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29-10-1986

Maggie Thatcher Opens the M25

Ring of Dire

Before the M25, the orbital motorway that handily circles London, the only successful way to enter the capital was via a series of Evil Knievel style ramps or a drudge through a number of clotted B roads. Plans to install a ringed route on the outer edge of the city had been proposed in the early 20th Century. But nobody bothered until construction began in 1973. The first bit, South Mimms to Potters Bar, opened in 1976, but it took until 1986 for the rest of the road to be built until the final section, London Colney to South Mimms, was opened on this day by Margaret Thatcher.Almost before Maggie had been moved safely to a lay-by, the motorway was over capacity and plans to widen it were made. And its still being widened, in certain areas, to this day. Stretching 117 miles, it is the second longest ring road in Europe, after the Berliner Ring which is annoyingly five miles longer. The M25 was also thought to be the inspiration for the Chris Rea hit ‘The Road To Hell’. Even though the road doesn’t go to hell. Though it does go to Leatherhead