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M23 motorway
UK motorway M23.PNG

Road of the United Kingdom

Length 15.9 miles (25.6 km)
Direction North - South
Start Marling Glen, Surrey
Primary destinations Reigate
Gatwick Airport
End Crawley, West Sussex
Construction dates 1974 - 1975
Motorways joined Junction 8.svg UK-Motorway-M25.svg
J8 → M25 motorway
M23 looking north from Crawley.
Looking north between junctions 9 and 10
The unfinished junction 7 near (no southbound access) Hooley

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 2-mile (3.2 km) spur north from junction 7 of the M25 motorway (junction 8 on the M23). From Hooley it runs for 17 miles (27 km) past Redhill, Gatwick Airport and Crawley. A spur runs from junction 9 to Gatwick Airport.



The M23 was planned to relieve 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 controversial London Ringways Plan's Ringway 2 (the intended replacement of the South Circular Road (A205)).

In an earlier version of the Ringways Plan it would have continued into central London where it would have met the Balham Loop spur from Ringway 1 (the London Motorway Box) at Tooting. This was dropped in 1967 when the northern terminus was changed to Ringway 2.

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 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 at an unsuitable location 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.

The missing section of motorway and the missing six junctions north of Hooley were not constructed due to difficulties in finding a practical route through Wallington, Beddington and Mitcham to Streatham. Large scale residential demolitions would have been required, and local opposition to the motorway was strong. 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 attached to the M23 at that time.

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). 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.

A new junction (J10A) was opened in 1997, between J10 and J11, for 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.


M23 Motorway
Northbound exits Junction Southbound exits
Road continues as A23 to Croydon J7 Crawley, Gatwick A23
Non-motorway traffic
Croydon A23 Start of Motorway
Reigate, Heathrow Airport, Oxford, Sevenoaks, Maidstone, Stansted Airport,

, Oxford (M3, M4, M40, M1, M20,M11) M25

J8 Heathrow Airport, , Stansted Airport, Maidstone M25
Gatwick Airport, Redhill, Reigate A23 J9 Gatwick Airport, Redhill, Reigate A23
Crawley A2220
East Grinstead A264
J10 Crawley A2220
East Grinstead A264
No exit J10a Crawley B2036
Start of Motorway J11
Pease Pottage services
Brighton, Crawley A23
Horsham A264
Crawley A23
Non-motorway traffic
Road continues as A23 to Brighton

See also

External links



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