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M40 coachway

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The M40 Coachway is an proposed coachway corridor along the M40 Motorway as part of the GB coachway network being developed within the Coachways vision project. The coachway intercepts a population of 2 million people. Coach services using the corridor connect directly with many other destinations including: Bradford, Chester, Dorchester, Gatwick Airport, Glasgow, Heathrow Airport, Leicester, Liverpool, London, Luton Airport, Poole, Preston, Slough, Stansted Airport, Southampton, Weymouth, Wolverhampton and also London Underground (Piccadilly line and Metropolitan line via Hillingdon tube station).

Currently these coach services bypass many of the the populations along the route due to the time-delays getting from the junction to the town centre and back again. The proposed interchanges close to motorway junctions would allow more people to be served by faster and more attractive services.


The route

Stop Junction Notes
Birmingham Coach Station - Some services using the M40 coachway would originate from and terminate at the existing Birmingham Coach Station.
Birmingham Bentley Heath Coachway M42 J4 Located close to junction 4 of the M42 outside Tesco/Notcutts. The location would require a new bus stop/shelter and ideally also rework to sliproads. It is envisaged that this stop would be served by a Birmingham Orbital Coachway which would distribute passengers around the city. This would be used by services using the M42/M40 that don't penetrate the city itself.
Warwick Coachway M40 J15 Located within either the Holiday Inn Express or Hilton car parks adjacent to junction 15 of the M40. Some re-engineering of the car park and new access points would be required at this site to accomodate a new coach stop, turning area and shelter equipped with real time information. Local public transport does already stop outside the hotels, though further work is required to establish whether this provides an adequate level of local connectivity to Warwick and Leamington Spa.
Banbury Coachway M40 J11 Located within the Holiday Inn Express car park, adjacent to junction 11 of the M40. Some re-engineering of the car park and new access points would be required at this site to accomodate a new coach stop, turning area and shelter equipped with real time information. Local public transport does already stop outside the hotel, though further work is required to establish whether this provides an adequate level of local connectivity.
Bicester Coachway Interchange M40 J9 / A34 This site would require an entirely new facility to be constructed as there is no re-usable infrastructure adjacent to junction 9 of the M40. An initial assessment reveals that the junction is surrounded by agricultural land, and given the simple grade separated junction layout, it should be feasible to engineer a new access point between two of the existing exits (similar to Gordano services at junction 19 of the M5). This site would interchange services between London and the West Midlands with services between the South Coast and the North. The site would also require local or regional public transport feeder services to be established to link the coachway with Bicester and Oxford.
Oxford services M40 J8a/A418 The main 'Oxford services' motorway service station on the junction with the A418. Stops could also be provided on southbound M40/A40 sliproad used by the Oxford-London coach route. 13 coach bays are already provided outside the main services building.
Lewknor Coachway M40 J6 These existing roadside stops are currently used by coach services between London and Oxford.
High Wycombe coachway M40 J4 Buckinghamshire County Council are promoting a £25 million scheme to construct a new coachway facility at Wycombe sport centre (Buckinghamshire County Council 2009, p.iii).
Hillingdon Coach Stop M25 J16 / M40 J1a These existing roadside stops are currently used by coach services between London and Oxford. The northbound stop need a complete refresh and a good quality new shelter.

A suggested schedule for this service is provided here.

Capital cost estimates

Scheme element Number of units Cost per element Total cost
Volvo B9R coach 20 coaches required to service a 20 minute vehicle headway £205,000 £4,100,000
Junction engineering Required at Birmingham Bentley Heath Coachway, Warwick Coachway and Banbury Coachway ? ?
High Wycombe Coachway Construction of a dedicated new facility £25,000,000 £25,000,000
Bicester Coachway Interchange Construction of a dedicated new facility ~£25,000,000 ~£25,000,000
Enclosed bus shelter 3 new shelters required along the length of the corridor £7,000 £21,000
Real time information Required at the 8 stopping points ? ?

Comparison to existing public transport services

Typical journey times between Birmingham and London for existing rail, existing coach and the proposed coachway services are as follows:

Mode Journey time Indicative Frequency Notes
Rail 1 hr 24 mins 3 services per hour Weekday service between Birmingham New Street and London Euston.
Coach 2 hrs 10 mins 2 services per hour Off peak journey time from Birmingham Coach Station to Finchley Road (non stopping service via M6-M1)
M40 Coachway 2 hrs 31 mins - Off peak journey time estimate to Hillingdon (stopping service via M40).

Existing coach services

The following coach services use the corridor presently. The term J16 is used for the junction at the northern end of the motorway where it joins the M42 motorway.

Service Route Operator
X70 Heathrow Airport - M25 - (J1A - J8A) - Oxford(1h20m) the Oxford Bus Company
X80 Gatwick - M25 - (J1A - J8A) - Thornhill(3h10m) - Oxford(2h30m) the Oxford Bus Company
X90 London - Oxford the Oxford Bus Company
210 Gatwick Airport - M25 - Heathrow Airport (1h25m) (J1A - J15) - Conventry (3h20m) - Birmingham Airport (3h40m) - Wolverhampton(4h0m)
240 Heathrow Airport - M25 - (J1A - J15) - Coventry - Bradford
303 Southsea .. Southampton(1h5m) - Basingstoke(1h55m) - Calcot(2h25m) - Oxford(4h10m) - (J9 - J16) - Birmingham(6h45m) - Stafford(7h35m) - Crewe(8h20m) - Nantwich(8h35m) - Chester(9h20m) - Birkenhead(9h45m)
304 Liverpool - Chester(1h0m) - Birmingham(3h55m) - (J16 - J10) - Oxford(5h35m) - Southampton(8h5m) ... Poole(9h35m) - Dorchester(10h15m) - Weymouth(10h40m)
421 Blackpool, Preston(0h40m), Liverpool(1h40m) ... Chester(2h30m) ... Birmingham(5h00m) - (J16 - J15) - Stratford-upon-Avon(5h45m) - (J15 - J9) - Oxford(6h45m) - (J8A - J1A) - M25 - Heathrow Airport(7h45m)- London Victoria(8h20m)
444 Hereford - London
539 Bournemouth - Southampton(0h55m) - Newbury(2h10m) - Oxford(3h10m) - (J9 - J15) - Stratford Upon Avon(4h15m) - (J15 - J16) - Birmingham(6h0m) - Penryth(9h35m) - Carlisle(10h10m) ... Glasgow(12h15m) - Edinburgh(13h20m)
737 Standsted Airport - Hatfield(0h45m) - Luton(1h35m) - Hemel-Hempstead(1h55m) - M25 - (J1A - J4) - High Wycombe(2h45m) - (J4 - J5) - Stokechurch(2h55m) - (J5 - J10) - Thornhill(3h10m) - Oxford(3h30m) National Express
SW Southall - Slough(0h15m) - (J2 - J15) - Coventry(2h15m) - Wolverhampton(3h15m)
TUBE London Victoria .. Hillingdon(0h40m) - (J1 - J6) - Lewknor(1h05m) - (J6 - J8) .. Oxford(1h55m) Stagecoach in Oxfordshire

M40 junction assessment

The following list shows all junctions along the M40 and details those junctions where interchanges have been considerd. To be used as an interchange it is normally necessary for there to be a suitable sheltered location for people to wait between modes which is rapidly accessible to and from both directions of the motorway.

M40 Coach (a proposed express coach service)
km Junction Coachway Serving
29.2 J1 A40 to London, Slough A412, Uxbridge A4020
31.6 J1a Watford, Stansted Airport, Heathrow Airport Gatwick Airport M25
39.4 J2
Beaconsfield, Amersham, Slough A355|A355, Beaconsfield services
43.5 J3 No access, Loudwater and High Wycombe (East) A40
50.6 J4 High Wycombe Coachway High Wycombe
66.8 J5 High Wycombe (West), Stokenchurch A40
66.8 J6 Watlington, Princes Risborough B4009, Thame
75.9 J7 No access, Thame, Wallingford, A329
77.6 J8 no interchange No access, Oxford, Cheltenham A40
79.0 J8a
M40 J8a interchange
Oxford services
Aylesbury, Oxford, Thame,
97.3 J9 Bicester, Aylesbury A41
Oxford, Newbury A34
106.4 J10
Northampton A43
B430, Cherwell Valley services
124.0 J11 M40 J11 interchange Banbury, Brackley
139.9 J12 Gaydon B4451
Warwick Services
148.4 J13 No access, Leamington, Warwick A452
151.1 J14 Leamington A452, No access
153.1 J15 M40 J15 Interchange Warwick A429
Stratford, Coventry A46 (M69)
167.8 J16 Henley A3400, No access
169.6 M42, J3a M42, Road continues as M42
The SOUTH WEST, Birmingham (South & West), Redditch & M5


The following population would be served by suitable coachway interchanges close to motorway junctions connecting with local buses and other means of transport.

Place Population Notes
Banbury 41,000 1 mile west of junction 11.
Beaconsfield 10,600 1 mile north of J2
Bicester 28,000 2 miles east of J9
Birmingham 1,016,800 To the north of the junction with then M42
Brackley 13,000 5 miles east of J10 and of J11
Coventry 309,000 10 miles north of J15
High Wycombe 92,000 2 miles north of J4
Hillingdon 253,200 1 mile beyond J1. Underground services from Hillingdon tube station using the Piccadilly line
and Metropolitan line are available.
Lemington Spa 45,000 3 miles north of J13 (from south only),J14(from north only) and J15
London 12 miles east of the end of the M40 along the A40 or by tube from Hillingdon
Maidenhead 58,000 5 miles south of J4
Oxford 153,000 5 miles west from J8, J8A and from J9
Slough 119,000 5 miles south of J2
Stratford-Upon-Avon 28,000 5 miles south west of junction 15
Warwick 25,000 2 miles north west from J15, also accessible from J14 (from north only) and from J13 (from south only)


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