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The M2 is a motorway in Kentmarker, Englandmarker. It is 25.7 miles (41.4 km) long and acts as a bypass of the section of the A2 road which runs through the Medway Towns, Sittingbournemarker and Favershammarker.


The M2 starts to the west of Stroodmarker at Three Crutches, diverging southeastwards from the A2 road that heads eastwards from London. It begins at junction 1 with four lanes. It then descends towards the Medway Valley to the south of Rochestermarker. Running parallel to High Speed 1, it crosses the River Medway on the Medway Viaductmarker. On the west bank, Junction 2, the A228, is a complex junction where the exit roundabouts have to be built round the raillink track and still maintain, by footbridge and tunnel, a public footpath. On the east bank is the village of Borstal.The M2 then diverges from the Channel Tunnel Rail Link, climbs up north side Nashenden Valley to Blue Bell Hillmarker and on to the North Downsmarker on a split-level carriageway and meets junction 3 at Walderslade, south of Chathammarker. Here the road narrows to three lanes, and runs northeast across Crossington Fields, Westfield Sole, Lidsing, and Bredhurst towards junction 4, where it becomes two lanes. Continuing east, passing Medway Service Station, it crosses the A249 over the Stockbury Viaduct at junction 5. It then continues along the rural North Downs, with a connection to the old A2 at Favershammarker. Shortly after this, it terminates at junction 7, allowing traffic to continue on either the A299 towards Thanetmarker or the A2 towards Canterburymarker and Dovermarker.


Original construction

Junction 5 of the M2
The widened section approaching the lane drop at junction 4.
The M2 was constructed in the 1960s, with the Medway bypass being constructed in 1963 and the rest in 1965. It was opened in 3 stages:
  • Junction 1 to 2 in 1965
  • Junction 2 to 5 in 1963
  • Junction 5 to 7 in 1965

It was planned to extend the road to London and Dover, making the M2 the main route between London and the channelmarker ports, but this extension never materialised. The M2 was originally to be designated as the A2(M), but due to the Daily Telegraph reporting it as the M2, the Ministry of Transportmarker later decided upon the M20 as the main London-Channel Ports link. . [42904]

Junction amendments

The M2 stayed much the same until the 1990s. Traffic using it decreased when the M20 was completed from London to Folkestonemarker in 1991, and the M2 merely remains a bypass for the Medway Towns. Junction 1 was altered when the A289 Wainscott Northern bypass was built in the late 1990s.


The M2 was still busy between Junctions 1 and 4 though, and in 2000 work began on upgrading the 2-lane M2 to 4-lanes. A joint venture between Costain, Skanska and Mowlem (CSM) created the company that would undertake the project. The project required the redesign of Junction 2 and Junction 3, and a second Medway Bridge. The existing bridge was converted to a 4-lane, eastbound carriageway (including a hard shoulder). The new bridge formed the westbound carriageway. The entire stretch was lit with streetlights (the old section was not lit). The old Medway Bridge was physically narrowed by removing part of the footpath. High-pressure water cutting equipment was used to cut the concrete into manageable sections for disposal. There is only one path open to the public now.

Spoil from the North Downs Tunnelmarker was used to from the new embankment for the London bound traffic between J2 and the Nashenden Valley.

The widening was completed in July 2003.

Service areas

There is one dedicated service area under the Moto brand with a "Travelodge" hotel between junction 4 and 5. This service area is now known as "Medway Services" although it long went under the local name "Farthing Corner Services". The signs have been altered to reflect the new description.


Data from driver location signs are used to provide distance and carriageway identifier information.

M2 Motorway
km Westbound exits (B Carriageway) Junction Eastbound exits (A Carriageway)
43.3 Road continues as A2 to London J1 Rochestermarker A2
Gillinghammarker, Grainmarker A289
Non-motorway traffic

Grain, Rochester A289 Start of Motorway
45.4 Rochester, West Mallingmarker A228 J2 Rochester, West Malling A228
53.4 Maidstonemarker, Chathammarker, Rochester A229 J3 Maidstone, Chatham A229
Channel Tunnel (M20)
57.9 Gillingham A278 J4 Gillingham A278
Medway Services Services Medway Services
64.5 Maidstone, Sheernessmarker A249
The WEST (M20, Gatwick Airport)
J5 Maidstone, Sittingbourne, Sheerness A249
Faversham, Ashfordmarker A251 J6 Faversham, Ashford A251
Start of Motorway J7 Canterbury, Dover, Channel Tunnel A2
Canterbury, Channel Tunnel,
Dover, Faversham A2
Non-motorway traffic

Road continues as A299 (Thanet Way) to Ramsgatemarker

See also


External links

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