|Location Map ( geo)|
|North of Bromsgrove|
|Grade separated roundabout|
|M5, A38, A491|
Lydiate Ash is grade separated roundabout junction 4 of the M5. It originally formed the northern terminus of the first section of the M5. The junction takes its name from the hamlet to the immediate south east of the junction.
Before the M5 was constructed, the only main road in this area was the A459 running from the south on what is now the A38 Halesowen Road, crossing the junction slightly to the south and heading along what is now the A491 Sandy Lane (shortly after taking at TOTSO onto an S1 road.
With the opening of the M5 in July 1962, which then terminated at Lydiate Ash a roundabout was constructed with provisions for the northern extension of the M5, which came a few years later. A new D2 link road from the junction was created to meet the A38 at Rubery, bypassing the notorious bends at Spring Pools; though the final stretch to meet the M5 itself was not completed before the motorway opened, leading to a temporary initial layout. At this time, Halesowen Road to the south became part of the A38, the A459 now started from the roundabout itself.
Three years later in 1965, the M5 to the north was completed, and the A491 was connected to the roundabout following an upgrade of Sandy Lane, as a result of this, the A459 now started from the previous TOTSO junction on Sandy Lane. The re-routing of the A491 effectively formed a bypass for the villages of Fairfield and Catshill, whilst the old route is now numbered the B4091. It wasn't until the 1970s that the nearby A459 was renumbered as the B4551, and ironically received an upgrade, bypassing the old S1 stretch.
By the mid 1990s, the junction had become severely congested, as it was serving traffic for a large chunk of the Black Country, south west Birmingham, and Bromsgrove. The roundabout was widened to 3 lanes and traffic lights installed, though because of the layout it became notorious for accidents resulting from poor lane discipline.
In 2008, the roundabout was again exceeding its capacity, with queues regularly backing up in most directions, occasionally reaching the mainline of the motorway. In early 2009 the first phase of an improvement scheme was implemented, widening the northbound offslip and several points on the roundabout. A second phase of the scheme would have involved construction of a second roundabout to the east allowing traffic staying on the A38 to avoid the main roundabout, however this was shelved and in 2015 further widening, including physically widening the bridges took place. There is now a minimum of 4 lanes around the entire roundabout along with extended slip roads.
In early plans for the interchange between the M5 and M42, the northern link road would have met the M5 just to the north of Lydiate Ash, with links directly to an enlarged Lydiate Ash roundabout. Plans also show a free-flow A38 - A38 link under the roundabout. More information can be found at Pathetic Motorways
|The NORTH WEST|
|The SOUTH WEST, London (M40), Worcester|
|Birmingham (South West)|
|Halesowen||Now part of the B4551|
|London, Solihull||Abandoned Lydiate Ash link|
|Stourbridge, Wolverhampton||Western Orbital|