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

Imperfectly Odd: Batheaston Bypass

It has viaducts, a tunnel and plenty of controversy, but the amazing Batheaston Bypass doesn’t really work. What went wrong?

South London's lost motorways

Completing the story of London's epic Ringways, we've just published the Southern Radials, five more motorways that never saw the light of day.

To the north east!

Two new additions to our collection of Opening Booklets take us to Darlington and Middlesbrough.

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Have you seen...

Scammonden Bridge

If you've ever been on the M62 across the Pennines, you'll know the one. It's the huge arched bridge 120ft above the road. And this is what it's like when you're standing on top of it!

About this page

Published27 June 2018

Last updated6 April 2022