The M54 is a 23-mile (37 km) east-west dual carriageway in the
English counties of
Shropshire and Staffordshire. It is also referred
to as the
Telford dual carriageway, after the road's primary westbound
destination, the new town of Telford. The dual carriageway cost
£65 million to construct, and is two-lane dual carriageway for
the majority of its length, with sections of three-lane.
The M54 spur connects the
M6 motorway near Essington, Staffordshire
with the A5 trunk road at Wellington, Shropshire. The motorway
forms part of the strategic route to North Wales, roughly following
the path of the Roman
Watling Street and the A5 north-westwards,
towards the port of Holyhead. It is the only motorway in
Shropshire, and forms a vital part of the county's road network.
The motorway handles an
AADT of between 50,300 (J2-3) and 41,800
4 Proposed developments
4.1 Extension of the M54 to Shrewsbury
4.2 M54 to M6 / M6 (Toll) Link Road
4.3 Other proposals
6 See also
8 External links
The idea of the M54 was originally presented due to the high volumes
of traffic on the A5, London to
Holyhead road which was largely
constructed by civil engineer Thomas
Telford in the early 19th century
following the route of the Roman Watling Street, which connected
Rochester, Kent with Wroxeter, Shropshire. The initial plan for a
motorway following the M54's present route was therefore designed to
alleviate the roads which handled the commercial traffic to the port
of Holyhead, destined for Ireland. With the proposal in the early
1960s for a new town to provide an overspill housing area for the West
Midlands conurbation, then named
Dawley New Town (designated as
Telford in 1967), the M54 was becoming more likely to be built; the
government also wanted to increase transport provision to the rest of
The M54 undergoing critical reconstruction work, J5 (
In 1967 the Ministry of Transport invited construction company Freeman
Fox, Wilbur Smith Associates (FFWSA) to investigate and report on the
impact of the New Town proposals on traffic demand between the
proposed New Town site and Wolverhampton, and the best highway
solution to meet this demand. The predicted demand was that of 75,000
vehicles per day by 1990 and a need for a dual 3-lane motorway. Two
corridors were identified for a possible new motorway route, and a
third option to possibly upgrade existing roads. The route could have
followed the A5 Corridor to the M6 South of Gailey, at junction 12, or
a new corridor could have been established to the M6, north-east of
Featherstone, at junction 11. Additionally, it was proposed that the
existing A5 could be upgraded to full dual carriageway grade separated
standards together with improvements to the A41 and A464 trunk
The first section of the M54 was opened in 1975, then named the A5
Wellington bypass (bypassing one of the existing towns which formed
part of Telford), but renumbered the M54 in 1983 when the motorway was
extended. The bypass removed traffic from the heavily congested route
through the urbanised areas of
Oakengates and Wellington, and removed
one of the country's most notorious bottlenecks at the Bucks Head
crossroads, in Wellington; delays of up to six hours could be
experienced in the summer months.
The motorway as it passes through
Telford – Junction 5 shown here
– which was the first completed stretch of the motorway, then known
Wellington bypass was constructed by contractor M. J. Gleeson Ltd,
from 1973 to 1975. Many problems followed in the two years after
completion; the rigid concrete carriageway broke up, due to the road
being built on a poor subbase with rigid concrete along a historically
heavily mined route. The aesthetic and constructional design of the
bridges was also heavily criticised. Over the next 15 years, almost
all of the original carriageway had to be replaced with asphalt.
The 30 kilometres (19 mi) section between the junction with the
M6, and Telford, excluding the
Wellington bypass, was divided into
four contracts each awarded to different companies; all sections
remained under the design of Sir Owen Williams and Partners.
Contract 1 (Shifnal) was given to A Monk & Co., who utilised a
slip-form paver to construct the concrete section, which led to it
becoming a standard in future motorway construction.
Contract 2 (Donington) was awarded to R M Douglas Construction Ltd.
The two-year contract was completed in only 18 months, due to the dry
weather which allowed the earthworks to be completed ahead of
Contract 3 (Codsall) was taken by
Alfred McAlpine & Son (Southern)
Ltd., and was constructed almost identically to contract 1.
Contract 4 (Essington) was the largest contract, and was awarded to
Tarmac Construction (present day Carillion). This section took the
longest to complete, and faced opposition from
Council who wanted disruption at the junction with the M6 to remain
The Forge junction at
Telford Town Centre was awarded relatively late,
to the company Norwest Holst. The junction precipitated the
Telford Shopping Centre, and the central commercial
area, as the exchange was upgraded to allow traffic from the motorway
to join and exit in both directions. The Forge to Cluddley section,
from junction 5 to junction 7, opened to traffic in December 1975. The
Hilton Park to Forge section, from the M6 to junction 5, opened in
November 1983. The motorway cost 65 million pounds to build,
which when adjusted for inflation would come to approximately 150
million 2006 GBP.
To help alleviate opposition to the intrusive motorway design, the 60
feet (18 m) wide carriageway was built to pass below the natural
landscape, where possible. Man-made hills were constructed which,
along with the planting of 250,000 new trees, helped to camouflage the
motorway from view, and cut down on the noise level. This aesthetic
improvement project took two and a half years to complete and employed
over 100 people.
Telford § Economy
The recent strong economic growth and lower unemployment in the
Telford area has been attributed to the construction of the motorway:
unemployment in the 1980s was over 20%, but by 2004 this figure had
fallen to 3.3%. The motorway enabled the development of
distribution centres in Telford, and industrial estates such as
Stafford Park have provided employment in the area.
Some of the highest pollution levels in the borough of
Wrekin are along the M54, particularly in the urban area between
junctions 5 and 7.
The M54 is particularly busy in mid-August: it carries traffic to the
V Festival at
Weston-under-Lizard from the south (via the M6), and
Shrewsbury Flower Show from the east.
A map showing the M54 (dark blue) in relation to other motorways
(light blue), shown within the ceremonial counties of Shropshire,
Staffordshire and West Midlands. Area highlighted within UK on the
The road runs west from junction 10A of the
M6 motorway near
Staffordshire (Map). It passes south of Featherstone near
junction 1 and then north of
Bushbury before reaching junction 2. Just
before junction 3 with Albrighton the road enters Shropshire. It then
passes to the north of Shifnal. Between junction 4 and junction 5, the
road passes across the
Shrewsbury railway line, and
through the centre of Telford. Between junctions 6 and 7, the road
runs around the south of
Wellington before joining the A5 (Map), which
continues on to
Shrewsbury as dual carriageway.
Telford Motorway Service Station opened on 18 March 2003 at junction
4, and is operated by Welcome Break. It is the only service
station on this motorway and, if travelling east, the last before
Corley on the M6 or Frankley on the M5.
Extension of the M54 to Shrewsbury
Department for Transport
Department for Transport (DfT) is currently investigating the
possibility of extending the M54 westward to Shrewsbury, thereby
placing the county town on the UK motorway map for the first time.
Currently traffic has to continue onto the dual carriageway A5 when
the M54 ends at
Wellington although the road surface or speed limits
do not change at all but the road. It is not motorway standard from
the M54 J7 to the
Shrewsbury ring road, because laybys would need to
be removed and a hard shoulder would also need to be built which could
cause delays to traffic.
M54 to M6 / M6 (Toll) Link Road
The M54 currently meets the M6 at junction 10A where there is no
access to the northbound M6 or to the M6 Toll. Northbound access to
the M6 is via the A449 from junction 2 and the most direct route to
M6 Toll is via the congested A460 from junction 1.
Plans for a link road between the M54 and the
M6 Toll (M6 junction
11a) were supported in principle by the Secretary of State for
Transport in 2003 and were put on display in 2006 with an expected
construction date of 2012. The £102m cost for the scheme would be
paid for by The Macquarie Infrastructure Group (the company that owns
Midland Expressway Ltd and operates the M6 Toll).
In February 2009, local newspaper the
Shropshire Star reported plans
to create a flyover linking the M54 and A442 in
Telford town centre,
just south east of
Telford Central railway station. Presently traffic
has to travel along a single carriageway portion of the A5, and pass
through two roundabouts to access the M54. Since Junction 5 of the
motorway is only 200 metres (220 yd) from the current bridge
across the A442, the plans would involve either having two motorway
junctions immediately next to each other, or one complex flyover.
Proposals for a 'Western Bypasses of
Wolverhampton and Stourbridge'
were rejected by the government in 2003.
Data from driver location signs are used to provide distance and
carriageway identifier information.
Map this section's coordinates using:
OpenStreetMap · Google Maps
Download coordinates as: KML · GPX
Eastbound exits (A Carriageway)
Westbound exits (B Carriageway)
Start of motorway
52°37′44″N 2°02′52″W / 52.628869°N 2.047706°W /
52.628869; -2.047706 (M54, Start of motorway)
52°38′23″N 2°05′14″W / 52.639860°N 2.087231°W /
52.639860; -2.087231 (M54, J1)
52°38′17″N 2°07′34″W / 52.638142°N 2.125983°W /
52.638142; -2.125983 (M54, J2)
Wolverhampton (West) A41
Weston, Whitchurch A41
52°39′30″N 2°17′58″W / 52.658424°N 2.299576°W /
52.658424; -2.299576 (M54, J3)
Telford (East) A464
Telford (East) A464
52°40′46″N 2°24′24″W / 52.679400°N 2.406778°W /
52.679400; -2.406778 (M54, J4)
Telford (Centre) A5
Telford (Centre) B5072
52°41′00″N 2°26′55″W / 52.683381°N 2.448535°W /
52.683381; -2.448535 (M54, J5)
Telford (West) A518
Telford (West) A518
52°41′18″N 2°29′20″W / 52.688402°N 2.488790°W /
52.688402; -2.488790 (M54, J6)
Start of motorway
52°41′26″N 2°32′35″W / 52.690691°N 2.543035°W /
52.690691; -2.543035 (M54, J7)
Road continues as A5 to Shrewsbury
Distances in kilometres and carriageway identifiers are obtained from
driver location signs/location marker posts. Where a junction spans
several hundred metres and the data is available, both the start and
finish values for the junction are shown.
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi
The view from
Staffordshire Way, which passes over the M54 near
List of motorways in the United Kingdom
i54 - new manufacturing centre adjacent to the M54 (which it is named
^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "M54, The
Telford Motorway". The Motorway
Archive. Archived from the original on 9 October 2008. Retrieved 18
^ a b "M54 the Facts". BBC Shropshire. Retrieved 18 April 2008.
^ a b "M54". CBRD – Motorway Database. Retrieved 18 April
^ "The (A5) London-
Holyhead Trunk Road and Slip Roads". opsi.gov.uk.
Retrieved 18 April 2008.
^ a b c "Why was the M54 necessary?".
Shropshire County Council.
Archived from the original on 25 September 2008. Retrieved 18 April
^ "Hansard: 9 Mar 2007 : Column 2249W". House of Commons. 9 March
2007. Retrieved 9 June 2010.
^ Neal, Toby (2007).
Shropshire since 1900. Telford: Langraish Caiger.
p. 78. ISBN 0-9548530-3-2.
^ "M54, the
Telford Motorway – Statistics". The Motorway Archive.
Archived from the original on 3 July 2008. Retrieved 18 April
^ "Relative Value of UK Pounds". Measuring Worth. Retrieved 18 April
^ "History of Telford". British History Online. Retrieved 21 March
^ "Local Air Quality" (PDF).
Telford & Wrekin borough council.
Retrieved 1 June 2008. [dead link]
V Festival – By Car".
V Festival website. Archived from the
original on 2 June 2008. Retrieved 16 August 2008.
Shrewsbury Flower Show – Contact Us".
Shrewsbury Flower Show
website. Archived from the original on 30 July 2008. Retrieved 16
Welcome Break Telford". Welcome Break. Archived from the original
on 17 May 2009. Retrieved 19 April 2008.
Telford Services". Motorway Services Online. Retrieved 18 April
^ "M54-M6 Link Road and M6 Widening". South
Archived from the original on 19 August 2007. Retrieved 18 April
^ a b "M54 to M6 / M6 (Toll) Link Road". Highways Agency. Retrieved 18
^ "Motorway link plan put on display". BBC Shropshire. 11 July 2006.
Retrieved 18 April 2008.
^ Traffic England Live Traffic Condition Map Archived 10 February 2012
at the Wayback Machine. Highways Agency – Locations extracted from
Traffic Camera Popup identifier text
Route map: Google
KML file (edit • help)
Display on Google Maps
Template:Attached KML/M54 motorway
KML is from Wikidata
CBRD Motorway Database – M54
The Motorway Archive – M54
Motorways in the United Kingdom
M4 relief road
Ceremonial county of Shropshire
Telford and Wrekin Council
See also: List of civil parishes in Shropshire
Shropshire Union Canal
Grade I listed buildings
Grade II* listed buildings