M32 motorway

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Looking north through a green corridor between junctions 1 and 2, during peak northbound (leaving city) traffic
The southern end of the motorway at junction 3, where it becomes the A4032
Stoke Park, Stoke Gifford, viewed in 2011 from the south, as visible from the northbound carriageway of the M32 motorway which now cuts across the former parkland. Rebuilt in 1750 by Norborne Berkeley, 4th Baron Botetourt, it is now known as The Dower House and is split into private apartments.
The M32 motorway seen from Stoke Park, with Duchess Pond in the foreground, (2014)

The M32 is a short motorway in Gloucestershire providing a fast link from Bristol to the M4 and forming part of the Bristol Parkway. At about 4.6 miles, it is one of Britain's shortest motorways. Most of the road is dual two lanes, though there is a climbing lane for 440 yards north of Junction 2, and the short section between Junction 1 and the M4 has dual three lanes. Because of this, the motorway suffers daily rush hour congestion, which is worsened during school holidays and in the summer months.


The northern end of the M32 starts at Junction 19 of the M4, near Winterbourne Down. This junction was originally a grade-separated roundabout junction, but was modified in such a way that made traffic joining the M4 need no longer give way at the roundabout, therefore increasing the freeflow of the junction slightly. However any M4 traffic wishing to U-turn must now do so at Junction 1 of the M32. The road then runs south between Filton in the west and Frenchay in the east. After meeting the A4174 at Junction 1, it passes to the east of Horfield, Lockleaze and Easton. Junction 2 is located next to Eastville Park, and meets the B4469 providing access to Horfield. Midway through the junction a 60 mph speed limit begins. The motorway continues further south and terminates through Junction 3 north of St Paul's. The road continues as the A4032 into the centre of Bristol with a much lower speed limit of 30 mph.


Originally called Hambrook Spur (from the M4 to Bristol), or the Bristol Parkway,[1] the motorway was constructed between 1966 and 1975[2] and opened to traffic in stages:

  • M4 Junction 19 to Junction 1 opened in 1966.
  • Junctions 1 to 2 opened in 1970.
  • Junctions 2 to 3 opened in 1975.

It was originally planned to be a key radial link through to the hub of a network of radial and ring roads within a rectangle encompassing Bristol. Of this three convenient sides were the M4 (north-eastern side), the M5 (north-western side) and the tidal reaches of the River Avon (south-western side),[3] the south-eastern side not being defined by landmarks.

Recent developments

Bus lane

A bus lane was constructed in 2008 on the southbound carriageway of the A4032, Newfoundland Way, the short road which links the end of the M32 at Junction 3 with the Cabot Circus development. The lane starts just south of Junction 3, at an offside merge, and runs for 370 yards, adjacent to the central reservation. It becomes a general running lane for its final 165 yards to a signal-controlled junction, which is part of the new road layout for Cabot Circus. The hard shoulder and the remaining width of carriageway were rebuilt as two narrowed running lanes for general traffic, and a lower 30 mph speed limit was imposed on both southbound and northbound carriageways of this section.[4]


M32 motorway junctions
miles Northbound exits (A carriageway) Junction Southbound exits (B carriageway)
5.0 London, Swindon M4(E)
(M4 J19)
Bristol (C) M32, Ring Road (A4174)
Start of motorway
Filton, Kingswood, Ring Road A4174 J1 Ring Road, Filton, Kingswood A4174
Stapleton & Frenchay
Horfield & Fishponds
J2 Fishponds, Horfield B4469
Start of motorway J3
A4320 Bath (A4)
Chippenham (A420), Bath (A431) A4320 Road continues as A4320 to City Centre
  • Distances and carriageway identifiers are obtained from driver location signs/location marker posts. Where a junction spans several hundred yards and the data is available, both the start and finish values for the junction are shown.


Outside links

("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about M32 motorway)
Motorways in the United Kingdom

Great Britain: M1  • M2  • M3  • M4  • M5  • M6  • M6 Toll  • M8  • M9  • M10  • M11  • M18  • M20  • M23  • M25  • M26  • M27  • M32  • M40  • M42  • M45  • M48  • M49  • M50  • M53  • M54  • M55  • M56  • M57  • M58  • M60  • M61  • M62  • M63  • M65  • M66  • M67  • M69  • M73  • M74  • M77  • M80  • M85  • M90  • M180  • M181  • M271  • M275  • M602  • M606  • M621  • M876  • M898  • Sections of A road: A1(M)

Former motorways marked in italics

Northern Ireland: M1  • M2  • M3  • M5  • M12  • M22