M25 motorway marks 25th anniversary

PUBLISHED: 11:29 29 October 2011

PM Margaret Thatcher declares the final section of the M25 open, on October 29, 1986

PM Margaret Thatcher declares the final section of the M25 open, on October 29, 1986

Archant

THE M25 – one of Europe’s busiest motorways – marks its 25th anniversary today (Saturday).

On October 29, 1986, the then-Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher opened the final 13-mile section of the London orbital road, between junctions 19 and 23.

Yesterday (Friday), roads minister Mike Penning visited the Highways Agency’s regional control centre at South Mimms – one of two hubs from which the motorway is managed – to mark the milestone.

There, he hailed the economic benefits of the M25 and looked ahead to plans for the continuing improvement of the motorway for road users.

He said: “The M25 has been and continues to be a catalyst for economic growth.

“The opening of the M25 in 1986 was a celebration of engineering excellence, and since then communities, businesses and millions of road users have benefited from the vastly improved transport connections it provides for them.

“Today, as we mark this significant milestone, we can look forward to continued government investment to further improve traffic flows and reduce congestion.

“The M25 will be a vital transport link during the London 2012 Games next summer, when the current widening work has finished.”

Mr Penning added: “Before 2015 we aim to start work on two major schemes to open up sections of the hard shoulder on the M25 as an additional running lane, benefiting all road users, including freight traffic and commuters, and boosting the economy.

“Today is a proud day for all who have ensured the M25 continues to provide its vital operation for the nation.”

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