A20(M) Maidstone Bypass

Where was it?

Maidstone, Kent.

It's now part of the M20 between junctions 5 and 8.

Can you show me that on a map?


What makes this a pathetic motorway?

Simple - it's another of those "lost" motorways that has been eaten up by something much bigger!

So when did it become part of the M20?

In 1971, when the section of M20 to the west opened.

Have you got a more detailed map?

Yes, this Ordnance Survey sheet from the early 1960s shows things in decent detail.

Can I comment on this motorway?

Of course! Contact me and I'll put them here!

Have any other visitors commented?

Richie Swann has an issue with it being here!

I can't see how you can call this a pathetic motorway, especially when you look at the behemoth between present day junctions 5 and 6. The individual bits of the A1(M) are clearly destined for greater things, but we don't go around bestowing pathetic status on them do we?

I'll admit the original junctions have changed out of all recognition, especially the A229, but the same can be said of most non-pathetic motorways started in the 60s.

Andrew Wakeford disagrees:

This motorway may have officially become part of the M20 in 1971 but it didn't finally grow up until 1991 when the original 2-lane-each-way section which had formed the A20(M) was finally deemed too much of a bottleneck, was given steroids and became a 6 lane plus 4 lane-feeder behemoth. I honed my driving skills piloting a wheezy little 1.1 Mk2 Escort between cones and 44 tonne Juggernauts whilst they rebuilt this section....


One interesting remnant of this time is the 20/20 Industrial park; just to the west of Maidstone, relating to the time the A20 was temporarily renumbered as the A2020 after the opening of the A20(M).

All these 20's are making my eyes hurt!

Ron Strutt writes [Jan 09]:

I have fond(?) memories of the A20(M) when it first opened. Living just off the A20 in south-east London, we regularly used that road to get to the coast for days out. Needless to say, the traffic around Maidstone was horrendous and on a bank holiday you had to leave home very early to have any chance of getting there before it was time to set off home.

The opening of the A20(M) should have solved that problem, but it didn't. Instead, it caused horrific jams on the western A20 approach to the new motorway (not helped by the fact that it opened while major construction work was still in progress) and a bottleneck at the eastern exit where the new road joined the old single carriageway road. In the evening the problem was reversed.


Maidstone Bypass




7 miles

11 km





Map Links:

Might Have Been Map

Present Day Map