The bluffer's briefing on: The M25

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Length: 119 miles.

Number of accidents causing serious delay in 1992: 403.

Most likely circumstances for accident: travelling clockwise, in May, between junctions 27 and 28.

Busiest section: between junctions 13 and 14.

Worst congestion spots: Junctions 15 to 16, junctions 7 to 8

at breakfast time, junction 10, junction 25, junction 28


Worst congestion point according to AA Roadwatch: Junctions 1 to 31 inclusive.

Worst crash: A 26-vehicle pile-up in 1984, in which nine were killed.

Traffic flow: Built to carry 88,000 vehicles a day, it is now used by more than 200,000. A further increase of up to 142 per cent has been predicted by 2025.

Cost of latest plan for widening: pounds 2.8bn (at 1991 prices), with collateral damage to 81 wildlife sites, 47 ancient woodlands and 10 Sites of Special Historic Interest.

Four levels of operating condition: free flow, smooth heavy flow (50-60mph), unstable heavy flow (30-50mph plus tailbacks), broken-down flow.

Police nickname: The Magic Roundabout.