M40/M42 interchange: smart motorway

The M40/M42 interchange is often congested at peak times, affecting both local journeys and long distance traffic between London and Scotland. This interchange upgrade will reduce congestion and delays, improving journey times for motorists. It will also support major new developments in Birmingham, Solihull and the Black Country, boosting economic growth and job creation.

Start date Started
End date 2023-24
Cost £133 million - £312 million

Latest updates

  • 12 August 2022

    An Update on Works Post-Commonwealth Games

    We'd taken the decision to temporarily halt our work on the network during the periods up to and immediately after the Commonwealth Games to reduce the potential for additional disruption during a time when traffic was expected to be busier than usual.

    Now that the Games are over, we are returning to our work on the scheme, progressing towards the upgrade of the central reservation which will begin this autumn. Until then, we are carrying out a range of enabling works including vegetation clearance, various surveys, drainage, surfacing and vehicle barrier works and the installation of speed cameras.

    So we can deliver this work safely and minimise disruption, we'll need to temporarily close some lanes on the carriageway.

    Where possible, we'll work at night time when the road is at its quietest. To keep our workforce and motorists safe, we’ll close lanes in 4-kilometre (2.4 miles) sections while we work. Signage will remain in place to inform and remind motorists of all upcoming road closures.

    Schedule of closures from 1 August 2022

    Day time:

    M42 junction 3 to M40 junction 16:

    24-hour limited hard shoulders on Mondays to Sundays between 15 August and 10 October 2022

    Night time (between 9pm and 6am):

    M42 junction 3 to junction 4:

    Lanes 1 and 2 on Mondays to Fridays between 31 August and 17 October 2022

    M42 junction 3 to M40 junction 16:

    Full carriageway on Mondays to Fridays between 10 October and 22 November 2022

    M42 junction 3a to junction 4:

    Full carriageway on Mondays to Fridays between 23 November and 21 December 2022

     

    Please note our planned road closures may be cancelled due to poor weather or for operational reasons.

  • 01 June 2022

    An update on works around the Commonwealth Games

    An Update on Works Around the Commonwealth Games

    Our preparation work on the scheme towards enabling the upgrade of the central reservation continues. This includes vegetation clearance, various surveys for the installation of speed cameras and remedial works to the existing carriageway drainage system.

    So we can deliver this work safely, we’ll need to temporarily close some lanes to allow us to move our traffic management equipment.

    We’ll continue to work at night time, when the road is at its quietest, where we can. However as some of this work will be noisy, to minimise disruption we’ll carry out work during the daytime too. To keep our workforce and motorists safe, we’ll close lanes in 4-kilometre (2.4 miles) sections while we work. Signage will remain in place to inform and remind motorists of any upcoming road closures.

    However to reduce the potential for additional disruption during a time when traffic is expected to be busier than usual, we’re temporarily suspending our works to cover the periods leading up to and after the Commonwealth Games from Thursday 14 July 2022 to Tuesday 16 August 2022.

    Our enabling works in preparation for the central reservation upgrade, which will begin in the autumn, will continue after this.

    Schedule of closures from 6 June 2022

    Daytime: M42 junction 3 to M40 junction 16, hard shoulder, between 6 to 8 June 2022.

    Night time: M42 junction 3a – junction 4, lanes 1 and 2, on 9, 10 and 13, 14 June 2022.

    There are likely to be additional closures before Thursday 14 July 2022 when works stop for the Commonwealth Games. These closures will affect:

    • M42 junction 3 to M40 junction 16, hard shoulder in both directions - daytime closures
    • M42 junction 3a to 4, lanes 1 and 2, in both directions - night time closures

    Our daytime closures will be on weeknights, between 6am and 9pm.
    Our night time closures will be on weeknights, between 9pm and 6am.

    Please note our planned road closures may be cancelled due to poor weather, or for operational reasons.

  • 11 February 2022

    A Further Update on our Advanced Works

    Our advanced works, which started in September, will continue into the Spring and include ongoing vegetation clearance as well as the planned upgrade to the central reservation.

    So we can deliver this work safely, we need to temporarily close some lanes while we move our traffic management equipment.

    We’ll continue to work at night time, when the road is at its quietest, where we can. However as some of this work will be noisy, to minimise disruption we’ll carry out work during the daytime too. To keep our workforce and motorists safe, we’ll close lanes in 4-kilometre (2.4 miles) sections while we work. Signage will remain in place to inform and remind motorists of upcoming road closures.

    Schedule of hard shoulder and lane closures from 14 February to 27 May 2022:

    • M42 junction 3a northbound / southbound, hard shoulder and lanes 1 and 2, between 14 February and 11 March 2022
    • M42 junction 3a – 4 northbound, lanes 2 and 3, between 4 and 15 April 2022
    • M42 junction 3 northbound, hard shoulder and lanes 1 and 2, between 11 and 15 April 2022
    • M42 junction 3 southbound, hard shoulder and lanes 1 and 2, between 18 April and 27 May 2022

    Lane closures will be in place on weeknights, between 9pm and 6am.

    Please note our planned road closures may be cancelled due to poor weather, or for operational reasons.

  • 20 December 2021

    An update on our Advanced Works

    Our advanced works, which started in September, will continue into February 2022.

    So we can deliver this work safely, we need to temporarily close some lanes while we move our traffic management.

    We’ll continue to work at night time, when the road is at its quietest, where we can. However as some of this work will be noisy, to minimise disruption we’ll carry out work during the daytime too.

    Road closures over the festive period

    To help everyone get to where they need to go over the festive period, we’re suspending our roadworks over Christmas and New Year. Signage will remain in place to inform and remind motorists of upcoming road closures.

    Schedule of lane closures from 10 January to 11 February 2022

    Northbound and / or southbound carriageway closures from the M40 junction 16 to the M42 junctions 3 to 4:

    • M42 junction 3 – 3a northbound, lanes 1 and 2, between 10 and 24 January 2022
    • M42 junction 3a – 3 southbound, lanes 1 and 2, between 24 and 28 January 2022
    • M40 junction 16 – M42 junction 3a northbound, lanes 1 and 2, between 19 and 21 January 2022
    • M42 junction 3a – 4 northbound and southbound, lanes 2 and 3, between 31 January and 11 February 2022

    Lane closures will be in place on weeknights, between 9pm and 6am. To keep our workforce and motorists safe, we’ll close lanes in 4-kilometre (2.4 miles) sections while we work.

    Please note our planned road closures may be cancelled due to poor weather, or for operational reasons.

  • 14 September 2021

    Scheme moves into ‘Advanced Works' phase

    Our next phase of work, known as ‘advanced works’, will start on 20 September and continue until the end of the year. We’ll be working in the hard shoulder and our team will be clearing some vegetation and installing temporary ducting for cables. When we start to build the main scheme, the ducting and cables will help us link signs, signals and cameras so we can manage and operate the network safely and efficiently.

    We’ll continue to work at night time, when the road is at its quietest, where we can. However as some of this work will be noisy, to minimise disruption we’ll carry out work during the daytime too. To keep our workforce and motorists safe, we’ll close the hard shoulder in 1km (0.6 miles) sections while we work.

    We’ll start work on the M42 northbound carriageway from just before junction 3 and continue north, completing each section before moving onto the next. Some evening lane closures will be required to move traffic management equipment as we progress.

    We’ll install some hard shoulder closures on the southbound carriageway around the M42 junction 3a too, so our team can complete similar ducting works in that area.

    Schedule of hard shoulder and lane closures from 20 September to 24 December 2021

    Northbound and / or southbound carriageway from the M42 junction 3 to M40 junction 16:

    • hard shoulder - 24 hour closure - in 1km sections - weekly from Monday 1am to Saturday 6am
    • lane 1 and 2 closures - 9pm to 6am - in 4km sections – weeknights, as required

    A map of M42 junction 3 to M40 junction 16

    Please note our planned road closures may be cancelled due to poor weather, or for operational reasons.

  • 26 July 2021

    Scheme moves into the next phase of work

    As our overnight survey work draws to a close, our team’s busy gathering the final pieces of information needed to inform the design of the interchange upgrade.

    As part of the next phase of work, we'll be clearing vegetation and installing temporary ducting for cables. When we start to build the main scheme, the ducting and cables will help us link signs, signals and cameras so we can manage and operate the network safely and efficiently.

    We’ll continue to work at night time, when the road is at its quietest, where we can. However as some of this work will be noisy, to minimise disruption we’ll carry out work during the daytime too.

    How will the work affect motorists?

    To keep everyone safe and help our team work efficiently, we’ll need to close sections of the hard shoulder and some lanes while we work. We’ll keep one lane open on each carriageway at all times and take a ‘traffic count’ before we close lanes, so if the traffic levels are too high we’ll delay our work until they reduce.

    The hard shoulders and all lanes will be open as usual outside our working times.

    When and where will traffic management be installed?

    During the daytime, between 9am and 4pm:

    • the hard shoulders will be closed from the M42 junction 3 to the M40 junction 16 in both directions on weekdays from 26 July to 30 July

    Overnight, between 9pm and 6am:

    • lanes will be closed from the M40 junction 16 to M42 junction 3a, in both directions, from 2 August to 6 August
    • lanes will be closed from the M42 junction 3 to junction 3a, in both directions, from 9 August to 13 August
    • lanes will be closed from the M42 junction 4 to junction 3a, southbound, on 13 August only
    • lanes will be closed from the M42 junction 3 to junction 3a, in both directions, from 16 August to 20 August

    24 hours, weekly from Monday 1am to Saturday 6am:

    • the hard shoulders will be closed in 1km (0.6 miles) lengths at a time from the M42 junction 3 to junction 3a and to the M40 junction 16, eastbound and then westbound, from 20 September to 10 December

    On Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays between these dates lanes 1 and 2, eastbound and then westbound, will also be closed overnight from 9pm to 6am.

    We’ll put in place signs to inform and remind drivers of the upcoming closures.

    We apologise for any inconvenience this work may cause and advise everyone travelling through the area to allow extra time for journeys.

    Please note these dates and times may be subject to change due to poor weather or for operational reasons.

    M40 M42 interchange map

  • 26 April 2021

    Final phase of overnight survey work starts in May

    In early May we’ll start the final phase of our overnight survey work to gather information which will inform the design of this vital interchange upgrade scheme.

    We’ll be working:

    • between M42 junctions 3 and 3a from 4 May to 27 May
    • between M42 junction 3a and M40 junction 16 from 1 June to 17 June
    • between M42 junctions 3a and 4 from 18 June to 23 July

    What are we doing?

    We’ll carry out a number of different surveys on both carriageways. These will include drilling carriageway core samples, digging small trial holes and ecology inspections.

    We’ll work overnight, when the road is at its quietest.

    How will the survey work affect motorists?

    To safely carry out the surveys we’ll need to close some lanes, in 4km sections at a time, but will keep one lane open on each carriageway while we work (Monday to Saturday between 9pm and 6am). We’ll take a ‘traffic count’ before we close the lanes and if the traffic levels are too high, we’ll delay the work until they reduce.

    All lanes will be open as usual during the daytime.

    We’ll also need to close the following slip roads overnight:

    • M40 to M42 northbound link road from 14 June to 25 June
    • M42 junction 3a to M42 northbound link road from 28 June to 25 July
    • M42 to M40 southbound link road from 12 July to 23 July

    We’ll put in place clearly signed diversion routes to the next junction when the slip roads are closed.

    We apologise for any inconvenience this work may cause and advise everyone travelling through the area to allow extra time for journeys.

    Please note these dates and times may be subject to change due to poor weather or for operational reasons.

    M40 M42 interchange map

Project information

Overview

Our motorway upgrades are carefully planned to provide vital extra capacity where it is needed most and maintain and enhance world-leading levels of safety. At the M40 / M42 interchange we're:

  • converting the hard shoulder to create a permanent fourth lane between M42 junction 3 and junction 3a, and M42 junction 3a to M40 junction 16
  • installing new emergency areas, with emergency telephones
  • installing new electronic information signs, signals and CCTV cameras which will be used to vary speed limits and manage traffic flow and incidents
  • installing stopped vehicle detection technology to enhance safety
  • upgrading the central reserve with a new reinforced concrete barrier to provide better safety

The M40/M42 interchange is not only important for local drivers but is also a vital link for long distance traffic travelling between London and Scotland.

This scheme aims to:

  • reduce congestion and delays
  • improve journey time reliability
  • maintain a high standard of safety
  • support economic growth and job creation

Documents

Traffic information

Information about scheduled roadworks and events on our motorways and major roads.

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