M40 30th Birthday

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A303Chris
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Re: M40 30th Birthday

Post by A303Chris » Mon Jan 18, 2021 14:18

I now feel very old!!!!. I drove it two weeks after it opened in heavy snow, going to the North West to see friends and only lanes 1 and 2 were open with lane 3 still covered. Did not halt progress at all.

Was a godsend for me living in Woodley to the east of Reading, 14 miles from J4 at Handy Cross and easily took an hour off journeys up north.

Before then the quickest way to the M6, was M4, A419/417, M5 or a slog of A40 Oxford northern bypass, A423, A41 to M42 or the M1 was via the M25.

Now it's always M40 / M42 and M6 Toll for the M6 and for the M1 the choice its either M40/A43, M40/A46/M69 , M40/M42 or my favorite on bank holiday weekends M40/M42/A446/A38.

Also what big world event also commenced the day the M40 between 7 and 15 opened?
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Jonathan B4027
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Re: M40 30th Birthday

Post by Jonathan B4027 » Mon Jan 18, 2021 15:01

Truvelo wrote:
Sun Jan 17, 2021 20:43
And the original intention was for the M40 extension to continue from the GSJ to the west of the services. At the moment I only have small scale drawings for this junction which would have been rebuilt and allow limited access to the M40 north only from Oxford and not the A418. Chilworth Road would have been altered and headed towards Milton Common instead of the oxbow.
Would love to see those as an ex-resident of Wheatley! my late father was one of the surveyors on the original Wheatley bypass and claimed to be the reason why it originally had hard shoulders as they were haul lanes they just left in save cash.
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Re: M40 30th Birthday

Post by Bryn666 » Mon Jan 18, 2021 15:41

A303Chris wrote:
Mon Jan 18, 2021 14:18
I now feel very old!!!!. I drove it two weeks after it opened in heavy snow, going to the North West to see friends and only lanes 1 and 2 were open with lane 3 still covered. Did not halt progress at all.

Was a godsend for me living in Woodley to the east of Reading, 14 miles from J4 at Handy Cross and easily took an hour off journeys up north.

Before then the quickest way to the M6, was M4, A419/417, M5 or a slog of A40 Oxford northern bypass, A423, A41 to M42 or the M1 was via the M25.

Now it's always M40 / M42 and M6 Toll for the M6 and for the M1 the choice its either M40/A43, M40/A46/M69 , M40/M42 or my favorite on bank holiday weekends M40/M42/A446/A38.

Also what big world event also commenced the day the M40 between 7 and 15 opened?
Taking a punt at John Suchet going on air for 12 hours straight to announce Desert Storm had begun?
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Re: M40 30th Birthday

Post by Truvelo » Mon Jan 18, 2021 19:24

Jonathan B4027 wrote:
Mon Jan 18, 2021 15:01
Truvelo wrote:
Sun Jan 17, 2021 20:43
And the original intention was for the M40 extension to continue from the GSJ to the west of the services. At the moment I only have small scale drawings for this junction which would have been rebuilt and allow limited access to the M40 north only from Oxford and not the A418. Chilworth Road would have been altered and headed towards Milton Common instead of the oxbow.
Would love to see those as an ex-resident of Wheatley! my late father was one of the surveyors on the original Wheatley bypass and claimed to be the reason why it originally had hard shoulders as they were haul lanes they just left in save cash.
Here's the plans I have. I didn't have time to go back and find the large scale plans before all the archives closed down last year.
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wheatley.jpg
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Re: M40 30th Birthday

Post by M4 Cardiff » Mon Jan 18, 2021 19:38

Thank you, that's great as it is!
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Re: M40 30th Birthday

Post by Norfolktolancashire » Mon Jan 18, 2021 23:23

A303Chris wrote:
Mon Jan 18, 2021 14:18
I now feel very old!!!!. I drove it two weeks after it opened in heavy snow, going to the North West to see friends and only lanes 1 and 2 were open with lane 3 still covered. Did not halt progress at all.

Was a godsend for me living in Woodley to the east of Reading, 14 miles from J4 at Handy Cross and easily took an hour off journeys up north.

Before then the quickest way to the M6, was M4, A419/417, M5 or a slog of A40 Oxford northern bypass, A423, A41 to M42 or the M1 was via the M25.

Now it's always M40 / M42 and M6 Toll for the M6 and for the M1 the choice its either M40/A43, M40/A46/M69 , M40/M42 or my favorite on bank holiday weekends M40/M42/A446/A38.

Also what big world event also commenced the day the M40 between 7 and 15 opened?
I was based for work at Reading for a while early 1991 and travelled each weekend to the north west of England. I used various routes on the way up including the M4, A417/9, M5 route but found the new M40 the least congested and quickest, reached via the M4 and A34.

I have memories of driving back to Reading very late Sundays along the new motorway with very light traffic and lots of dead foxes and badgers on the road, obviously they had not got "used" to the new road. It was also one of the first stretches of new motorway not to have streetlighting all over.

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Re: M40 30th Birthday

Post by mikehindsonevans » Tue Jan 19, 2021 03:48

B4444 wrote:
Fri Jan 15, 2021 21:56
I recall there was a TV documentary about its construction using time lapse photography. I've never found it on Youtube.
I remember there was farmer getting irate as the contractors hadn't provided him with temporary access across the works. Also problems with contamination of the river Cherwell. There were also stone piles used as road foundations across Otmoor.
I would also love to find a copy of this documentary. I believe that it was made by a unit of Birmingham University.
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Re: M40 30th Birthday

Post by SteveA30 » Tue Jan 19, 2021 07:45

I saw that doc as well. I remember someone saying that Banbury didn't know what was about to hit it, regarding developments around J11, and so it proved. Also a small river being disrupted and wildlife removed during construction then, everything returning to normal afterwards. Nature always reclaims lost territory sooner or later.
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Re: M40 30th Birthday

Post by Barkstar » Tue Jan 19, 2021 09:26

As my brother lives in Surrey and myself in the north west the opening of it and the completion of the M25 made a huge difference to trips down south. Though I did discover the signage around the motorway could be a bit disingenuous. One trip back north I arranged to visit a friend who lived just outside Stratford upon Avon so left the M40 at Banbury to head over Edgehill on the A422. When you got to the first big RA at Banbury and looked for signs for Stratford they took you back to the M40... The A422 was signed for one of the villages on the route to Stratford :roll:

I also have fond memories of often watching the General Dynamics F1-11s near Upper Heyford or when paused at the 'services' on the A43 that were eventually replaced by Cherwell Valley.

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Re: M40 30th Birthday

Post by Brenley Corner » Tue Jan 19, 2021 09:34

I don't think this is the YouTube M40 video that has been mentioned in thread but looks relevant and interesting nonetheless; haven't had a chance to watch it from end-to-end yet but it is in my Watch Later list.....

LINK

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A303Chris
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Re: M40 30th Birthday

Post by A303Chris » Tue Jan 19, 2021 13:13

Brenley Corner wrote:
Tue Jan 19, 2021 09:34
I don't think this is the YouTube M40 video that has been mentioned in thread but looks relevant and interesting nonetheless; haven't had a chance to watch it from end-to-end yet but it is in my Watch Later list.....

LINK

Tony
Interesting quote that the extension from Oxford to the M42 cost £248 million, not bad for 57 miles of motorway
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A303Chris
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Re: M40 30th Birthday

Post by A303Chris » Tue Jan 19, 2021 13:14

Bryn666 wrote:
Mon Jan 18, 2021 15:41
A303Chris wrote:
Mon Jan 18, 2021 14:18
Also what big world event also commenced the day the M40 between 7 and 15 opened?
Taking a punt at John Suchet going on air for 12 hours straight to announce Desert Storm had begun?
Yes spot on.
The M25 - The road to nowhere

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Re: M40 30th Birthday

Post by Bryn666 » Tue Jan 19, 2021 13:26

A303Chris wrote:
Tue Jan 19, 2021 13:13
Brenley Corner wrote:
Tue Jan 19, 2021 09:34
I don't think this is the YouTube M40 video that has been mentioned in thread but looks relevant and interesting nonetheless; haven't had a chance to watch it from end-to-end yet but it is in my Watch Later list.....

LINK

Tony
Interesting quote that the extension from Oxford to the M42 cost £248 million, not bad for 57 miles of motorway
Makes you wonder how much really is construction inflation and how much is the cost of road politics.
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Re: M40 30th Birthday

Post by RichardA35 » Tue Jan 19, 2021 13:40

Bryn666 wrote:
Tue Jan 19, 2021 13:26
A303Chris wrote:
Tue Jan 19, 2021 13:13
Brenley Corner wrote:
Tue Jan 19, 2021 09:34
I don't think this is the YouTube M40 video that has been mentioned in thread but looks relevant and interesting nonetheless; haven't had a chance to watch it from end-to-end yet but it is in my Watch Later list.....

LINK

Tony
Interesting quote that the extension from Oxford to the M42 cost £248 million, not bad for 57 miles of motorway
Makes you wonder how much really is construction inflation and how much is the cost of road politics.
IIRC the video was from during the construction period with only tender prices known so the costs quoted were letting prices not final settled costs. It's a long way back in my memory but I think Banbury 4 started at £52M and settled near £70M. Add in land, utilities, supervision and 30% cost growth and the (good) old days can be seen as what they were - kicking the can of settling final accounts costs a few years down the road and the consequent deferral of other schemes in the roads programme as these costs became due.

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Re: M40 30th Birthday

Post by Worcestershire Wolf » Tue Jan 19, 2021 21:42

Barkstar wrote:
Tue Jan 19, 2021 09:26
As my brother lives in Surrey and myself in the north west the opening of it and the completion of the M25 made a huge difference to trips down south. Though I did discover the signage around the motorway could be a bit disingenuous. One trip back north I arranged to visit a friend who lived just outside Stratford upon Avon so left the M40 at Banbury to head over Edgehill on the A422. When you got to the first big RA at Banbury and looked for signs for Stratford they took you back to the M40... The A422 was signed for one of the villages on the route to Stratford :roll:
Yes, the replacement of signs with directions to local destinations was one of the consequences of the M40 opening in Banbury in order to encourage use of the Motorway.
As you mention the A422 westbound had Stratford replaced by Wroxton, the A41 was of course downgraded to the B4100 and the signs now direct you to Warmington to the North rather than Warwick and Birmingham. Southbound the A41 Aylesbury and A423 Oxford was replaced by A4260 Adderbury.
As far as I am aware though the A423 Northbound initially retained Coventry as a destination, but this has since been replaced by Southam.

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Re: M40 30th Birthday

Post by Monroads » Wed Jan 20, 2021 12:18

Worcestershire Wolf wrote:
Tue Jan 19, 2021 21:42
Barkstar wrote:
Tue Jan 19, 2021 09:26
As my brother lives in Surrey and myself in the north west the opening of it and the completion of the M25 made a huge difference to trips down south. Though I did discover the signage around the motorway could be a bit disingenuous. One trip back north I arranged to visit a friend who lived just outside Stratford upon Avon so left the M40 at Banbury to head over Edgehill on the A422. When you got to the first big RA at Banbury and looked for signs for Stratford they took you back to the M40... The A422 was signed for one of the villages on the route to Stratford :roll:
Yes, the replacement of signs with directions to local destinations was one of the consequences of the M40 opening in Banbury in order to encourage use of the Motorway.
As you mention the A422 westbound had Stratford replaced by Wroxton, the A41 was of course downgraded to the B4100 and the signs now direct you to Warmington to the North rather than Warwick and Birmingham. Southbound the A41 Aylesbury and A423 Oxford was replaced by A4260 Adderbury.
As far as I am aware though the A423 Northbound initially retained Coventry as a destination, but this has since been replaced by Southam.
In Stratford the A422 is signed Banbury still

The A34 got a few 00’s added and is now the A3400 and signed Shipston South and Henley in Arden North

Although the A34 still exists in Birmingham and is signed Stratford through to the M42 where the signed route is M42/M40/A46

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Re: M40 30th Birthday

Post by Gareth Thomas » Sun Jan 24, 2021 14:39

trickstat wrote:
Sat Jan 16, 2021 14:58
The M40 between Oxford and London is quite an interesting drive. I have only driven the Oxford to Birmingham part once and it seems fast but very dull. At least there is some undulation on the M11 between Stansted and Cambridge. Living where I do, I've only driven that 3 times myself. I don't find the M20 too bad although I've not gone further than Ashford.
I've driven the M40 in one go, back in 2014, although I had done Junctions 1a-8 and 9-15 prior to this. I suppose because Banbury is the only major settlement along the route, this explains the long gaps between junctions.

The M20 between Junctions 8 and 9 has the same "problem" in that there are no major settlements along its route, so you get 14 miles of dull - although since the Channel Tunnel Rail Link opened there is something else to look at. Beyond Ashford the M20 isn't so dull. :-P

Back to the M40 - was the M42 junction ever known as "Junction 17" on the ground? I've seen it labelled as such on maps, but on the signs it is only ever shown as "3A".
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Re: M40 30th Birthday

Post by trickstat » Sun Jan 24, 2021 14:59

Gareth Thomas wrote:
Sun Jan 24, 2021 14:39
trickstat wrote:
Sat Jan 16, 2021 14:58
The M40 between Oxford and London is quite an interesting drive. I have only driven the Oxford to Birmingham part once and it seems fast but very dull. At least there is some undulation on the M11 between Stansted and Cambridge. Living where I do, I've only driven that 3 times myself. I don't find the M20 too bad although I've not gone further than Ashford.
I've driven the M40 in one go, back in 2014, although I had done Junctions 1a-8 and 9-15 prior to this. I suppose because Banbury is the only major settlement along the route, this explains the long gaps between junctions.
The relative isolation of Banbury in several directions from towns of any size, has resulted in my family noticing some 30 or so years ago, that it seems to appear on signposts at almost every significant A and B road junction in an area approximately bounded by Gloucester, Coventry, Northampton and Oxford!

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Re: M40 30th Birthday

Post by Ruperts Trooper » Sun Jan 24, 2021 15:07

Gareth Thomas wrote:
Sun Jan 24, 2021 14:39
Back to the M40 - was the M42 junction ever known as "Junction 17" on the ground? I've seen it labelled as such on maps, but on the signs it is only ever shown as "3A".
There's a reference in the Wiki to Umberslade Junction being known as Jct 16 of the M40 and Jct 3A of the M42 https://www.sabre-roads.org.uk/wiki/ind ... nterchange
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From the SABRE Wiki: Umberslade Interchange :

The Umberslade Interchange is the final junction, junction 16, of the M40 and junction 3A of the M42. Despite the layout of the junction, the M40 has priority, with traffic wishing to remain on the M42 having to turn off.

All approaches to the junction are controlled by Variable Speed Limits and the northern arm of the M42 utilises full Active Traffic Management. The junction is susceptible to congestion at peak periods due to inadequate

... Read More

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Re: M40 30th Birthday

Post by WHBM » Mon Jan 25, 2021 20:33

I was periodically travelling from Slough to the Wirral on Friday evenings when it opened. Hitherto it could be the first hour just for the M25 and the second hour little further than Luton on the M1. Once the M40 opened you could be past Birmingham in that time.

But the first trip, in the first week it opened, was from Slough to Birmingham Airport. Normally we used Heathrow of course, but this time on return I was carrying on north. It really didn't seem to take that much longer than to the Heathrow terminal, with all the hoopla of a shuttle bus from a remote car park etc.

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