Midlands Connect makes 'statement of intent' with motorways plan

Chris Ames

The sub-national transport body (STB) for the Midlands has published what it calls a ‘bold, long-term vision’ to cut congestion on the region’s motorways, including a possible new strategic route linking the M5 and the M6.

Midlands Connect’s Midlands Motorway Hub report, completed in collaboration with Highways England, puts forward 10 recommendations for ‘decongesting the heart of Britain’s motorway network’ over the next two decades.

The report makes both short-term and long-term proposals to reduce congestion on the ‘Hub’, which spans key sections of the M42, M5 and M6.

Short-term plans include measures to improve use of the underused M6 Toll while a key long-term recommendation is to consider in greater detail the economic case for a Western Strategic Route, linking the M5 and the M6.

Maria Machancoses (pictured), director at Midlands Connect, said: ‘This long-term plan shows the Midlands needs a strategic solution for its road network, not a quick fix.

'There is no silver bullet solution to fixing congestion; the recommendations outlined in this report are a bold statement of intent as to what is required to make the Midlands’ motorway network fit for purpose.’

Highways England network planning director Jeremy Bloom said: ‘We recognise that the network in the Midlands suffers from extensive congestion and agree that a vision for the future will help us to develop an investment strategy that solves the problems over the longer term.

‘Clearly this won’t happen overnight but this report provides us with the foundation to plan improvements over the next two decades. We are committed to working closely with Midlands Connect to make this a reality.’

Midland Connect said its analysis found that delivering the report’s recommendations could unlock up to 50,000 new jobs at key locations near to the Hub and support the construction of 50,000 new homes.

The report recommends improving time savings signage on the M6, which could help divert drivers onto the M6 Toll at peak times or during incidents. This could be delivered within the next two years.

The STB said that of the recommendations for further study in the report, its early research suggests that a Western Strategic Route offers the biggest benefit for improving journey times and reducing variability ‘providing additional capacity, raising resilience and supporting economic growth’.

It said data shows a such a route could shift around 20% of the traffic travelling through the region from the M6 in the North and M5 in the South away from the motorways. Midlands Connect said it is not yet considering any specific routes, but that further research this year will examine the economic and social benefits that could be realised.

The report also suggests that new strategic Park & Ride sites could reduce short trips on the most congested part of the Hub.

It also outlines a recommendation to test the potential for trialling HGV platooning in the Midlands. The STB will carry out more research this year on the prospect of trials, alongside other traffic management strategies such as freight-only lanes.

The report’s other main proposals are:

  • Widening the M42 from Junction 3A to Junction 7
  • Creating an A46 Expressway
  • Further enhancements on M42 Junction 6
  • Targeted improvements on M6 Junctions 2, 3 and 4
  • Ramp metering (installing traffic lights) on the M5 at Junction 1 and Junction 2
  • Developing a smart motorway on the M6, M1 to Junction 2.




Highways jobs

Technical Administrator Policy and Regulation

Cambridgeshire County Council
£18,795 - £21,166
Seeking an individual with a good standard of education, excellent organisational skills, and experience of using computerised systems... Cambridgeshire
Recuriter: Cambridgeshire County Council

Head of Highways Infrastructure

Leeds City Council
£72,397 - £79,637
Seeking an exceptional candidate for the position of Head of Highways Infrastructure to lead on the authority’s duty to... Leeds, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: Leeds City Council

Local Land Charges Information Manager

London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth
£37,717 - £44,373
An exciting opportunity has arisen within the Planning and Transport Strategy service for a forward thinking and innovative... London (Greater)
Recuriter: London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth

Planning Enforcement Officer

Brent Council
£29,241 – £38,799 p.a. inc
Do you have a degree or recognised post graduate qualification in planning or a science/environmental subject? Wembley, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Brent Council

Water Services Contract Manager

Camden London Borough Council
£40,028 - £46,431
Seeking a contract manager to ensure the water services day-to-day repairs and works are identified and remedied. London (Central), London (Greater)
Recuriter: Camden London Borough Council

Environmental Health Officer WCC10676

Westminster City Council
£33,759 - £47,274 per annum
As an Environmental Health Officer in Food Safety or Health and Safety, you will be responsible for... London (Greater)
Recuriter: Westminster City Council

Definitive Map Manager

Cambridgeshire County Council
£32,825 - £35,401
This role is based within the Highways Service at Cambridgeshire County Council and provides an unusual and... Cambridgeshire
Recuriter: Cambridgeshire County Council

Assistant Engineer

Cambridgeshire County Council
£21,074 - £30,756
A great opportunity for someone looking to start or develop a career in Highways Engineering including the... Cambridgeshire
Recuriter: Cambridgeshire County Council

Head of Strategic Transport

Cheshire East Council
£64,000 - £75,000 + benefits
We’re committed to “working for a brighter future together” – and we expect you to be too! Cheshire
Recuriter: Cheshire East Council

Regeneration Manager

Mole Valley District Council
£52,895 - £57,143 FTE
This is a great career opportunity to specialise in town centre regeneration and repositioning. Dorking, Surrey
Recuriter: Mole Valley District Council

Technical Services Officer (Mechanical)

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
£36,876 - £38,813
This is an exciting and challenging time for Kirklees and we want to expand our team to manage and deliver construction... Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Road and Footway Asset Engineer

Kent County Council
£28,925 per annum
An exciting opportunity has arisen to join the Road and Footway Asset Team as an Asset Engineer. Kent
Recuriter: Kent County Council

Head of Waste

Lincolnshire County Council
£65,651 - £70,725
As Head of Waste, you will be commercially focussed and forward-thinking. Lincolnshire
Recuriter: Lincolnshire County Council

Assistant Director

Reading Borough Council
Up to £92k
It’s the ideal time to take the lead on our modernisation agenda, and deliver growth in the trading of our front line services. Reading, Berkshire
Recuriter: Reading Borough Council

Assistant Director – Highways

Lincolnshire County Council
£82,264 - £107,878
Come and lead the future agenda for our highways services. Lincolnshire
Recuriter: Lincolnshire County Council

Download your Highways App

Google App Apple App

Highways on Fridays

Latest Issue

latest magazine issue

Latest Issue

The ALARM survey 2019

Game over for flyovers?

Traffex, Parkex and Cold Comfort Scotland previews

View the latest issue

Latest Video