M6/M1 Junction, M1 Junction 19

Sign on M6 at approach to the M1

 

During the 1960's and early 1970's the M6 spread south from it original Preston bypass by 11th November 1971 it had reached the M1, with the two gigantic motorway merging at Junction 19 of the M1 in Leicestershire just north east of Rugby. At the time of building the junction was a simple motorways merge as shown below:-

 

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The junction is a motorways merge the main difference being that instead of the terminating motorway being reduced to 2 or possibly one lane as happened at junction 30 each lane merges from the M6 separately onto the M1. What was not explained at the time was how the 3 lanes of the M1 south of this junction would cope with what was effectively 6 lanes of traffic on a busy day. It did not, by 1991 the M40 had been extended from Oxford to Birmingham to give an alternative route from Birmingham to London to take traffic off the M1 and provide some relive south of junction 19.

Around the same time as the M40 was being extended the government also decided to upgrade the A14. Originally this had been a road from the A1 near Huntington going south east on an old roman road to meet the A10 at Royston. With the building of an M1-A1 link through the south east midland, then taking this route through to the port of Felixstowe in Essex it was decided to renumber the new road A14, the road would terminate at Junction 19 of the M1 thus be able to feed traffic onto both the M1 and the M6.

In building this road the engineers built a roundabout just east of the M1 at the junction of the A14 and a local road from Catthorpe to Swinford, follow this road under the M1 to another roundabout then onto a new spur to the M6 the complete junction is shown below:-

 

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There is currently a study by the highways agency on improving this junction.

 

Northbound sign on the M1 at junction 19