On this day in auto history – March 24th

Wed 24th Mar 2021

It was on this day in 1958 that work finally began on the long-mooted M1 - Britain’s first full length motorway.

Though there had been plans before the second world war for a motorway network in Britain, these never came to fruition until the late 1950’s after the passing of the Special Roads Act.

The first section of the Motorway - which would eventually connect London to Leeds - opened between Junction 5 (Watford) and Junction 18 (Rugby) in November 1959 and initially had no speed limits, no central reservation and no crash barriers.

It would be 1972 before the original plans for the M1 were ‘completed’, the same year that thick fog resulted in its most notorious 'pile-up' involving over 200 vehicles in which nine people were killed.