M42 - Britain's worst motorway!

Road construction, numbering, traffic signs, fantasy roads, general roads musings, road history, mapping. Discussions about driving in general are better placed in "Transport and Driving". See below for our separate forum for street furniture.

Moderator: Site Management Team

Is the M42 our worst motorway?

Yes
9
22%
No
32
78%
 
Total votes: 41

User avatar
Roadtripper_Ian
Member
Posts: 7049
Joined: Mon Aug 05, 2002 21:14
Location: Thornaby-on-Tees

M42 - Britain's worst motorway!

Postby Roadtripper_Ian » Sun Mar 19, 2006 21:28

Before anyone points out things like the M898 or the Walton Summit Motorway I'm not looking for the worst design, I'm looking for the most unsuitable.

The M42 is abysmal for many many reasons:

1. Is 14 miles too short
2. Is D2 on all those hills past Tamworth causing huuuuuuge queues behind truck racing.
3. That southbound comedy merge into the M6 Toll
4. That insane northbound exit from the M6 Toll - lane 2 just splits down the middle which is fun at high speed
5. The worst blend of commuter traffic, long distance AND events traffic anywhere - bad enough when the NEC isn't busy, avoid-at-all-costs when it is
6. They spent zillions on Active Traffic Management without actually letting us use the hard shoulder - see point 5
7. They spent zillions on ATM but didn't replace the hideously worn concrete surface
8. A TOTSO with the M40
9. Hopwood Park MSA. Icky.
"I don't make the rules, ma'am, I just make them up and write them down"

User avatar
Steven
Site Manager
Posts: 13828
Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2002 20:39
Location: Wolverhampton, Staffordshire
Contact:

Postby Steven » Sun Mar 19, 2006 23:13

There's a good reason for the TOTSO.

Of course, most of the problems with the M42 are simply to do with its age and the desperate penny-pinching that went on at that time.

It's also missing the northern spur to the M5, which would be an improvement!
Steven

Pathetic Motorways: tastier than a well-chewed slipper.

User avatar
M4Simon
Member
Posts: 8529
Joined: Sun Mar 17, 2002 22:35
Location: WGC, Herts
Contact:

Postby M4Simon » Sun Mar 19, 2006 23:21

Steven wrote:It's also missing the northern spur to the M5, which would be an improvement!


I'm confused. Do you really mean the M5, or did you mean the extension to the M1?

9. Hopwood Park MSA. Icky.


By no means the worst MSA on the network. I would choose to stop there rather than some of the others.

Simon

User avatar
Steven
Site Manager
Posts: 13828
Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2002 20:39
Location: Wolverhampton, Staffordshire
Contact:

Postby Steven » Sun Mar 19, 2006 23:27

M4Simon wrote:
Steven wrote:It's also missing the northern spur to the M5, which would be an improvement!


I'm confused. Do you really mean the M5, or did you mean the extension to the M1?


Yes, I really mean the M5.

The "M42 Northern Turn" was junked in the late 1970s, which is why the northern movements at the present M5 J4a opened later than the southern movements.

It would have gone from somewhere just east of J1 (which would not have existed in the original plans) up to just north of M5 J4, with a link to that junction.
Steven

Pathetic Motorways: tastier than a well-chewed slipper.

User avatar
M4Simon
Member
Posts: 8529
Joined: Sun Mar 17, 2002 22:35
Location: WGC, Herts
Contact:

Postby M4Simon » Mon Mar 20, 2006 00:14

With you now.

Is the change in location of the northern link to the M5 that detrimental to the M42 motorway?

Simon

User avatar
Steven
Site Manager
Posts: 13828
Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2002 20:39
Location: Wolverhampton, Staffordshire
Contact:

Postby Steven » Mon Mar 20, 2006 00:15

M4Simon wrote:With you now.

Is the change in location of the northern link to the M5 that detrimental to the M42 motorway?


Not really - but it's another example of cost saving that went on during the construction process. Mind you, it would make the journey that way around Birmingham a bit shorter!
Steven

Pathetic Motorways: tastier than a well-chewed slipper.

DavidBrown
Member
Posts: 8033
Joined: Sun May 29, 2005 00:35

Postby DavidBrown » Mon Mar 20, 2006 15:33

I reckon that the section between the M5 and M40 isn't too bad, Hopwood Park services are nowhere near the worst I've been to, and a TOTSO isn't the end of the world. But the rest of the M42 (and A42!) makes it, without doubt IMO, the worst UK motorway I've travelled on. I haven't been on it since the ATM or the M6 Toll were introduced, but it was bad enough without them. God knows what it must be like by now.

User avatar
mittfh
Member
Posts: 3228
Joined: Tue Dec 16, 2003 12:34
Location: Kenilworth / Warwick

Postby mittfh » Mon Mar 20, 2006 16:19

Just out of curiosity, did they use ATM / hard shoulder running during Crufts? If not, why not? I heard that the queues were just as bad as ever...

User avatar
Gavin A74
Member
Posts: 2036
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2005 20:52
Location: Kilmarnock
Contact:

Postby Gavin A74 » Mon Mar 20, 2006 17:16

I'd say it bad- but not the wost.

DavidBrown
Member
Posts: 8033
Joined: Sun May 29, 2005 00:35

Postby DavidBrown » Mon Mar 20, 2006 17:20

I don't want to take it off topic, but those of you saying it's not the worst - which motorway would you say is the worst?

User avatar
M60-Tony
Member
Posts: 8678
Joined: Sun Aug 17, 2003 08:41
Location: Cheadle Hulme, Cheshire

Postby M60-Tony » Mon Mar 20, 2006 17:23

mittfh wrote:Just out of curiosity, did they use ATM / hard shoulder running during Crufts? If not, why not? I heard that the queues were just as bad as ever...
Nose to tail presumably :wink:

I didn't think the full implementation of ATM was due to come in until 2007 or 2008?
Tony

"We have more and more laws, and less and less law enforcement."

User avatar
haymansafc
Member
Posts: 4376
Joined: Sun Mar 19, 2006 16:52
Location: Ellesmere Port, Cheshire
Contact:

Re: M42 - Britain's worst motorway!

Postby haymansafc » Mon Mar 20, 2006 17:33

Roadtripper_Ian wrote:3. That southbound comedy merge into the M6 Toll
4. That insane northbound exit from the M6 Toll - lane 2 just splits down the middle which is fun at high speed


I agree with you on these two. I've had to use this merge a couple of times over the past couple of years and hated it every time. I'd love to know what the accident rate is here because every time I've used it, I've always had to watch out for people quickly changing lanes causing everyone around them to swerve or brake sharply.


7. They spent zillions on ATM but didn't replace the hideously worn concrete surface


I don't mind concrete surfaces, but the one on the M42 really is in need of replacing, it's awful.

I'd say it bad- but not the wost.


Agreed. I'm not a fan of the M42. Thankfully I hardly ever use it - only really for the NEC when something decent is there. My own nomination for the worst motorway wolud either have to be the M8 (formation driving or what? Stay in the middle lane and hope you remain on the motorway!) or most of the M60 (particularly the Southern and Western half).

User avatar
Dave908
Member
Posts: 1770
Joined: Sun Mar 26, 2006 19:02
Location: Liverpool

M42-britains worst motorway!

Postby Dave908 » Mon Apr 03, 2006 21:03

It is bad. But it isn't as bad as some of the others (e.g. M271 and the M49)

User avatar
Richard Walker
Member
Posts: 2527
Joined: Tue Apr 26, 2005 20:02
Location: Leek.

Postby Richard Walker » Mon Apr 03, 2006 21:43

The M271 is Britain's worst Motorway. Hell! It's a dreadful road.
I will not sing the chain-gang song, I will not walk the line.

User avatar
Jam35
Member
Posts: 4109
Joined: Fri Apr 08, 2005 14:43
Location: Rural Glamorgan

Postby Jam35 » Thu Apr 06, 2006 11:15

Steven wrote:
M4Simon wrote:With you now.

Is the change in location of the northern link to the M5 that detrimental to the M42 motorway?


Not really - but it's another example of cost saving that went on during the construction process. Mind you, it would make the journey that way around Birmingham a bit shorter!


Not wishing to sound like one of the beard and sandals brigade, but the environmental impact of such a route would be horrendous - it would just about destroy the Lickey Hills.

User avatar
haymansafc
Member
Posts: 4376
Joined: Sun Mar 19, 2006 16:52
Location: Ellesmere Port, Cheshire
Contact:

Re: M42-britains worst motorway!

Postby haymansafc » Thu Apr 06, 2006 16:12

Dave908 wrote:It is bad. But it isn't as bad as some of the others (e.g. M271 and the M49)


The M271 is bad.

My own contenders would have to be the M60 and the M8. The M60 in my opinion is very poorly designed and the TOTSO when you get to the M66 junction is a joke. It was much easier to understand in my opinion when it was M62/M63/M66. Turning three motorways into one has just caused confusion.

As for the M8....where do I start?! In short, 'Formation Driving' at it's scariest and unless you stick somewhere in the middle of the road, you'll end up pulling off somewhere using the inside or outside lane(s)! You need to know where you are going before using this motorway...!


Return to “British and Irish Roads”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: JF2309, M4Simon, Yahoo [Bot] and 10 guests