M1 motorway

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The M1 motorway heading north towards Junction 37 in South Yorkshire.

The M1 motorway is a large managed motorway in the United Kingdom (UK). It joins London and Leeds. It was the second motorway to be built in the UK, after the Preston bypass (which later formed part of the M6). It was the first UK motorway to be built that joined two cities, London and Birmingham.

Location[change | change source]

The motorway is 193 miles (310 km) long. It was built in four phases. Some of the motorway was opened in 1959. Other sections opened between 1965 and 1968. Two extensions were opened in 1977 and 1999.

The motorway is part of the unsigned European route E13.

History[change | change source]

The first section of the motorway opened between Junction 5 (Watford) and Junction 18 (Rugby). It opened on 2 November 1959. This included two of the motorway's spurs, the M10 at Junction 7, and the M45 at Junction 17. It followed near to the A5.

In 1965, an extension from Junction 18 towards Yorkshire was built. The motorway takes a more northerly route through the East Midlands. It passes near Leicester, Loughborough and Nottingham to Sheffield . Here the M18 splits from the M1 at Junction 32.

In 1972 an extension of the M1 was opened into central Leeds. It was called the Leeds South Eastern Motorway. It meets the Leeds South Western Motorway (M621) at Junction 43.

The first motorway service station was built on the M1. It was built in 1959. It is currently operated by RoadChef.

Other websites[change | change source]