A rather short spur that marks the end of the M27. The existence of this, the M275, and the M271 further west suggests that once upon a time there were plans for at least three more spurs from the M27. There was certainly meant to be another one for Southampton, since the M27 has a missing junction to the east of the city.
Nonetheless, the M275 is probably the most impressive motorway of any of those with unimportant three-digit numbers. Besides artwork along its length — The Sail of the South and the Tipner Masts (funded through Millennium Project money) — the motorway is a major feat of engineering. It is built on land that was created specifically for the motorway — it's actually a section of Portsmouth Harbour. Much of the material used for the man-made causeway is chalk, which came from the M27's deep cutting through Portsdown Hill between junctions 11 and 12.
There is an unfinished junction halfway along the M275. Embankments for descending sliproads, a space for a roundabout and also pedestrian underpasses all exist close to the ship scrapyard. Plans to use these facilities for an IKEA store were rejected — on the grounds that it was too close to existing junctions! However, a Wikipedia article suggests that the junction will be completed by 2007.
At its southern terminus, a hastily-built new entry onto a sliproad is both shoddy — with a traffic light controlled merge under motorway restrictions on the sliproad itself — and inadequately signed. Approaching on the new entry, there's no start of restrictions sign or any other indication you're on a motorway. Pathetic Motorways has the pictures to prove it!
Views of the M275 from on and off the road. If you have a photo to contribute, contact me.
Heading in to Portsmouth, the motorway is three lanes wide when its two branches join together, but never seems to have been equipped with a full hard shoulder.
Photo by Steven Jukes
And here's the reason it exists: to whiz outside traffic in to the docks and ferry terminal in the centre of Portsmouth.
Photo by Steven Jukes
When the various parts of the M275 were built, listed in chronological order.
All the junctions and destinations along the route.
With thanks to Wesley Johnston, Pete Turner, Clive, Phil Reynolds, Rob Bollen and Robin for information in this section.