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The existing M5 (from M5 J4A to M6 J8) would change to M4x (for example M43).
But would the whole of M54 also have to change number?
The start of M54 (at M6 J10A) would move from today's Zone 5 to Zone 4.
So would the whole of M54 have to change to M4x (for example M44)?
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Likewise, the rerouting of the A1, A5 and A6 have not affected the zone boundaries of the A roads
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This is for three reasons really:
* Relevant evidence from moving Mx motorways is very scarce, with (as has been mentioned) only the M4 move to the SSC being relevant; and the M48 runs along what was the zone boundary, implying that the boundary itself did not move.
* Relevant evidence from moving Ax routes for the all-purpose system is contradictory. There is plenty of evidence in both directions; for example the A3 Guildford Bypass did not move the zone boundary; whilst the A1 thrashing around in Tyneside did.
* More recent evidence has shown that no-one at the DfT even seems to understand that there are systems any more, given how terribly the all-purpose system has broken down; and the M49 being clearly out-of-zone - unless as I once tongue-in-cheek suggested that actually all the evidence in the National Archives about this is wrong, and the 4 zone is actually hourglass shaped...
However, the proposal would be a complete non-starter anyway.
With all of the hassle and additional costs that would be caused by moving the M5 to the Western Orbital (if it ever got built), with thousands of signs across the Black Country and Birmingham needing updating overnight, maps being wrong, businesses such as "Junction 1 Widgets" needing to change their name, etc etc etc.
As has been pointed out before when people keep trying to move the M6 number to the M6 Toll, it's a VERY different proposition to the M60 renumber especially as every sign across an area where over a million people live that mentioned the M5 would be actively incorrect.
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Precisely this. The zone-based system for allocating motorway numbers has not been observed by anyone allocating a new motorway number for decades (not that many have been allocated at all). It is a historical curiosity of interest only to the likes of us, and I expect it would not be a consideration at all if there were changes to motorway numbers of the kind described in the OP. Whoever ended up responsible for renumbering the M54 (in the unbelievably unlikely event that such a thing was done) would choose whatever number they thought best and would likely do so without even knowing that a zonal system had ever existed.
Likewise if the M5 between Frankley and Ray Hall was bypassed and renumbered, I’d expect it to take a vacant 5x number because that would make it sound similar to the M5. I don’t believe any other consideration would even come into it.
I'd leave the existing route as the M5, with the new route taking the M40 designation (the existing M42 J1-J3A should be M40 anyway )
M49 is in zone if the boundary Zone 4/5 is the Severn, not the M5
I note that the map on PM shows the segment south of the M4 between M5 and M32 as being Zone 5 - surely that is Zone 3 (not that there's any likelihood of anything being built in in)
https://pathetic.org.uk/features/number ... tors.shtml
Shades of what Lord Palmerston is reputed to have said about the Schleswig-Holstein question :Chris5156 wrote: ↑Sun Oct 24, 2021 12:13Precisely this. The zone-based system for allocating motorway numbers has not been observed by anyone allocating a new motorway number for decades (not that many have been allocated at all). It is a historical curiosity of interest only to the likes of us, and I expect it would not be a consideration at all if there were changes to motorway numbers of the kind described in the OP. Whoever ended up responsible for renumbering the M54 (in the unbelievably unlikely event that such a thing was done) would choose whatever number they thought best and would likely do so without even knowing that a zonal system had ever existed.
"Only three people have ever really understood the Schleswig-Holstein business – the Prince Consort, who is dead – a German professor, who has gone mad – and I, who have forgotten all about it."
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schleswig ... n_Question
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The original 1970s proposal would almost certainly have been M40 as there's lot of evidence and some maps showing this. There's even one map showing the M40 continuing to Warrington as a relief road for the m6.
Big and complex.
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If the M5 were to migrate to a new route though then I could imagine the “old” M5 becoming an M4x to make it sound less important for long distance traffic. But they’d just leave the M54 as it is, even if it would now be technically out of zone.
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