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Improvements to M42 junction granted consent

Words: Laura Edgar
M42 / iStock-653059056

Proposed improvements to junction 6 of the M42 in the West Midlands have been granted a development consent order (DCO) by transport secretary Grant Shapps. 

The scheme, submitted to the Planning Inspectorate, was considered under the Nationally Significant Infrastructure Scheme (NSIP). 

Highways England is seeking to improve traffic capacity at a notoriouslty busy part of the UK's motorway network, with construction set to see delivery of a new "grade separate junction" on the M42 and a dual carriageway link road that will connect to the A45 Coventry Road, as well as the construction of two free-flow links at Junction 6.

Development will comprise:

  • The creation of a new junction (Junction 5A) and a new 2.4 km-long dual carriageway link road to the west of Bickenhill connecting to an upgrade of Clock Interchange, which wil nlecessitate the realignment of the existing Catherine-de-Barnes Lane. 
  • Improvements to the Clock Interchange and the A45 between the Clock Interchange and the M42, including potential improvements to non-motorised user routes.
  • At M42 Junction 6, improvements in the form of free-flow links around the north west and north east quadrants of the junction to increase capacity. 

Highways England will be the highway authority for the majority of the scheme, with Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council the highway authority for the local road network. 

The granting of the DCO is in line with a recommendation by the inspector examining the project. Shapps agreed with the inspector that: the proposal had "adequately addressed" the scheme's potential effects on climate and environment and its resilience to climate change; the loss of over 40 hectares of 'best and most valuable' agricultural land constituted a "significant adverse effect" and weighed negatively against the DCO being granted; and the material considerations weighing in favour of the proposed development clearly outweighed the potential harm to the green belt, which the development would cross.

The decision letter and all documents relating to the scheme can be found on the Planning Inspectorate website.

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