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M54 to M6 Link

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M54 to M6 Link Road
Location Map ( geo)
Cameraicon.png View gallery (7)
From:  Featherstone Interchange (M54 J1)
To:  Laney Green Interchange (M6 J11)
County
Staffordshire
Scheme Type
bypass + junction upgrades
On road(s)
A460

The M54 to M6 Link road is a planned all-purpose road to be built near to the eastern end of the M54 to allow northern access onto the M6, a movement missing from M6 J10A. The original proposals from the 2004-6 period included additional links to M6 Toll, but these were deleted in 2017.

Introduction

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 the villages of Featherstone and Hilton to 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 although is entirely Trunk Road is also much further and again not of a motorway-motorway link standard.

An early plan for the link road as part of the A446(M) designs

A new road in this corridor has been proposed since the mid-1980s, with the earliest known route proposals for the A446(M) showing it terminating on M54 at or near junction 1. However, soon after this route proposals for the Western Orbital was published, with the link from M54 to the A446(M) becoming part of the Western Orbital, and to a different corridor west of A460. This meant that this route was therefore deleted from the A446(M), which then meant that when construction of M6 Toll started, it was not included, despite the cancellation of the Western Orbital by this time; leaving the connections north and east from M54 to be carried by the existing A460 and A449.

It has now been confirmed that the route will be classified as part of A460; and although its primary purpose is to join two motorways it will not be a motorway (or Special Road) itself.

Progress

The proposed route is shown on OS 1:250k mapping from 2020 and 2021, although is hard to see under the "A460" label
  • 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 Brochure (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)

Route Options

In 2006 the three main options were shown to the public, these were amended in 2014 before public consultation, these were:

Option A

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.

A consultants drawing in 2007 shows a slightly different layout at J11. This retains the existing roundabout but moves the northbound exit slip as per the above design.

Featherstone 2007 Option A.png

Option B

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).

The consultants drawing of 2007 shows the same route but with a south facing junction at Hilton Lane. The arrangement of the direct slip road from the M6 to the link road has been changed to a loop. There is also a slip road from the existing A460 at J11 leading onto the link road.

Featherstone 2007 Option B.png

Option C

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.

Option D

These options only appear in a set of consultants drawings produced in 2007. They are based on Option B above and have freeflowing movements at junction 1 from the M54 onto the new link road. The movements in the reverse direction require using the existing roundabout. Three drawings were produced with the highest numbered being D8 suggesting there were five others which were likely rejected at an earlier stage.

Featherstone 2007 Option D5.png Featherstone 2007 Option D7.png Featherstone 2007 Option D8.png

Options D5, D7 and D8

Preferred Route

The preferred 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 in order to handle the new arm which would connect to the new road, though there would be no free flow links.

The proposals were modified slightly in 2020 to reduce the impact on surrounding properties. These include a minor relocation of the Hilton Lane bridge and realignment of some of the slip roads at Featherstone Interchange. Preliminary ground works were due to commence in 2023.

Preferred route with 2020 alterations

Links

legislation.gov.uk





M54 to M6 Link
Junctions
Related Pictures
View gallery (7)
Birmingham Northern Relief Road Plan 1987 Part 1 of 6 - Coppermine - 14277.jpgFeatherstone 2007 Option A.pngFeatherstone 2007 Option D5.pngFeatherstone 2007 Option D7.pngM54 to M6 Link 2020 Final Scheme.png
Other nearby roads
Wolverhampton
A41 • A446(M) • A449 • A454 • A457 • A459 • A460 • A462 • A463 • A464 • A464 (Oaken - Nantwich) • A4038 • A4039 • A4098 • A4123 • A4124 • A4126 • A4150 • A4444 • A4510 • B4155 • B4156 • B4157 • B4158 (Wolverhampton) • B4159 • B4160 (Wolverhampton) • B4161 • B4162 • B4162 (Monmore Green - Deepfields) • B4163 • B4164 (Moxley - Ocker Hill) • B4200 • B4454 (Wednesfield) • B4464 • B4483 • B4484 • B4563 • B4590 • Bilston Link Motorway • C6 (Staffordshire) • C17 (Dudley) • C19 (Dudley) • C20 (Dudley) • C40 (Staffordshire) • C59 (Staffordshire) • C60 (Staffordshire) • C77 (Staffordshire) • C78 (Staffordshire) • C84 (Staffordshire) • C99 (Staffordshire) • C108 (Staffordshire) • C114 (Staffordshire) • C116 (Staffordshire) • C125 (Staffordshire) • C131 (Staffordshire) • C137 (Staffordshire) • C153 (Staffordshire) • C169 (Staffordshire) • C170 (Staffordshire) • C184 (Staffordshire) • C198 (Staffordshire) • C227 (Staffordshire) • C234 (Staffordshire) • C235 (Staffordshire) • C253 (Staffordshire) • C259 (Staffordshire) • C260 (Staffordshire) • C272 (Staffordshire) • C273 (Staffordshire) • C307 (Staffordshire) • C335 (Staffordshire) • C342 (Staffordshire) • C500 (Staffordshire) • E33 (London - Glasgow) • E34 (Old System) • Holyhead Road • M6 • M6 Toll • M54 • NCN81 • Northern and Western Motorway • T11 (Britain) • T14 (Britain) • T49 (Britain) • T50 (Britain) • U99 (Wolverhampton) • U110 (Wolverhampton) • U111 (Wolverhampton) • U112 (Wolverhampton) • U113 (Wolverhampton) • U114 (Wolverhampton) • U115 (Wolverhampton) • U116 (Wolverhampton) • U117 (Wolverhampton) • U118 (Wolverhampton) • U119 (Wolverhampton) • U120 (Wolverhampton) • U121 (Wolverhampton) • Western Orbital • Wolverhampton Outer Ring Road
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