- M5 motorway
UK motorway routebox
direction= Northeast - Southwest
Wolverhampton Birmingham Worcester Cheltenham Gloucester
Bristol Weston-super-Mare Bridgwater Taunton
misc= :"This article is about the M5 motorway in England. See
M5for other roads numbered "M5".
The M5 is a
motorwayin England. It runs from the M6 at Great Barrto Exeterin Devon. Heading south from the M6, the M5 runs east of West Bromwichand west of Birminghamthrough Sandwell Valley. The road continues past Bromsgrove, Droitwich Spa, Worcester, Tewkesbury, Cheltenham, Gloucester, Bristol, Weston-super-Mare, Bridgwaterand Tauntonon its way to Exeter, ending at Junction 31. It is the primary gateway to south-west England and can get very busy in summer months, especially after 3pm on a Friday afternoon until 8pm between Junctions 15 and 24.
The first convert|26|mi|km of the M5 motorway to be built was constructed as a four-lane motorway (two lanes in each direction). This section, from Junction 4 (
Lydiate Ash) in the north to a trumpet junction with the M50 in the south, opened in 1963.Charlesworth, George (1984). "A History of British Motorways". London: Thomas Telford Ltd. ISBN 0-7277-0159-2.] The southern end was called a trumpet junction because of its shape: a 270 degree curved bend. There were no other exits from this trumpet junction though room was left for an extension to the south.
Another section, the
Filtonbypass, was built near Bristolaround the same time. This is now the section between junctions 16 and 17.Ordnance Survey One Inch Map of Great Britain, Series 7 Sheet 156, major roads revised 1963.]
The motorway was extended in sections, from 1967 to 1970, northwards from Junction 4; and
Frankley serviceswas built. Much of the northern section beyond Junction 3, from about Quinton to its junction with the M6 motorway, was elevated motorway built on concretepillars. The northern extension was a six-lane motorway (three lanes in each direction).
It was also extended southwards, in sections, from 1967 to 1977, through
Somerset, to Exeter, as a six-lane motorway (three lanes in each direction).. A new services area was also built nearby, Strensham services. It appears that the short section between junctions 27 and 29 was opened a few years earlier than its adjoining section, as the "A38 Cullompton Bypass". The termini for this section have since been removed, although part of the southern terminal roundabout is now used as an emergency access. [ [http://www.uk-roads.co.uk/gallery/displayimage.php?pid=11548&fullsize=1 SABRE Photo Gallery: Click image to close this window ] ]
In the late 1980s a new junction 4a was built as part of the
M42 motorwayconstruction project. The route of the M42 was decided as early as 1972 but, due to planning delays, approval at the Bromsgrove end was not obtained until 1986. [ [http://www.iht.org/motorway/m42birmnott.htm The Motorway Archive - M42] ]
Widening the four-lane section
The first-built section of M5, from junctions 3 to 8, was widened to provide six lanes (three lanes in each direction) in the early 1990s. During this work the Northbound Strensham Services was completely rebuilt further away from the new junction. Junctions 7 and 8 were also remodelled into a roundabout junction. [ [http://www.iht.org/motorway/m5widening.htm The Motorway Archive - M5 Widening, junctions 3 to 8] ]
Addition of crawler lanes
Avonmouth Bridgewas converted to eight lanes (four lanes in each direction) in the early 2000s. Later, in 2005–2006, parts of the M5 between Junctions 17 and 20 were widened to 7 lanes (four lanes climbing the hills and three lanes descending the hills); information boards were added and parts of the central reservation was converted to a concrete crash barrier. During this stage of construction the M5 became Britain's longest contraflow system, [ [http://news.sky.com/skynews/article/0,,30100-13457491,00.html Sky News - UK's Longest Contraflow] ] [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/somerset/4388320.stm BBC News - 'Most complex' contraflow] ] spanning convert|9|mi|km between junctions 19 and 20. The M5 contraflow was said to be the most complicated ever built in the UK as the motorway is on a split level going around the steep hills of Gordano Valley; meaning four lanes plus an additional emergency vehicle lane were squeezed into that section. [ [http://www.epolitix.com/EN/MPWebsites/John+Penrose/810171f6-311a-49a9-a3a1-bd68fbc16839.htm#13 Western Daily Press - West beware! It's Britain's biggest road contraflow] ] Most of the contraflow had speed limits of convert|40|mph|km/h|abbr=on and required six speed camerasto enforce the speed limit through the narrow lanes. [ [http://www.roadtraffic-technology.com/contractors/photo_enforcement/redspeed/press4.html Road Traffic Technology - RedSpeed International Take On Europe's Largest Contraflow] ]
Junction 12 was originally a northbound exit only junction. In 2002 a southbound exit was added. The
Highways Agencydid not anticipate the traffic flows through the junction and the resultant queues can now extend back onto the motorway.cite news |url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/gloucestershire/4448870.stm |title=Agency admits error over junction |work=BBC News |publisher=British Broadcasting Corporation |date=2005-11-18 |accessdate=2008-01-01]
Notable features of the M5 include the four level
Almondsbury Interchange, between the M5 and the M4 near Bristol. Another is the Avonmouth Bridgethat is often a bottleneck in heavy traffic. Beyond that are the split-level carriageways, as the motorway climbs the sides of the hills above the Gordanovalley, between Portishead and Clevedon. Junction 1 surrounds a surviving gatehouse from the former Sandwell Hall.
The M5 follows the route of the
A38 roadquite closely. The two deviate slightly around Bristol and the area south of Bristol (junctions 16 to 22). The A38 goes straight through the centre of Bristol and passes by Bristol International Airport; whereas the M5 skirts around both of them, with access to the airport from junctions 18, 19 or 22. The A38 continues south from where the M5 finishes in Devon.
Between Junction 21, Weston-super-Mare and Junction 22, Burnham-on-Sea, the M5 passes by
Brent Knolland has a long gradual curve that deviates from the straight line of the motorway. It is commonly believed that this is because it is to bypass the hill and village, but it is in fact down to an error in the compulsory land purchases made at the time which left the route of the motorway having to arch around this area.Fact|date=February 2008
List of motorways in the United Kingdom
* [http://www.west-midlands.police.uk/cmpg/ Central Motorway Police Group]
* [http://www.cbrd.co.uk/motorway/m5/ CBRD Motorway database - M5]
* [http://www.cbrd.co.uk/media/video/m5.shtml CBRD videos - M5]
* [http://euclid.colorado.edu/~rmg/roads/m5.html Major roads Of Great Britain - M5]
*The Motorway Archive
** [http://www.iht.org/motorway/m5m6midlink.htm Junctions 1 to 2 & other Midlands motorways]
** [http://www.iht.org/motorway/m5brisbirm.htm Junctions 3 to 8]
** [http://www.iht.org/motorway/m5widening.htm Junctions 3 to 8 widening]
** [http://www.iht.org/motorway/m5twedscheme.htm Junctions 8 to 22]
** [http://www.iht.org/motorway/m5edwischeme.htm Junctions 22 to 31]
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