National Highways opening new £61m A46 flyover in Coventry for Commonwealth Games
Motorists travelling to the Commonwealth Games in the Midlands are being given a welcome boost with a new £61 million flyover on the A46 in Coventry set to open later this week.
The new 14,000-tonne flyover separates long distance and local traffic, which means drivers staying on the A46 will no longer need to slow down to use the roundabout, reducing congestion and making journeys safer. It is set to open to traffic by 6am on Friday, July 29.
Drivers using the new road for the first time are being advised that there is a temporary 40 mph speed limit in place with two lanes running in each direction while some remaining work takes place elsewhere on the structure.
The A46 links the East and West Midlands by connecting Coventry and Warwickshire to the motorway network.
National Highways Regional Director for the Midlands Andrew Jinks said: “We’re all excited to see the Commonwealth Games taking place in Birmingham and the opening of the new £61m flyover at Binley is a fantastic milestone to mark the occasion.
“We know that people will be travelling from far and wide to come and witness sporting history and we expect the roads around the Midlands are likely to be busier than normal.
“If spectators are travelling to the event by car, we’d encourage them to familiarise themselves with their route and to check the official Birmingham2022.com website before setting off. Our TrafficEngland.com website also has live updates of incidents across England’s major A-road and motorway network and is well worth a look.”
Work will still be taking place at Binley until Autumn with slip road closures required while teams complete the final stages of the project. A diversion route for affected traffic will be signposted.
Elsewhere roadworks on the M6 between junctions 4 (Coleshill) and 5 (Castle Bromwich) have also been lifted to help drivers have smoother journeys around Birmingham and avoid impacting on visitors travelling around the region.
Work to install a new concrete barrier in the central reservation has recently been completed.
The work will replace the existing steel restraint and is designed to prevent traffic crossing over into oncoming vehicles travelling in the opposite direction in the event of an impact.
Work on the next phase of the project – installing new lighting and work on the verges along this section of the motorway – will not start until after the Games on Thursday 18 August.
To help keep disruption to a minimum for motorists during the event, the existing temporary speed limit will be removed along with the roadworks. A free recovery service for broken down vehicles will remain in place between the junctions to help traffic moving.
Some roadworks near the £282m M42 junction 6 project have also been rescheduled to allow motorists easier access to the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) which is hosting several events.
Motorists are however being reminded to make sure their vehicle is safe before taking to the road.
More than 41,500 people broke down on National Highways roads last year because of tyre issues – that is over 20% of all breakdowns.
Yet many of those breakdowns could have been avoided if drivers had carried out basic vehicle checks before setting off including checking their tyres.
Tyre issues were the main reason during 2021 that people broke down on National Highways roads with 41,560 people doing so, compared to 35,892 in 2020 when traffic numbers were impacted by the Covid-19 lockdowns. So far this year, there have already been more than 19,300 breakdowns due to problems with tyres.
The summer holiday period is the busiest time of year for breakdowns, National Highways figures show.
In 2021 there were 21,307 breakdowns on the network in July and 20,526 in August, an average of 5,000 breakdowns each week.
The advice from National Highways is simple; check your tyre pressure, tread depth and tyre age including the spare, before you set off on a long journey.
Look out for cuts or wear over the full width of the tyre and don’t forget to check the trye sidewall.
If stopped by the police and found with illegal tyres, drivers could receive a £2,500 fine and 3 penalty points per tyre.
National Highways says simple checks are a way to make sure the vehicle is roadworthy. Things to consider are:
- Tyres: Ensure tyre pressures are suitable for the load and check the condition of tyres, including the spare. Look out for cuts or wear across the whole tyre including sidewall.
- Engine oil: Check oil levels regularly and top up if needed. Take your car back to the garage if you’re topping up more than usual.
- Water: Always keep your screen wash topped up with a good ratio of water and screen wash to maximise the cleaning efficiency so you can clear debris or dirt off your windscreen easily.
- Lights: If your indicators, hazard lights, headlights, fog lights, reverse lights or brake lights are not functioning properly, you are putting yourself and your family at risk. In addition, your vehicle may fail its MoT.
- Fuel: Before setting out make sure you have enough fuel to get to your destination. Running out of fuel can put you, your family and other road users at risk unnecessarily.
If you experience problems with your vehicle and you can’t leave the motorway you should always try to go left – to an emergency area, a hard shoulder, motorway services or slip road hard shoulder.
But if that is not possible and you have stopped in a live lane or feel your life is in danger you must stay in your vehicle with your seatbelt and hazard lights on and call 999 immediately.
Drivers should also take a few minutes to plan their journeys in advance. Live updates on traffic flow can be found at http://www.trafficengland.com/.
For more information related to checking your tyres, please go to https://nationalhighways.co.uk/tyrechecks/