Highways England unveils plan to link Midlands’ motorways
Highways England has launched a six-week public consultation on its plan to link two major motorways in the Midlands.
The proposal for a motorway link between M54 and the M6 is expected by Highways England to ease congestion by around 22,000 vehicles a day from the A460.
“An enhanced connection between the M54 and M6 would significantly improve customer journeys from east to west and north to south. This will support local growth for Telford, Shrewsbury, Wolverhampton, Cannock and Tamworth,” according to Higways England.
The current direct link from the M54 to the M6 is the A460, which passes through the villages of Featherstone in Staffordshire and Shareshill in Wolverhampton. But the A460 suffers significant congestion and high accident rates due to large traffic volumes.
At present, the M54 merges with the M6 southbound at junction 10a, which means northbound road users must leave the motorway network and take other routes to connect with the M6.
However, completion of the project will see a new two-lane dual carriageway link road between M54 junction 1 and M6 junction 11 and an improved junction arrangement at M54 junction 1 and M6 junction 11..
Highways England senior project manager Graham Littlechild said: “Since we chose the preferred route, we have been working with key stakeholders to address concerns raised and design the scheme further. We are now keen to speak to people to see what they think of our plans. It is important that people have their say as this feedback will help us shape the final design.
“Once completed, the scheme will also relieve traffic congestion on the A460, A449 and A5, improve safety and support economic growth for the Midlands.”
Midlands Connect, a sub-national transport body which recommends transport projects for the Midlands region, is also supporting the development of the M54-M6 link road and has included it in its list of priority projects for completion.
Midlands Connect director Maria Machancoses said: “This scheme is a potential game-changer for the Midlands motorway network. It will make both short and long-distance journeys quicker and less congested, benefiting both the regional and national economy.
“Our partners in Telford & Wrekin, Staffordshire, Birmingham, the Black Country and Shropshire agree that this is one of the Midlands’ most important infrastructure priorities, and we are pleased that the project is reaching the consultation stage, where the essential views of residents, businesses and commuters will be heard.”