Isambard Kingdom Brunel
Isambard Kingdom Brunel, was an English mechanical and civil engineer, considered "one of the most ingenious and prolific figures in engineering history", "one of the 19th-century engineering giants", "one of the greatest figures of the Industrial Revolution, changed the face of the English landscape with his groundbreaking designs and ingenious constructions". Brunel built dockyards, the Great Western Railway, a series of steamships including the first propeller-driven transatlantic steamship, numerous important bridges and tunnels, his designs revolutionised modern engineering. Though Brunel's projects were not always successful, they contained innovative solutions to long-standing engineering problems. During his career, Brunel achieved many engineering firsts, including assisting in the building of the first tunnel under a navigable river and development of SS Great Britain, the first propeller-driven, ocean-going, iron ship, when built in 1843, was the largest ship built. Brunel set the standard for a well-built railway, using careful surveys to minimise gradients and curves.
This necessitated expensive construction techniques, new bridges, new viaducts, the two-mile long Box Tunnel. One controversial feature was the wide gauge, a "broad gauge" of 7 ft 1⁄4 in, instead of what was to be known as "standard gauge" of 4 ft 8 1⁄2 in, he astonished Britain by proposing to extend the Great Western Railway westward to North America by building steam-powered, iron-hulled ships. He designed and built three ships that revolutionised naval engineering: the SS Great Western, the SS Great Britain, the SS Great Eastern. In 2002, Brunel was placed second in a BBC public poll to determine the "100 Greatest Britons". In 2006, the bicentenary of his birth, a major programme of events celebrated his life and work under the name Brunel 200. Brunel's given names come from his parents; the first name Isambard was his French-born father's middle name, his father's preferred given name. Isambard is a Norman name of Germanic origin, meaning either "iron-bright" or "iron-axe"; the first element comes from isarn meaning iron.
The second element comes from barđa. His middle name Kingdom was his mother's maiden name; the son of French civil engineer Sir Marc Isambard Brunel and an English mother Sophia Kingdom, Isambard Kingdom Brunel was born on 9 April 1806 in Britain Street, Portsmouth, where his father was working on block-making machinery. He had two older sisters and Emma, the whole family moved to London in 1808 for his father's work. Brunel had a happy childhood, despite the family's constant money worries, with his father acting as his teacher during his early years, his father taught him drawing and observational techniques from the age of four and Brunel had learned Euclidean geometry by eight. During this time he learned fluent French and the basic principles of engineering, he was encouraged to identify any faults in their structure. When Brunel was eight he was sent to Dr Morrell's boarding school in Hove, where he learned the classics, his father, a Frenchman by birth, was determined that Brunel should have access to the high-quality education he had enjoyed in his youth in France.
When Brunel was 15, his father Marc, who had accumulated debts of over £5,000, was sent to a debtors' prison. After three months went by with no prospect of release, Marc let it be known that he was considering an offer from the Tsar of Russia. In August 1821, facing the prospect of losing a prominent engineer, the government relented and issued Marc £5,000 to clear his debts in exchange for his promise to remain in Britain; when Brunel completed his studies at Henri-IV in 1822, his father had him presented as a candidate at the renowned engineering school École Polytechnique, but as a foreigner he was deemed ineligible for entry. Brunel subsequently studied under the prominent master clockmaker and horologist Abraham-Louis Breguet, who praised Brunel's potential in letters to his father. In late 1822, having completed his apprenticeship, Brunel returned to England. Brunel worked for several years as an assistant engineer on the project to create a tunnel under London's River Thames between Rotherhithe and Wapping, with tunnellers driving a horizontal shaft from one side of the river to the other under the most difficult and dangerous conditions.
The project was funded by the Thames Tunnel Company and Brunel's father, was the chief engineer. The American Naturalist said "It is stated that the operations of the Teredo suggested to Mr. Brunel his method of tunneling the Thames."The composition of the riverbed at Rotherhithe was little more than waterlogged sediment and loose gravel. An ingenious tunnelling shield designed by Marc Brunel helped protect workers from cave-ins, but two incidents of severe flooding halted work for long periods, killing several workers and badly injuring the younger Brunel; the latter incident, in 1828, killed the two most senior miners, Brunel himself narrowly escaped death. He was injured, spent six months recuperating; the event stopped work on the tunnel for several years. Though the Thames Tunnel was completed during Marc Brunel's lifetime, his son had no further involvement with the tunnel proper, only using the abandoned works at Rotherhithe to further his abortive Gaz experiments; this was based on an idea of his father's, was intended to develop into an engine that ran
English law is the common law legal system of England and Wales, comprising criminal law and civil law, each branch having its own courts and procedures. England's most authoritative law is statutory legislation, which comprises Acts of Parliament, regulations and by-laws. In the absence of any statutory law, the common law with its principle of stare decisis forms the residual source of law, based on judicial decisions and usage. Common law is made by sitting judges who apply both statutory law and established principles which are derived from the reasoning from earlier decisions. Equity is the other historic source of judge-made law. Common law can be repealed by Parliament. Not being a civil law system, English law has no comprehensive codification. However, most of its criminal law has been codified from its common law origins, in the interests both of certainty and of ease of prosecution. For the time being, murder remains a common law crime rather than a statutory offence. Although Scotland and Northern Ireland form part of the United Kingdom and share Westminster as a primary legislature, they have separate legal systems outside of English Law.
International treaties such as the European Union's Treaty of Rome or the Hague-Visby Rules have effect in English law only when adopted and ratified by Act of Parliament. Adopted treaties may be subsequently denounced by executive action.. Unless the denouncement or withdraw would affect rights enacted by parliament. In this case executive action cannot be used due to the doctrine of Parliamentary sovereignty; this principle was established in the case of Miller v Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union in 2017. Criminal law is the law of punishment whereby the Crown prosecutes the accused. Civil law is concerned with tort, families, companies and so on. Civil law courts operate to provide a party who has an enforceable claim with a remedy such as damages or a declaration. In this context, civil law is the system of codified law, prevalent in Europe. Civil law is founded on the ideas of Roman Law. By contrast, English law is the archetypal common law jurisdiction, built upon case law.
In this context, common law means the judge-made law of the King's Bench. Equity is concerned with trusts and equitable remedies. Equity operates in accordance with the principles known as the "maxims of equity"; the reforming Judicature Acts of the 1880s amalgamated the courts into one Supreme Court of Judicature, directed to administer both law and equity. The neo-gothic Royal Courts of Justice in The Strand, were built shortly afterwards to celebrate these reforms. Public Law is the law governing relationships between the state. Private law encompasses relationships between other private entities. A remedy is "the means given by law for the recovery of a right, or of compensation for its infringement". Most remedies are available only from the court. Most civil actions claiming damages in the High Court were commenced by obtaining a writ issued in the Queen's name. After 1979, writs have required the parties to appear, writs are no longer issued in the name of the Crown. Now, after the Woolf Reforms of 1999 all civil actions other than those connected with insolvency, are commenced by the completion of a Claim Form as opposed to a Writ, Originating Application, or Summons.
In England, there is a hierarchy of sources, as follows: Legislation The case law rules of common law and equity, derived from precedent decisions Parliamentary conventions General Customs Books of authority Primary legislation in the UK may take the following forms: Acts of Parliament Acts of the Scottish Parliament Acts and Measures of the National Assembly for Wales Statutory Rules of the Northern Ireland AssemblyOrders in Council are a sui generis category of legislation. Secondary legislation in England includes: Statutory Instruments and Ministerial Orders Bye-laws of metropolitan boroughs, county councils, town councilsStatutes are cited in this fashion: "Short Title Year", e.g. Theft Act 1968; this became the usual way to refer to Acts from 1840 onwards. For example, the Pleading in English Act 1362 was referred to as 36 Edw. III c. 15, meaning "36th year of the reign of Edward III, chapter 15".. Common law is a term with historical origins in the legal system of England, it denotes, in the first place, the judge-made law that developed from the early Middle Ages as described in a work published at the end of the 19th century, The History of English Law before the Time of Edward I, in which Pollock and Maitland expanded the work of Coke and Blackstone.
The law developed in England's Court of Common Pleas and other common law courts, which became the law of the colonies settled under the crown of England or of the United Kingdom, in North America and elsewhere.
Royal Indian Engineering College
The Royal Indian Engineering College was a British college of Civil Engineering run by the India Office to train civil engineers for service in the Indian Public Works Department. It was located near Egham, Surrey, it functioned from 1872 until 1906. The college was colloquially referred to as Cooper's Hill and "I. C. E. College". A Public Works Department was created in India in 1854, with responsibility for the construction of roads and other civil engineering projects, it experienced difficulties in recruiting suitably qualified staff from the United Kingdom, in 1868 a scheme was proposed for a dedicated training college in England. The chief advocate of this scheme, effective founder of the college, was Sir George Tomkyns Chesney; the India Office bought the Cooper's Hill estate for £55,000 in 1870. The college educated about 50 students a year; the curriculum included pure and applied mathematics, architectural design, mechanical drawing, physics, accounts and the history and geography of India.
By the late 1870s the college was training more civil engineers. From 1878, the college began to train candidates for the Indian Telegraph Department. From 1881, it began to train candidates for non-Indian services, such as the Royal Engineers, the Egyptian Government, the Uganda Railway. In 1885, the first forestry school in England was established at Cooper's Hill, with William Schlich as the founding director. In the face of competition from new training facilities for engineers elsewhere, the college closed on 13 October 1906; the principal building at Cooper's Hill was a mansion house erected in c.1865 for the unprincipled company promoter, Baron Albert Grant, to a semi-Gothic design by F. & H. Francis; the conversion of the house for educational use, the design of the interiors, the addition of a new south wing were undertaken by the architect Sir Matthew Digby Wyatt. In its day, the college's rugby union team, referred to by its opponents as "Cooper's Hill", was one of the most prominent rugby clubs in England.
In the 1870s, it produced a number of famous international players including Stephen Finney, Petley Price, W. C. Hutchinson, N. F. Macleod, F. D. Fowler. By the 1890s, the team was deemed of medium strength, a long way behind the form of its heyday; this was put down to boys leaving school earlier than they had thus the team became composed of men who were physically smaller in stature and physique than their predecessors. It boasted the following internationals who played for their countries whilst attending the college: Stephen Finney Henry Marsh John Davidson Josiah Edward Paul W. C. Hutchinson P. L. A. Price F. D. Fowler F. Dawson N. F. MacLeod After the college moved out in 1906, the buildings stood empty until bought in 1911 by Baroness Cheylesmore for use as a private home; the site became Shoreditch College of Education, a teacher's college specializing in handicraft education, before becoming the Runnymede Campus of Brunel University. The site was acquired in 2016 by the Audley Group for conversion into a retirement village, due to open in early 2019.
The college is mentioned by Rudyard Kipling in his novel Stalky & Co.: one of the main characters, M'Turk, following schooling at the fictionalised United Services College, is supposed to be "going up for Cooper's Hill". Lt Col. Sir George Tomkyns Chesney, 1872–1880 Gen. Sir Alexander Taylor, 1880–1896 Col. John Pennycuick, 1896–1900 Col. Sir John Walter Ottley, 1900–1906 Staff at the college included: Calcott Reilly, Professor of Construction, 1872–1897 William Cawthorne Unwin, Professor of Hydraulics and Mechanics, 1872–1884 Arthur Herbert Church, Lecturer in Organic Chemistry, 1888–1900 Peter Martin Duncan, Lecturer in Geology and Mineralogy, 1872–1890 Harry Govier Seeley, Lecturer in Geology and Mineralogy, 1890–1905 Lt George Sydenham Clarke, Professor of Geometrical Drawing, 1871–1880 William Schlich, Professor of Forestry, 1885–1905 Alfred Lodge, Professor of Mathematics, 1884-1904 Joseph Wolstenholme, Professor of Mathematics, 1871–1889 Herbert McLeod, Professor of Chemistry, List of historic schools of forestry Farrington, Anthony.
The Records of the East India College, Haileybury, & other institutions. London: H. M. S. O. Pp. 135–51. The reforms of the Indian Public Works Department
United Kingdom census, 2011
A census of the population of the United Kingdom is taken every ten years. The 2011 census was held in all countries of the UK on 27 March 2011, it was the first UK census. The Office for National Statistics is responsible for the census in England and Wales, the General Register Office for Scotland is responsible for the census in Scotland, the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency is responsible for the census in Northern Ireland; the Office for National Statistics is the executive office of the UK Statistics Authority, a non-ministerial department formed in 2008 and which reports directly to Parliament. ONS is the UK Government's single largest statistical producer of independent statistics on the UK's economy and society, used to assist the planning and allocation of resources, policy-making and decision-making. ONS designs and runs the census in England and Wales. In its capacity as the national statistics office for the United Kingdom, ONS compiles and releases census tables for the United Kingdom when the data from England and Wales and Northern Ireland are complete.
In the run-up to the census both the main UK political parties expressed concerns about the increasing cost and the value for money of the census, it was suggested that the 2011 census might be the last decennial census to be taken. The first results from the 2011 census and sex, occupied households estimates for England and Wales and Northern Ireland, were released on 16 July 2012; the first results for Scotland, the first UK-wide results, were published on 17 December 2012. More detailed and specialised data were published from 2013; the Registrar General John Rickman conducted the first census of Great Britain's population, was responsible for the ten-yearly reports published between 1801 and 1831. During the first 100 years of census-taking the population of England and Wales grew more than threefold, to around 32 million, that of Scotland, where a separate census has been carried out since 1861, to about 4.5 million. From 1911 onwards rapid social change, scientific breakthroughs, major world events affected the structure of the population.
A fire that destroyed census records in 1931, the declaration of war in 1939, made the 1951 census hugely significant in recording 30 years of change over one of the most turbulent periods in British history. The 1971 census was run by the newly created Office of Population Censuses and Surveys, a body formed by the merger of the General Register Office and Government Social Survey. In 1996 the Office for National Statistics was formed by merging the Central Statistical Office, OPCS and the statistics division of the Department of Employment. In 2008 the UK Statistics Authority was established as an independent body. A population census is a key instrument for assessing the needs of local communities; when related to other data sources such as housing or agricultural censuses, or sample surveys, the data becomes more useful. Most countries of the world take censuses: the United Nations recommends that countries take a census at least once every ten years; the design for the 2011 census reflects changes in society since 2001 and asks questions to help paint a detailed demographic picture of England and Wales, as it stands on census day, 27 March.
Data collected by the census is used to provide statistical outputs which central government uses to plan and allocate local authority services funding, which local authorities themselves use to identify and meet the needs of their local communities. Other organisations that use census data include healthcare organisations, community groups and businesses; the questionnaires, including people's personal information, are kept confidential for 100 years before being released to the public, providing an important source of information for historical and genealogy research. The 2011 census for England and Wales included around 25 million households. Questionnaires were posted out to all households, using a national address register compiled by the Office for National Statistics with the help of local authorities through comparisons of the National Land and Property Gazetteer and the Royal Mail and Ordnance Survey national address products. People could complete and submit their questionnaire online, or fill it in on paper and post it back in a pre-addressed envelope.
Guidance was provided online and through the census helpline. Completed questionnaires were electronically tracked and field staff followed up with households that did not return a questionnaire. Special arrangements were made to count people living in communal establishments such as. In these cases field staff delivered and collected questionnaires and, where needed, provided advice or assistance in completing the questionnaire. There was a legal requirement to complete the 2011 census questionnaire, under the terms of the Census Act 1920; as at 27 March 2011 everyone who had lived or intended to live in the country for three months or more was required to complete a questionnaire. Failure to return a completed questionnaire could lead to a criminal record. Lockheed Martin UK, the UK arm of US-based aerospace, technology company Lockheed Martin was awarded the contract to provide services for the census comprising questionnaire printing, a customer contact centre and data capture and processing.
The contract is valued at £150 million one third of the total £1 million census budget
Magna Carta Libertatum called Magna Carta, is a charter of rights agreed to by King John of England at Runnymede, near Windsor, on 15 June 1215. First drafted by the Archbishop of Canterbury to make peace between the unpopular King and a group of rebel barons, it promised the protection of church rights, protection for the barons from illegal imprisonment, access to swift justice, limitations on feudal payments to the Crown, to be implemented through a council of 25 barons. Neither side stood behind their commitments, the charter was annulled by Pope Innocent III, leading to the First Barons' War. After John's death, the regency government of his young son, Henry III, reissued the document in 1216, stripped of some of its more radical content, in an unsuccessful bid to build political support for their cause. At the end of the war in 1217, it formed part of the peace treaty agreed at Lambeth, where the document acquired the name Magna Carta, to distinguish it from the smaller Charter of the Forest, issued at the same time.
Short of funds, Henry reissued the charter again in 1225 in exchange for a grant of new taxes. His son, Edward I, repeated the exercise in 1297, this time confirming it as part of England's statute law; the charter became part of English political life and was renewed by each monarch in turn, although as time went by and the fledgling English Parliament passed new laws, it lost some of its practical significance. At the end of the 16th century there was an upsurge in interest in Magna Carta. Lawyers and historians at the time believed that there was an ancient English constitution, going back to the days of the Anglo-Saxons, that protected individual English freedoms, they argued that the Norman invasion of 1066 had overthrown these rights, that Magna Carta had been a popular attempt to restore them, making the charter an essential foundation for the contemporary powers of Parliament and legal principles such as habeas corpus. Although this historical account was badly flawed, jurists such as Sir Edward Coke used Magna Carta extensively in the early 17th century, arguing against the divine right of kings propounded by the Stuart monarchs.
Both James I and his son Charles I attempted to suppress the discussion of Magna Carta, until the issue was curtailed by the English Civil War of the 1640s and the execution of Charles. The political myth of Magna Carta and its protection of ancient personal liberties persisted after the Glorious Revolution of 1688 until well into the 19th century, it influenced the early American colonists in the Thirteen Colonies and the formation of the American Constitution in 1787, which became the supreme law of the land in the new republic of the United States. Research by Victorian historians showed that the original 1215 charter had concerned the medieval relationship between the monarch and the barons, rather than the rights of ordinary people, but the charter remained a powerful, iconic document after all of its content was repealed from the statute books in the 19th and 20th centuries. Magna Carta still forms an important symbol of liberty today cited by politicians and campaigners, is held in great respect by the British and American legal communities, Lord Denning describing it as "the greatest constitutional document of all times – the foundation of the freedom of the individual against the arbitrary authority of the despot".
In the 21st century, four exemplifications of the original 1215 charter remain in existence, two at the British Library, one at Lincoln Cathedral and one at Salisbury Cathedral. There are a handful of the subsequent charters in public and private ownership, including copies of the 1297 charter in both the United States and Australia; the original charters were written on parchment sheets using quill pens, in abbreviated medieval Latin, the convention for legal documents at that time. Each was sealed with the royal great seal: few of the seals have survived. Although scholars refer to the 63 numbered "clauses" of Magna Carta, this is a modern system of numbering, introduced by Sir William Blackstone in 1759; the four original 1215 charters were displayed together at the British Library for one day, 3 February 2015, to mark the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta. Magna Carta originated as an unsuccessful attempt to achieve peace between royalist and rebel factions in 1215, as part of the events leading to the outbreak of the First Barons' War.
England was ruled by the third of the Angevin kings. Although the kingdom had a robust administrative system, the nature of government under the Angevin monarchs was ill-defined and uncertain. John and his predecessors had ruled using the principle of vis et voluntas, or "force and will", taking executive and sometimes arbitrary decisions justified on the basis that a king was above the law. Many contemporary writers believed that monarchs should rule in accordance with the custom and the law, with the counsel of the leading members of the realm, but there was no model for what should happen if a king refused to do so. John had lost most of his ancestral lands in France to King Philip II in 1204 and had struggled to regain them for many years, raising extensive taxes on the barons to accumulate money to fight a war which ended in expensive failure in 1214. Following the defeat of his allies at the Battle of Bouvines, John had to sue for peace and pay compensation. John was personally unpopular with many of the barons, many of whom owed money to the Crown, little trust existed between the two sides.
A triumph would have strengthened his position, but in the face of his de
Brunel University London
Brunel University London is a public research university located in Uxbridge, West London, United Kingdom. It was named after the Victorian engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel, it is organised into three colleges and three major research institutes, a structure adopted in August 2014 which changed the university's name to Brunel University London. Brunel has over 12,900 students and 2,500 staff, had a total income of £200.7 million in 2014/15, of which 25% came from grants and research contracts. Brunel College of Technology separated from Acton Technical College in 1957, focused on the education of engineers. Brunel College of Technology was awarded the status of College of Advanced Technology in 1960 and became Brunel College of Advanced Technology in 2018. In June 1966 Brunel College of Advanced Technology was awarded a royal charter and became Brunel University London, it is described as a British plate glass university. Brunel is a member of the Association of Commonwealth Universities, the European University Association, Universities UK.
Brunel is one of a number of British universities which were established in the 1960s following the Robbins Report on higher education. It is sometimes described as a "plate glass university"; the university's origins lie in Acton Technical College, split into two in 1957: Acton Technical College continued to cater for technicians and craftsmen, the new Brunel College of Technology was dedicated to the education of chartered engineers. The campus buildings were designed in the Brutalist style of architecture by Richard Sheppard, Robson & Partners, Architects. In 1960 Brunel College of Technology was awarded the status of College of Advanced Technology, it was decided that it should expand at another site in order to accommodate the extra buildings that would be needed. Uxbridge was chosen to house the new buildings, construction work hadn’t begun before the Ministry of Education changed the College’s status: it was named Brunel College of Advanced Technology in 1962 – the tenth Advanced Technology College in the country, the last to be awarded this title.
The Uxbridge railway branch line was closed in 1964, the college purchased the land adjacent to its site where the railway had run for £65,000 from the local council. The royal charter granting university status was awarded on 9 June 1966; the university continued to use both campuses until 1971. In 1980 the university merged with Shoreditch College of Education, located at Cooper's Hill, Runnymede; this became Brunel's second campus. In 1995 the university expanded again, integrating the West London Institute of Higher Education, adding campuses in Osterley and Twickenham; this increased the number of courses. Traditionally the university's strengths were in engineering, science and social sciences but with the addition of the West London Institute, new departments such as arts, humanities and earth science and sports science were added, the size of the student body increased to over 12,000. Brunel has been the subject of controversy as its approach to higher education has been both market-driven and politically conservative.
The decision to award an honorary degree to Margaret Thatcher in 1996, following the University of Oxford's refusal to do so, provoked an outcry by staff and students, as a result the ceremony had to be held in the House of Lords instead of on campus. In the late 1990s, the Departments of Physics and Materials Engineering were all closed, and, in 2004, the Vice-Chancellor Steven Schwartz, initiated the reorganisation of the university's faculties and departments into schools, closed the Department of Geography and Earth Sciences; the succeeding Vice-Chancellor, the sociologist Christopher Jenks, took office in 2006. and he was followed by Julia Buckingham at Imperial College London, who took up the position of Vice Chancellor at Brunel in October 2012. In June 2011, Brunel University London licensed Creative Barcode, an automated idea sharing platform which protects ownership of early stage ideas. In the late 1990s Brunel devised a £ 250 million masterplan for the campus; this involved selling off campus sites at Runnymede and Twickenham and using the revenue from the sales to renovate and update the buildings and facilities on the Uxbridge campus.
Works carried out included a library extension, a state-of-the-art sports complex, renovated students' union facilities, a new Health Sciences teaching centre, the construction of more halls of residence. The Brunel campus has appeared in several films, most famously in Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange, large parts of which were filmed on campus, it has featured in several UK television series including Spooks, Silent Witness,The Sweeney and Inspector Morse. Brunel has three constituent Academic Colleges: College of Engineering and Physical Sciences Computer Science Design Electronic and Computer Engineering Mathematics Mechanical and Aerospace Civil EngineeringCollege of Business and Social Sciences Brunel Business School Brunel Law School Arts and Humanities Economics and Finance Education Social and Political SciencesCollege of Health and Life Sciences Clinical Sciences Life Sciences Research at Brunel has been organised into three institutes: Institute of Energy Futures Institute of Environment and Societies Institute of Materials and Manufacturing Brunel exists by virtue of a royal charter first granted in 1966 and it has the status of an exempt charity as defined by the Charities Act 2006.
The M25 or London Orbital Motorway is 117 miles long encircling all of Greater London, England. An ambitious concept to build four concentric ring roads around London was first mooted in the 1960s. A few sections of the outer two rings were constructed in the early 1970s, but the plan was abandoned and the sections were integrated to form a single ring which became the M25, aka London Ring Road completed in 1986, it is one of the busiest of the British motorway network: the stretch between Junctions 14 and 15 outside Heathrow Airport records the highest number of daily traffic counts on the British strategic road network with the average flow in 2017 of 211,059 counts. This compares to 197,219 counts measured on the M1 motorway between junction 7 and 8 outside Hemel Hempstead in 2014, 195,325 counts measured on the M60 motorway between junctions 12 and 13 in Western Manchester in 2014; the M25, plus the short non-motorway A282 which joins the two ends of the M25 across the River Thames using the Dartford Crossing, is Europe's second longest orbital road after the Berliner Ring, 122 miles.
Built wholly as a dual three-lane motorway, much of the motorway has been widened: to dual four lanes for half, to a dual five-lanes section between junctions 12 and 14 and a dual six-lane section between junctions 14 and 15. Further widening is in progress of minor sections with plans for managed motorways in many others. To the east of London the two ends of the M25 are joined to complete a loop by the non-motorway A282 Dartford Crossing of the River Thames between Thurrock and Dartford; this crossing, which consists of twin two-lane tunnels and the four-lane QE2 bridge, is named Canterbury Way. Passage across the bridge or through the tunnels is subject to a toll, its level depending on the kind of vehicle; this stretch being non-motorway, it allows traffic, including that not permitted to use motorways, to cross the River Thames east of the Woolwich Ferry. However, in 2017 Highways England published plans to build another motorway-grade Thames tunnel to the east of Gravesend and Grays, the Lower Thames Crossing, in order to relieve congestion on the A282 Dartford Crossing and connect the M25 at North Ockendon in Essex with the M2 in Kent.
At Junction 5, the clockwise carriageway of the M25 is routed off the main north–south dual carriageway onto the main east–west dual carriageway with the main north–south carriageway becoming the A21. In the opposite direction, to the east of the point where the M25 diverges from the main east–west carriageway, that carriageway become the M26 motorway; the radial distance from London varies from 12.5 miles in Potters Bar to 19.5 miles in Byfleet. Three Greater London boroughs have realigned their boundaries to the M25 for minor stretches. Major towns listed as destinations, in various counties, adjoin the M25. North Ockendon is the only settlement of Greater London situated outside the M25. In 2004, following an opinion poll, the London Assembly mooted for consultation alignment of the Greater London boundary with the M25. "Inside the M25" and "outside/beyond the M25" are colloquial, looser alternatives to "Greater London" sometimes used in haulage. The Communications Act 2003 explicitly uses the M25 as the boundary in requiring a proportion of television programmes to be made outside the London area.
Two motorway service areas are on the M25, two others are directly accessible from it. Those on the M25 are Clacket Lane between junctions 5 and 6 and Cobham between junctions 9 and 10; those directly accessible from it are South Mimms off junction 23 and Thurrock off junction 31. Cobham services opened on 13 September 2012; the M25 was unlit except for sections around Heathrow, major interchanges and Junctions 23–30. Low pressure sodium lighting was the most prominent technology used, but widening projects from the 1990s onwards have all used high-pressure sodium lighting and this has diminished the original installations. By 2014 only one significant stretch was still SOX-lit and the units were removed the same year; the motorway passes through five counties. Junctions 1A–5 are in Kent, 6–14 are in Surrey, 15–16 are in Buckinghamshire, 17–25 are in Hertfordshire, 26–31 are in Essex. Policing of the road is carried out by an integrated policing group made up of the Metropolitan, Thames Valley, Kent and Surrey forces.
The M25 is one of Europe's busiest motorways. In 2003, a maximum of 196,000 vehicles a day were recorded on the motorway just south of London Heathrow Airport between junctions 13 and 14; the idea of an orbital road around London was first proposed early in the 20th century. An outer orbital road around London had first been proposed in 1913, was re-examined as a motorway route in Sir Charles Bressey's and Sir Edwin Lutyens' The Highway Development Survey, 1937. Sir Patrick Abercrombie's County of London Plan, 1943 and Greater London Plan, 1944 proposed a series of five roads encircling the capital; the northern sections of the M25 follow a similar route to the World War II Outer London Defence Ring, a concentric series of tanks and pillboxes designed to slow down a potential Ger