MT 109/443

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Scratchwood Service Area and maintenance compound on M1: Hendon urban motorway

Date range1964-1967
LocationNational Archives (see all files stored here)
CatalogueSee entry
File baseSeries MT, subseries MT 109

Thumbs up.png This file is truly delightful.
It is likely to bring a smile to your face, probably because it contains the sort of thing that makes trawling through dusty archive documents worthwhile. The thing in this file that makes your day might actually have nothing to do with its subject matter.

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Wasteoftime.jpg This file is a waste of time.
You are advised to avoid it like the plague. Its file title sounds rather interesting but it may contain only dull papers that fail to illuminate the subject matter or it may not even be related to the subject suggested by the title.


Scratchwood Service Area and Maintenance Compound is sited at what was supposed to be junction 3 of the M1, so while this file will tell you all that's worth knowing about the early design work on the services and works area, it will also shed some light on the closely related matters of the incomplete junction and the never-built Scratchwood Link to the A1.

There's a lot here about the design of the compound, linking it with the services, etc, as you would expect. We learn that Scratchwood Interchange's layout was amended from the original free-flow to a roundabout interchange so the depot could have access in all directions; the service area was only added later because the revised junction made it a suitable location. The link from the services to the local road network exists not for staff access to the services, but because the maintenance compound would also serve A1 and A41, which were then trunk roads.

A lot of this is, by any standard, dross. I am struck, while leafing through the minutiae of design work on a place where motorway maintenance vans could be parked, by the irony that the Nation has Chosen to Keep for Posterity vast amounts of tedious correspondence about where the salt hoppers should be located and how they should be aligned, but has kept nothing whatsoever from some other motorway construction projects in the same era. Archives are a funny place.

Contents of note

  • A statement on headed paper, seemingly from August 1963, setting out the case for the M1 Hendon Urban Motorway and the history of the project.
  • The Special Road orders (SI 1961 No. 2059, The Hendon Urban Motorway Special Roads Scheme, 1961).
  • Various plans, including the line plan (accompanying trunk road orders) of M1 J2-3 with Scratchwood Link included, and a plan of the site including the services, depot, junction and the whole Scratchwood Link too.

People with camera copies

Chris Marshall has a partial copy.