cities of Kecskemét, Szeged, and finally Röszke on the Serbian border. The motorway reached the city of Szeged in December 2005, while the remaining portion (between Szeged and Röszke) was completed in April 2006.
The M5 continues as the A1 motorway in Serbia from the Serbian side of the border at Horgoš. It is also the main route from Budapest to Bucharest via the M43 motorway and Romania's A1 motorway, as the link has been opened to traffic since July 2015.M5 motorway (Northern Ireland)
The M5 is a spur motorway of 1.4 miles (2.3 km) length in north Belfast, Northern Ireland. It connects the M2 to the A2 Shore Road at Hazelbank in Newtownabbey. It is a dual two lane road with most of the road on a causeway in Belfast Lough in order to bypass Whitehouse beach.M5 motorway (Pakistan)
The M5 (Urdu: موٹروے 5) is an under construction north-south motorway in Pakistan, which will connect Multan to Sukkur. The motorway is 392 km long. The motorway is a component of the multi-phase Peshawar Karachi Motorway planned under the China Pakistan Economic CorridorSedgemoor services
Sedgemoor services is a motorway service station on the M5 motorway near the village of Rooks Bridge in Somerset, England. The location of the services can be identified from a long distance because of their proximity to Brent Knoll, an isolated hill on the Somerset Levels.
The northbound station is operated by Welcome Break, and the southbound station is operated by Roadchef.
The northbound station is one of fourteen service stations for which large murals were commissioned from artist David Fisher in the 1990s, designed to reflect the local area and history.Taunton Deane services
Taunton Deane services is a double sided motorway service station on the M5 motorway near Taunton, England. It is owned by Roadchef.
|City centre streets|
|City centre squares|
Transport in Worcestershire
Transport in Gloucestershire
|Airports and Heliports|