List of motorways in the United Kingdom

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Map of the motorways in the United Kingdom

The list of motorways in the United Kingdom is a complete list of motorways in the United Kingdom. Note that whilst one numbering scheme is used for Great Britain, roads in Northern Ireland are allocated their own numbers on an ad hoc basis.[1]

Great Britain[edit]

M-designated motorways[edit]

Link Route Ceremonial Counties (England), Council Areas (Scotland) and Principal Areas (Wales)
M1 Nicknamed the 'gateway to the North'. The eastern north-south motorway linking London (Hendon) to Leeds and continuing north to the A1 near Garforth. The first inter-urban motorway. Greater London, Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Northamptonshire, Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, South Yorkshire, West Yorkshire
M2 From Strood to Faversham. Bypasses the Medway Towns. Kent
M3 Main motorway from London to the south coast. Linking Sunbury-on-Thames to Southampton. Surrey, Hampshire
M4 The southern east-west motorway linking London (Chiswick) to Bristol and on to South Wales, terminating just beyond Pontarddulais. Greater London, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Wiltshire, Gloucestershire, Monmouthshire, Newport, Cardiff, Vale of Glamorgan, Rhondda Cynon Taff, Bridgend, Neath Port Talbot, Swansea, Carmarthenshire
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
M6 The main western north-south motorway linking the North West of England with the South. Starts at M1 near Rugby and terminates at the A74(M) at Gretna which continues to Glasgow. Leicestershire, Warwickshire, West Midlands, Staffordshire, Cheshire, Merseyside, Greater Manchester, Lancashire, Cumbria
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
M8 Linking Edinburgh to the A8 at Langbank, via Glasgow and Livingston. There is a gap in the motorway between Chapelhall and Bargeddie (south-east and south-west of Coatbridge) where the road is classified as the A8, this section will soon be upgraded to motorway standard. Edinburgh, West Lothian, North Lanarkshire, Glasgow, Renfrewshire
M9 Linking the M8 just west of Edinburgh to Dunblane via Stirling and Falkirk. Edinburgh, West Lothian, Falkirk, Stirling
M11 Linking London (Woodford) to Cambridge. Greater London, Essex, Cambridgeshire
M18 Linking the M1 at Rotherham to the M62 near Goole. South Yorkshire, East Riding of Yorkshire
M20 Linking the M25 at Swanley to Folkestone. Kent
M23 Linking Hooley in Surrey (just north of the M25, and south of Coulsdon) to Crawley. Surrey, West Sussex
M25 The London orbital motorway, numbered clockwise from Dartford 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
M26 A short link between the M25 at Sevenoaks and the M20 before Maidstone. Kent
M27 The south coast route running from Cadnam, west of Southampton, to Portsmouth. Hampshire
M32 A spur from the M4 near Winterbourne to central Bristol. Gloucestershire, Bristol
M40 The southeast-northwest motorway linking Denham, west of London, to the M42 south of Solihull. Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Northamptonshire, Warwickshire
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
M45 A short spur linking the A45 south west of Rugby to the M1 south east of Rugby and north of Daventry. Warwickshire, Northamptonshire
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
M49 A short link from the M5 to the M4 west of Bristol. Bristol, Gloucestershire
M50 Linking the M5 north of Tewkesbury to Ross-on-Wye. Worcestershire, Gloucestershire, Herefordshire
M53 Linking Wallasey and Chester. Merseyside, Cheshire
M54 Linking the M6 north of Wolverhampton to Wellington west of Telford. Staffordshire, Shropshire
M55 Linking the M6 north of Preston to Blackpool. Lancashire
M56 Linking Manchester (Gatley) to the A5117 between Ellesmere Port and Chester. Greater Manchester, Cheshire
M57 The Liverpool bypass running north-west from the M62 near Huyton to Switch Island between Maghull and Aintree. Merseyside
M58 Linking Switch Island (between Maghull and Aintree, northern Liverpool) to Wigan. Merseyside, Lancashire, Greater Manchester
M60 The Manchester Outer Ring Road, an orbital motorway, numbered clockwise from Stockport. Greater Manchester
M61 Linking Manchester (Worsley) to Bamber Bridge near Preston. Greater Manchester, Lancashire
M62 The trans-Pennine link – connecting Liverpool to the A63 between North Cave and Newport, west of Kingston upon Hull. There is a gap in the motorway between Winton and Simister where the road has been reclassified to become the northern 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. Merseyside, Cheshire, Greater Manchester, West Yorkshire, North Yorkshire, East Riding of Yorkshire
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
M66 Linking Ramsbottom to the M60 at Whitefield. Lancashire, Greater Manchester
M67 Linking the M60 at Denton, east Manchester, to Hattersley, east of Hyde. Greater Manchester
M69 Linking Coventry to Leicester. Warwickshire, Leicestershire
M73 Linking the M74 near Uddingston to the M80, south-west of Cumbernauld. North Lanarkshire, Glasgow
M74 Linking Glasgow (Pollokshields) to the A74(M) at Abington. Glasgow, North Lanarkshire, South Lanarkshire
M77 Linking the M8 at Glasgow (Pollokshields) to Fenwick near Kilmarnock. Glasgow, East Renfrewshire, East Ayrshire
M80 Linking the M8 at Glasgow (Riddrie) and the M9 south of Stirling. Glasgow, North Lanarkshire, Falkirk, Stirling
M90 Linking Inverkeithing, north of the Forth Road Bridge, to Perth. There are plans to extend the motorway south across the Firth of Forth, to join the M9 at Kirkliston.[2] Fife, Perth and Kinross
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
M181 A spur from the M180 running to the west of Scunthorpe. Lincolnshire
M271 Spurs from the M27 heading north to the A3057 (south of Romsey), and south to Totton. Hampshire
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
M602 Linking the M62 at Winton to Salford, just west of the centre of Manchester. Greater Manchester
M606 A spur from the M62 near Cleckheaton into Bradford. West Yorkshire
M621 Linking the M62 at Gildersome to the M1 near Rothwell. The motorway runs close to the centre of Leeds. West Yorkshire
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
M898 A spur from the M8 near Erskine to the A898, the Erskine Bridge approach road. Renfrewshire

Upgraded A-road designations[edit]

Link Route Ceremonial Counties (England), Council Areas (Scotland) and Principal Areas (Wales)
A1(M) The parts of the A1 between London and Gateshead that have been upgraded to motorway. There are five sections of the A1 that have been upgraded: Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Nottinghamshire, South Yorkshire, West Yorkshire, North Yorkshire, County Durham, Tyne and Wear
A3(M) Linking Horndean to Havant. Hampshire
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
A48(M) Linking the M4 near Castleton to Cardiff (St Mellons). Newport, Cardiff
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
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
A74(M) Linking the M74 at Abington to the M6 at Gretna. South Lanarkshire, Dumfries and Galloway, Cumbria
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
A194(M) Linking the A1(M) at Birtley (near Gateshead) to A194 near Wardley, leading to the Tyne Tunnel. Tyne and Wear
A308(M) Linking the M4 junction 8/9 to the A308 near Bray. Berkshire
A329(M) Linking Bracknell to Winnersh near Reading, crossing the M4. Berkshire
A404(M) Linking the M4 junction 8/9 to the A4 at Maidenhead Thicket. Berkshire
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
A635(M) Forms a small part of the Mancunian Way for 0.3 miles before becoming the A57(M). It isn't signposted and is the UK's smallest motorway.[3] Greater Manchester
A823(M) A spur from the M90 near Rosyth to the A823 south of Dunfermline. Fife

Former motorways[edit]

Roads which used to be motorways but have been downgraded:

Link Route
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).[4]
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.[5]
A18(M) A spur from M18. Mostly now part of M180, although a section has been abandoned.
A40(M) The London Westway, now the A40.[5]
A41(M) The Tring bypass, now the A41.[6]
A46(M) A spur towards Leicester from M1 at junction 21, now part of the A5460.[7]
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 renamed[edit]

Link Route
M16 Originally to be the northern section of the M25 but was renumbered before opening.
M63 Merged with parts of the M62 and M66 to form the new M60 Manchester orbital motorway.
M85 Now M90 J10-11. Previously the M90 carried on along the spur into Perth, leaving the main route ahead as the M85[8]
M531 Now the southern section of the M53.[9]
A20(M) Now the M20 from J5-8.[10]
A423(M) Originally A4(M)[11] and then part of the M4. Now the A404(M).[12]
A6127(M) Now the A167(M)[13]

Motorways under construction or planned[edit]

The largest motorway project currently under construction in the UK is the £500m M8 Baillieston to Newhouse completion project, which includes 6 miles of new motorway on the M8 as well as junction upgrades and widenings to the M73 and M74.[14] Work started in Spring 2014 with completion estimated for Spring 2017.[15]

The £380m A1(M) Leeming - Barton upgrade[16] also commenced construction in Spring 2014 with completion scheduled for Summer 2016.

The Forth Replacement Crossing and its approach roads are also being constructed as a motorway and will form part of the M90 when finished in 2016.

The only other new motorway constructions currently being planned in the UK is a motorway running south of the city of Newport, south Wales. This motorway remains to be properly named, only being described as the M4 relief road.

Unbuilt motorways[edit]

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,[27] Newcastle,[28] Liverpool,[29] Manchester/SELNEC and Glasgow[30] all had extensive plans.

Northern Ireland[edit]

M-designated motorways[edit]

Link Route Council areas
M1 Linking Belfast to Dungannon. Belfast, Lisburn, Craigavon, Dungannon and South Tyrone
M2 In two sections, one linking Belfast to Antrim, and the other bypassing Ballymena. The section in between was planned, but never built. Belfast, Newtownabbey, Antrim, Ballymena
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, Newtownabbey
M12 A spur from the M1 near Derrymacash to the north of Portadown. Craigavon
M22 Linking the M2 at Antrim to Randalstown. Antrim

Upgraded A-road designations[edit]

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

Unbuilt motorways[edit]

The following motorways were planned, but never built.

There were also urban motorway plans for Belfast[32][33]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]