Opening booklets:
M25 Orbital Motorway

Booklet published to mark the completion of the M25

The M25 is either one of the greatest transport achievements of the 20th century or one of Britain's largest planning failures, depending on which way you look at it. This booklet takes the former view, celebrating the completion of the circuit in 1986.

It is a self-congratulation exercise for the Department of Transport, running to 60 pages, but it's also a mutual appreciation exercise for all the companies involved, who all have large adverts celebrating what they did and how generally wonderful they are. It's as interesting from a cultural angle as anything else - £899 for a BT carphone?!

Of particular note is the way it quickly skims over the London Ringways plan - a story which, told in full, reveals the M25 as something of a botched sticking-plaster, and not the wondrous thing the booklet seems to claim.

See also...

Further reading on some other orbital ideas for London.

Elsewhere on
Roads.org.uk...

Ringways

The story of an incredible plan to reshape London into a city of motorways, with the history from creation to cancellation and details on every unbuilt road.

In this section

What's new

Go west! New Ringways pages are here

A new set of Ringways pages are now online, looking at unbuilt motorways and road projects west of London.

No smoke without ire

London's Ultra Low Emission Zone has just expanded to cover the whole inner city, and across the UK, other cities are implementing their own Clean Air Zones. Is this the future?

Devon help us

Road signs are colour coded for different types of road, but in Devon there are more colours than anywhere else. What do Devon's colourful signs mean?

Have you seen...

Aust to Beachley

Today two motorways cross the Severn near Chepstow. But as recently as 1965, the only crossing was a ferry that carried six cars at a time, from Aust to Beachley.