M49 motorway

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Looking north at Dyer's Common with the Prince of Wales Bridge in the background.

The M49 motorway is a five-mile motorway in Gloucestershire to the west of Bristol, that forms a link between the M5 motorway at Junction 18, and the Prince of Wales Bridge, on the M4 motorway at Junction 22. It was constructed in 1996,[1] at the same time as the bridge and is unique as it is only accessible from other motorways. Original plans provided for an intermediate junction with the A403, to serve an expanded industrial area and Severn Beach, but neither have come to fruition.[2] The M49 is anomalously numbered, as it is entirely to the south of the M4, its number should therefore begin with a 3.[3]


It begins at junction 18A of the M5 and then heads roughly north and north west before it reaches its terminal junction with the M4 at junction 22, just before the Second Severn Crossing. It cuts journey times for traffic to and from Avonmouth docks, Central and southern Bristol and the South West. Having a two-way grade-separated roundabout junction with the M4, it also fulfils the dual role of providing a bypass for the busy stretch of the M5 between the Avonmouth Bridge and the M4 in case of that route being shut.

Construction of an intermediate junction commenced summer 2018 and was completed late in August 2020.[4] Despite this, the junction is not currently connected to the local road network, so cannot be used to access the motorway.[5]


M49 motorway junctions
miles North-west bound exits (B carriageway) Junction South-east bound exits (A carriageway)
0.0 Bristol, London M4(E) M4 J22
The South West, Avonmouth M49
South Wales, Cardiff, Newport M4(W) Start of motorway
5.3 Start of motorway Terminus
A4, M5
J18 & J18A
Avonmouth, Bristol, Airport A4
South Wales, Cardiff, Newport (M4(W)) M49 The South West, Weston-s-Mare, M5


Outside links

Motorways in the United Kingdom

Great Britain: M1  • M2  • M3  • M4  • M5  • M6  • M6 Toll  • M8  • M9  • M10  • M11  • M18  • M20  • M23  • M25  • M26  • M27  • M32  • M40  • M42  • M45  • M48  • M49  • M50  • M53  • M54  • M55  • M56  • M57  • M58  • M60  • M61  • M62  • M63  • M65  • M66  • M67  • M69  • M73  • M74  • M77  • M80  • M85  • M90  • M180  • M181  • M271  • M275  • M602  • M606  • M621  • M876  • M898  • Sections of A road: A1(M)

Former motorways marked in italics

Northern Ireland: M1  • M2  • M3  • M5  • M12  • M22