So, today is the fiftieth anniversary of the UK’s first motorway – the M6.
Now I know it seems strange that it was not called the M1. Apparently this is because motorways took their numbers from pre-existing A roads. So, the M6 is the M6 because it is near the A6. In any case it started life as the Preston By-Pass. And, anyone who has been to Preston would know that it deserves a by-pass and a fast one at that!
Anyhow, the M6 started life as a four lane (two in each direction), eight mile stretch of motorway with no speed restrictions. It is now over 230 miles long, stretching from Scotland to London, and is the busiest and most haunted stretch of motorway in the UK. And, I reckon that I have spent a significant proportion of my life (and near death) on it, and most of that in slow motion.
So, happy birthday M6.
ps. Did you know that there are now over two thousand miles of motorway in the UK with an average of 64,900 users per day (which begs the question as to why they are always going my way!). This makes the UK the busiest motorway user in Europe and yet we have the lowest number of motorway fatalities. I guess that is because we rarely seem to be able to drive at more than thirty miles per hour 😉