M6 junction 2 to junction 4: smart motorway

Improving the busy 13.6 mile (22km) stretch of the M6 between junction 2 at Coventry and junction 4 near Coleshill by upgrading it to an all-lane running smart motorway.

Region:  West Midlands
Start date:  2017/18
Cost:  £155 million to £234 million
Status:  CURRENT
Type:  Major Scheme
End date:  2019/20
Programme:  Smart motorways

Progress report

Our scheme has progressed very well since it began in March 2018 and we’re now approximately half way through our programme.

Work began in the verges on either side of the carriageway and involved the installation of our traffic management. We put in place three narrow lanes in both directions, with a temporary safety barrier to separate the works area and the live lanes of traffic. We also set up a reduced speed limit throughout our works of 50mph. This is for the safety of road users and our workforce, as we recognise narrow lanes create a different driving experience.

We carried out various activities in the verge, which began by removing the existing technology and gantries from the M6 to make way for the new and improved systems. Since then, we’ve installed new and refurbished gantries to house the technology which will monitor and manage traffic flow, upgraded the existing drainage, replaced the environmental barrier and resurfaced the carriageway.

Due to the layout of our working zone, there is currently no place for motorists to safely stop or leave the motorway other than the slip roads. Therefore we're offering a free recovery service for road users who break down within our roadworks.

Always try to exit the motorway immediately if your vehicle is damaged or experiences difficulties. If that’s not possible and you stop in the nearside lane (lane 1) and feel you are able to exit safely with any occupants, consider exiting your vehicle via the nearside (left hand) door, and wait behind the temporary safety barriers if it's safe to do so.

If it's not possible to get out of your vehicle safely, or there's no other place of relative safety to wait then you should stay in your vehicle with your seat belt on and dial ‘999’ if you have access to a working mobile phone.

In all cases, switch on your hazard warning lights.

latest progress

View our latest progress in the image gallery.

M6 junctions 2 to 4 smart motorway diversion routes

When full road closures are needed to safely carry out works, we will put in place three clearly signed diversion routes:

 

 

What's next?

We’re approaching the end of the first phase of our programme, with most of our work in the verge now complete. We’ve already started on our second phase of works, which will take place in the central reservation.

To provide a safe working area within the centre of the motorway, we’re carrying out a traffic management switch, pushing the three narrow lanes towards the verges of the motorway. Our traffic management switches are sequenced between April and July 2019. We’ve completed our first switch at the western side of the scheme and will work our way down towards junction 2 over the course of 5 switches.

Due to the nature of traffic management switches, we need to close the motorway overnight while they’re installed, for the safety of our road workers. All closure information will be communicated via Traffic England and our weekly traffic management bulletin. If you’d like to receive our weekly updates, please email us at M6.j2-4@highwaysengland.co.uk.

Timeline

Date Event
2015-2016 Design work
July 2016 Exhibition events
Winter 2017 Start of works
March 2020 End of works

Why we need this scheme

The M6 at junctions 2 to 4 currently suffers frequent delays due to the volume of traffic. This scheme will provide greater traffic capacity and more reliable journey times by improving the flow of traffic.

Aims

This scheme aims to:

  • reduced congestion by smoothing the flow of traffic to improve journey times and make them more reliable
  • facilitate economic growth within the region, by providing much needed capacity on the motorway
  • maximise motorway capacity while maintaining safety on motorways, which already are among the safest roads in the world

The scheme in detail

This project involves:

  • converting the hard shoulder to create a permanent fourth lane between junctions 2 and 3a
  • converting the climbing lane eastbound between junction 3a and 3 to a permanent traffic lane and retaining the hard shoulder
  • between junctions 4 and 3a the motorway will have 3 lanes and a hard shoulder; this is designed to tie in with the existing M6 junction 5 to 8 smart motorway
  • installing new electronic information signs, signals and CCTV cameras - these will be used to vary speed limits and manage traffic flow and incidents
  • installing 9 emergency refuge areas to use in place of the hard shoulder
  • improving the central reserve and adding a reinforced barrier to improve safety
  • adding new noise barriers in built up areas

Environmental impact

Ecological mitigation work is continuing, including the relocation of great crested newts within the highways boundary during spring 2018.

We've undertaken an environmental assessment that covers topics including noise and vibration, air quality, ecology and visual impacts. The results are presented in an Environmental Study Report where we describe the measures we'll take to minimise impact and enhance the environment. Appendices are available on request by emailing the project team.

Project media files and documents

Project timeline

Planned roadworks

Roadworks and Events for England

The latest incident information for England's motorway and trunk routes provided by Highways England

Location : The M42 southbound between junctions J7 and J6 . Reason : Roadworks. Status : Currently Active. Period : expect disruption until 06:00 on 21 June 2019. Lanes Closed : All lanes are closed.
Posted: June 20, 2019, 9:02 pm
Location : The M6 northbound exit slip at junction J4 to A446. Reason : Roadworks. Status : Currently Active. Period : expect disruption until 06:00 on 21 June 2019. Lanes Closed : All lanes are closed.
Posted: June 20, 2019, 9:02 pm
Location : The M6 northbound between junctions J4 and J6 . Lane Closures : Lanes 2 and 3 are closed. Reason : Barrier repairs. Status : Currently Active. Period : expect disruption until 06:00 on 21 June 2019. Lanes Closed : There are two of three lanes closed.
Posted: June 20, 2019, 8:02 pm
Location : The M6 southbound between junctions J6 and J4 . Lane Closures : Lanes 2 and 3 are closed. Reason : Barrier repairs. Status : Currently Active. Period : expect disruption until 06:00 on 21 June 2019. Lanes Closed : There are two of three lanes closed.
Posted: June 20, 2019, 8:02 pm
Location : The M42 northbound between junctions J6 and J8 . Lane Closures : The hard shoulder is closed. Reason : Planned Roadworks. Status : Currently Active. Period : expect disruption until 06:00 on 21 June 2019.
Posted: June 20, 2019, 8:02 pm
Location : The M42 southbound entry slip at junction J7 . Lane Closures : The hard shoulder is closed. Reason : Planned Roadworks. Status : Currently Active. Period : expect disruption until 06:00 on 21 June 2019.
Posted: June 20, 2019, 8:02 pm
Location : The M42 southbound between junctions J7A and J6 . Lane Closures : The hard shoulder is closed. Reason : Planned Roadworks. Status : Currently Active. Period : expect disruption until 06:00 on 21 June 2019.
Posted: June 20, 2019, 8:02 pm
Location : The M6 southbound between junctions J4A and J4 . Lane Closures : The hard shoulder and lane 1 are closed. Reason : Roadworks. Status : Currently Active. Period : expect disruption until 06:00 on 21 June 2019. Lanes Closed : There is one of three lanes closed.
Posted: June 20, 2019, 7:20 pm
Location : The M6 southbound between junctions J4 and J1 . Lane Closures : The hard shoulder and lane 1 are closed. Reason : Roadworks. Status : Currently Active. Period : expect disruption until 06:00 on 21 June 2019. Lanes Closed : There is one of three lanes closed.
Posted: June 20, 2019, 7:20 pm
Location : The M6 southbound at junction J4 . Lane Closures : The hard shoulder and lane 1 are closed. Reason : Roadworks. Status : Currently Active. Period : expect disruption until 06:00 on 21 June 2019. Lanes Closed : There is one of two lanes closed.
Posted: June 20, 2019, 7:20 pm
Location : The A452 southbound between the junctions with the A446 and the A45 . Lane Closures : Lane one is closed. Reason : Road repairs. Status : Currently Active. Period : expect disruption until 23:59 on 30 June 2019. Lanes Closed : There is one of two lanes closed.
Posted: June 20, 2019, 5:53 pm
Location : The M6 southbound between junctions J4A and J1 . Reason : Roadworks scheme. Status : Currently Active. Period : from 20:02 on 19 June 2019 to 06:00 on 7 July 2019.
Posted: June 20, 2019, 5:52 pm
Location : The A452 northbound between the junctions with the A45 and the A446 . Lane Closures : Lane one will be closed. Reason : Roadworks are planned. Status : Pending. Schedule : From 09:30 on 21 June 2019 to 15:30 on 21 June 2019. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 09:30 and 15:30 from 24 June 2019 to 28 June 2019. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 09:30 and 15:30 from 1 July 2019 to 5 July 2019. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 09:30 and 15:30 from 8 July 2019 to 12 July 2019. Lanes Closed : There will be one of two lanes closed.
Posted: June 20, 2019, 2:31 pm
Location : The A446 southbound between the M6 and the junction with the A452 . Lane Closures : Lane one will be closed. Reason : Horticultural works are planned. Status : Pending. Schedule : From 09:30 on 21 June 2019 to 15:30 on 21 June 2019. Lanes Closed : There will be one of two lanes closed.
Posted: June 20, 2019, 2:31 pm
Location : The M42 northbound exit slip at junction J7A . Reason : Roadworks scheme is planned. Status : Pending. Schedule : From 20:00 on 24 June 2019 to 06:00 on 27 July 2019.
Posted: June 19, 2019, 2:29 pm
Location : The M42 southbound between junctions J7 and J4 . Reason : Roadworks scheme is planned. Status : Pending. Schedule : From 21:00 on 24 June 2019 to 06:00 on 20 July 2019.
Posted: June 19, 2019, 2:29 pm
Location : The M42 southbound between junctions J7A and J6 . Lane Closures : Lane one will be closed. Reason : Roadworks are planned. Status : Pending. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 21:00 and 06:00 from 24 June 2019 to 29 June 2019. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 21:00 and 06:00 from 1 July 2019 to 6 July 2019. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 21:00 and 06:00 from 8 July 2019 to 13 July 2019. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 21:00 and 06:00 from 15 July 2019 to 20 July 2019. Lanes Closed : There will be one of three lanes closed.
Posted: June 19, 2019, 2:29 pm
Location : The M6 southbound between junctions J4A and J2 . Reason : Roadworks scheme is planned. Status : Pending. Schedule : From 20:00 on 24 June 2019 to 06:00 on 17 July 2019.
Posted: June 19, 2019, 2:29 pm
Location : The M6 southbound at junction J4 . Lane Closures : The hard shoulder is closed. Reason : Roadworks. Status : Currently Active. Period : expect disruption until 05:00 on 28 June 2019.
Posted: June 19, 2019, 2:29 pm
Location : The M6 southbound entry slip at junction J5 . Lane Closures : Lanes 1 and 2 will be closed. Reason : Road repairs are planned. Status : Pending. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 20:00 and 06:00 from 24 June 2019 to 29 June 2019. Lanes Closed : All lanes will be closed.
Posted: June 19, 2019, 2:29 pm
Location : The M42 southbound between junctions J9 and J8 . Lane Closures : Lanes 1, 2, 3 and 4 will be closed. Reason : Roadworks are planned. Status : Pending. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 22:00 and 06:00 from 24 June 2019 to 29 June 2019. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 22:00 and 06:00 from 1 July 2019 to 3 July 2019. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 22:00 and 06:00 from 10 July 2019 to 13 July 2019. Schedule : From 22:00 on 16 July 2019 to 06:00 on 17 July 2019. Lanes Closed : All lanes will be closed.
Posted: June 19, 2019, 2:29 pm
Location : The M42 northbound exit slip at junction J7A . Lane Closures : Lane one will be closed. Reason : Roadworks are planned. Status : Pending. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 22:00 and 06:00 from 24 June 2019 to 29 June 2019. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 22:00 and 06:00 from 1 July 2019 to 3 July 2019. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 22:00 and 06:00 from 10 July 2019 to 13 July 2019. Schedule : From 22:00 on 16 July 2019 to 06:00 on 17 July 2019. Lanes Closed : All lanes will be closed.
Posted: June 19, 2019, 2:29 pm
Location : The M42 southbound entry slip at junction J7 . Lane Closures : Lane one will be closed. Reason : Roadworks are planned. Status : Pending. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 21:00 and 06:00 from 24 June 2019 to 29 June 2019. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 21:00 and 06:00 from 1 July 2019 to 6 July 2019. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 21:00 and 06:00 from 8 July 2019 to 13 July 2019. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 21:00 and 06:00 from 15 July 2019 to 20 July 2019. Lanes Closed : There will be one of two lanes closed.
Posted: June 19, 2019, 2:29 pm
Location : The M6 southbound between junctions J4A and J4 . Lane Closures : The hard shoulder is closed. Reason : Roadworks. Status : Currently Active. Period : expect disruption until 05:00 on 28 June 2019.
Posted: June 19, 2019, 2:29 pm
Location : The M42 northbound at junction J7 . Lane Closures : Lane one will be closed. Reason : Roadworks are planned. Status : Pending. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 20:00 and 06:00 from 24 June 2019 to 29 June 2019. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 20:00 and 06:00 from 1 July 2019 to 3 July 2019. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 20:00 and 06:00 from 10 July 2019 to 13 July 2019. Schedule : From 20:00 on 16 July 2019 to 06:00 on 17 July 2019. Lanes Closed : There will be one of three lanes closed.
Posted: June 19, 2019, 2:29 pm
Location : The M6 southbound between junctions J4A and J4 . Lane Closures : Lanes 2 and 3 will be closed. Reason : Roadworks are planned. Status : Pending. Schedule : From 20:00 on 24 June 2019 to 06:00 on 25 June 2019. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 20:00 and 06:00 from 10 July 2019 to 13 July 2019. Schedule : From 20:00 on 16 July 2019 to 06:00 on 17 July 2019. Lanes Closed : There will be two of three lanes closed.
Posted: June 19, 2019, 2:29 pm
Location : The M6 southbound at junction J4 . Lane Closures : Lane two will be closed. Reason : Roadworks are planned. Status : Pending. Schedule : From 20:00 on 24 June 2019 to 06:00 on 25 June 2019. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 20:00 and 06:00 from 10 July 2019 to 13 July 2019. Schedule : From 20:00 on 16 July 2019 to 06:00 on 17 July 2019. Lanes Closed : There will be one of two lanes closed.
Posted: June 19, 2019, 2:29 pm
Location : The M42 southbound between junctions J6 and J4 . Lane Closures : Lane one will be closed. Reason : Roadworks are planned. Status : Pending. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 21:00 and 06:00 from 24 June 2019 to 29 June 2019. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 21:00 and 06:00 from 1 July 2019 to 6 July 2019. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 21:00 and 06:00 from 8 July 2019 to 13 July 2019. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 21:00 and 06:00 from 15 July 2019 to 20 July 2019. Lanes Closed : There will be one of three lanes closed.
Posted: June 19, 2019, 2:29 pm
Location : The M6 southbound between junctions J6 and J5 . Reason : Roadworks are planned. Status : Pending. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 07:00 and 11:00 from 22 June 2019 to 23 June 2019.
Posted: June 19, 2019, 2:29 pm
Location : The M6 southbound between junctions J4 and J2 . Lane Closures : Lanes 1 and 2 will be closed. Reason : Roadworks are planned. Status : Pending. Schedule : From 22:00 on 24 June 2019 to 06:00 on 25 June 2019. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 22:00 and 06:00 from 10 July 2019 to 13 July 2019. Schedule : From 22:00 on 16 July 2019 to 06:00 on 17 July 2019. Lanes Closed : All lanes will be closed.
Posted: June 19, 2019, 2:29 pm
Location : The M6 southbound between junctions J6 and J4 . Lane Closures : Lane one will be closed. Reason : Road repairs are planned. Status : Pending. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 20:00 and 06:00 from 24 June 2019 to 29 June 2019. Lanes Closed : There will be one of three lanes closed.
Posted: June 19, 2019, 2:29 pm
Location : The M6 southbound between junctions J4 and J3A . Lane Closures : Lanes 2 and 3 will be closed. Reason : Roadworks are planned. Status : Pending. Schedule : From 20:00 on 24 June 2019 to 06:00 on 25 June 2019. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 20:00 and 06:00 from 10 July 2019 to 13 July 2019. Schedule : From 20:00 on 16 July 2019 to 06:00 on 17 July 2019. Lanes Closed : There will be two of three lanes closed.
Posted: June 19, 2019, 2:29 pm
Location : The M6 TOLL southbound. Lane Closures : Lanes 1, 2 and 3 will be closed. Reason : Roadworks are planned. Status : Pending. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 22:00 and 06:00 from 24 June 2019 to 29 June 2019. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 22:00 and 06:00 from 1 July 2019 to 3 July 2019. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 22:00 and 06:00 from 10 July 2019 to 13 July 2019. Schedule : From 22:00 on 16 July 2019 to 06:00 on 17 July 2019. Lanes Closed : All lanes will be closed.
Posted: June 19, 2019, 2:29 pm

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