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Route of the M49

Driving between South Wales and the West Country? The M49 is for you.

Even more than the M26, this road is truly a glorified sliproad. It connects traffic going between the South West (and Bristol) with Wales via the Second Severn Crossing. And it does absolutely nothing else. In fact, because it only links two other motorways, it is the only motorway in the UK that you can only reach by motorway - there is no way on from ordinary roads .

The junction at the northern end of the M49 is full access, when you would think it only needs to allow traffic to travel to and from the M4 to the west. This is perhaps to avoid the bridge tolls, perhaps to function as a bypass of the M5 in emergencies, or perhaps because an intermediate junction with a park and ride facility was once planned for the M49. There's plenty of theories for those two seemingly redundant sliproads, but not so many answers.

Motorway numbering conventions suggest that since the M49 lies south of the M4, it should really have a number beginning with 3. M39 anyone?

Factfile

Start Avonmouth (M5)
Finish Severn Beach (M4)
Passes None
Length 5 miles
Terminates None
Spurs None
Meets None

Images

Views of the M49 from on and off the road. If you have a photo to contribute, contact me.

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The M49 is... boring. Dull. Ordinary. Run of the mill. Middling. There is nothing of interest on this motorway between the start and end. Oh dear god, I'm falling asleep just looking at the photo.
Photo by Steven Jukes

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Approaching the northern end, this array of blue signs is, frankly, a relief.
Photo by Steven Jukes

Construction Timeline

When the various parts of the M49 were built, listed in chronological order.

Open Jct Section
Jul1996 Entire motorway

Exit List

All the junctions and destinations along the route.

Junction   Northbound               Southbound
(M4 J22) SOUTH WALES
Cardiff
Newport
M4 Link
London
Bristol (M32 Link)
M4 Link






M4
NORTH
(Roundabout Interchange)






M4
(M32)
N/A More information about this junction
LanesLanesLanesLanes LanesLanesLanesLanes
5 miles, 2 lanes Up   Down 5 miles, 2 lanes
(M5 J18) N/A (A4)


M5




(Non-standard interchange)
SOUTH
M5

The SOUTH WEST
Bristol
Taunton
M5 Link
Avonmouth
Bristol (W & Airport)
A4
More information about this junction
LanesLanesLanesLanes LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes
LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes