This motorway is a secret. What on earth are you doing here?

Well, since you're here, we may as well discuss it properly. The M96 is a short length of very realistic-looking fake motorway at the Fire Service College at Moreton-in-Marsh, Gloucestershire. It is used to train fire crews in the handling of road traffic accidents, and to train Highways England Traffic Officers how to behave around live traffic situations.

It's not generally accessible to the general public. Which is a shame, because it's a very quiet motorway indeed, and that's a very rare thing!

If you're ever lucky enough to drive it, you'll find the southbound carriageway has three lanes to begin with, which swerve around some corners before widening out to a ruler-straight six lanes with hard shoulder. The wider section has an overhead gantry, an emergency refuge with a phone, and some 70mph signs. It ends at the Fire Service College's perimeter road, where you can turn right past the central reservation barrier and come back northbound again. The northbound side has three lanes and a hard shoulder, plus more blue motorway and 70mph signs, but isn't as long, turning a sudden sharp left and ending almost immediately. On both sides of the motorway you'll see various old cars - some looking quite seriously damaged and burnt out - that are used for training exercises.

The M96's prodigious width is a product of its history: it's one of the three runways of the disused airfield on which the Fire Service College was built. It turns out that a wartime RAF runway is about the right width for nine lanes of traffic, two hard shoulders and a central reservation.

Moreton in Marsh (Third Avenue)
Moreton in Marsh (Eighth Avenue)
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Exit list

Junction   Northbound               Southbound  

1st Ave

1st Ave
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Third Avenue
3rd Ave Third Avenue
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0.2 miles, 3 lanes 0.2 miles, 6 lanes
8th Ave

8th Ave

Eighth Avenue
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