A45 - A46

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Where is it?

Junction diagramThe original beginning of Coventry's 1930s southern bypass, and now also the point the 1990s eastern bypass ends too. The A45 enters from the M45.

In late 2016 an underpass opened between the north and west arms of the junction, fixing its chronic traffic problems. It no longer exists in the form described on this page.

It was nominated by Phil Deer.

What's wrong with it?

It's a roundabout. There's nothing intrinsically wrong with that; roundabouts are fine, generally speaking. It's just that this one is not quite up to the job. The roads meeting there are too busy for it. It's now festooned with a merry-looking garland of traffic lights, and it has broad three or four lane approaches from all directions. But it's not big enough to be signalised really, so all the stop lines are too close together and when waiting to join there's more road signing than you can read before the lights go green and you have to take a chance. It's not pretty.

Why is it wrong?

To the north lies a recently built bypass of Coventry, leading directly to the M6 and M69 and carrying an awful lot of traffic. To the west lies the southern bypass, with some grade separation and an awful lot of traffic. To the east lies the A45, the main road towards London, which becomes the M45 after a while, and carries an awful lot of traffic. All three work perfectly well until they collide at this little thing, with a couple of local roads thrown in for fun. It's just not enough for the amount of traffic that needs to pass through.

What would be better?

The Highways Agency plan to grade separate this in a few years time, so there is clearly a god of some sort. The trouble is they will only build a roundabout interchange — not ideal for this location — and can't decide whether west-north or west-east will get the underpass. Perhaps a better solution would be a small free-flowing junction, and the local roads can be rerouted elsewhere.

Right to reply

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These are the most recent comments on this junction. You can see all comments if you prefer.

January 2017

Malin Dixon has news:

Now that the underpass is open, the it is possible to travel from the A46 north of the roundabout to the A45 west of the roundabout on a grade separated route.

The roundabout to the north, where the A46 crosses the A428, known as the TGI roundabout, is now the bottleneck, so northbound queues extend in the evening rush hour extend all the way to the Toll Bar roundabout.

July 2016

C Clarke has some gossip:

I was under the impression that they were having to redo this because some clown used the wrong type of (sub-standard) concrete.

Been driving around this fiasco since 1987. Roundabout. Roundabout with lights. Roundabout with more junctions (except on the one from Willenhall). Used to be known as Kamikaze Island. Boot it and hope.

February 2016

Patrick got lost:

I travelled this way with friends recently and on both the outbound and inbound journeys we were caught out given the lack of permanent signage. The new underpass will look impressive when complete, I imagine.

January 2016

Mike Hindson-Evans has his umbrella ready:

It is getting better - the new junction is taking shape.

Now, so long as the drainage system can cope with the next monsoon to hit Warwickshire, all should be fine by late 2017!

October 2014

Fraser Mitchell is not optimistic:

The good news is that the junction is being upgraded with a dual carriageway underpass A46-A45 West, plus roundabout alterations. Whether the alterations will improve matters to any significant degree will only be known when it is completed. The problem with all road schemes in the UK is that by the time work starts the traffic flows have almost doubled making the original plans totally inadequate. This scheme will probably prove that view.

With thanks to Phil Deer and Nic Storr for information on this page.