New Mondeo estate celebrates M1 motorway anniversary

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The new Mondeo Estate meets the old-school Zephyr.

Ford hosted a family reunion of sorts as it celebrated 60 years of the M1 motorway by bringing together new and old police cars.

The original stretch of Britain’s first motorway runs through Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Northamptonshire, and when covering the road, those three counties’ police forces decided on one car to carry equipment.

Originally that was a Ford Zephyr, converted by Farnham into an estate. Only Herts Police’s car in Ford’s heritage collection remains today.

These days its equivalent is the Mondeo Estate – and there’s a petrol-electric hybrid version, which offers ‘the driving range and freedom of a traditional combustion engine with the efficiency and refinement of an electric powertrain’, getting rid of range anxiety, and the need for an external charging source. What’s more, it’s all for the same price of the diesel equivalent.

New Mondeo estate celebrates M1 anniversary

“The Ford Mondeo hybrid pulls away silently, produces zero emissions when running on electric and does not require plugging in to recharge,” said Owen Gregory, Ford of Britain fleet director. “Factor in the estate’s extra space and this becomes the idea M1 motorway mile muncher for families and police fleets alike.”

Chris Smith, Highways England’s assistant safety coordinator for the East of England, added:

“Cars have changed beyond recognition in the last 60 years, and the motorways they drive on have too. Our first motorways had no speed limit, no safety barriers and many cars, which were not designed for motorway speeds, ended up on the hard shoulder.

New Mondeo estate celebrates M1 anniversary

“Today’s motorways are packed with technology to help people on their journeys, with variable speed limits to help smooth out stop-start traffic and signs and signals to warn drivers about changing conditions on the road ahead. On smart motorway sections, such as on the M1 between junctions 13 and 16, we’re making better use of the hard shoulder by making it available as an extra lane of traffic.

“Just as cars have changed over these past 60 years, we’re continuing to improve the motorway network to keep journeys smooth and safe for the millions of drivers who depend on them every day.”

Gallery: New Mondeo estate celebrates M1 anniversary

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