Spanning over 64km, the M42 is a vital link for drivers in the Midlands. It plays an important part in connecting Birmingham with Nottingham, Solihull, Tamworth and Redditch onto Worcester. Not only this, it connects the east with the west with links onto the M5 and the M6.
The M42 is a busy network and it’s frequently used by holidaymakers taking their flight from Birmingham Airport. Near to the airport is the National Exhibition Centre, NEC, which can cause congestion near junction 6 especially during peak times around events.
It’s a network of two parts where the A24 merges with the bustling M42. The M24 we know today opened in the 1980s but the original plans suggested it should have stretched all the way to Nottingham via the M1. But, with just enough space for a dual carriageway, with no hard shoulders, the A42 remains.
If you’re planning on using the M42 for your travels, stay prepared and knowledgeable of all delays with the RAC Route Planner, providing frequent M42 traffic updates.
Worst Junctions in M42
The M42 is an important motorway in the Midlands, connecting Birmingham with Nottingham and Worcester. With so many drivers travelling along the M42, traffic will inevitably build up in certain areas. To help avoid congestion use the RAC Route Planner for up to date M42 traffic news. Here are the junctions that have been known to cause problems for some drivers:
Junction 9 on the M42 is a large roundabout which has four lanes. This can seem like too many lanes to navigate between, especially during busy peak periods. Get into your lane early and know your exit before approaching the junction.
The junction that leads you to Birmingham airport and the NEC, junction 6, is particularly problematic. This could be due to its spiralling nature, heavy traffic flow and tendency to split lanes without much warning. Use the RAC route planner for better navigation.
You’ll find that in between junctions 10 and 11, traffic often builds up. This could be as a result of junction 10 linking to the A5 and junction 11 connecting to the A444. With delays and slow moving traffic to consider, allow yourself time to travel along this section of the M42.
Accident Hotspots in M42
A part of the large collection of motorways in the centre of the city, the M42 connects to the M6, M40 and the M5. With such a heavy flow of traffic, unfortunately accidents can happen. Plan your journey with the RAC Route Planner, receiving M42 travel updates, to avoid any possible delays. You can also be aware of common accident blackspots on the M42.
The network of roads where the M42 meets the M40 has caused some problems. This could be because of fast moving traffic keeping up with flow moving from one motorway to the other. It’s important you stick to the speed limit when navigating through this junction.
Junctions 7 and 7A
The big 7 and 7A looping interchange onto the M6 has been a reported as an accident blackspot. From looking at the complex nature of the junction, you can clearly see why it has caused some problems. Make sure you know where you’re going and stick to your lane.
Between junction 4 and 5
When you’re southbound around Birmingham along the M42, be mindful between Junction 5 and 4. This has been known to be an accident blackspot. With drivers making their connection in and out of Solihull, the rise in traffic around these two junctions is significant so do leave enough space between yourself and the car in front of you.
Upcoming Major Roadworks in M42
With ongoing plans by Highway England to improve conditions across all the roads in England, the M42 may see some updates. Improvements can cause disruptions and roadworks. For M42 travel news use the RAC Route Planner to help reduce journey times.
Upcoming major roadworks on the M42 include:
Junction 6 - Work is planned to start in 2019/20 to improve the safety of junction 6. It also aims to increase the capacity of the junction to support the growing traffic moving onto the NEC and Birmingham Airport.
Junction 3 and 4 - Improvements are planned to transform the road network between M42 junction 3 and 4, and junction 16 on the M40 into a smart motorway. This major scheme aims to reduce congestion and maintain a high level of safety. Construction is due to start in 2019/20.