The M25 at 25

4,000 AA roadside rescues for every mile over 25 years

28 October 2011

4,000 AA roadside rescues for every mile over 25 years

4,000 AA roadside rescues for every mile over 25 years

Marking the 25th anniversary of the UK’s most important motorway, dubbed the ‘road to nowhere’, the AA has released figures showing that it is fast approaching half-million call-outs getting drivers back on the move again.

The 448,333 roadside rescues carried out on the M25 since it was opened, represent 3,832 for every mile of the 117-mile motorway.

The 10,000 breakdowns-a-year workload in the 1980s has grown to 25,000 for 2011.

Dealing with breakdowns helps to keep the M25 moving as well as directly helping AA members.

The M25 motorway is the only outer ring road around the capital, when three were originally considered. It links 10 major arterial motorways, sparing London huge volumes of through traffic and providing a major trade corridor of international importance.

Unfinished

The M25 quickly became a victim of its own success.  The pent-up demand the M25 released and economic prosperity it created soon led to congestion and, ever since, the M25 has been an unfinished work.

This is not surprising as most major cities in the world with orbital road routes find they lead to economic regeneration and rapid growth such that further improvements are necessary to cope with traffic demand and improving fortunes.

The full widening of the northern section and managed motorway (hard shoulder running) plans for the southern section will not sit well together and the AA thinks it would have been preferable even in the harsh economic conditions for greater capacity to come from conventional widening.

Dartford crossing

the UK’s most important motorway must be improved to help economic recovery

Paul Watters, head of AA public affairs

The most pressing problem is the lack of traffic capacity at the Dartford Crossing with M25 users paying additional road charges often to sit in long queues.

All of the £100m additional revenue that the government plans to take from M25 users at Dartford over the next five years must be used to plan and commission a new crossing for the next generation.

Comment

“The M25 liberated communities around the periphery of London making previously impossible trips possible, for example, improving work opportunities, making visits to friends and relatives on the other side of the capital possible and also expanding leisure and shopping opportunities,” says Paul Watters, head of AA Public Affairs.

“The AA believes the UK’s most important motorway must be improved to help economic recovery – allowing traffic to stagnate would be unthinkable.  The huge M25 improvements now being constructed and the others planned will help alleviate congestion.”

(28 October 2011)