M54 to M6 Link
|M54 to M6 Link Road|
|Location Map ( geo)|
|From:||Featherstone Interchange (M54 J1)|
|To:||Laney Green Interchange (M6 J11)|
|bypass + junction upgrades|
The M54 to M6 Link road is a planned road to be built on the eastern end of the M54 to allow northern access onto the M6 as well as access to the M6 Toll. At the moment traffic heading east along the M54 can only head south at the end of the motorway, if traffic wishes to heading north or east they have to go along either the A460 which is a congested single carriageway through villages to the junction 11, or take the signed option and head north up the A449 then east along the A5 to join at junction 12 - a route which is much further and again not of a motorway-motorway link standard.
Owing to the difficulty of reaching the M6 Toll, traffic from Wolverhampton and Telford doesn't get the most out of the toll road. It has long been the plan (e.g. back when the A446(M) was first being proposed, which had the toll road ending at Junction 1 of the M54) to provide a link between the two roads.
It is not confirmed that it will be classified as an all-purpose dual carriageway, an expressway or a motorway. Nor is it known what number it will be issued. However, it is unlikely to be an all-purpose dual carriageway due to current A460 on the western side of it which can carry non-motorway traffic; it may just become a spur of the M54.
- In 2004 identification of the routes options were carried out
- In 2006 the drafts were shared to the public, three distinct routes with additional variants for connections to the M6 Toll.
- In 2014 it was shortlisted for projects that highways england should carry out and in late 2014 a consultation was carried out: Consultation Brouchre (Archive.org)
- A further consultation was carried out in 2017: Consultation Brochure (archive.org)
- In 2017 when HE announced expressways a route was shown on the map to connect the M54 and M6, however this originally appeared to be along the route of the A449 and not the A460.
- In 2018 the prefered route was announced as a modified option B, without the improved M6 toll link Preferred Route Announcement (archive.org) Consultation Report (archive.org)
- In 2019, consultation on the preferred route was conducted: Consultation Brochure (archive.org)
In 2006 the three main options were shown to the public, these were amended in 2014 before public consultation, these were:
New D2 all-purpose link road between Featherstone Interchange (M54 J1) and a redesigned Laney Green Interchange (M6 J11) which would bypass the villages of Featherstone and Shareshill to the east, also having a junction (unstated if roundabout or GSJ) with Hilton Lane. Free flow (via filter lanes) would exist between the M6 south and M6 Toll east, however most other movements will require at least 2 at-grade junctions.
New D2 all-purpose road OR motorway between Featherstone Interchange (M54 J1) and Wedges Mill Interchange (M6 Toll JT8) with an additional free flow slips at Saredon Interchange (M6 J11A) which would be north facing only (to provide the M54>M6N and M6S>M54 movements).
New Direct motorway standard links at Essington Interchange (M6 J10A - the current M54 and M6 junction). Under the plan, Laney Green Interchange (M6 J11) would be modified to a trumpet interchange, disconnecting the A460 and providing a free flow link to Wedges Mill Interchange (M6 Toll JT8) and on to the M6 Toll itself. The M6 would also become an All-Lanes-Running Motorway between the junctions and the plan would remove the southbound Hilton Park services and add braiding with the entry slip into the northbound services owing to weaving issues that would otherwise be introduced.
The prefered route that was announced by highways england in 2018 was a modified option B, but without the additional motorway links onto the M6 Toll.
- M54 J1 Junction completely redesigned, Freeflow to and from new link road to the west along the M54. A dumbbell junction on both arms of the M54 to allow the A460 to cross over and have full access onto the Motorways below.
- M6 J11 Roundabout enlarged a small amount of handle the new arm which would connect to the new road, no free flow. Local access road mill lane on the eastern side of the roundabout would have its access moved off the roundabout onto the A462 and A460.