Travelling around the UKs road networks

The UK road network is ever changing and the maintenance of many of our roads is a full time almost never-ending job. But our roads are incredibly important and are vital to the movement of people for work, to visit family and also for Same Day Courier Service companies to deliver items to both commercial and domestic premises. If you need a same day courier service go to

Back to our roads.

Here are some interesting facts and statistics about the history and present state of some of our roads and motorway networks.

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The longest motorway is the M6 and it measures 236 miles and stretches from Catthorpe in Leicestershire and continues up to the Scottish Border. It is part of the M6 that was the first motorway to ever be built and it opened on 5th December 1958 and stretched for just 8 miles and was known as the Preston Bypass.

The M25 was once the longest ring road in world and ran for 118 miles around London, this was until a larger ring road was built around Berlin in Germany. The M62 is the UKs highest motorway, being 1,222 feet above sea level.

The M1 was the first full length motorway and opened in December 1959. On is first day over 13,000 vehicles travelled on it with around 100 of these breaking down at some point along the road. The road was originally designed to cope with around 14,000 vehicles on it on any given day. Today, with the increase in car ownership and usage plus the increase in delivery vehicles on the roads it is thought that it is likely that over 140,000 vehicles travel along it each day.

In total there is around 2,241 miles of motorway across the UK, with 69 miles in Northern Ireland, 88 in Wales, 241 in Scotland and 1,843 in England.

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Road Facts

It is thought that the average driver will spend a combined total of around 2 weeks stuck in traffic every year. With the worst ever traffic jam recorded and taking a place in the Guiness Book of World Records, happening on 5th April 1985 on the M1. A forty-mile tail back occurred between junctions 16 and 18 and motorists were left stuck for hours and hours.

The steepest road in the UK is the Hardknott Pass in Cumbria which has a gradient of 33%. It was nicknamed by the Romans as the tenth highway. It was also used in the middle ages as a goods route.

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