Region: South East
M2. The Medway Towns By-Pass
This was one of the very early motorways, constructed between 1961 and 1963. It is a 25 mile long stretch of motorway designed to by-pass A2 where the latter ran through the Medway Towns. The rest of A2 was upgraded as an all purpose trunk road, but with the section into Dover remaining as single carriageway, and M20 became the main link to the ports of Folkestone and Dover and eventually to the Channel Tunnel.
The road was designed and supervised by Freeman Fox & Partners, in association with Robert F Early. It has not been possible to collect much archive material. Newspaper articles, especially given the problems we faced in later years with objectors, stressed the euphoria with which the new road was greeted. It was of course a by-pass to the Medway Towns, which used to suffer badly from severe traffic congestion and the relief was immediate and apparent, but there is little doubt that to promote the road now through what is quite pleasant countryside would provoke considerable opposition.