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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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

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.

The ghost junction

The only UK motorway that didn’t connect to ordinary roads finally got its own interchange in 2019. But it's not open, because it still doesn’t touch any ordinary roads.

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Have you seen...

New Medway Viaducts

Taken over the course of two years, from 2002 to 2003, these sixteen images chart the construction of two new bridges alongside the M2 Medway Viaduct.