Solihull Motorway Service Area

Proposed Development Access and Highway England’s Junction 6 Improvement Scheme

In January 2019, Highways England (HE) submitted a Development Control Order (DCO) application to improve Junction 6 of the M42, which included the provision of a new Junction 5a. This new Junction was located adjacent to Extra’s proposed MSA, which at that time included a new dedicated Junction. The DCO Scheme was subject to Examination and an Order granting Development Consent was made by the Secretary of State (SoS) for Transport on 21st May 2020. Work has now started on site to deliver the DCO scheme.

The DCO Scheme component of relevance to the MSA proposals is primarily the new Junction 5a, which will include a new dumbbell link road over the M42 with south facing slip roads only, enabling M42 northbound traffic to exit the M42 and join a new link road which travels north to A45 Clock Interchange near Birmingham International Airport. An overview of the DCO Scheme proposals can be seen on the plan to the right.

In order that the MSA could be constructed in conjunction with the DCO Scheme, it was necessary to amend specific elements of the MSA access proposals previously submitted in 2015. Work on this has now been completed and following consultation and technical discussions with HE and SMBC, the access proposals have been deemed to be capable of operating safely, and do not compromise the operation of either the Strategic Road Network or the Local Road Network. Both consultees are satisfied with the proposed access arrangements and that there are no reasons why the access proposals cannot be approved subject to appropriate planning conditions. The MSA scheme for which planning consent is now sought, proposes the following amendments to Junction 5a to achieve access to the MSA:

  • Construction of a short link road into the MSA which will connect from the western roundabout, passing under Solihull Road (which would be raised in height);
  • Construction of north facing slip roads for use by MSA visitors and others, providing additional resilience to the Network should Junction 6 become congested;
  • Provision of a segregated left-turn lane from the M42 northbound off slip road into the MSA providing a dedicated access to the MSA;
  • Widening of the M42 northbound diverge slip road (this widening would lie within the development footprint required for the DCO Scheme and would not directly impact on the Ancient Woodland);
  • Widening of the western roundabout circulatory carriageway and new DCO Scheme Link Road at its exit from this roundabout;
  • The J5a road crossing the M42 motorway mainline between the two roundabouts would be re-marked to provide two traffic lanes on the westbound carriageway
  • Conversion of the M42 mainline from the existing Dynamic Hard Shoulder running regime to an All Lane Running system and any necessary signage and Emergency Refuge Areas (ERA) in collaboration with Highways England.

There would be no vehicle access to the MSA from Solihull Road or other local roads. The proposed access is shown on the plan to the right.