Wednesday 29th October 1986
The final section of London’s 117 mile orbital motorway (M25), was officially opened to traffic by Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. The estimated costs were £8,000,000 per mile. The first to circumnavigate was the editor of Ideal Home, Terrence Whelan. The orbital nature of the motorway lent itself to unofficial, and illegal, motor racing. Before the advent of speed enforcement devices in the late 1980s, owners of supercars would meet at night at services and conduct time trials. Times below 1 hour were achieved, at an average speed of over 117 mph (188 km/h), which included coming to a halt at the Dartford Tunnel road user charge payment booths.