They may be challenging to drive on (and punishing if you choose the wrong exit), but some of our junctions are beautifully symmetrical works of art from the air. Think of these images, and the effort that went into creating them by architects and road planners next time you’re caught in a traffic snarl-up.
A40/A406 Hanger Lane
Voted as one of the most difficult junctions to drive, Hanger Lane isn’t the prettiest from the air, but we’ll get to some that are.
Like a Celtic design, the M4/M5 junction’s arms spirals gently away
M6/A38 Gravelly Hill (Spaghetti Junction) Birmingham
Arguably the most famous junction in Britain, it’s also one of the most difficult to navigate.
M25/A3 Portsmouth Road (Junction 10)
Looking like a perplexing alien crop circle in amongst the green surroundings, junction 10 on the M25 is a beautifully symmetrical circle where Portsmouth Road (A3) crosses it.
If you ever owned a Spirograph as a kid, you, too, could have drawn this junction. It’s only marred by Lyne Sewage Works on the southwest side. This is J12 or Junction 2 depending on whether you’re on the M25 or M3 respectively.
This is a slightly asymmetrical version of the M4/M5 junction shown above.
Looking like a loose version of a kind of knot that would befuddle a boy scout, the M25/M11 at Epping is a convoluted, twisted mass of tarmac.
M25/M23 (junction 7)
This junction looks decidedly organic, like an invertebrate that swims in the dark and murky depths of the ocean.
The simple and elegant loop from the M25 takes cars down the A21.
An elegant and simple triangle form is created by the junction of the M42 and M40 just south of Birmingham.
A complex and asymmetrical structure, this is the M56 and M6 junction just south of Warrington.
A flattened circle touches the apexes of the off-ramps on this junction, forming a symmetrical image from above.
Magic Roundabout, Swindon
The Magic Roundabout is often listed as one of the most intimidating junctions in the UK. It’s best shown in map form so you can see the complexity of its one-way systems feeding five roundabouts.
Darren has owned several companies in the automotive, advertising and education industries. He has run driving theory educational websites since 2010.