December 19, 2008

The Motorway: 50 Year Anniversary

It was on Dec 5, 1958 that Harold Macmillan (the Prime Minister of Great Britain) official opened the country’s first motorway in Preston, Lancashire. At that time it was made up of four lanes covering a distance of only 8.26 miles.

With new concepts to drivers of the time, the thought of having large blue signs (motorway traffic signs) was seen as quite comical and the idea of a “central reservation” and “hard shoulder” were unheard of. All did not go well, the material used to make the hard shoulder was not strong enough to withstand the wear and tear of vehicles and caused the sinking of cars and lorries.

Britain now has a motorway network made up of over 2,200 miles with the M6 been 230 miles on its own.

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