On this day in auto history - November 10th

Tue 10th Nov 2020

It was on this day in 1971 that the famous 10-route ‘Spaghetti Junction’ motorway interchange was first opened north of Birmingham.

Incorporating the A38 and the southern section of the M6 motorway, the interchange would have a total of 12 routes when the final stretch of the M6 was completed the following year.

Mystifying some motorists, the junction cost £10 million to build, is supported by more than 500 concrete columns and has been designed to last 120 years. An average of 40,000 vehicles used it in its first year but that number has risen exponentially to around 250,000 now.

The colloquial term ‘Spaghetti Junction’ was first used in a Birmingham Evening Mail article published in 1965 when journalist Roy Smith described plans for the junction as “a mix between a plate of spaghetti and an unsuccessful attempt at a Staffordshire knot.”

Since then, the term has been adopted to describe massively intertwined road traffic interchanges all over the world.