M50 motorway

From Wikishire
Jump to: navigation, search
M50 under construction in 1960
A train using the newly constructed viaduct on the Tewkesbury and Malvern railway; the line was to be dismantled only a few years later.

The M50 is a 22-mile-long dual two-lane motorway in Worcestershire, Gloucestershire, and Herefordshire. 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 Monmouthshire.


The M50 runs ENE-WSW between:

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:[1]

  • Junctions 1 to 4 opened in 1960.
  • M5 to junction 1 opened in 1962.

The route forms a strategic 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.[2])[3] It is one of the few British motorways not to have been widened, instead retaining its original layout of two lanes in each direction.


M50 motorway junctions
mile Eastbound exits (B carriageway) Junction Westbound exits (A carriageway) Coordinates
0.0 The Midlands, Worcester, Birmingham, The South West, Tewkesbury, Bristol M5 M5, J8
Start of motorway 52°2’52"N, 2°8’8"W
1.7 Tewkesbury A38 J1 Malvern A38
10.9 Gloucester A417 J2 Hereford, Ledbury A417
18.0 Newent B4221 J3 Newent B4221
21.6 Start of motorway J4
South Wales, Monmouth, Ledbury, Ross-on-Wye A449 51°55’49"N, 2°33’44"W


In Herefordshire the road passes mainly along gentle contour lines of many cultivated fields and pastures, including this field of poppies.
The minor Junction 3 exits, viewed from the adjoining minor road bridge

After both ends of the M50 are motorway service stations:

  • Strensham services, north of the M50's northeastern terminus junction with junction 8 of the M5.
  • BP garage on the combined short section of the A449 and A40 remains westbound.

Instead of the latter, beyond junction 4 was a larger Ross Spur Services which closed in the 2000s.[4]


The terminal junction with the M5 was originally a free-flowing trumpet-style junction, which was converted to a roundabout with M5 flyover when the M5 was widened in the 1990s.[5][6] 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.

Between the start of the motorway at the M5 end, the M50 passes between Worcestershire and Gloucestershire five times although there are no junctions in Worcestershire.


Outside links

("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about M50 motorway)
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