M23 motorway

M23 motorway

UK motorway routebox
motorway= M23
length-mi= 15.9
length-km= 25.6
direction= North - South
start= Hooley, Surrey
destinations= Reigate
Gatwick Airport
end= Crawley, West Sussex
opening-date= 1974
junctions= 8 -


thumb|220px|right|M23_between_Reigate, Surrey and Crawley, West Sussex.]

The M23 motorway is a motorway in England. The motorway runs from south of Hooley in Surrey, where it splits from the A23, to Pease Pottage, south of Crawley in West Sussex where it rejoins the A23. The northern end of the motorway starts at junction 7 on what is effectively a two-mile long spur north from junction 7 of the M25 motorway (junction 8 on the M23). From Hooley it runs 17 miles past Redhill, Gatwick Airport and Crawley. A spur runs from junction 9 to Gatwick Airport.

The motorway was constructed between 1972 and 1975, at the same time as the southern section of the M25 from Godstone to Reigate (M25 junctions 6 to 8). It was originally intended to head north into south London and the scale of the three-tier junction between the two motorways, one of only 3 of its type in the UK, is indicative of the importance of the M23 before the northern section was cancelled. The current northern terminus at junction 7 uses the original sliproads to meet the A23 and a flyover above the junction built for the onward northern continuation remains unused.


The M23 was planned as a means of relieving congestion on the A23 through Streatham, Thornton Heath, Purley and Coulsdon in south London and was originally intended to terminate in Streatham Vale at a junction with the London Ringways Plan's Ringway 2 (the intended replacement of the South Circular Road (A205)). The missing section of motorway and the missing six junctions north of Hooley were not constructed due to difficulties in finding a politically acceptable route through Wallington, Beddington and Mitcham to Streatham. Large scale residential demolitions would have been required to make the route through these areas and local opposition to the motorway was strong.

:An early version of the Ringways Plan, would have seen the motorway continue to Tooting where it would have met the Balham Loop spur from Ringway 1 (the London Motorway Box). This was dropped in 1967 when the northern terminus was changed to Ringway 2.

The Ringways plan was hugely controversial in itself, especially in south London where the construction of the planned routes would have caused enormous destruction of residential neighbourhoods. By 1972 the southern section of Ringway 2 had been dropped from the plan which meant that had the M23 continued north into inner London it would not have had the motorway it required at its northern end to distribute traffic to the east and west. The M23 plan was gradually scaled back further to omit the section across Mitcham Common and end the motorway unsuitably on Croydon Road (A232) before the plan was postponed indefinitely. The proposals were finally dropped in the mid-1980s but much of the land reserved for the route was not released by the Department for Transport until the mid-1990s.

A new junction (J10A) was opened in 1997, between J10 and J11, to give access to the new Crawley neighbourhood of Maidenbower. It was financed as part of the development of Maidenbower by the construction consortium. It only gives off access southbound and on access northbound.

Brighton and Hove is currently the largest population centre, not having Motorways to connect it to other centres.


ee also

*List of motorways in the United Kingdom

External links

* [http://www.cbrd.co.uk www.cbrd.co.uk]
** [http://www.cbrd.co.uk/motorway/m23/ Motorway Database - M23]
** [http://www.cbrd.co.uk/histories/m23/ History of the aborted M23 plan]
* [http://www.iht.org/motorway/m23londpeas.htm The Motorway Archive - M23]

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