Motorway Database

Home » Motorway Database » M11

ImageImageImageImageImageImageImage

Route of the M11

The M11 is a motorway built in the seventies to whiz traffic from London to the newly-developed Stansted airport. An additional two-lane section was built north of there, completed in the early eighties, to get traffic to Cambridge and then onto what is now the A14 and then onto the A1.

Short-sighted planning gave the Stansted junction, where the M11 loses a lane, a normal roundabout interchange. Free-flowing links into the airport's road system were built at great expense in 2002, and things are now flowing smoothly at long last.

Three junctions are missing from the start of the motorway — at the London end it starts at junction 4. The unbuilt part would have been a route further into London to reach Ringway 1, a proposed inner ring motorway for London. That link was eventually built to a different design in the 1990s as the A12 between the A406 and Hackney Wick.

In fact there's a lot that never happened with the M11: its route in to London down the Roding Valley was actually the second choice for the motorway and initially the preferred route would have taken it down the Lea Valley instead, passing west of the new town of Harlow instead of east. The change of plan came too late for the planning of Harlow itself, which now has all its industrial areas on the north and west sides of the town, far away from the motorway connection. One of the town's designers described the change as being like building a seaside town and then "moving the sea".

Factfile

Start London (A406)
Finish Cambridge (A14)
Passes Harlow, Stansted [air]
Length 51 miles
Connects to M25, A14, A120, A406

Images

Views of the M11 from on and off the road. If you have a photo to contribute, contact me.

Thumbnail

Travelling northbound from the M25, three lanes carry us north towards Stansted and Cambridge.
Photo by Marek

Construction Timeline

When the various parts of the M11 were built, listed in chronological order.

Open Jct Section
Jun1975 J7-8 Harlow → Stansted
Apr1977 J4-7 Redbridge → Harlow
Nov1979 J8-9 Stansted → Stump Cross
Mar1980 J9-14 Cambridge Western Bypass

Exit List

All the junctions and destinations along the route.

Junction   Northbound               Southbound
14
91 km
The NORTH
Huntingdon
A14 Link
Newmarket
A14
Ely
(A10)




A428
NORTH
A14
Girton Interchange (Non-standard interchange)






A14

A1307
N/A More information about this junction
LanesLanesLanesLanesSigns LanesLanesLanesLanesSigns
2 miles, 2 lanes Up  
13
88.5 km
Cambridge
Bedford
A1303
(A428)
A1303
(A428)
(Diamond) A1303 More information about this junction
LanesLanesLanesLanes
2 miles, 2 lanes Up   Down 4 miles, 2 lanes
12
85.8 km
Cambridge
Sandy
A603
A603 (Dumbbell) A603 Cambridge
Sandy
A603
More information about this junction
LanesLanesLanesLanes LanesLanesLanesLanes
2 miles, 2 lanes Up   Down 2 miles, 2 lanes
11
82 km
Cambridge (S)
A1309
Harston
A10
A10 (Roundabout Interchange)(Roundabout Interchange) A1309 Royston
A10
Cambridge (S)
A1309
More information about this junction
LanesLanesLanesLanes LanesLanesLanesLanes
5 miles, 2 lanes Up   Down 5 miles, 2 lanes
10
74.5 km
Duxford
Royston
A505
A505 Duxford Interchange (Roundabout Interchange)Duxford Interchange (Roundabout Interchange) A505
(A1307)
Saffron Walden
Duxford
A505
Haverhill
(A1307)
More information about this junction
LanesLanesLanesLanes LanesLanesLanesLanes
3 miles, 2 lanes Up  
9
68.5 km
Newmarket
Norwich
A11
Stump Cross (Fork) (A11) More information about this junction
LanesLanesLanesLanes
14 miles, 2 lanes Up   Down 17 miles, 2 lanes
8
46.5 km
Stansted Airport
Bishop's Stortford
A120 Link
Services Birchanger Green

A120
Stansted Interchange (Roundabout Interchange)
A120


B1256
Stansted Airport
Bishop's Stortford
A120 Link
Services Birchanger Green
More information about this junction
LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes
10 miles, 3 lanes Up   Down 10 miles, 3 lanes
7
31 km
Harlow
A414
A414

B1398
Hastingwood Interchange (Roundabout Interchange)Hastingwood Interchange (Roundabout Interchange) A414 Chelmsford
Harlow
A414
More information about this junction
LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes
4 miles, 3 lanes Up   Down 4 miles, 3 lanes
6
23.5 km
Watford & (M1 Link)
Heathrow Airport (M4 Link)
Dartford Tunnel (M20 Link)
Gatwick Airport (M23 Link)
M25 Link
M25
(M1)
(M4)
Theydon Interchange (Whirlpool) M25
(M20)
(M23)
Watford & (M1 Link)
Heathrow Airport (M4 Link)
Dartford Tunnel (M20 Link)
Gatwick Airport (M23 Link)
M25 Link
More information about this junction
LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes
4 miles, 3 lanes Up  
5
18.5 km
Loughton
A1168
A1168 Loughton Interchange (Non-standard interchange) A1168 More information about this junction
LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes
3 miles, 3 lanes Up   Down 7 miles, 3 lanes

14.7 km
More information about this junction
Signs LanesLanesLanesLanesLanesSigns
1 mile, 3 lanes Up   Down 1 mile, 2 lanes
4
12.5 km
N/A A406
(A503)




Woodford Interchange (Triangle)
SOUTH
A406
(A12)
(A13)




North Circular Road (W)
West End (A503)
A406 Link
North Circular Road (S)
The City (A12)
Docklands (A13 Link)
A406 Link
More information about this junction
LanesLanesLanesLanesLanesSignsSigns LanesLanesLanesLanesSigns

With thanks to Clive Jones, Ian Cowley, Tom, Jessica Carter, John Griffiths, Neale Richell and Chris Williams for information in this section.