Chronology maps

Sample map

The maps in this section provide a visual history of the motorway network, with a map for each year since the first motorway opened.

See which sections of road were open in that year marked on the map and arranged in order month-by-month where that information is available.

The maps owe their existence to John Brown who came up with the idea. They are produced using data kindly supplied by the UK Motorway Archive Trust, collected and collated by Peter Hewitt and Tony Priest.

To get started, select a year from the list across the bottom of the page or use the "next" and "previous" buttons to move through the years in order.

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...

Mickleham Bends

Once it was one of the UK's most dangerous roads — just what is so special about a bit of dual carriageway in Surrey?