M40 motorway is a motorway
in the British transport network that
forms a major part of the connection between London and Birmingham.
Part of this road forms a section of the
unsigned European route E05
provides an alternative route from Southern England to the West
Midlands, besides the M1 and
M6, or A34.
The motorway is dual 3 lanes except for the section from Junction
1A to Junction 3 which is dual 4 lane, a short section past
junctions 4 where is it reduced to 2 lanes and a short section past
junction 9 where it is reduced to 2 lanes southbound.
The M40 has four service areas. The Beaconsfield services
(off junction 2)
operated by Extra MSA
accessible to traffic on the A355. Oxford services
(off Junction 8A and
accessible from Junction 8 and the A418
are operated by Welcome Break
although the logos on the motorway signs read 'Welcome Break
'. Cherwell Valley services
Junction 10, A43
) are operated by Moto
(between Junctions 12 and 13) and are made up of two
sites mirroring each other without a connection and are operated by
Welcome Break, despite being signed as 'Welcome Break KFC'.
An Active Traffic
system operates on the short section of motorway
northbound from Junction 16 (A3440) to where it merges into the
The motorway between London and Oxford was constructed in stages
between 1967 and 1974. The first section from the High Wycombe Bypass from Handycross to Stokenchurch (Junctions 4–5) opening in June 1967 with a
temporary junction (Junction 2*) opening in 1969 extending the
route in a southerly direction to Holtspur just outside of Beaconsfield. The 'Beaconsfield bypass' to Junction 2 was
built in 1971 and then the 'Gerrards Cross Bypass' to junction Junctions 1 was completed in
1973. The section northbound from junction 5 to
junction 8 (Pitmore to Chilworth just
outside of Oxford) was
completed in 1974.
The High Wycombe to Oxford section was
opened as dual two lane motorway with the section south of High
Wycombe opening as dual three lane.
M40 in Warwickshire
Construction from Oxford to Birmingham
section (the "missing link") through Cherwell Valley and Warwickshire was constructed between 1988 and 1990 from Junction
8 joining the M42 (Junction 3A) near Hockley Heath.
The M40 heading westbound towards
Junction 3 (High Wycombe)
The short motorway spur linking Junction 8
to the A40 road
leading to Oxford
originally formed the final section of the motorway. The original
plans to renumber the the M42 between junctions 3A to the M5 as
part of the M40 with priority going between the M40 and the
eastbound section did not actually take place.
planned route from Oxford to Birmingham was changed to avoid
Otmoor after a vigorous road protests which included
selling over 3,000 small squares of a field to people all over the
The field had been renamed 'Alice's field' as a
reference to Alice in
by Lewis Carroll
who lived in the area at the time he wrote the book.
motorway extension to Birmingham was begun in 1989, the extended section was to be
dual three lane motorway, and between 1990 and 1991 the remaining
parts of the original M40 were widened to dual three motorway as
well, and the work finished in January 1991 to create a dual three
lane motorway from start to finish.
At the design stage, a service area was originally planned for High
Wycombe, between Junctions 3 and 4, and the road has the beginnings
of slip roads on both carriageways at this point. The plans never
reached fruition. When the motorway opened there were temporary
toilet area situated off Junction 9 and the M40's first service
station opened on the site of these toilets as Cherwell Valley services
opened in 1998 and Beaconsfield
The M40 had been expected to be the last major motorway constructed
in the UK however, during the final stages of construction, the
Conservative government announced a major new road building scheme
(Roads for Prosperity
); much of
which was later canceled after major road protests
In 1997 the motorway was widened to dual 4 lane between junctions
1A and 3 (High Wycombe East) was under the Private Finance Initiative
was completed by a Carillion
joint venture in October 1998, less
that the original plan which would have included widening the
junction 3-4 section was well.
In 2009 the Highways Agency
the Active Traffic
(ATM) system that was previously introduced on the
onto the Northbound
carriageway of the M40 from junction 16 through to the junction
with the M42.
M40 minibus crash
before midnight on 17 November 1993, a minibus transporting 14
children from a proms concert in London back to Hagley RC High
School near Birmingham crashed into a parked motorway maintenance
10 pupils and the teacher driving the vehicle died
at the scene; two others died in hospital from their injuries over
the next two days. The remaining two children recovered from
relatively minor injuries.
the following summer recorded a
verdict of accidental death on all of the victims. It was reported
that none of the children in the minibus were wearing seatbelts,
and the side-facing benches seating layout was also criticised as
dangerous. This led to seatbelts becoming compulsory equipment on
all coaches and minibuses (more than 20 years after they had been
compulsory on cars) and only recently (more than a decade on)
becoming law for them to be worn.
August 2007 shooting
On 12 August 2007, a motor cycle rider was shot dead whilst
travelling southbound between junctions 13 and 12. The motorway was
closed the afternoon and evening of 12 August 2007, and the
following day while police examined the scene. The victim was
identified as Canadian national Gerry Tobin and CCTV
footage from immediately prior the incident was
released. Tobin was a member of the Hells
on his way home from the Bulldog
. In October 2008, a man pleaded guilty to Tobin's murder
ahead of the trial of six other men on charges of murder and
Karl Garside, 45, and Ian Cameron, 46, both from Coventry, were
found guilty by a 10-2 majority verdict of the killing in
Warwickshire in August last year.
Tobin, 35, from Mottingham, south east London, died almost
instantly when he was shot as he rode along the M40 at about 90mph
on 12 August.
The trial was told that Tobin was targeted because he was a Hell's
Angel by members of the Outlaws South Warwickshire chapter.
It is believed his death may have been ordered by the leaders of a
rival biker group in retaliation for a murder elsewhere in the
Simon Turner, 41, from Nuneaton, Warwickshire, and Dane Garside,
Karl Garside's 42-year-old brother from Coventry, were found guilty
on Monday of killing Mr Tobin and possessing a firearm with intent
to endanger life.
Malcolm Bull, a 53-year-old road sweeper from Milton Keynes, and
Dean Taylor, 47, from Coventry, were found guilty of murder and
possessing a shotgun on Tuesday and yesterday.
Earlier, 44-year-old Coventry man Sean Creighton had pleaded guilty
to murder and firearms charges
The South Buckinghamshire
the motorway (between J1 and J5) is known for its high accident
rate with the local paper, the Bucks
, reporting crashes every few months. ( The Bucks Free
, a 21-year-old
footballer on loan from
, was killed
on a stretch of the M40 in Oxfordshire
in the early hours of 9 August 2003 when his BMW
collided with a lorry. The lorry driver escaped with minor
injuries, and the inquest revealed that Davis was in excess of the
drink-drive limit and had been driving at speeds of up to
Also see:M40 corridor
begins at the Denham
Roundabout near Uxbridge just east of the M25 and finishes at the M42 near Birmingham.
The A40 is a
from the Inner
Ring Road in Central London, and is one of the two busiest western
radials. Much of the traffic using the A40 joins the M40 to travel
out of London. At junction 1 (the Denham Roundabout) on the
outbound carriageway there is a lane drop to accommodate the
non-motorway traffic. The mainline of the A40 carries on to become
the M40 and it has 2 lanes and a hard shoulder on the outbound
carriageway and 3 lanes and a hard shoulder on the London-bound
carriageway. The motorway is carried over the top of the
roundabout, which interchanges with the A40 (A413,A412)(outbound),
the A4020 (original route of the A40) and the A412 southbound. The
original line of the A40 can be seen going straight through the
The motorway then carries on for another half a mile before it
reaches junction 1A, the free-flow interchange with the M25 London
Orbital. It is a partially unrolled cloverleaf, with the smoothest
turns allocated to the flow of traffic from the Londonbound M40,
(traffic from Oxfordshire, Warwickshire and the wider West
Midlands), to the anti-clockwise M25 (London Heathrow, Gatwick, The
Channel Ports), and vice versa, since this is the largest exchange
of traffic between the two motorways. The M40 passes over the
interchange, with the M25 on the bottom. The clockwise M25 enters
the junction with 4 lanes and there is a lane drop to accommodate
the traffic heading for the M40 westbound, and leaves the junction
with 3 lanes. In contrast, the anti-clockwise M25 enters the
junction with 3 lanes, and gains a lane from the London-bound M40
to accommodate the extra traffic.The London-bound M40 enters with 4
lanes, with a lane drop for the M25 exit, and leaves with 3 lanes,
and the westbound M40 enters with lanes and gains a lane from the
After junction 1A, the motorway is 4 lane, and carries on for
another 3 miles until it reaches junction 2 for the A355 to Slough,
and the A40 to Beaconsfield and Gerrards Cross. Junction 2 is the
standard roundabout interchange, with the mainline of the M40
running underneath. Beaconsfield
motorway services are
just off the junction.
Junction 3 is another 3 miles farther on, and serves the A40 for
High Wycombe East and Loudwater. This is a restricted junction; the
only flow of traffic at this junction is from the westbound M40 to
the A40, and from the A40 to the London-bound M40. The westbound
carriageway loses a lane here, remaining 3 lane for the rest of the
route, and the London-bound carriageway gains a lane. The now 3
lane motorway then immediately crosses the valley (and Loudwater
) over a large ramp-like bridge.
4 is the interchange with the A404 - A404 north for High Wycombe and A404 south for Marlow, Maidenhead, Reading, Windsor and the M4.
motorway through the junction was never widened from the original
two lane when the rest of the motorway from junction 8 to London
was, and so both carriageways experience a temporary lane drop. The
junction used to be a straightforward roundabout interchange with
exits for the M40 (west and east), High Wycombe (A404), the A4010,
two local roads and the A404 dual carriageway to the south. During
2007, work was completed to improve the junction which included
extra stacking space on the sliproads from the M40, provision for
traffic from the A404 northbound to join the M40 westbound slip
road without joining the roundabout and provision for the
London-bound M40 to skip the section of the roundabout which serves
the A4010, High Wycombe and the A404 north.
The Chiltern Cutting
Junction 5 is for the A40 and Stokenchurch. Junction 5 is the basic
diamond interchange, and is also the fourth junction the M40 has
had with the A40. 1 mile farther on, the motorway passes
through a large cutting, enters Oxfordshire and reaches junction 6 with the
B4009 for Lewknor Watlington, and Chinnor.
The junction is a
variant on the diamond interchange, with the slip roads from the
M40 south having sharp bends — upon leaving the M40 from the
westbound carriageway there is an immediate turn of almost
to the left and shortly after a sharp 90° turn to
the right before a junction with the B4009, and similarly when
entering the London-bound M40.
On its completion in 1967, the M40 finished at junction 5.
was expanded a few years later to reach junction 7 and come within
a few miles of Oxford.
was designated as a motorway to link London with one of the
country's leading university cities
scenario explained the construction of the M11 motorway linking London with Cambridge a few years later.
1 mile after junction 6 the motorway passes to within 100 metres of
the prominent landmark of St Giles Church, Tetsworth and 2 miles farther on meets the first of three
junctions in close succession. Junction 7 is a
restricted junction with the A329 serving
Thame and the A40.
Access is limited allowing exit
for only northbound traffic and entry only for southboundtraffic.
The exiting slip road on the southbound M40 at J7 is for "Works
Traffic Only" to a depot. A slip road exists to allow traffic from
the A329 to join the M40 north but is closed to traffic by a gate:
this traffic must therefore follow the A40 to Junction 8, 2 miles
to the North.
Connection between old and new mainline of M40
Junction 8 a spur off the M40 with two-lane carriageways leaves the
mainline of the motorway and continues for a few miles before
ending (motorway restrictions ending) at a trumpet junction for
Wheatley and the A418(A40) (the old junction 8), with the road
continuing as a two lane dual carriageway as the A40 towards
Oxford and farther on to Cheltenham and Wales.
The spur can be accessed only via
the M40 northbound, and traffic heading towards the M40 can join
only the southbound carriageway. This short spur is the end of the
original M40, prior to the building of the current Junction 8 and
extension to Birmingham.
The motorway then heads north on the new extension section of the
M40, reaching Junction 8A less than a mile after J8. This junction is for
the A418 east to Thame and Aylesbury, as well as the single carriageway A40 south to
It also serves Wheatley via the A418(A40) via the
dumbbell junction with the M40 spur. The junction allows traffic
from the southbound M40 to enter Oxford via the A40
dual-carriageway, and traffic from the A40 from Oxford to enter the
northbound M40 via the linking road. The Oxford Services
are also located on J8A,
making the motorway accessible from the M40, A40 (Oxford), A418,
A40 (London) and the A329. Leaving J8A, the M40 North has a sharp
northerly turn, and prior to the extension of the motorway opening,
local police patrol cars were used to check the turn could be
safely navigated at and above the national speed limit, such was
the abrupt change of direction.
"The Missing Link"
The road travels for 12 miles before reaching Junction 9 for the
and the A41
. The A34 dual carriageway serves Oxford and is
a trunk route for Newbury, Winchester and Southampton (via the
) as well as the rest
of the South Coast — for this the reason it is part of the
unsigned European route E05. The A41 dual carriageway serves Bicester and Aylesbury, and both roads meet the motorway at
Wendelbury roundabout junction.
This junction design is very
inefficient and cannot cope with a very large volume of traffic
using the junction. To try and alleviate this problem, there is a
temporary lane drop for the London-bound carriageway. The largest
exchange of traffic is between the A34 and the M40 north, and
traffic on those roads does back up and cause congestion on both
roads (going north and south), as well as on the interchange
itself. North of the junction, the existing A34 becomes the
. This means the A34 is now
technically in two halves (it regains status farther up the road at
J16, although signs on the motorway do not mention this). Instead,
the first signs for the A34 from a motorway are on the M42 at J4,
as with the A41. The road also becomes part of the E5 north of
follows a course of almost due north for 5 miles before reaching
Junction 10, which serves the village of Ardley, the
A43 and the Cherwell Valley services.
The A43 terminates at J10, although originally it carried on to
Kidlington, the southern part of the old route now used by the
re-routed A34. The A43 serves Brackley, Silverstone and its racing circuit, home to the British Grand Prix until 2009. Farther on, the A43 leads to Northampton and the M1.
Junction 10 was originally a
dumbbell junction. The capacity of both the junction and the single
carriageway A43 proved too small when the road was used as a
freight thoroughfare from the congested M1 to the M40 to London,
and the A34 at J9 to the south coast — in fact the 5 mile
stretch between these junctions is the busiest on the motorway in
both directions. When the A43 (between the M1 and M40) was upgraded
to dual carriageway, the junction was redesigned and rebuilt by the
to cope with the
extra traffic. A third roundabout was added to the junction, to the
north, with the slips for the Londonbound M40 and the A43, with the
slip roads for the northbound M40 remodelled as well, and the
roundabout in the middle now serving the services. The slip road
for the London-bound carriageway which used to be accessed from the
roundabout now is reached only via the services. The design and
execution of the revised design of new junction is greatly derided,
mostly because of the three roundabouts giving no priority to the
main flow of traffic, (A43 - M40 London), and the slip roads off
and onto the motorway (except the one accessed via the services)
have sharp turns and adverse cambers, which results lorries
frequently tipping over and spilling their loads especially on the
roundabout at the end of the northern carriageway. The junction
fails to perform its function as an effective traffic junction. As
well as that, the slip roads onto the motorway give little
manoeuvring space as both join the motorway under (the same) bridge
built for the old junction.
motorway then follows a winding route north for 10 miles until
Junction 11, the A422 and A361, serving Banbury.
The motorway does not follow the straight
route to the east of Middleton Cheney, meeting with the A422, as
once planned, due to a major landowner refusing his land to be cut
in two. If built as planned, J11 would be east of Middleton Cheney,
meeting with the A422, and probably would have fuelled major growth
in the village as well as Banbury, the primary destination of the
junction. As it is, the junction was built one and a half miles
west along the A422, with the motorway skirting Banbury.
junction itself is a regular roundabout interchange, and has the
single carriageway A361 from Daventry the dual-carriageway A422 from Brackley and the A43
from the west, and the dual-carriageway A422 (A361) toward Banbury
feeding to/from it.
12 miles north-west along the motorway is Junction 12, serving
Gaydon and the
Motor Centre via the B4451.
is a box-standard diamond
. Farther along the motorway is Warwick Services
, the last on the motorway,
before it reaches the restricted access Junction 13. This serves Leamington
Spa and Warwick via the A452, and Gaydon
via the B4100.
The junction isincomplete as a half-diamond
interchange, with access only from the northbound carriageway and
access to the southbound M40.
The junction is completed 2 miles farther on at Junction 14,
another restricted access junction, with access to the A452 from
the southbound M40, and the access on to the motorway is in a
northbound direction. The slip roads join at a roundabout and carry
on as the single carriageway A452 to meet with the A452 to
Leamington Spa, A425
to Warwick, and the
A452 to J13.
Farther north, Henley-in-Arden (J16) is again 'incomplete' to
discourage local traffic.
The motorway joins the M42 in both directions, with northbound
traffic taking the left lane to exit eastbound, eventually forming
the outer lanes of the M42 via a tight-bending two lane connecting
road, and the right lanes being taken eastbound. Similarly,
southbound, eastbound traffic from the M42 splits off from the
outer two lanes, whereas westbound traffic of the M42 has a single
lane, widening to a two lane slip road, which merges with the
middle lane and forms the outer lane of the southbound M40.
Data from driver location
are used to provide distance and carriageway identifier
||Southbound exits (B Carriageway)
||Northbound exits (A Carriageway)
||End of Motorway
Road continues as A40 to
|Start of Motorway
Road formed from main carriageways of A40 from
Non motorway traffic
Airport Gatwick Airport
||Watford, Stansted Airport, Heathrow Airport, Gatwick Airport
||Beaconsfield, Amersham, Slough A355, Beaconsfield services
|Beaconsfield, Amersham, Slough A355, Beaconsfield
Wycombe (East) A40
Wycombe, Marlow, Maidenhead A404
||High Wycombe, Marlow A404
Wycombe (West), Stokenchurch A40
||Watlington, Princes Risborough B4009
Princes Risborough B4009
||Thame, Wallingford, A329
||Oxford, Cheltenham A40
||Thame, Aylesbury A418
Oxford (A40), Oxford
|Thame, Aylesbury A418
Oxford (A40), Oxford services
||Bicester, Aylesbury A41
Oxford, Newbury A34
Oxford, Newbury A34
B430, Cherwell Valley
B430, Cherwell Valley
Stratford, Coventry A46 (M69)
Stratford, Coventry A46 (M69)
||Start of Motorway
Motorway is formed by two sliproad from the M42
|End of Motorway
Road continues as M42
The SOUTH WEST, Birmingham (South & West), Redditch & M5
- Note: The M40 runs south-east/north-west between Junctions
16 and 8
Department for Transport Advisory Letter on Seatbelt Wearing
- CBRD - Bad Junctions - M40-A43
- South Eastern end of M40
- North Western end of M40