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Location Map ( geo)
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From:  Staples Corner, Middlesex (TQ228874)
To:  Hook Moor, Yorkshire (SE435355)
Distance:  200 miles (321.9 km)
Meets:  M6, M10, M18, M25, M45, M62, M69, M621, A1(M)
Route outline (key)
M1/Route Marble Arch — Staples Corner
M1/Route Hampstead - Staples Corner
M1/Route Staples Corner — Hook Moor
M1/Route Kirkhamgate - Dishforth
M1/Route Belle Isle - Central Leeds
Junction List
Junc Northbound Southbound
- Proposed start 'A' Ring Road
A407 A407
- Proposed Start A41, NXR
1 Start of Motorway A406
2 No Exit A1
' Temporary start of road A41
3 (A1) (A1)
Services symbol.gif London Gateway services (at J3)
4 No Exit A41
- M16 M16
5 A41, A4008 A41
6 A405 A405
6a No Exit M25
7 A414 No Exit
8 No Exit A414
Services symbol.gif Redbourn services
9 A5183 A5183
10 A1081 A1081
11 A505 A505
11A A5 A5
Services symbol.gif Toddington services
12 A5120 A5120
13 A421, A507 A421, A507
14 A509 A509
Services symbol.gif Newport Pagnell services
15 A45 A45
15A A43 A43
Services symbol.gif Northampton services (at J15a)
16 A4500 A4500
Services symbol.gif Watford Gap services
17 M45 No Exit
18 A5, A428 A428
19 M6 A14
Services symbol.gif Lutterworth services
20 A4303, A4304 A4303
21 M69, A5460 M69, A5460
Services symbol.gif Leicester Forest East services
21A A46 No Exit
22 A511 A50, A511
Services symbol.gif Markfield services (at J22)
23 A512 A512
Services symbol.gif Long Whatton services
23A A42, A453 A42
Services symbol.gif Donington Park services (at J23a N)
24 A50, A453 A50, A453
24A No Exit A50 (W)
25 A52 A52
Services symbol.gif Trowell services
26 A610 A610
27 A608 A608
28 A38, B6019 A38, B6019
Services symbol.gif Tibshelf services
29 A617, A6175 A617, A6175
29A A6192 A6192
30 A6135 A6135
Services symbol.gif Woodall services
31 A57 A57
32 M18 M18
33 A630 A630
34 A631, A6178 A6109
Bridge Tinsley Viaduct
Services symbol.gif Hesley/Sheffield
35 A629 A629
Services symbol.gif Chapeltown services
35A A616 No Exit
36 A61 A61
37 A628 A628
38 A637 A637
Services symbol.gif Woolley Edge services
39 A636 A636
40 A638 A638
- M111 M111
41 A650 A650
42 M62 M62
43 M621 No Exit
44 A639 A639
Services symbol.gif Leeds Skelton Lake
45 A63 A63
46 A63, A6120 A63, A6120
47 A642, A656 A642, A656
48 A1(M) End of Motorway
43 A61, A639 A61, A639
44 unclass unclass
45 unclass unclass
46 unclass unclass
47 M621, A653 End of Motorway

Section 1: Staples Corner to Luton

The M1 starts at Staples Corner in London at a junction with the A406 North Circular Road. The route starts as an elevated 3 lane motorway (in each direction) albeit with noise barriers and subjected to the usual 70mph speed limit. There is a limited access junction with the A1 which can be accessed by southbound traffic only. London Gateway services is where the unfinished Junction 3 would have been constructed, in turn creating an interesting U shaped roundabout style junction to access the services. Shortly after Junction 4 the motorway enters Hertfordshire, with the A41, a road that parallels the M1 from Staples Corner to Watford. This is also a southbound only access junction meaning the first opportunity to leave the motorway heading northbound is at Junction 5, also for the A41 and also the A4008 which provides access to Watford and the anticlockwise M25. It's also at this point in which we reach the original section of the M1 opened in 1959. Junction 6 with the A405 provides access to St Albans and the clockwise M25. Junction 6a marks the junction with the M25 however there is no access for northbound traffic, therefore they must use the aforementioned A41 or A405 to directly access it.

After this junction the road widens to 4 lanes in each direction and becomes notably busier as the main link between the M25 and Luton Airport. A variable speed limit is also introduced here, something that will remain all the way to Junction 19. This frequently congested section of the M1 was widened in 2009, which included parallel collector/distributor lanes being built for Junctions 7 and 8 with the A414, which meant traffic between St Albans and Hemel Hempstead has a direct link without having to travel on a motorway. Junction 7 was formerly home of the M10 spur, which opened along with the first section of the M1 in 1959, but this was subsequently downgraded in 2009. The road continues purposefully north towards Luton and its airport. The A1081 airport spur is found at Junction 10 where traffic for Luton Airport turns off. It's also at this point that the M1 enters Bedfordshire. The Luton/Dunstable bypass is another frequently congested section of the M1 which runs pretty close to the urban area, meaning there is not enough room to widen the existing roadway and so is a dynamic hard shoulder running section. At Junction 11a the A5 turns off for the Dunstable Northern Bypass.

Section 2: Luton to Catthorpe

After this the M1 continues with a dynamic hard shoulder running up to Junction 13, the first junction for Milton Keynes. This junction has had significant modifications to it with the dualling of the A421 to Bedford and the A1 as well as giving the A507 access to the motorway. Before this we reach Toddington services, home of Moto headquarters. After Junction 13 the motorway briefly enters Buckinghamshire as it bypasses the city of Milton Keynes to the east. From here until Junction 19, the road is an all lane running smart motorway with 4 lanes in both directions. Following Junction 14 (A509) there are no intermediate junctions until we reach Northampton, a distance of 12 miles between Junction 14 and 15, save for Newport Pagnell services. On this stretch the M1 enters Northamptonshire. At Junction 15 we have access to the A45 eastern bypass of Northampton, which also provides links to Wellingborough and the A14 eastbound. Throughout the course of the Northampton bypass section the A45 multiplexes with the M1, as well as the A43 between Junctions 15a and 15, which also briefly multiplexes with the aforementioned A45. Speaking of such, we meet the A43 for Silverstone, Oxford, and the M40.

After Northampton the M1 continues, passing by the Watford Gap services (the oldest on the motorway network), and then another spur that opened with the original section of the M1 in 1959, the quiet M45. Along with the former M10 these two allowed the traffic to disperse from the motorway instead of all traffic being dumped onto a roundabout at the terminii when the motorway was first built. Talk of much better road planning than today! Anyways we reach Junction 18 for Daventry and its rail freight terminal, and a dual carriageway spur of the A5 then heads off in a north westerly direction towards Hinckley, after paralleling the M1 since Dunstable. Junction 18 was the northern terminus of the original section of the M1. Shortly after we enter Leicestershire and the infamous Junction 19 Catthorpe Interchange with the M6 and A14. This junction was formerly a bottleneck due to an outdated junction design, but has since been improved to allow for free flowing slip roads onto the M6 towards Coventry and Birmingham on the northbound M1, and access to the A14 for Kettering and Felixstowe for southbound traffic.

Section 3: Catthorpe to Sheffield

After this interchange the M1 reverts back to being 3 lanes in each direction for the first time since Milton Keynes (or Watford if you count the hard shoulder running section) as well as the end of the Variable Speed Limit (since Watford). There have been proposals to improve traffic flow on the Leicestershire section of the M1, another frequently travelled and regularly congested section, but these haven't been finalised. Junction 20 serves Lutterworth and Market Harborough (via the A4303 and A4304 respectively) but then it's about 11 miles to the next junction. At Junction 21 the M1 meets the M69 from Coventry and the extremely busy A5460 (formerly the A46(M), the most direct link to Leicester from the motorway. The section of the M1 around Leicester, despite being four lanes in each direction (mostly to accommodate for M69/A46 traffic) is a frequent bottleneck and proposals to potentially widen this section to 5 in each direction have been considered, but again no plans have yet been finalised. It's at this point we also meet Leicester Forest East services. After the A46 Leicester Bypass branches off at Junction 21a, the M1 returns to 3 lanes in each direction until the approach to Nottingham. We meet the A50 at Junction 22 which multiplexes with the M1 up to Junction 24 following the upgrade works to the road in the 1990s. There is also a connection to Loughborough via the A512 at Junction 23. Once the A42 at Junction 23a (and access to Donington services) (part of the main route between Birmingham and Nottingham that is essentially a watered down version of the M42) merges it's back to 4 lanes in each direction and a variable speed limit (the hard shoulder remains at this point) until the infamous Kegworth Interchange, where the M1, A50 and A453 all meet, the A50 branching off towards Derby and Stoke-on-Trent, and the A453 branching off to Nottingham as a dual carriageway. After this the M1 loses its hard shoulder until Junction 25, and briefly enters Derbyshire where the M1 meets the A52 Nottingham-Derby road as a three level stacked roundabout. Following this junction the road regains its hard shoulder but retains four lanes in each direction and a variable speed limit following widening works which were completed in 2010 up to Junction 28. This scheme also included adding permanent variable speed limits to the aforementioned section. Shortly after this junction the M1 enters Nottinghamshire and passes Trowell services, after which we meet the main link to Nottingham from the motorway when heading southbound, the A610.

Past Nottingham, the motorway takes a largely rural feel and goes on to serve Mansfield, at Junction 27 and Junction 28 (the latter being another bottleneck as it meets the A38, and proposals to improve this junction are being considered). Just before Junction 28 we reenter Derbyshire. Tibshelf services is found between Junction 28 and 29, with the latter serving Chesterfield via the A617 dual carriageway. Using this route to Chesterfield and following the A61 north from there provides a much quieter route into Sheffield. And to mention, we are now back to an all lane running section since Junction 28.

The route now has a largely rural feel but still as busy as the other sections. After Junction 30 the motorway enters Yorkshire and passes Woodall services before meeting Junction 31 with the A57, providing a slower route into Sheffield city centre or for Worksop. At Junction 32 the M18 branches off towards Doncaster, Hull, and Grimsby and the M1 continues, still with a variable speed limit, meets the A630 Sheffield Parkway at Junction 33, the main link into the city centre from the M1. This section runs between Sheffield and Rotherham, so many of the junctions on this section serve both areas. It is also worth noting that the junctions in this section are spaced much closer together for much of the rest of the route. At Junction 34 for Meadowhall the M1 follows the Tinsley Viaduct, with the A631 following the stack below. The smart motorway section continues as far as Junction 35a where the A616 branches off towards Manchester, the main link between both Sheffield and the M1, and Manchester. Aside from lane drops at some junctions, almost the entire M1 between Junction 23a and Junction 35a (a distance of over 50 miles) are four lanes in each direction. From here towards Wakefield the M1 is now three lanes in each direction.

Section 4: Sheffield to Hook Moor

Beyond this junction, the motorway returns to the typical 3 lanes in each direction. We bypass Barnsley to the west, served by the A61 at Junction 36 and the A628 at Junction 37. This section also has a short section where the two carriageways split. At Junction 38 we meet the A637, the main link to Huddersfield from the M1. We then pass the first Motorway Service Area for quite some time, the Woolley Edge services. Shortly after we meet Junction 39 with the A636, serving Wakefield and now bypass the city to the west. The motorway also becomes an all lane running smart motorway again at this point with four lanes in each direction up to Junction 41, but then five at Junction 42, where we meet the M62 from Manchester and Liverpool. At Junction 43 we must do a TOTSO; straight ahead is the M621 for Leeds city centre, and also the former route of the M1.

The section of the M1 beyond the M621 is the newest section of the M1, opened in 1999, and essentially forms an eastern bypass of Leeds. This section has mostly three lanes in each direction with the junctions spaced much closer together than what is normally expected on a rural motorway. At Junction 45 we meet the last services on the M1, Leeds Skelton Lake services, the newest services on the motorway, opening in March 2020. The A63 briefly multiplexes with the M1 between Junction 45 and 46. After this there is only one more junction (with the A642 and A656) for Garforth and after this we are essentially on the A1(M). After A1(M) traffic merges the M1 terminates at the unsigned Junction 48 (A1(M) junction 43) where traffic bound for York, Wetherby and ultimately Newcastle upon Tyne is linked to the M1.

Aston Interchange (Yorkshire) • Austhorpe Interchange • Barlborough Interchange • Beechtrees and Breakspears Interchanges • Belle Isle Interchange • Belle Isle Junction • Berrygrove • Brockley Interchange • Broughton Interchange (Milton Keynes) • Bushey Interchange • Carrgate Interchange • Catcliffe Interchange • Catthorpe Interchange • Chalton Interchange • Chiswell Interchange • Collingtree Interchange • Crick Interchange • Dodworth Roundabout • Duckmanton Interchange • Durkar Interchange • East Leeds Link Interchange • Finger Farm Roundabout • Fiveways Interchange • Flushdyke Interchange • Friars Wash • Haigh Roundabout • Hampstead Interchange • Heath Interchange • Holbeck Interchange • Hook Moor Interchange • Hunslet Interchange • Kegworth Interchange • Kidney Wood Roundabout • Kilsby Interchange • Kirby Muxloe Interchange • Kirkhamgate Interchange • Kislingbury Interchange • Lofthouse Interchange • Long Whatton Interchange • M1 J11 • M1 J27 • M42 J16 • Marble Arch • Markfield Interchange • Misterton Interchange • Nuthall Interchange • Parlington Interchange • Pepperstock • Pinxton Interchange • Ridgmont Interchange • Rothersthorpe Interchange • Rothwell Haigh Interchange • Sandiacre Interchange • Scratchwood Interchange • Shepshed Interchange • Staples Corner • Stourton Interchange • Tankersley Interchange • Birdwell Interchange • Thorpe Hesley Interchange • Thurcroft Interchange • Tinsley Interchange • Toddington Interchange • Tunstall Interchange • Warren Lane Junction • Waterdale Interchange • Whetstone Interchange
Barnsley • Central London • Chesterfield • Dewsbury • DIRFT • Leeds • Leicester • London • Luton • Lutterworth • Milton Keynes • Northampton • Pudsey • Rotherham • Rugby • Sheffield • Wakefield • Watford
Related Pictures
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Milton Keynes
NCN51 • A5 • A50 • A421 • A422 • A506 (Hockliffe - Northampton) • A508 • A509 • A4146 • A5130 • B488 • B526 • B557 • B4033 • B4034 • C5 (Milton Keynes) • C9 (Milton Keynes) • C13 (Milton Keynes) • C24 (Milton Keynes) • C41 (Milton Keynes) • C129 (Milton Keynes) • C130 (Milton Keynes) • C131 (Milton Keynes) • C132 (Milton Keynes) • C140 (Milton Keynes) • C141 (Milton Keynes) • C142 (Milton Keynes) • C143 (Milton Keynes) • C144 (Milton Keynes) • C145 (Milton Keynes) • C146 (Milton Keynes) • C147 (Milton Keynes) • C149 (Milton Keynes) • C150 (Milton Keynes) • C151 (Milton Keynes) • C152 (Milton Keynes) • C154 (Milton Keynes) • C155 (Milton Keynes) • C156 (Milton Keynes) • C157 (Milton Keynes) • C158 (Milton Keynes) • C159 (Milton Keynes) • C160 (Milton Keynes) • C162 (Milton Keynes) • C179 (Milton Keynes) • C181 (Milton Keynes) • E13 • E31 (via Carlisle) • E33 (London - Glasgow) • H1 (Milton Keynes) • H2 (Milton Keynes) • H3 (Milton Keynes) • H4 (Milton Keynes) • H5 (Milton Keynes) • H6 (Milton Keynes) • H7 (Milton Keynes) • H8 (Milton Keynes) • H9 (Milton Keynes) • H10 (Milton Keynes) • Holyhead Road • M1 • T11 (Britain) • V1 (Milton Keynes) • V2 (Milton Keynes) • V3 (Milton Keynes) • V4 (Milton Keynes) • V5 (Milton Keynes) • V6 (Milton Keynes) • V7 (Milton Keynes) • V8 (Milton Keynes) • V9 (Milton Keynes) • V10 (Milton Keynes) • V11 (Milton Keynes) • V12 (Milton Keynes) • Watling Street
A52 • A60 • A453 • A606 • A609 • A610 • A611 • A612 • A613 (Nuthall - Alfreton) • A614 • A648 (Kegworth - Nottingham) • A6002 • A6005 • A6008 • A6011 • A6019 • A6130 • A6130 (Huntingdon Street, Nottingham) • A6200 • A6211 • A6464 • A6514 • B680 • B681 • B682 • B683 • B684 • B685 • B686 • B690 • B5010 • B6004 • B6005 (Stapleford) • B6008 • B6235 (Nottingham) • B6236 (Nottingham) • B6464 • E13 • E31 (via Carlisle) • E106 (Northampton - Leeds) • M1 • M42 • Nottingham Outer Ring Road • RM182 • T52 (Britain) • T53 (Britain) • T54 (Britain)
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Motorways in Great Britain
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Motorway Spurs • (M4 Heathrow Spur • M25 T5 Spur • Walton Summit M'way)
Former MotorwaysM10 • M15 • M16 • M30 • M41 • M52 • M62 • M63 • M64 • M65 • M68 • M85 • M110 • M111 • M270 • M274 • M531 • M600
A2(M) • A4(M) • A5(M) • A8(M) • A11(M) • A18(M) • A20(M) • A21(M) • A23(M) • A36(M) • A40(M) (Central London) • A40(M) (Buckinghamshire) • A41(M) • A46(M) • A48(M) (Morriston) • A48(M) (Port Talbot) • A65(M) • A102(M) (North) • A102(M) (South) • A423(M) • A446(M) • A604(M) • A638(M) • A696(M) • A1231(M) • A6127(M) • A6138(M) • A6144(M)
Unbuilt MotorwaysM4 Toll • M12 (Woodford - Brentford) • M12 (Woodford - Maplin) • M12 (Brentwood - -Chelmsford) • M13 • M17 • M19 • M31 • M58 • M59 • M60 • M62 RR • M64 • M81 • M82 • M83 • M100 • M272 • M601 • M650
A2(M) • A6(M) (West) • A6(M) (East) • A14(M) • A48(M) • A59(M) • A61(M) • A556(M) • A695(M)
A Ring • Bilston Link • Belmont Link • B-W M'way • CME Bypass • CMW • Central Spine • Chippenham Spur • Coventry N-S M'way • Cublington Airport M'way • Denham Spur • Derby Urban M'way • Droitwich-Leicester M'way • East Coast M'way • EXR • East Kilbride M'way • E-W Underground M'way • Eastern M'way • Euroroute • Friars Goose Xing • Furness Link • Glasgow IRR • GM Western Relief Road • Hamilton-Cumbernauld M'way • Hook Road • Johnstone M'way • Kendal Link • Liverpool Inner M'way • LOX M'way • Malvern Radial • Manchester IRR • Morecambe Link • NE Urban M'way • NXR • N&W M'way • Paisley-Hamilton M'way • POLO • Princess P'way M'way • Reading Urban M'way • Ringway 2 • Sheffield Spur • S Bristol Spur • SCRPDR • SXR • Stirling Corner Link • Strensham-Solihill M'way • Strensham-Solihill M'way • TGAAR • Townhill Link • Trafford Park M'way • Warndon Radial • Watford Urban M'Way • Western Orbital • Weston Spur

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