||This article's lead section may not adequately summarize key points of its contents. (April 2013)|
|Length:||55.0 mi (88.5 km)|
|Existed:||1975 – present|
The M11 starts in northeast London at the North Circular (A406) and heads NNE, passing east of Loughton and Theydon Bois as well as Epping Forest to the M25 and veering approximately north, passing to the east of Harlow. The M11 then has a junction for Bishop's Stortford and Stansted Airport to either side, traverses part of Cambridgeshire and ends at a junction with the A14, northwest of Cambridge.
The motorway has three lanes both ways from shortly after junction 4 to junction 8, except for a brief two-lane section at J6 beneath the M25.[n 1] From junction 8 the motorway has two carriageways both ways to junction 14 where it ends.
The motorway is illuminated at the southern terminus near junction 4, at junction 6 (M25 interchange), junction 8 (Stansted Airport/Bishop's Stortford), and the northern terminus at junction 14 (A14). All four of these sections use modern high pressure sodium (SON) lighting. The older yellow low pressure sodium (SOX) lighting originally used at junctions 4 and 6 was replaced in 2005.
Numbering of junctions is unusual, 1–3 are not used nor shared with another road – see history below.
Plans for an 'Eastern Avenue' in London had been proposed as early as 1915 and the Eastern Avenue Extension was causing local concern in Leyton and Hackney during the late 1950s and early 1960s. It was opposed by a number of groups, including the Hackney Society and local residents as represented by their member of parliament in 1962.
By 1966 the Ministry of Transport intended a longer road being partly motorway. The first version had a mid-south section to follow a River Lea route, starting at The Angel, Islington southwest of Dalston, London, heading northeast then north taking land by the river in Walthamstow, Chingford and Waltham Cross to meet the built alignment of today, north of Harlow and the road from South Woodford to Islington would have been the designated as the M12. The route was in planning stages with several options, with differences between the plans preferred by the Greater London Council and the Ministry of Transport, – a contrasting version called for this 'Eastern Avenue' to run more east-west alongside the Regent's Canal and the north side of Victoria Park, Hackney Wick where it would have connected to the North Cross and East Cross Routes at the northeast corner of an inner ringway identified by the London Ringways[n 2] plan.
Under one scheme, south of South Woodford a connection would be made with the western end of a proposed "M12" towards Colchester. These proposals also made the case for an M15 motorway for the Ringway 2, a major upgrade of the North Circular Road to typical motorway standard. When the southern end of the current M11 ended here, space was provided between the two carriageways to enable an offshoot of 'the M12' to merge from the southwest: junctions 1, 2 and 3 were reserved for this additional inner London section. Part of the unbuilt route of a southern section of the M11 is seen from a sliproad from the north circular to the M11 which travels over a bridge over bare land.
In March 1975 it was announced that from Junction 8 (Bishops Stortford/Stansted exit) to the northern terminus, (thus including the Cambridge western bypass) would not be "constructed to M1 standard". This was another way of stating that following a change in government policy this section would comprise two rather than three lanes in each direction.
The M11 Link Road, or more formally 'A12 Hackney to M11 link road' in fact leading to the north circular was constructed from Hackney Wick by Victoria Park to the Redbridge Roundabout, Wanstead interchange of the north circular during the 1990s and was opened in 1999[n 3]. The route of this road, which followed a similar route to one of the initial proposals resulted in the protracted M11 link road protest between 1993 and 1995, one of a spate of major UK road protests under the Major ministry.
Subsequent abortive/suspended proposals 
Junction 5 
Junctions 6 to 8 
A map showing the 2009 proposal for widening of the M11 and surrounding road proposals
|Cost estimate||£698 million (2007)|
The Highways Agency tabled proposals to upgrade the M11, between junction 6 and 8, from three carriageways plus hard shoulder to to four each way with an estimated cost of £698 million given in 2007. A number of public consultations were made throughout 2007 and although efforts were made to limit environmental damage the scheme would cause disruption and loss of habitat to three designated ecological areas and a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) at Gernon Bushes.Maps of the proposal and previously discounted options were published by the Highways Agency. Plans were abandoned in March 2009 when the Secretary of State for Transport announced that no changes would be made to this section of motorway before 2021.
The motorway was opened in stages. The stretch between Junctions 7 and 8 opened in 1975, and that between Junctions 4 and 7 in 1977.[n 4] The stretch from Junctions 8 to 9 opened in 1979 – that between Junctions 9 and 14 in 1980, the full length becoming fully operational in February 1980.
During the 1970s when the road was built budgets were tight so unsurfaced concrete was used between Junction 14 and a point approximately 2 miles (3.2 km) to the south of Junction 7. South of this stretch, where the road runs on soft ground close to the River Roding, concrete was considered unsuitable due to the looseness of the subsoil and the consequent risk of random cracking, so the road surface here was of tarmac from the start.
There had been plans for a service station on the motorway as long ago as 1969, named Chigwell between that village and Loughton, which led to spur roads and restricted lorry park, during the London Olympics 2012 used as a works unit. Services plans for this site were officially dropped in 1980.
Since the late 1990s the concrete surface that had greatly degraded was progressively replaced with standard layers of tarmac and drainage improvements were implemented at the same time. This work was completed in June 2008.
Junction 8A for the A120 road and Stansted Airport opened in December 2002.
Proposed developments 
As complementary plans for proposed expansion of Stansted Airport the Highways Agency collaborated with BAA on improvements to transport access to the airport including two proposals for the M11, one of which has been deemed unnecessary, Junctions 6–8, see above and the other of which, including spur road and junction additions may be approved by the government if Stansted expansion takes place.
M11 and A120 Interchange – Stansted Generation 2 Airport Access 
A map showing the proposed road development at the entry to Stansted Airport.
|Cost estimate||£131 million|
A joint scheme involving works on junctions on the M11 and A120. This proposes changes to junction 8 of the M11 with the creation of junction 8B, linked to and situated just north of junction 8/8A and the creation of a new junction on the A120, to provide additional rapid access to Stansted Airport. The scheme was given an estimated cost of £131 million in May 2008. Throughout 2007 a number of public consultations and exhibitions were held. Findings from these showed that although the public had several concerns regarding environmental impact 57% of attendees agreed the scheme would be necessary if the Stansted Airport expansion proceeded. Following the public consultation the Preferred Route was published on 5 March 2008 and Draft Orders on 27 March 2008. A pre-public inquiry meeting took place on 10 November 2008 with a public inquiry due in April 2009. However, this was delayed until further notice following BAA's appeal against the March 2009 ruling of the Competition Commission.
Plane crash 
In June 2002, a brake failure on an Aero L-39 Albatross landing at the Imperial War Museum's Duxford Aerodrome caused the plane to run off the end of the runway and down the embankment on to the motorway. The trainee pilot was killed when he ejected from ground level but the instructor survived the accident and no vehicles on the motorway were involved. The main runway at Duxford had been shortened in 1977 from 6,000 feet (1,800 m) to 4,800 feet (1,500 m) when the motorway was built. More recently even though Duxford already met all licensing requirements, the declared length was reduced to 4,010 feet (1,220 m) to increase safety further than existing measures.
Snow storm 
In January 2003 thousands of motorists became stranded for up to 20 hours between junctions 7 and 9 during a snowstorm.
|M11 motorway junctions|
|mile||km||Southbound exits (B carriageway)||Junction||Northbound exits (A carriageway)||Coordinates|
|7.5||12.1||North Circular A406 (West), West End
The City, Docklands, Blackwall Tunnel (A12), A406 South
|J4||Start of motorway|
|11.4||18.4||No access||J5||Debden, Loughton A1168|
|14.7||23.6||Watford, Oxford, Heathrow Airport, (M1), M40, M4 M25(W)
Gatwick Airport, Dartford Crossing, M23, M20 M25(E)
|J6||Hatfield, Dartford, Maidstone|
|19.1||30.7||Chelmsford, Harlow A414||J7||Harlow A414|
|28.9||46.5||Bishop's Stortford, Services, Colchester, Stansted A120||J8
|Bishop's Stortford, Services A120(W)|
|29.2||47.0||No access||J8a||Stansted, Colchester A120(E)|
|43.3||69.7||No access||J9||Newmarket, Norwich A11|
|45.9||73.9||Saffron Walden, Duxford, Haverhill A505||J10||Royston, Duxford A505|
|53.4||85.9||Cambridge, Sandy A603||J12||Cambridge, Sandy A603|
|55.1||88.6||No access||J13||Cambridge, Bedford A1303|
|56.2||90.4||St Neots A428||J14||Newmarket A14|
|Start of motorway, Non-motorway traffic: Cambridge, Newmarket A14||Road continues north as A14 towards Huntingdon and The Midlands|
Information above gathered from Advanced Direction Signs August 2011 (J6 – J10). Coordinates from ACME Mapper.
In popular culture 
Life in the Fast Lane: The No M11 Story (1995) recounts The inside story of the No M11 Campaign, recounting 15 months of direct action against one of the most controversial schemes in the history of British road-building.
See also 
Notes and references 
- This emulates the M3 which has been reduced to two lanes under the M25 due to safety]]
- An expressway inner circular, referred to as the London Motorway Box
- as the A12 which then continues to the east to Chelmsford and Colchester
- Constructed to the south of the not-yet built M25 interchange by W. & C. French Engineering, and to its north by Dowsett Engineering Construction Ltd of Harrogate
- "Leyton – Introduction". British History. Retrieved 28 December 2009.
- "History". Hackney Society. Retrieved 28 December 2009.
- "Eastern Avenue Extension". Hansard. Retrieved 28 December 2009.
- "Histories – Ringways – Northern Radials – M11". CBRD. Retrieved 28 December 2009.
- "Motorweek: Three lanes to two". Motor: page 25. 22 March 1975.
- "nce". Retrieved 28 December 2009.
- "Taking Road Safety To The Extreme". 15 August 1998. Retrieved 2 February 2008.
- "M11 Junctions 6 to 8 Improvements Original Proposal". Highways Agency. Retrieved 7 November 2008.
- "M11 Junctions 6 to 8 Improvements". Highways Agency. Retrieved 7 November 2008.
- "M11 Junctions 6 to 8 Improvements Spring 2007 Consultation". Highways Agency. Retrieved 7 November 2008.
- "Road and rail capacity (East of England)". Department for Transport.
- "The Motorway Archive". Retrieved 7 September 2009.
- "M11". CBRD. Retrieved 7 November 2008.
- "M11 chronology map". CBRD. Retrieved 29 June 2009.
- Good Stuff IT Services. "Birchanger Green Services M11 | Information and Facilities | Motorway Services". Motorwayservices.info. Retrieved 31 December 2011.
- "Unbuilt Services". Motorway Services Online. Retrieved 31 December 2011.
- "plane talk February/March 2007". BAA. Retrieved 7 November 2008.
- "Stansted Generation 2 Airport Access from M11 and A120". Highways Agency. Retrieved 7 November 2008.
- "Appraisal Summary Table: Airport Access Roads". Highways Agency. Retrieved 7 November 2008.
- "M11 and A120 Stansted Generation 2 Airport Access". Highways Agency. Retrieved 7 November 2008.
- "Stansted G2 Inquiry Pre-Inqury Meeting". Planning Inspectorate. Retrieved 7 November 2008.
- "Stansted G2 Inquiry". Planning Inspectorate. Retrieved 7 November 2008.
- "Stansted G2 Publice Inquiry". Planning Inspectorate. Retrieved 29 June 2009.
- "Motorway reopened after jet crash". BBC News. 3 June 2002. Retrieved 31 December 2011.
- "Duxford Airfield". Duxford.iwm.org.uk. Retrieved 31 December 2011.
- "Accident Report" (PDF). Retrieved 31 December 2011.
- BBC – Thousands trapped in snow storm, 31 January 2003
- Driver Location Signs (map) Highway Authority 2009