M5 J4A-J6 Smart Motorway

Scheme outline

Upgrade of the M5 between junctions 4A (the M42) and 6 (Worcester) to Smart Motorway, including variable speed limits and all-lane running. Work to upgrade the central reservation to concrete step barrier along this section was completed in 2014. Enabling works and site clearance began in August 2015, with main construction beginning in January 2016. As such this scheme has a relatively imminent completion date, due to the recent completion of the ancillary works.

The completed scheme will provide a dual four-lane motorway by converting the hard shoulder into a new running lane. There will be no hard shoulder on the motorway after the works, and emergency lay-bys will be installed.

This section of motorway is one of the newest to require upgrade to Smart Motorway in order to deal with chronic congestion. It was widened from dual two-lanes to dual three-lanes in the late 1980s, so in its current form it is less than 30 years old.

This scheme is the first to trial a new Highways England online-only public ocnsultation. No consultation events will be held, and instead all consultation material and discussion will be online only. The consultation is accessible from the scheme's page on the Highways England website.

This scheme was completed in and we're no longer accepting updates or changes to this page.

This scheme is part of the Smart Motorways programme of works.

August 2015 - 2017
Other upgrade
under motorway restrictions
Highway authority
Central Government


16 January 2016

Narrow lanes and 50mph in place between J4A and J5, construction activities commencing with MS3 signal and portal gantry removal.

17 January 2016

According to a press release by Balfour Beatty, the anticipated cost of the scheme is placed at £45.4m. Overall scheme progress looks to be well on target for the November 2016 completion date!

19 January 2016

Site clearance in preparation for construction of cantilever MS4 bases, new super span gantries, cabinet sites, MIDAS and cross carriageway ducts for power and communications.

4 May 2016

Narrow lanes and a 50mph speed limit now in place between J4A-J6. All the old technology has been disabled and removed. Construction progressing for new ERAs, portal gantries, MS4, drainage, surfacing and communications systems.

28 July 2016

The opening date for this scheme is now predicted as "Spring 2017".

26 September 2016

All the new portal gantries appear to be in place between J4A-J5.

5 March 2017

Majority of work complete, some sections fully resurfaced and road markings updated, some barrier and cabinet work appears to be remaining.

3 April 2017

The section between junctions 4A and 5 appears to be up and running, with 50mph restrictions lifted. Works remain between 5 and 6 at the moment, but apparently due to be completed in the coming weeks.

12 June 2017

All works are now completed and motorway is fully open in both directions between J4a-6.

More information


With thanks to CA, Daniel, Tobye and JO for information on this page.