Laney Green Interchange
|Laney Green Interchange|
|Location Map ( geo)|
|M6, A460, A462|
|Junctions related to the A460|
|Junctions related to the A462|
It is one of the most poorly signposted rural junctions on the motorway network. Northbound, the first signage is at 2/3 mile, due to the presence of Hilton Park services, whilst the first southbound signage was located at 1/3 mile, due to the presence of Junction 11A from the opening of the M6 Toll in 2003 until late 2015 when extra signage was installed.
It also forms part of the shortest distance between three junctions on separate motorways. Along A460, Featherstone Interchange on M54, Laney Green Interchange on M6 and Wedges Mills Interchange on M6 Toll are around two miles apart in total. There are plans in place to improve the link roads, junction and route between the motorways.
Before the arrival of M6 in the area, the site of Laney Green Interchange was, as might be expected, the location of a junction between A460 and A462, although the junction layout is not what might be expected.
The A460 from Wolverhampton continued along the line of Mill Lane to the northwest of the junction, before meeting a T-junction at the location of the current 90 degree turn in Mill Lane. It then turned to the right at this junction, before meeting a further T-junction just inside the northeastern corner of the present roundabout, where the A460 turned northeast towards Cannock whilst the A462 commenced its southwards journey towards Willenhall. In 1957 the A460 was realigned which bypassed the Mill Lane T-junction.
The present junction was completed with the M6 in 1966 and remained in its original form until the opening of M6 Toll to the north in 2003, when the junction was remodelled with the offline upgrade of A460 to a dual carriageway, with the original line of the road being connected to the A462 to the south of the junction. At the same time, traffic lights were installed upon the roundabout.
Originally the junction was called Shareshill Interchange.
There have been numerous proposals for this junction over the years starting from before the M6 was built and going right up to the present time. This section will attempt to detail the known plans.
The earliest proposal is from the 1950s with the M6 following a more westerly line north of Laney Green and the junction was to be a parclo. It was to be sited slightly to the west of its eventual location so the A462 wouldn't have made a direct connection to the junction.
The next proposals were made in the late 1960s, just a few years after the junction opened. One of the rejected more northerly route options for M54 would have brought that motorway on a more northerly alignment, and would have interchanged with M6 at Laney Green. This would have added a number of additional sliproads, including east-facing on A460 to the north east of the main junction complex. However, the layout would also have potentially brought a number of weaving issues with closely spaced entries both on M6 southbound, and on the roundabout circulatory carriageway. Another layout has additional roundabout to the north of the existing junction. These proposals lasted into the early 1970s but were overshadowed by the fact that the route of the M54 as built was already the preferred option in the original study despite not being built until the mid-1980s.
The 1980s saw the next set of proposals which would have altered the junction. In 1984 two options for the northern end of the Birmingham Northern Relief Road were proposed. One joining the M6 at Saredon Interchange and the other at Laney Green. The Saredon option was selected as the preferred route in 1986 and would have resulted in no changes being made at Laney Green as all the slip roads would have been to the north of the junction. Despite the selection of the more northerly route in 1986 detailed plans of the alternative more southerly route were produced a year later in 1987. This would have enlarged the roundabout so quad carriageways could pass beneath. The existing M6 would now be two northbound carriageways and the southbound carriageways would along the eastern side of these. The preferred route was modified in 1988 so the connections between the BNRR, M6 and M54 would have formed a triangle completely surrounding Laney Green. After this the BNRR scheme proceeded as a privately financed toll road and opened in 2003 with the changes made to the junction as described earlier on this page.
In the early 2000s the M54 to M6 link was announced which would relieve the A460 between the two motorways. Various proposals have been made since then which would have affected the junction. The current proposal of 2019 will rebuilt the roundabout as a squareabout.
|The NORTH WEST, Stafford|
|The SOUTH, Birmingham|
|Wolverhampton, (M54) Telford|
|The SOUTH, Burntwood, M6 Toll, Cannock (A4601)|
|Willenhall, Walsall (B4210)|
- Roads in England and Wales 1956-57 - Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation (1958) page: 61