The First Heritage Motorway - M45 Dunchurch to Crick
New Status for a Historic Road
We continue our journey east along the M45, which is to be designated as Britain's first heritage motorway.
Here we see two fine examples of an original feature. The first is the Owen Williams Classic bridge. Constructed from reinforced concrete, this bridge will be cleaned and restored to its original state. Note the elegant curved profile of the bridge, which carries a footpath.
The second bridge carries the now-dismantled Great Central Railway. Further up that line, between Leicester and Loughborough, the railway is now owned and maintained by enthusiasts. Wouldn't it be wonderful if they could be persuaded to reopen the line and run steam trains over the heritage motorway!
More classic Owen Williams bridges in the next two pictures - the first a more unusual 4 span structure carrying (I think) a farm track, and the second a minor road.
Enjoy the open road. You could really believe that you were in the early 1960s rather than in 2006. We are on an embankment, and we cross the Oxford Canal, a remnant from an even older age of transport. Unfortunately, I don't have a picture of the canal bridge.
There really are a lot of good examples of the classic Owen Williams bridges on the M45. We pass a number of them now, in quick succession. Again, most of these are minor roads or farm bridges.