M25 Orbital Motorway (1986)

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Owned byChris5156
TypePublications (see all artefacts)


The M25 was completed in 1986 when the final two sections, from junction 19 to 23 and from junction 3 to 5, were opened to traffic. The occasion was marked by the publication of this commemorative brochure.

Unlike its ancestor, the Preston Bypass Official Opening booklet, this one is a true child of the eighties: it's mostly stuffed with adverts for carphones and investment banks, and a fair few self-aggrandising ones for civil engineering contractors, who herald their own role in the scheme, however small.

It pays lip service to the Ringways proposals (all of one sentence) and for the most part whitewashes the fact that the M25 is a second-best bodge. This book, however, remains a very interesting and worthwhile snapshot of the jubilation that was felt on the road's completion and the rather naive hopes that were held out for it when it was first opened.