Peace at last! The M1 motorway opens

November 2nd, 1959 was an important day for the people of Stony Stratford. It was the day the M1 motorway opened, passing nearby at Newport Pagnell.

This would mean that the traffic, including lorries, that thundered through the town as they travelled north, would now opt for the faster route taken by the M1, leaving Stony Stratford High Street for the local people who had put up with the noise, dirt and danger for so long.

'Wolverton Express 6 November 1959"
The Wolverton Express was quick to report on how Stony Stratford had been affected - just two days after the M1 opening, owners of High Street shops were interviewed for their reactions. There were mixed feelings. Although there was concern about the loss of trade, the town was a nicer place to live and work in.

Mr R Odell said, "It has been a treat to cross the road whenever we want to without having to wait ten minutes". Mr Alf Bradshaw, a newsagent, who had lost a lot of business from passing motorists, commented on the lack of noise, "We can hear the cockerels crowing in the morning now," he said, "and we've never been able to hear them before because of the traffic".

Within days of the motorway opening, official estimates said that the traffic had been halved on Watling Street. Stony Stratford residents were able to enjoy a cleaner, quieter and safer place to live, for a while.