M1

M1

London-Yorkshire Motorway

London to Hook Moor

The M1 is Britain's first full-length motorway and possibly its most iconic. It is also one of the most important, forming the main road north from London, serving the industrial East Midlands and the most populous areas of Yorkshire before handing the north-south baton to the A1(M) near Leeds.

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M1

M1

The main road north from London is missing the connections that would have integrated it with London's planned urban motorways.

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M1

The Minister's cake 24 January 2019

In 1968, the Minister of Transport travelled up to Yorkshire to open a long length of the brand new M1. There was just one problem. Where was the cake?

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M1
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Opening booklets

In days gone by, new roads were often celebrated with a grand opening ceremony and the issue of a commemorative booklet heralding the exciting new highway. You'll find some of them here, complete with a glimpse of all that empty tarmac and a healthy dose of modernist optimism.

Histories

Mistakes

Making road signs is a tricky business, but fortunately the professionals who design them get it right. Usually.

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M1 Architecture

The most unique motorway in Britain owes its identity to its fifties architecture. Much of it is in danger of being removed or irreperably altered. This page documents it in detail.

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M1

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...

Liverpool Inner Motorway

There's almost no evidence of Liverpool's 1960's plans for an inner ring road on the ground - but the motorway that never materialised would have been astonishing. The full details on the route, and the missing part the M62, are here.