The entry into Hackthorpe northbound on the A6M6 Junction 4a

Junction 4a is a one of the newer junctions on the M6 being opened on in 1985. By this time Birmingham had been surrounded by Motorways, the M6 to the north, the M5 to the west whilst the M42 the last to open covered the south and east. This motorway was to be extend north east towards Nottingham and the M1, whilst the M40 originally a link between London and Oxford was extended north to meet with the M42 at Solihull just south east Birmingham. It was logical that the older M6 should link to this new motorway network this was done at junction 4a as in the form of an interconnecting section as shown below:-

 

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From the M6 south the M42 can be reached north and south, from the M42 south there is just access to the M6 north, there is no access between the M42 north and the M6 as well as the M6 northbound, as the M42 and M6 also meet at junction 4. This junction is unusual as the southbound driver is given a choice of routes to London either by the M6 and M1 as originally intended or by the shorter M42/M40 past Oxford.