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29 December, 2005

Random queries no.17

One of a series of genuine search engine enquiries which successfully brought visitors to the Ministry.  Can I help?

purple pipes motorway uk purpose

Interesting question, but I'm afraid I can't help as:
a) I haven't noticed purple pipes (or indeed pipes of any colour) consistently associated with motorways – could it be a localised thing?
b) I don't know what they'd be for.

Can anyone else help?


You always see piles of curled-up purple pipes lying beside motorways all over the country at roadwork sites. I have no idea what their actual purpose is, but I'm guessing that it's got something to do with the big illuminated signs that are springing up everywhere. Perhaps to house the cables for them?

Posted by Siobhan Curran at December 30, 2005 05:47 PM

IIRC, there is a colour-coding scheme for underground cabling and pipework and I think the purple pipes are for the emergency phones, which is why you don't see them anywhere other than on motorways.

Posted by Adrian McEwen at December 30, 2005 06:36 PM

And here's me thinking it was to do with the food served at motorway service stations...

(misread 'pipes' as 'pies')

Posted by Neil T. at December 30, 2005 11:24 PM
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