The M1 motorway is a large 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.
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.
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.
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