Safety work starts on M6 near Coleshill

Bid to address concerns about the rollout of smart motorways

M6 junction 4
M6 junction 4

Concrete will replace steel on the central reservation of the M6 between junctions 4 (Coleshill) and 5 (Castle Bromwich).

The work started today, Monday, and is being is being carried out by National Highways, formerly the Highways Agency and also Highways England. It will cover junctions 4 to 10a by the autumn - though traffic restrictions will be removed for the Commonwealth Games.

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It is one of seven sections of dynamic hard shoulder (DHS) motorway – where the hard shoulder is used by traffic in busy periods – that will have the central reservation upgraded. Among the others are M42 junctions 4 to 7, (Dorridge to the M6 Coleshill Interchange).

As announced in the government response to the transport select committee recommendations over so-called smart motorways, the conversion of DHS sections of motorway to all lane running has been paused. Safety barrier conversion work is one of the changes being made during the pause - concrete barriers are seen as better at protecting traffic from a vehicle crossing over the motorway in an accident.

To minimise disruption while the work to upgrade the M6 barrier is carried out, three lanes will remain open to traffic. Lane four will be closed and lane three slightly narrowed to protect the workforce carrying out the upgrade.

A 50mph speed limit will also be in place and occasional overnight closures may be required.

To find out more about the upgrades click here.