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

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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Rainbow Signals

The annual London Pride event was accompanied, in 2016, by some quite unusual changes to traffic lights around Trafalgar Square. The green men went missing — and seven new symbols took their place.

About this page

Published29 March 2017

Last updated29 March 2017