Supriya Ghosh (Editor)

M50 motorway (Great Britain)

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Existed:  1960 – present
East end:  Strensham
Length  34.8 km
History:  Constructed 1960–62
West end:  Ross-on-Wye
Constructed  1960
M50 motorway (Great Britain)

The M50 is a 22-mile/35-km-long dual two-lane motorway in Worcestershire, Gloucestershire, and Herefordshire, England. It is sometimes referred to as the Ross Spur, connecting, as it does, the M5 motorway to a point close to the Herefordshire town of Ross-on-Wye, where it joins the A40 road continuing westward into Wales.


Map of M50, Gloucester GL19, UK


The M50 runs ENE-WSW between:

  • junction 8 of the M5 motorway, 4 miles (6.4 km) NNE of Tewkesbury on the Gloucestershire-Worcestershire border; and
  • a junction with the dualled A449 / A40 / A465 ("Heads of the Valleys Road") taking traffic on into South Wales.
  • Leaving the M5 at junction 8, it passes north of Tewkesbury then south of Ledbury. Between junctions 1 and 2 chiefly for these towns respectively, it crosses the River Severn on the Queenhill Bridge and Viaduct over the flood plain. After passing north of Newent, the motorway reaches its terminus, junction 4.


    The construction works for the M50 were let under two contracts:

  • Contract 1 was awarded to Tarmac Construction
  • Contract 2 was awarded to R M Douglas Construction
  • Both contracts were undertaken between 1958 and 1962:

  • Junctions 1 to 4 opened in 1960.
  • M5 to junction 1 opened in 1962.
  • The route forms a strategic (that is, trunk or main) route from the Midlands and northern British Isles to South Wales (also including the A449 and A40 and so was constructed as an early priority.) It is one of the few British motorways not to have been widened, instead retaining its original layout of two lanes in each direction.


    Data from driver location signs are used to provide distance and carriageway identifier information.


    After both ends of the M50 are motorway service stations:

  • Strensham services operated by RoadChef, north of the M50's northeastern terminus (unnamed, nominally 0) junction with junction 8 of the M5.
  • BP garage on the combined short section of the A449 road and A40 remains westbound.
  • History

    Instead of the latter, beyond junction 4 was a larger Ross Spur Services operated by Welcome Break which closed in the 2000s.


    Junction 0 (and 8 of the M5) was originally a free-flowing trumpet-style junction, then converted to a roundabout with M5 flyover when the M5 was widened in the 1990s. Junction 1, where the M50 meets the A38, is a partial cloverleaf. Junction 2 has full slips roads from the deceleration lane into the slip roads save the kinked eastbound exit to local roads. Junction 3 consists of dual-carriageway-style 90° exits due to cost, low traffic volume and the style of road; however this has been the scene of various accidents.


    M50 motorway (Great Britain) Wikipedia