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List of motorways in the United Kingdom

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

UK motorways in 2016 .mw-parser-output .legend{page-break-inside:avoid;break-inside:avoid-column}.mw-parser-output .legend-color{display:inline-block;min-width:1.25em;height:1.25em;line-height:1.25;margin:1px 0;text-align:center;border:1px solid black;background-color:transparent;color:black}.mw-parser-output .legend-text{}  M-designated motorway   under construction   Upgraded A-road designation   under reconstruction
UK motorways in 2016
  M-designated motorway
  under construction
  Upgraded A-road designation
  under reconstruction

This list of motorways in the United Kingdom is a complete list of motorways in the United Kingdom. Note that the numbering scheme used for Great Britain does not include roads in Northern Ireland, which are allocated numbers on an ad hoc basis.[1]

Great Britain

M-designated motorways

Link Route Ceremonial Counties (England), Council Areas (Scotland) and Principal Areas (Wales) Highest junction to junction average daily vehicle flow 2018[2] Length
mi km
M1 The eastern north-south motorway linking London (Hendon) to Leeds and continuing north to the A1(M) near Garforth. The first inter-urban motorway. Greater London, Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Northamptonshire, Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, South Yorkshire, West Yorkshire 184,195 193.5 311.4
M2 From Strood to Faversham. Bypasses the Medway Towns. Kent 99,450 25.7 41.4
M3 Main motorway from London to the south coast. Linking Sunbury-on-Thames to Southampton. Surrey, Hampshire 136,501 58.6 94.3
M4 The southern east-west motorway linking London (Chiswick) to Bristol and on to South Wales, terminating at Pont Abraham services, just beyond Pontarddulais. Greater London, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, Wiltshire, Gloucestershire, Monmouthshire, Newport, Cardiff, Vale of Glamorgan, Rhondda Cynon Taff, Bridgend, Neath Port Talbot, Swansea, Carmarthenshire 153,593 189 304
M5 The main motorway through South West England. Linking the M6 at Great Barr (on the Birmingham / West Bromwich / Walsall border) to Exminster near Exeter. West Midlands, Worcestershire, Gloucestershire, Bristol, Somerset, Devon 131,812 162.9 262.2
M6 The main western north-south motorway linking the North West of England with the South. Starts at the M1 near Catthorpe, Leicestershire and terminates at the A74(M) just south of Gretna. Leicestershire, Warwickshire, West Midlands, Staffordshire, Cheshire, Merseyside, Greater Manchester, Lancashire, Cumbria 167,565 232.2 373.7
M6 Toll A toll motorway bypassing a busy stretch of the M6 around the Birmingham and Wolverhampton areas from near Coleshill to Cannock. West Midlands, Staffordshire, Warwickshire 115,411 27 43
M8 Linking Edinburgh to the A8 at Langbank, via Glasgow and Livingston. Edinburgh, West Lothian, North Lanarkshire, Glasgow, Renfrewshire 156,897 60.3 97.0
M9 Linking the M8 just west of Edinburgh to Dunblane via Stirling and Falkirk. Edinburgh, West Lothian, Falkirk, Stirling 67,336 33.0 53.1
M11 Linking London (South Woodford) to Girton. Greater London, Essex, Cambridgeshire 120,948 55.0 88.5
M18 Linking the M1 at Rotherham to the M62 near Goole. South Yorkshire, East Riding of Yorkshire 99,933 26.5 42.6
M20 Linking the M25 at Swanley to Folkestone. Kent 124,848 50.6 81.4
M23 London's main link to London Gatwick Airport, Brighton and the south coast. Linking Hooley in Surrey (just north of the M25, and south of Coulsdon) to Crawley. Surrey, West Sussex 127,054 15.9 25.6
M25 The London orbital motorway, numbered clockwise from Darenth around London to Thurrock. (The Dartford Crossing between Thurrock and Dartford is not classified as a motorway, being the A282.) Kent, Surrey, Berkshire, Greater London, Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire, Essex 219,492 117 188
M26 A short link between the M25 at Sevenoaks and the M20 before Maidstone. Kent 83,297 9.9 15.9
M27 The south coast route running from Cadnam, west of Southampton, to Portsmouth. Hampshire 146,598 25.0 40.2
M32 A spur from the M4 near Winterbourne to central Bristol. Gloucestershire, Bristol 85,179 4.4 7.1
M40 The southeast-northwest motorway linking Denham, west of London, to the M42 south of Solihull. Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Northamptonshire, Warwickshire 133,485 89.0 143.2
M42 Part of the Birmingham orbital motorway, from the M5 near Bromsgrove, running around the south and east of Birmingham and continuing north towards Measham. A section near Coleshill has been replaced by the M6 Toll. Worcestershire, Warwickshire, West Midlands, Leicestershire 155,012 40.0 64.4
M45 A short spur linking the A45 south west of Rugby to the M1 south east of Rugby and north of Daventry. Warwickshire, Northamptonshire 19,307 7.9 12.7
M48 The Severn Bridge, linking the M4 at Olveston (near Thornbury), over the River Severn, to the M4 at Rogiet (near Caldicot). This used to be part of the M4 before the Second Severn Crossing was built. Gloucestershire, Monmouthshire 22,376 12 19
M49 A short link from the M5 to the M4 west of Bristol. Bristol, Gloucestershire 22,209 5.0 8.0
M50 Linking the M5 north of Tewkesbury to Ross-on-Wye. Worcestershire, Gloucestershire, Herefordshire 32,207 21.6 34.8
M53 Linking Wallasey and Chester. Merseyside, Cheshire 77,578 18.9 30.4
M54 Linking the M6 north of Wolverhampton to Wellington west of Telford. Staffordshire, Shropshire 67,041 23.0 37.0
M55 Linking the M6 north of Preston to Blackpool. Lancashire 82,417 12.2 19.6
M56 Linking Manchester (Gatley) to the A5117 between Ellesmere Port and Chester. Greater Manchester, Cheshire 163,045 33.3 53.6
M57 The Liverpool bypass running north-west from the M62 near Huyton to Switch Island between Maghull and Aintree. Merseyside 98,339 10 16
M58 Linking Switch Island (between Maghull and Aintree, northern Liverpool) to Orrell, near Wigan. Merseyside, Lancashire, Greater Manchester 49,007 12 19
M60 The Manchester Outer Ring Road, an orbital motorway, numbered clockwise from Stockport. Greater Manchester 169,498 36 58
M61 Linking Manchester (Worsley) to Bamber Bridge near Preston. Greater Manchester, Lancashire 151,628 20.0 32.2
M62 The trans-Pennine link – connecting Liverpool to the A63 between North Cave and Newport, west of Hull. There is a gap in the motorway between Winton and Simister where the road has been reclassified to become the north-western part of the M60 Manchester orbital motorway. From its western terminus to J6, the M62 is not a trunk road and is under the jurisdiction of Liverpool City Council. It is England's northern east-west motorway. Merseyside, Cheshire, Greater Manchester, West Yorkshire, North Yorkshire, East Riding of Yorkshire 151,502 107 172
M65 Linking Bamber Bridge near Preston to Colne. From J10 to J14, the M65 is not a trunk road and is under the jurisdiction of Lancashire County Council. Lancashire 76,167 25.8 41.5
M66 Linking Ramsbottom to the M60 at Simister Island, near Whitefield. Lancashire, Greater Manchester 110,516 8.0 12.9
M67 Linking the M60 at Denton, east Manchester, to Hattersley, east of Hyde. Greater Manchester 54,023 5.0 8.0
M69 Linking Coventry to Leicester. Warwickshire, Leicestershire 64,060 15.7 25.3
M73 Linking the M74 near Uddingston to the M80, south-west of Cumbernauld. North Lanarkshire, Glasgow, South Lanarkshire 94,249 7.0 11.3
M74 Linking Glasgow (Tradeston) to the A74(M) at Abington. Glasgow, North Lanarkshire, South Lanarkshire 97,320 40 60
M77 Linking the M8 at Glasgow (Pollokshields) to Fenwick near Kilmarnock. Glasgow, East Renfrewshire, East Ayrshire 93,325 20.0 32.2
M80 Linking the M8 at Glasgow (Riddrie) and the M9 south of Stirling. Glasgow, North Lanarkshire, Falkirk, Stirling 103,088 25.0 40.2
M90 Linking M9, west of the Edinburgh, to Perth. Formerly terminated at Inverkeithing (current J1C), but was extended in 2017 with the opening of the Queensferry Crossing.[3] Edinburgh, Fife, Perth and Kinross 75,596 36.0 57.9
M180 Linking the M18 at Thorne to the junction of the A15 (south of the Humber Bridge) and A180 (west of Grimsby). South Yorkshire, Lincolnshire 48,313 25.0 40.2
M181 A spur from the M180 running to the west of Scunthorpe. Lincolnshire 18,634 2 3
M271 Spurs from the M27 heading north to the A3057 (south of Romsey), and south to Redbridge, Southampton. Hampshire 58,387 2.3 3.7
M275 A spur from the M27 on Horsea Island into Portsmouth (Landport). The motorway is not a trunk road and is under the jurisdiction of Portsmouth City Council. Hampshire 83,934 2.0 3.2
M602 Linking the M62 at Winton to Salford, just west of the centre of Manchester. Greater Manchester 74,450 4.0 6.4
M606 A spur from the M62 near Cleckheaton into Bradford. West Yorkshire 72,697 3.0 4.8
M621 Linking the M62 at Gildersome to the M1 near Rothwell. The motorway runs close to the centre of Leeds. West Yorkshire 104,323 7.7 12.4
M876 Linking the M80 near Denny, north-west of Falkirk, to the A876 near the Kincardine Bridge. A short section of the motorway north of Stenhousemuir is classified as the M9. Falkirk 46,320 8.0 12.9
M898 A spur from the M8 near Erskine to the A898, the Erskine Bridge approach road. Renfrewshire 51,182 0.5 0.8

Upgraded A-road designations

Link Route Ceremonial Counties (England), Council Areas (Scotland) and Principal Areas (Wales) Highest junction to junction average daily vehicle flow 2017[2]
A1(M) Four sections of the A1 between London and Gateshead have been upgraded, reduced from five in March 2018 with the completion of the Leeming Bar to Barton (near Darlington) stretch: Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Nottinghamshire, South Yorkshire, West Yorkshire, North Yorkshire, County Durham, Tyne and Wear 136,784
A3(M) Linking the dual-carriageway A3 north of Horndean to the A27 near Havant. Hampshire 94,174
A8(M) A spur motorway from Baillieston Interchange (meeting the M8 and M73) to Swinton Interchange in Scotland and is the shortest motorway at 0.18 miles (283 metres) long. Glasgow
A38(M) A spur from the M6 at the Gravelly Hill Interchange (Spaghetti Junction) to central Birmingham, also known as the Aston Expressway. It has no central reservation, but uses a tidal flow system: the number of lanes open in each direction varies according to prevailing traffic conditions. West Midlands 138,007
A48(M) Linking the M4 near Castleton to Cardiff (St Mellons). Newport, Cardiff 46,726
A57(M) Known as the Mancunian Way, forms the southern part of Manchester's inner ring road, running from a junction on Deansgate to the A635 near Piccadilly Station. It is elevated and runs through the centre of the campus of UMIST, now part of the University of Manchester.

It also passes through the Manchester Metropolitan University, just South of the John Dalton building, and north of the Union building.

Greater Manchester
A58(M) The western part of the Leeds inner ring road, running from Wellington Road (A58) to join the A64(M) at the junction with Claypit Lane (also A58). West Yorkshire 90,565
A64(M) The eastern part of the Leeds inner ring road, running from the A58(M) at the junction with Claypit Lane (A58), to York Road (A64). West Yorkshire
A66(M) A spur from the A1(M) near Cleasby joining the A66 heading into Darlington. North Yorkshire 16,838
A74(M) Linking the M74 at Abington to the M6 at Gretna. South Lanarkshire, Dumfries and Galloway, Cumbria 40,893
A167(M) An urban motorway in central Newcastle upon Tyne running from just north of the Tyne Bridge to just north of Newcastle University. Tyne and Wear 71,946
A194(M) Linking the A1(M) at Birtley (near Gateshead) to A194 near Wardley, leading to the Tyne Tunnel. Tyne and Wear 42,418
A308(M) Linking the M4 junction 8/9 to the A308 near Bray. Berkshire 23,903
A329(M) Linking Bracknell to Winnersh near Reading, crossing the M4. Berkshire 80,155
A404(M) Linking the M4 junction 8/9 to the A4 at Maidenhead Thicket. Berkshire 60,049
A601(M) A spur from the M6 at Carnforth to the A6 near Warton. The southern part is single carriageway. Lancashire
A627(M) Linking Rochdale and Chadderton, crossing the M62. Greater Manchester 55,154
A635(M) Forms a small part of the Mancunian Way for 0.3 miles before becoming the A57(M). It isn't signposted and was formerly the UK's smallest motorway.[4] Greater Manchester
A823(M) A spur from the M90 near Rosyth to the A823 south of Dunfermline. Fife 19,712

Former motorways

Roads which used to be motorways but have been downgraded:

Link Description
M10 A short spur linking St Albans to the M1 near Hemel Hempstead. Now part of the A414.
M15 The designation for the Ringway 2 upgrade of the A406 (North Circular Road) and A205 (South Circular Road). Only the section between junction 4 of the M11 and Redbridge Roundabout was built to motorway standard and was initially signed as M11 because the section built, at the time, only led to and from the M11. When the route was extended to Beckton, this section of M11 was redesignated as the A406 (The North Circular).[5]
M41 The London West Cross Route, a spur from the London Westway (A40(M)) and the only part of the western section of the London Motorway Box to be built, now A3220.[6]
A18(M) A spur from M18. Mostly now part of M180, although a section has been abandoned.
A36(M) The Ower Spur, now the A36.
A40(M) The London Westway, now the A40.[6]
A41(M) The Tring bypass, now the A41.[7]
A46(M) A spur towards Leicester from M1 at junction 21, now part of the A5460.[8]
A102(M) The London East Cross Route, in two sections:
A329(M) The northern third of the A329(M) from Winnersh to Reading, now the A3290. Downgraded to permit Reading council to dedicate one lane for buses.
A6144(M) Formerly the longest single-carriageway motorway spur in the United Kingdom from the M60 north of Sale towards Carrington. Now just a spur of the A6144.

Motorways that have been renumbered

Link Description
M16 Originally to be the northern section of the M25 but was renumbered before opening.
M52 Absorbed by the M62 when it was extended to form a cross-country route.
M62 Originally planned to be the western loop around Manchester and Salford; became part of the M63 when the western extension of the M62 was opened; now the M60 J7-J13.[9]
M63 Merged with parts of the M62 and M66 to form the new M60 Manchester orbital motorway.
M65 Not considered important enough to carry a two-digit number, it was redesignated as M621, as it was planned to link the M62 to the M1.[10]
M68 Became a portion of the M66 when it opened north of the M62. Now M60 J18-19.[11]
M85 Now M90 J10-11. Previously the M90 carried on along the spur into Perth, leaving the main route ahead as the M85[12]
M531 Previously an unclassified road, later became the A5032. Now the M53 J5-10.[13]
A4(M) Became a portion of the M4 and later part of the A423(M). Now the A404(M) motorway. A small section was abandoned.[14]
A5(M) Provisional number for the Wellington Bypass, redesignated as the M54 before construction was complete.[15]
A8(M) Provisional number for the Renfrew Bypass, now part of the M8.[16]
A20(M) Now the M20 J5-8.[17]
A40(M) Now part of the M40.[14]
A48(M) Morriston Bypass; now the M4 J44-46.[18]
A48(M) Port Talbot Bypass; now the M4 J39-41.[19]
A50 Original designation of the M1.[20]
A423(M) Originally A4(M)[14] and then part of the M4. Now the A404(M).[21]
A446(M) Now the M6 Toll.[22]
A638(M) Now the M606.[23]
A6127(M) Now the A167(M)[24]

Motorways under construction or planned

The Adwick-le-Street to M62 stretch of the A1 is under consideration for upgrade to motorway standard, meaning the A1 between Blyth, south of Doncaster, to Birtley near Gateshead, would all be part of the same A1(M) stretch of motorway.

In addition, the proposal to put a tunnel under the River Thames to the east of Dartford Crossing and the revived Birmingham Western Orbital plans are both described as motorways.[25][26]

Unbuilt motorways

There have been many plans for motorways in the UK that have not been built. Below is a list of plans that were not built (not exhaustive):

Many cities had urban motorway plans, most of which were not built. London,[40] Newcastle,[41] Liverpool,[42] Manchester/SELNEC and Glasgow[42] all had extensive plans.

It was proposed that the A14 upgrade between Huntingdon and Cambridge would be classified as a motorway once complete, however prior to opening it was announced that the road would open as a "best in class A road" instead.[43][44]

Northern Ireland

M-designated motorways

Link Route Council areas
M1 Linking Belfast to Dungannon. Belfast, Lisburn and Castlereagh, Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon, Mid Ulster
M2 In two sections, one linking Belfast to Antrim, and the other bypassing Ballymena. The section in between was planned, but never built. Belfast, Antrim and Newtownabbey, Mid and East Antrim
M3 Linking the M2 in north Belfast to the A2 Sydenham Bypass in east Belfast. Belfast
M5 Linking the M2 in north Belfast to Newtownabbey. Belfast, Antrim and Newtownabbey
M12 A spur from the M1 near Derrymacash to the north of Portadown. Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon
M22 Linking the M2 at Antrim to Randalstown. Antrim and Newtownabbey

Upgraded A-road designations

Link Route Council areas
A8(M) A spur from the M2 near Glengormley to the A8 north-west of Newtownabbey. Antrim and Newtownabbey

Unbuilt motorways

The following motorways were planned, but never built.

There were also urban motorway plans for Belfast[46][45]

See also


  1. ^ "Northern Ireland Assembly – WRITTEN ANSWERS Friday 15 December 2000". Archived from the original on 23 December 2008. Retrieved 19 November 2007.
  2. ^ a b "GB Road Traffic Counts". Archived from the original on 1 October 2019. Retrieved 13 January 2019.
  3. ^ Pattison, Andrew (27 November 2012). "Scotland gets its first "Managed Motorway"". Retrieved 23 June 2013.
  4. ^ "A635(M) Mancunian Way only a single bridge". Pathetic Motorways.
  5. ^ "Pathetic Motorways".
  6. ^ a b c Under its charter, motorways are excluded from the remit of Transport for London. These routes had their motorway status removed to allow TfL control over them.
  7. ^ "Pathetic Motorways".
  8. ^ "Pathetic Motorways".
  9. ^ "Pathetic Motorways".
  10. ^ "Pathetic Motorways".
  11. ^ "Pathetic Motorways".
  12. ^ "Pathetic Motorways".
  13. ^ "Pathetic Motorways".
  14. ^ a b c "Pathetic Motorways".
  15. ^ "Pathetic Motorways".
  16. ^ "Pathetic Motorways: A8(M)".
  17. ^ "Pathetic Motorways".
  18. ^ "Pathetic Motorways".
  19. ^ "Pathetic Motorways".
  20. ^ "Pathetic Motorways".
  21. ^ "Pathetic Motorways".
  22. ^ "Pathetic Motorways".
  23. ^ "Pathetic Motorways".
  24. ^ "Pathetic Motorways".
  25. ^ "Lower Thames Crossing Statutory Consultation - Highways England - Citizen Space".
  26. ^ Elkes, Neil (6 June 2018). "Revealed: New bypass plan to end M6 and M5 traffic misery". birminghammail.
  27. ^ "Pathetic Motorways".
  28. ^ "Pathetic Motorways".
  29. ^ "Pathetic Motorways".
  30. ^ "Pathetic Motorways".
  31. ^ "Pathetic Motorways".
  32. ^ "Pathetic Motorways".
  33. ^ "Pathetic Motorways".
  34. ^ "Pathetic Motorways".
  35. ^ "Pathetic Motorways".
  36. ^ "Pathetic Motorways".
  37. ^ "Pathetic Motorways".
  38. ^ "TransPennine: "Go the whole way, complete the M67, with a tunnel underneath"". 9 November 2014.
  39. ^ "Why is Sheffield Lagging Behind Leeds & Manchester?".
  40. ^ CBRD Histories: London Ringways Archived 18 November 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  41. ^ "Pathetic Motorways".
  42. ^ a b "Articles".
  43. ^ "Plans for part of A14 upgrade to become a motorway". GOV.UK. Retrieved 7 October 2018.
  44. ^ Switchboard 0300 330 3000, Media enquiries 020 7944 3021 Out of hours media enquiries 020 7944 4292. "New A14 bypass to open a year early". GOV.UK. Retrieved 5 December 2019.
  45. ^ a b c "History - Northern Ireland Motorway Plans - Northern Ireland Roads Site".
  46. ^ "History - Belfast Urban Motorway and A12 Westlink - Northern Ireland Roads Site".
This page was last edited on 27 November 2020, at 19:30
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