Press release

£55m programme brings roads boost across West Midlands

A widespread congestion-busting road improvement programme worth nearly £55 million has now tackled 15 bottlenecks in the West Midlands – with another six due to be completed in the next three months.

The £317million national “pinch point” programme will cut congestion, increase safety and improve journey times - and help support the creation of thousands of new jobs and homes across the West Midlands.

The improvement plans – part of the biggest programme of road enhancements since the 1970s – were drawn up by the Highways Agency working with local councils and communities.

The 121 schemes are distributed across England’s major road network. There are 21 schemes in the West Midlands region, including a project to improve a busy junction on the M42 at junction 6 near Birmingham Airport, improvement work at the A5 Preston Boats and Emstrey Islands in Shropshire and junction widening work on the M5 at junction 4.

Tim Harbot, Highways Agency Divisional Director for the Midlands, said:

Since the launch of the Pinch Point Programme, we have been working in partnership with local authorities, Local Enterprise Partnerships and communities to deliver a roads programme which will make a real difference to our region.

The schemes are already providing big returns by easing traffic flows and making journey times more reliable. Once completed, the programme will have long-term benefits in boosting prosperity and driving economic growth in the West Midlands.

The pinch point programme was launched in November 2011. Schemes due to be delivered in the next three months are:

  • a £6.04m scheme to improve the key junction linking the M42 to destinations such as Birmingham Airport and the NEC. The work involves widening the A45 Coventry Road eastbound to four lanes at the approach to junction 6 of the M42 and widening the roundabout to provide four lanes
  • a £3.8m project to widen and realign the A5 Preston Boats roundabout in Shrewsbury to improve the flow of traffic by introducing a traffic light controlled junction
  • a £4.6m investment to the A5 Emstrey Island in Shrewsbury to increase capacity and install traffic lights as well as widen several approaches to the junction
  • work totalling £9.8m to widen new roundabout bridges and increase the capacity of slip roads at M5 junction 4.
  • a £8.15m scheme to widen and resurface the slip roads to and from the M6 junction 16, increase capacity at the nearby A500 and new lighting and signage
  • congestion busting work costing £2.9m to realign the approaches to the A5 Churchbridge junction and increase capacity at the junction itself, as well as introduce additional traffic lights at approaches and improve pedestrian and cycling facilities

Pinch point schemes which have already been delivered in the region include:

  • M6 junction 9, Walsall
  • A49/A438 Newmarket Street, Hereford
  • A5/A5148 Wall Island, Lichfield
  • A49/A465 Belmont Road junction, Hereford
  • M42 junction 10, Tamworth
  • A50/A500 Sideway Island, Stoke-on-Trent
  • A49/A4103 Starting Gate junction, Hereford
  • A5 Edgebold roundabout, Shrewsbury
  • A5 Churncote Island, Shrewsbury
  • M42 junction 9, Solihull
  • M5 junction 2, Sandwell
  • A5 Mile End, Oswestry
  • M54 Forge Island
  • A46 Ashchurch
  • M6 junction 6, Salford Circus

More information about the Pinch Point programme is available on the Highways Agency website

General enquiries

Members of the public should contact the Highways Agency Information Line on 0300 123 5000.

Media enquiries

Journalists should contact the Highways Agency press office on 0844 693 1448 and use the menu to speak to the most appropriate press officer.