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.

Routes
M1

M1

The main road north from London is missing the connections that would have integrated it with London's planned urban motorways.

Routes
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?

Routes
M1
Tags

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.

Routes

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.

Routes
M1

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.

Share this page

Have you seen...

From War to Worboys

The tale of how British traffic signing developed between the Second World War and the mid-1960s, bringing us from a system designed at the turn of the century to the signs we still use today.