M25 turns 30: Ten facts about 'Britain's biggest car park'

The M25 has frequently been dubbed the UK's largest car park Credit: PA

The M25, possibly Britain's most hated motorway, has turned 30.

The final section of the London orbital, frequently dubbed the UK's largest car park, was officially opened on 29 October 1986.

To mark three decades of the M25, here are ten facts about 117-mile motorway:

  • The first section of the M25 opened in September 1975...

  • ...but a London ring-road was first mooted by a Royal Commission back in 1905.

  • It was the inspiration for the 1989 Chris Rea song 'The Road to Hell'.

  • It is the second longest bypass in Europe, after Germany's Berliner Ring.

  • The final section was opened by then Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher oifficially opened the final section of the M25 in 1986 Credit: PA
  • Two million tonnes of concrete were used during its construction.

  • Early discussions suggested it should be just two lanes wide, but it eventually opened with three in each direction..

  • It was designed to carry up to 100,000 vehicles each day...

  • ... but these days it carries nearly double that.

  • Construction of the motorway between 1975 and 1986 cost £909m.