Give Peas a Chance, England, UK

For drivers on the M25, they know they’re between junction 16 and 17 in Buckinghamshire when they spot the seemingly random message "GIVE PEAS A CHANCE" on a motorway bridge.

The person who did it chose a historic bridge. Built between 1902 and 1906, it is the only Edwardian brick bridge on the M25. A historic building report done by Oxford Archaeology says the slogan was painted in two stages. Firstly "PEAS" appeared, then "GIVE" and "A CHANCE" were added later.

It says "PEAS" is the tag of a London graffiti artist and his tag can been seen in many other locations, particularly on bridges. The additional text changing the graffiti to read "GIVE PEAS A CHANCE" is thought to refer to his continual arrests.

The north facing side of the bridge also has some graffiti, saying just "PRIZE FELZ L.B".

The common misinterpretation of the inscription makes the bridge an interesting landmark to users of the M25.

The graffiti is also a tonge in cheek reference to the song "Give Peace a Chance" which was written by John Lennon (originally credited Lennon–McCartney), and performed with Yoko Ono in Montreal, Canada. Released as a single in 1969 by the Plastic Ono Band on Apple Records (catalogue Apple 13 in the United Kingdom, Apple 1809 in the United States), it is the first solo single issued by Lennon, released when he was still a member of the Beatles, and became an anthem of the American anti-war movement during the 1970s. It peaked at number 14 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number 2 on the British singles chart.

This bridge carries the Chiltern Main Line which is an inter-urban, regional and commuter railway and part of the British railway system. It links London and Birmingham, England’s two largest cities, by a 112-mile route via High Wycombe, Banbury, and Leamington Spa. It complements the West Coast Main Line, the main InterCity route between London and Birmingham. The name Chiltern Line was invented as a marketing name for the line by Network SouthEast in 1985. In reference to the Chiltern Hills.

The line forms part of the suburban rail networks in both cities. The majority of towns towards the London end of the route are prosperous suburbs or commuter-belt towns, such as Ruislip, here at Gerrards Cross and Beaconsfield. These have a journey time of 30 minutes or less to London Marylebone. In the West Midlands it is one of the Snow Hill Lines. Commuter trains run by London Midland run between Birmingham Snow Hill, Solihull and Leamington Spa.

The line is undergoing a major upgrade that will see significant reductions in journey times by 2013. It is not electrified, although electrification is an aspiration. The main operator is Chiltern Railways.

The M25 motorway or London Orbital motorway is a 117-mile (188 km) motorway that almost encircles Greater London, England, in the United Kingdom. A narrower concept was first mooted early in the 20th century as part of the plan to build four ring roads around London. A few sections, based on the abandoned London Ringways plan, were constructed in the early 1970s and it was completed in 1986.

It is one of the busiest of the British motorway network: 196,000 vehicles were recorded on a busy day near London Heathrow Airport (8 miles in the other direction) in 2003 and the western half experienced an average daily flow of 147,000 vehicles in 2007.

Although technically not an entire orbital motorway – a short non-motorway stretch forms the Dartford Crossing (A282) – the M25, at 117 miles (188 km) is Europe’s second longest orbital road after the Berliner Ring, which is 122 miles (196 km).


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