PLANS to expand the capacity of junction 6 on the M42, close to the NEC, have been pushed forward by transport secretary Grant Shapps.
The secretary of state approved development consent for the £282 million scheme, which will increase road capacity ahead of the building of the HS2 interchange.
Planners say the improvements will allow better movement of traffic on and off the A45 and support access to Birmingham Airport.
The scheme will feature a new dual carriageway link between the Clock Interchange and a new junction on the M42 north of the Solihull Road.
There will also be free flow links around the north west and the north east of the M42 junction 6.
The Planning Inspectorate’s Chief Executive, Sarah Richards said: “This is the 85th nationally significant infrastructure project to have been examined and decided within the timescales laid down in the Planning Act 2008. The Planning Inspectorate is committed to giving local communities the opportunity of being involved in the examination of projects that may affect them.
“Local people, the local authority and other interested parties were able to participate in a 6-month long examination. The Examining Authority listened and gave full consideration to local views before making their recommendation.”
The inspectorate recommended the development went ahead, with contractors Skanska and Mott MacDonald already appointed for engineering works.
Highways England senior project manager Jonathan Pizzey said: “This is a major upgrade to improve the M42 junction 6 near Solihull because the junction has almost reached capacity, causing severe congestion and delays across the network.
“Highways England’s proposed improvement scheme would provide a comprehensive upgrade of the junction near Birmingham Airport, allowing better movement of traffic on and off the A45, supporting access to the airport and preparing capacity for the new High Speed Two station.”