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Route of the M23

The M23 is only a part of what it was meant to be - evidenced by its first junction being number 7. The plan would have taken it north to hit the proposed motorway replacing the South Circular, Ringway 2. The horrific line it would have taken - ploughing through many affluent south London suburbs - made sure the plan was well and truly buried. Unfortunately this means all its traffic into London has to be carried by the A23, a single-carriageway excuse crawling through Croydon, Streatham and Brixton.

Since there's no chance whatsoever of completing the road, the Highways Agency now want to improve its shambolic northern terminus (incomplete but free-flowing, at least) by plonking a cheap and cheerful roundabout about half a mile north of it. Another roundabout would be a hold-up on any other London radial, but the A23 hit rock bottom some time ago, and this won't really make much difference either way. What it will do is allow traffic from the south to get to the M23 more safely, as for many this is the nearest access to the M25. The never-used flyovers and roadway will thankfully be left in place, as a warning to planners about the follies of proposing such things in the future.

Factfile

Start Hooley (A23)
Finish Crawley (A23)
Passes Reigate, Gatwick Airport
Length 17 miles
Terminates None
Spurs None
Meets M25

Images

Views of the M23 from on and off the road. If you have a photo to contribute, contact me.

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The point where the northbound M23 hits the M25 - clearly there were meant to be three lanes going straight through, which have been painted down to two.
Photo by Dave Ryan

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After the M25, there's three lanes northbound, with a suspicious gap wide enough for another lane next to the central reservation. But here, a kicker arrow appears in lane 3.
Photo by Dave Ryan

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Looking north from the same bridge, here's the reason for that arrow: lane 3 ends now. A four-lane carriageway is now fifty per cent paint. The road ahead is overgrown and the entire M23 is diverted down an exit slip.
Photo by Dave Ryan

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Southbound on the A23, this sign represents the beginning of a motorway that was going to be so important that ministers toyed with calling it the M2 for a while.
Photo by Dave Ryan

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Some of the unused carriageway on top of junction 7 is now a maintenance compound, but other areas simply lie unused. This is part of it - a basic surface, now overgrown, that has been waiting for its wearing course of tarmac for thirty years.
Photo by Dave Ryan

Construction Timeline

When the various parts of the M23 were built, listed in chronological order.

Open Jct Section
Dec1974 J7-8 Hooley → Merstham
Nov1975 J8-11 Merstham → Pease Pottage
Nov1975 J9-9a Gatwick Spur

Exit List

All the junctions and destinations along the route.

Junction   Northbound               Southbound
7 Croydon
London
A23



A23
NORTH
Hooley Interchange (Non-standard interchange)



A23
Brighton
Gatwick Airport
M23 (M25 Link)
Redhill
A23
More information about this junction
LanesLanesLanesLanesLanesSignsSigns LanesLanesLanesLanesSignsSigns
2 miles, 3 lanes Up   Down 2 miles, 4 lanes
8 Heathrow Airport (M4 Link)
Sutton (A217)
Watford (M1 Link)
Dartford (M11 Link)
Maidstone (M20 Link)
Westerham (A25)
M25 Link
M25
(M1)
(M4)
(A217)
Merstham Interchange (Four Level Stack) M25
(M11)
(M20)
(A25)
Dartford (M11 Link)
Maidstone (M20 Link)
Westerham (A25)
Heathrow Airport (M4 Link)
Watford (M1 Link)
Reigate (A217)
M25 Link
More information about this junction
LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes LanesLanesLanesLanesLanesLanes
8 miles, 3 lanes Up   Down 8 miles, 3 lanes
9 Gatwick Airport
(A23)
(A23) (Roundabout Interchange)(Roundabout Interchange) Gatwick Airport
(A23)
More information about this junction
LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes
2 miles, 3 lanes Up   Down 2 miles, 3 lanes
10 Crawley
East Grinstead
A264
A2011 (Roundabout Interchange)(Roundabout Interchange) A264 Crawley
East Grinstead
A264
More information about this junction
LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes
5 miles, 3 lanes Up   Down 2 miles, 3 lanes
10A B2036 (Diamond) B2036 B2036 More information about this junction
LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes
  Down 3 miles, 3 lanes
11 London
Gatwick Airport
M23
Horsham
A264
Crawley
A23
Services Pease Pottage
A23

A264









Pease Pottage Interchange (Roundabout Interchange)
A23
SOUTH
Brighton
A23
Horsham
A264
Services Pease Pottage
More information about this junction
LanesLanesLanesLanesLanesSigns LanesLanesLanesLanesLanesSigns