Overhead sign at junction 2 with thanks to NicM6 Junction 2

Back in 1971 when this junction first opened it was the eastern end of an isolated section of the M6 that had opened on 7th July from Coleshill just east of Birmimgham going directly east bypassing the city of Coventry on the northern side of the city before ending at a roundabout on the A46. Traffic then had the choice of tuning left to Leicester and the A5 to the M1 or turning right through Coventry onto the A45/M45 and the M1 left was longer with less traffic, right was shorter but urban. The junction at the time was a simple roundabout above the motorway as shown below:-

 

 

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This arrangement only lasted 3 months on 11th November the M6 opened from here to the M1 at Catthorpe, the junction becoming a roundabout above the motoway as shown below:-

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The junction became the main junction for Coventry (Northbound) and Leicester (Southbound). It was also signed southbound as the M1 north as the A46 met the M1 at Braunstone just outside Leicester 16 miles to the north west. The A46 followed the line of a Roman Road (Fosse way) so therefore was very straight, however it carried the traffic between Leicester and 2 major cities Coventry and Birmingham, it was deamed important enough to be replaced by a motorway in the mid 1970's the M69 which opened to this junction in 1977 making this in effect a double junction as can be seen below:-  

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