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

Up for adoption

For most people, highway maintenance is not a day to day concern. But not every road is the responsibility of the local council. What if your street is “unadopted"?

Gifts for road lovers

Keep being asked what you want for Christmas? No problem: here’s our pick of road-related Christmas treats for 2021.

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.

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Have you seen...

The Improbable A39

It crosses cattle grids and untamed moorland, it climbs 1-in-4 hills and plummets through hairpin bends, it runs single-track through woodland and historic villages. It's rugged and beautiful. Is it really the A39?