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Route of the M50

The M50 is a very old motorway, dating back to 1960. It's not the busiest drive and it's arguably undeserving of its rather important sounding number. It does form quite an important link though, providing fast access between South Wales and the Midlands along with the A40 and A449.

The number isn't the only delusion of grandeur held by the M50 though. It was almost complete before the M5 in the area was even under construction. For several years, the M5 terminated on the M50, connecting to the A38 and points south via junction 1. The most probable reason it was built first is so that it would already be there when the M5 opened - had things been done the other way around, the M5 would have left South Wales traffic trudging through Tewkesbury or Gloucester.

We shouldn't mock the M50 too much. Even today it's fairly quiet, and virtually unchanged, so this is the best chance to see a motorway as it appeared in the early sixties, with no hard shoulders through bridges and nail-bitingly tight junctions (the only additions since 1961 have been some changeable matrix signs and crash barriers down the central reservation). It's also widely agreed to be one of the most scenic motorways there are.

Factfile

Start Strensham (M5)
Finish Ross-on-Wye (A449)
Passes None
Length 21 miles
Terminates None
Spurs None
Meets None

Images

Views of the M50 from on and off the road. If you have a photo to contribute, contact me.

Thumbnail

The M50 is almost claustrophobic - the hard shoulder looks too narrow, and it vanishes through every bridge. Across the Severn Bridge not only is there no hard shoulder, but only one lane is full width.
Photo by Steven Jukes

Thumbnail

There's some nice bridges on the route - a brick built archway over a motorway here. Note the vanishing hard shoulder on the left.
Photo by Steven Jukes

Construction Timeline

When the various parts of the M50 were built, listed in chronological order.

Open Jct Section
Dec1960 J1-4 Brokeridge Common → Ross on Wye
Jul1962 J0-1 Strensham → Brokeridge Common

Exit List

All the junctions and destinations along the route.

Junction   Eastbound               Westbound
(M5 J8) The MIDLANDS
Worcester
Birmingham
M5 Link
The SOUTH WEST
Gloucester
M5 Link






M5
EAST
Strensham Interchange (Roundabout Interchange)






M5
N/A More information about this junction
LanesLanesLanesLanes LanesLanesLanesLanes
1 mile, 2 lanes Up   Down 1 mile, 2 lanes
1 Tewkesbury
Evesham
A38
A38 (Dumbbell) A38 Tewkesbury
Great Malvern
A38
More information about this junction
LanesLanesLanesLanes LanesLanesLanesLanes
9 miles, 2 lanes Up  
River or canal Severn (Watercourse) River or canal Severn More information about this junction
  Down 9 miles, 2 lanes
2 Ledbury
Great Malvern
A417


A417
(Diamond) A417 Ledbury
Hereford
A417
More information about this junction
LanesLanesLanesLanes LanesLanesLanesLanes
7 miles, 2 lanes Up   Down 7 miles, 2 lanes
3 Newent
Gorsley
B4221
B4221 Newent Interchange (LILO) B4221


Newent
Gorsley
B4221
More information about this junction
LanesLanesLanesLanes LanesLanesLanesLanes
4 miles, 2 lanes Up   Down 4 miles, 2 lanes
4 N/A A449




(Roundabout)
A449 (A40)
WEST
SOUTH WALES
Monmouth
A449 (A40)
Ledbury
A449
More information about this junction
LanesLanesLanesLanesSigns LanesLanesLanesLanesSigns