A18(M) - The Uncomfortable Little Motorway

 

Location:

The sadly missed A18(M) used to lie between the Tudworth corner roundabout (half a mile from the scene of my accident) and the M18. The roundabout is where the A18 (from Crowle and Scunthorpe) and the A614 (from Thorne) merge and share the same road up to the Green Tree junction, just outside of Hatfield. In short, it connected the A18 to the M18 at jcn 5.

Importance (Past):

The M18 originally was merely a motorway that connected the M1 to the A1. Another section was later added, from Hatfield to Thorne. Just outside of Hatfield, a temporary junction allowed access from the funky sixties road, the A1146. Then the next junction was the A18(M) at jcn 5, and the M18 ended again at jcn 6, the A614 to Goole and Selby. As far as importance goes, the A18(M) only came into its own when the temporary junction was removed, to facilitate the construction of the M18 towards Doncaster. From then on, it was the only way to access it.

Interesting Points:

The A18(M) was a bit like the old Severn bridge : under constant upheaval and repair. It was only about a mile long, but christ what a rough ride. And don't forget this was in the 70s when cars had more basic suspension. At least my old man's 1974 Ford Escort Estate (with the solid plastic back seat - oh no) hated the potholes and ramps. I really loved this little motorway. You couldn't go at any speed, which meant you could examine it as you went by. It was two carriageways of 2 lanes, but you would be lucky if both lanes would be open. As the M180 construction progressed, the A18(M) got gradually worse.

A new bridge over the top of the coming M180 was built, and a new slip road off this bridge took the traffic to the M18, so the M18-bound carriageway was the first to go. Strangely enough, if you wished to go east on the M180, you have to go to the M18, go right round the ever-present roundabout and then back the way you came. This arrangement still exists to this day. In England, we call this sort of thing a "restricted access interchange" although most people would call it nasty penny-pinching.

Most Interesting Point:

The other carriageway still exists. This is the slip road off the M180 at junction 1 heading east. A bit of the other carriageway still exists, but it is under about 5000 tons of crap that somebody put there to stop gypsies from camping on it, which they did for a bit when it was still tarmac. I keep meaning to go there and see if any old signs or anything are lying about, but they are probably long gone by now. The bit which forms the slip road is now very comfortable, having been nicely resurfaced, and this ends at the roundabout just like before. I still mourn the passing of the A18(M), but I can't really pin down the "why". Why does anyone like anything though. There you go. Another bit of road history and you saw it first here folks.

Renumbering:

Dead easy. It is now the slip road from the eastbound M180 at junction 1.

Personally:

I think I said it all in the countless words churned out above. It takes me back to 1978 when we first moved from Dunscroft to Adlingfleet. My grandma (she is now in the other place) lived in Dunscroft and most Friday evenings we would go visit her. The A18(M) was an integral part of the journey, when we could persuade my dad to go via Goole instead of via Crowle. I wish I could get hold of some piccies of it. If anyone has any, or perhaps knows the construction company who built the M180, I would be grateful if you could pass it/them on to me. You know where to send em...

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