M11 motorway

UK motorway routebox
motorway= M11
length-mi= 49.7
length-km= 80.0
direction= South - North
start= London
destinations= Harlow
Stansted Airport
end= Girton
opening-date= 1975
completion-date= 1980
junctions= 6 -
:"This page is about the M11 motorway in England. For the M11 motorway in the Republic of Ireland, see N11 road. For the M11 motorway in Russia, see M11 motorway (Russia)."

The M11 motorway in England is a major road running approximately south to north from the North Circular Road (A406) in South Woodford in north-east London to the A14 north-west of Cambridge.



The motorway was constructed in stages mainly from south to north:
* South Harlow to Bishop's Stortford/Stansted (Junction 7 to Junction 8): October 1972 to June 1975.
* South Woodford to Loughton (Junction 4 to Junction 5): September 1973 to April 1977.
* Loughton to South Harlow (Junction 5 to Junction 7): October 1974 to April 1977.
* Bishops Stortford/Stansted to Stump Cross (Junction 8 to Junction 9A): May 1977 to November 1979.
* Stump Cross to Cambridge Western Bypass (Junction 9 to Junction 14): January 1977 to February 1980.
* Junction 8A: opened December 2002.

Unfulfilled plans

When the motorway was planned in the late 1960s it was intended to connect to a number of other motorways in north-east London as part of the London Ringways Plan. Most of this plan was cancelled in the early 1970s and, in north-east London, only the M11 and M25 motorway were built. The M11 was also planned to start closer to central London at The Angel, Islington where it would have met the Inner Ring Road and the A1. From there it would have run east alongside the Regent's Canal and the north side of Victoria Park to an interchange at Hackney Wick where it would have connected to the North Cross and East Cross Routes at the north-east corner of the London Motorway Box (Ringway 1 of the Ringways Plan).

The proposed section of the M11 from Hackney Wick to South Woodford through Leyton, Leytonstone and Snaresbrook was never built as part of the M11 and the motorway consequently starts at junction 4. The extension of the A12 built in the 1990s from Wanstead to Hackney Wick follows a route south from the Green Man Roundabout similar to the planned M11 route. This was highly controversial at the time of its construction and resulted in the M11 link road protest.

At its current start in South Woodford the M11 would have connected to the start of the M12 motorway heading east into Essex and to the M15 motorway heading south to Barking and north-west to Edmonton. When the South Woodford section of the M11 was constructed, the space was provided between the two carriageways to enable the M12 carriageways to merge with it and the M15.

M15 was the intended designation for the upgrade of the North Circular Road (A406) to a motorway (Ringway 2 of the London Ringways Plan). The "South Woodford to Barking Relief Road" section of the North Circular Road/M15 south of M11 junction 4 was built to motorway standard for this purpose and, when it opened, it was temporarily designated as part of the M11 as far as the interchange with the A12 at Redbridge. This interchange was numbered as M11 junction 3 although it wasn't the planned site for the M11's third junction. Because the A406 upgrade was not carried out as planned, the M15 route designation was never used and the Relief Road was eventually downgraded from motorway to the A406.

A Government plan to add north-facing connections at Junction 5 (Loughton) was deleted in 1998. [cite web
title=Taking Road Safety To The Extreme

Alternative route

Plans for the M11 in 1966 had the motorway following a different route out of London, starting at Dalston and heading north-east to Walthamstow then north past Chingford and Waltham Cross to meet the current alignment north of Harlow. At this time the proposed section of the motorway from South Woodford to Islington would have been the designated as the M12.

Illuminated sections

In comparison with other major motorways in Britain, the M11 has few illuminated sections, in fact, there are no two consecutive junctions on the motorway between which the road is fully lit (also unusual). The current illuminated sections are the southern terminus at junction 4, the junction 6 interchange with the M25, junction 8 at Stansted Airport/Bishop's Stortford, and the northern terminus at junction 14. All four of these sections use modern high pressure sodium (SON) lighting, as opposed to the older, yellow low pressure sodium (SOX) lighting. Those SOX lights which were originally used at junctions 4 and 6 were replaced in 2005.

The M11 is three lanes both ways between just north of J4, where the carriageways meet, and J8 (Stansted Airport). Northwards from there as far as the A14, there are only two lanes both ways, although there is also a lane-drop to two lanes at J6 beneath the M25.


When the road was built in the 1970s budgets were tight, and consequently unsurfaced concrete was used between its northern end and a point approximately two miles to the south of Junction 7 (the Harlow exit). To the south of this point, where the road runs on soft ground close to the River Roding, concrete was considered unsuitable due to the looseness of the subsoil and the consequent risk of random cracking, so the road surface here was of tarmac from the start. During the late 1990s and early years of the twenty-first century the concrete surface further north – which had become seriously degraded – was progressively replaced with modern tarmac. Necessary drainage improvements were implemented at the same time. The only remaining concrete surfaces left on the motorway is a five mile stretch from J8 northwards and a 0.9 mile stretch between junctions 5 and 6. The former is due to be replaced in the latter part of 2007; the replacement of the latter was completed in June 2008.

Proposed new junctions

A Highways Agency consultation is under way regarding proposals to modify and extend junction 8 to improve road access to Stansted Airport. This will involve the construction of a new interchange (junction 8b) linked to junction 8/8a that will connect to a new roundabout and access road within the airport [ [http://www.highways.gov.uk/roads/documents/M060327_Stansted_Generation_2_Airport_Access_from_M11_and_A12_Web_page.pdf Highways Agency - Stansted Generation 2 Airport Access from M11 and A120] ]

A proposal for a new junction 7a north of Harlow was rejected by the East of England Assembly's M11 Corridor Development Options Study [ [http://www.eera.gov.uk/Documents/About%20EERA/Policy/Planning%20and%20Transport/PlanHome/PlanTranStud/GeoStud/LSC/M11Corr/Final/StanM11FnlRpt.pdf East of England M11 Corridor Development Options Study 2003 Final Report] ] but there is some local campaigning for such a junction to relieve the congested junction 7. The proposed development of North Harlow may cause this issue to be revisited.

M11 plane crash

A short distance to the south of junction 10 the M11 passes the Imperial War Museum, Duxford, some of the hangars of which can be seen from the motorway. In 1977 the main runway was shortened from convert|6000|ft|m by about convert|1200|ft|m to enable the motorway to be built and is now convert|4800|ft|m. More recently even though Duxford already met all licensing requirements, it has reduced the declared distances to convert|4010|ft|m to further increase safety. [ [http://duxford.iwm.org.uk/server/show/ConWebDoc.1181 Duxford Airfield] ] [http://www.caa.co.uk/docs/33/FACTOR200321.PDF Accident Report]

In June 2002, a brake failure on an Aero L-39 Albatross landing at Duxford caused the plane to run off the end of the runway and down the embankment on to the motorway. The trainee pilot was killed when he ejected from ground level but the instructor survived the accident and no vehicles on the motorway were involved [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/2021961.stm BBC News - Motorway reopened after jet crash] ] .


ee also

*List of motorways in the United Kingdom


External links

* [http://www.cbrd.co.uk/motorway/m11/ CBRD Motorway Database - M11]
* [http://www.iht.org/motorway/m11loncam.htm The Motorway Archive - M11]

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