'We live underneath Spaghetti Junction - our homes get covered in dirt and the noise is terrible but we love it'

  • 11 months ago
Residents living underneath Birmingham's infamous Spaghetti Junction say despite the noise, pollution and traffic they love it - and it even comes with its own 'beach'.

Gravelly Hill Interchange is the UK's busiest motorway junction and is one of the country's most iconic concrete structures which turned 50 last year.

The winding labyrinth of roads along the M6 is also one of the biggest motorway interchanges in Europe and more than 200,000 vehicles travel on it daily.

It even appears in the Guinness Book of World Records, as "the most complex interchange on the British road system'.

But nestled underneath the twisting five levels of motorway lanes lies a community of people who live a stones throw away from the sprawling flyovers.

Locals admit they can be woken up early by beeping horns and boy racers using the roads as a race track.

Others say sirens can be heard at all hours and traffic causes dust and dirt to settle in their homes, gardens and on cars.

But despite a string of issues that would seemingly put most house-hunters off, many residents there say they enjoy living by such an iconic landmark.

Dad-of-one Brian Thomas, 45, said he found the noise of the traffic soothing and joked that it even came with its own beach - a pile of industrial sand next to the canal.

He said: "I don't mind it, I find the traffic quite soothing. You get used to it and it's got good transport links as you can imagine.

"We've also got our own beach, of sorts. What more could you want? It's a landmark recognised across the country. I'm sort of proud to live near here."

Business owner Aqeel Naeem, 35, who runs a shop which repairs electrical goods, said the roads aren’t an issue for him and act as a landmark.

He said: “I don’t live far from here at all, have done for 10 years. It doesn’t bother me. I actually enjoy it otherwise it gets quiet.

“The road is mostly busy from people who want to take the motorway to get off of it. It can get quite dusty.

“A good thing is that you can tell someone the direction to the business, it acts as a landmark.”

Mum-of-two, Meeka, 33, an NHS worker, said: “It did bother me at first that it was this close but it's got triple glazing so you can't hear it.

“I only hear the lorries honking their horn or when an ambulance goes past. It's not all the time. It doesn’t bother me so much now.

“I don’t really think about pollution at all. There’s a wooded bit so there’s a section that absorbs the noise.

“Because there’s a lot of road traffic there are a few homeless people who stand by the lights.

“But I've been woken up by the racers in the night who go speeding by. I can hear them racing. They must be doing it on the motorway.”

Others say living by the junction, which connects the M6 to the A38M leading into the heart of Birmingham, can be an issue.

Mark McKinley has lived on Copeley Hill beside the junction for the past six years and branded it a "tangled mess".

Dad-of-two Mark, 52, who works