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

  • 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

  • 26 February 2021

    An update on our survey work

    On 1 March we’ll start overnight survey work on the M42 between junctions 3a and 4, to gather information which will inform the final design of this vital interchange upgrade scheme.

    What are we doing?

    We’ll carry out a number of different surveys on both carriageways. These will include checking drainage systems and existing buried services locations (including electrical and telecommunications cables), drilling carriageway core samples and ecology inspections. We’ll also clear vegetation in some isolated areas to help us safely carry out the surveys.

    We’ll work overnight, when the road is at its quietest, for 6 weeks. 

    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 from Monday to Saturday between 9pm and 6am:

    • M40 J16 southbound exit slip road on 1, 2 and 3 March 2021
    • M40 J16 northbound entry slip road on 4 and 5 March 2021
    • M42 J3 southbound exit slip road every night between 8 and 12 March 2021
    • M42 J4 southbound entry slip road every night between 15 and 19 March 2021
    • M42 J4 northbound exit slip road every night between 22 and 26 March 2021

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

    Diversion routes will be clearly signed but please note the diversion through Hockley Heath is only for traffic originating in Hockley Heath.

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

    M40 M42 interchange map

  • 13 January 2021

    Ongoing survey work

    Since November 2020, we’ve been carrying out a number of different surveys on both carriageways between M42 junction 3 and 3a. On the 18 January, we’ll be moving onto the section between the M42 junction 3a and M40 junction 16. We’ll need overnight lane closures from 9pm and 6am to carry out the surveys safely.

    We’ll also need close the following slip roads overnight from 9pm and 6am:

    • M42 northbound to M42 northbound link at junction 3a - 5, 6, 7, 8 and 11 January 2021
    • M42 southbound to M42 southbound link at junction 3a - 12, 13, 14,15 and 18 January 2021
    • M40 northbound to M42 northbound link at junction 3a - 15, 16, 17, 18,19, 20 and 21 February 2021
    • M42 southbound to M40 southbound link at junction 3a - 22, 23, 24, 25 and 26 February 2021
    • M40 J16 northbound entry slip road  - 17 and 18 February 2021 and 3, 4 and 5 March 2021.
    • M40 J16 southbound exit slip road closed – 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 February 2021.

    Please note that these dates may be subject to change

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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