List of motorways in the United Kingdom

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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[edit]

M-designated motorways[edit]

Link Route Ceremonial Counties (England), Council Areas (Scotland) and Principal Areas (Wales) Highest junction to junction average daily vehicle flow 2019[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 168,763 193.5 311.4
M2 From Strood to Faversham. Bypasses the Medway Towns. Kent 106,582 25.7 41.4
M3 Main motorway from London to the south coast. Linking Sunbury-on-Thames to Southampton. Surrey, Hampshire 136,059 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 161,807 189 304
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 127,584 162.9 262.2
M6 The main western north–south motorway linking the North West of England with the Midlands. 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 173,201 232.2 373.7
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 110,489 27 43
M8 Linking Edinburgh to the A8 at Langbank, via Glasgow and Livingston. Edinburgh, West Lothian, North Lanarkshire, Glasgow, Renfrewshire 160,484 60.3 97.0
M9 Linking the M8 just west of Edinburgh to Dunblane via Stirling and Falkirk. Edinburgh, West Lothian, Falkirk, Stirling 68,143 33.0 53.1
M11 Linking London (South Woodford) to Girton. Greater London, Essex, Cambridgeshire 121,964 55.0 88.5
M18 Linking the M1 at Rotherham to the M62 near Goole. South Yorkshire, East Riding of Yorkshire 108,855 26.5 42.6
M20 Linking the M25 at Swanley to Folkestone. Kent 120,348 50.6 81.4
M23 London's main link to London Gatwick Airport, Crawley, and Brighton and the south coast. Linking Hooley in Surrey (just north of the M25, and south of Coulsdon) to Pease Pottage (just south of Crawley). Originally planned to extend into London. Surrey, West Sussex 110,574 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 216,108 117 188
M26 A short link between the M25 at Sevenoaks and the M20 before Maidstone. Originally part of the M25. Kent 70,674 9.9 15.9
M27 The south coast route running from Cadnam, west of Southampton, to Portsmouth. Hampshire 134,210 25.0 40.2
M32 A spur from the M4 near Winterbourne to central Bristol. Gloucestershire, Bristol 84,898 4.4 7.1
M40 The southeast–northwest motorway linking Denham, west of London, to the M42 south of Solihull. Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Northamptonshire, Warwickshire 133,490 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. Continues as non-motorway A42 to M1 motorway near Nottingham. Worcestershire, Warwickshire, West Midlands, Leicestershire 154,532 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 19,536 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 22,632 12 19
M49 A short link from the M5 to the M4 west of Bristol. Bristol, Gloucestershire 22,461 5.0 8.0
M50 Linking the M5 north of Tewkesbury to Ross-on-Wye. Worcestershire, Gloucestershire, Herefordshire 32,032 21.6 34.8
M53 Linking Wallasey and Chester. Part of route originally designated M531. Merseyside, Cheshire 79,872 18.9 30.4
M54 Linking the M6 north of Wolverhampton to Wellington west of Telford. Staffordshire, Shropshire 70,652 23.0 37.0
M55 Linking the M6 north of Preston to Blackpool. Lancashire 84,905 12.2 19.6
M56 Linking Manchester (Gatley) to the A5117 between Ellesmere Port and Chester. Greater Manchester, Cheshire 174,693 33.3 53.6
M57 The Liverpool bypass running north-west from the M62 near Huyton to Switch Island between Maghull and Aintree. Merseyside 99,521 10 16
M58 Linking Switch Island (between Maghull and Aintree, northern Liverpool) to Orrell, near Wigan. Merseyside, Lancashire, Greater Manchester 49,376 12 19
M60 The Manchester Outer Ring Road, an orbital motorway, numbered clockwise from Stockport. Includes part of former route of M62. Greater Manchester 180,501 36 58
M61 Linking Manchester (Worsley) to Bamber Bridge near Preston. Greater Manchester, Lancashire 150,331 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 161,700 107 172
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 82,970 25.8 41.5
M66 Linking Ramsbottom to the M60 at Simister Island, near Whitefield. Lancashire, Greater Manchester 111,851 8.0 12.9
M67 Linking the M60 at Denton, east Manchester, to Hattersley, east of Hyde. Greater Manchester 58,435 5.0 8.0
M69 Linking Coventry to Leicester. Warwickshire, Leicestershire 64,828 15.7 25.3
M73 Linking the M74 near Uddingston to the M80, south-west of Cumbernauld. North Lanarkshire, Glasgow, South Lanarkshire 95,331 7.0 11.3
M74 Linking Glasgow (Tradeston) to the A74(M) at Abington. Glasgow, North Lanarkshire, South Lanarkshire 107,475 40 60
M77 Linking the M8 at Glasgow (Pollokshields) to Fenwick near Kilmarnock. Glasgow, East Renfrewshire, East Ayrshire 94,151 20.0 32.2
M80 Linking the M8 at Glasgow (Riddrie) and the M9 south of Stirling. Glasgow, North Lanarkshire, Falkirk, Stirling 104,305


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 76,503 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 48,780 25.0 40.2
M181 A spur from the M180 running to the west of Scunthorpe. Lincolnshire 18,213 2.0 3.2
M271 Spurs from the M27 heading north to the A3057 (south of Romsey), and south to Redbridge, Southampton. Hampshire 53,678 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 86,291 2.0 3.2
M602 Linking the M62 at Winton to Salford, just west of the centre of Manchester. Greater Manchester 73,292 4.0 6.4
M606 A spur from the M62 near Cleckheaton into Bradford. West Yorkshire 77,277 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 103,207 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 42,611 8.0 12.9
M898 A spur from the M8 near Erskine to the A898, the Erskine Bridge approach road. Renfrewshire 51,831 0.5 0.8

Upgraded A-road designations[edit]

Link Route Ceremonial Counties (England), Council Areas (Scotland) and Principal Areas (Wales) Highest junction to junction average daily vehicle flow 2019[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 143,012
A3(M) Linking the dual-carriageway A3 north of Horndean to the A27 near Havant. Hampshire 92,989
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 146,908
A48(M) Linking the M4 near Castleton to Cardiff (St Mellons). Newport, Cardiff 47,203
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 90,785
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 81,647
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 43,617
A66(M) A spur from the A1(M) near Cleasby joining the A66 heading into Darlington. North Yorkshire 15,337
A74(M) Linking the M74 at Abington to the M6 at Gretna. South Lanarkshire, Dumfries and Galloway, Cumbria 41,662
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 63,911
A194(M) Linking the A1(M) at Birtley (near Gateshead) to A194 near Wardley, leading to the Tyne Tunnel. Tyne and Wear 42,802
A308(M) Linking the M4 junction 8/9 to the A308 near Bray. Berkshire 23,541
A329(M) Linking Bracknell to Winnersh near Reading, crossing the M4. Berkshire 69,520
A404(M) Linking the M4 junction 8/9 to the A4 at Maidenhead Thicket. Berkshire 59,816
A601(M) A spur from the M6 at Carnforth to the A6 near Warton. Lancashire 10,518
A627(M) Linking Rochdale and Chadderton, crossing the M62. Greater Manchester 55,749
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 32,510
A823(M) A spur from the M90 near Rosyth to the A823 south of Dunfermline. Fife 20,363
A1077(M) The former northern section of the M181 Lincolnshire 18,213

Former motorways[edit]

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]
A8(M) A spur from M73 and M80 to the A8. Now part of the A8.
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.
A601(M) The southern part (single carriageway link to the B6254) is now the B6601. Downgraded to enable access to adjacent development.[9]
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[edit]

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.[10]
M63 Merged with parts of the M62 and M66 in 1999 to form the new M60 Manchester orbital motorway.
M65 Not considered important enough to carry a two-digit number, it was redesignated as M621.[11]
M68 Became a portion of the M66 when it opened north of the M62. Now M60 J18-19.[12]
M85 Now M90 J10-11. Previously the M90 carried on along the spur into Perth, leaving the main route ahead as the M85[13]
M531 Previously an unclassified road, later became the A5032. Now the M53 J5-10.[14]
A1(M) Became the A6127(M) when the A1 was rerouted to run through the Tyne Tunnel. Now the A167(M).[15]
A4(M) Became a portion of the M4 and later part of the A423(M). Now the A404(M). A small section was abandoned.[16]
A5(M) Provisional number for the Wellington Bypass, redesignated as the M54 before construction was complete.[17]
A8(M) Provisional number for the Renfrew Bypass, now part of the M8.[18]
A20(M) Now the M20 J5-8.[19]
A40(M) Now part of the M40.[16]
A48(M) Morriston Bypass; now the M4 J44-46.[20]
A48(M) Port Talbot Bypass; now the M4 J39-41.[21]
A50 Original designation of the M1.[22]
A423(M) Originally A4(M)[16] and then part of the M4. Now the A404(M).[23]
A446(M) Now the M6 Toll.[24]
A638(M) Now the M606.[25]
A6127(M) Now the A167(M)[26]

Motorways under construction or planned[edit]

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.[27][28]

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):

  • M1 Sterling Corner Link, linking Sterling Corner to the M1.[29]
  • M12 in 3 forms (although a small part was built and is not used - a stub sliproad):[30]
  • M13, from East London to Maplin Sands airport passing south of Southend.[31]
  • M17 Castle Donington bypass, a short spur off the M1;
  • M19, M1 to A1 in Yorkshire. Functionally equivalent to the M62 between junction 29 and 32A, but located further to the north, and without the eastern extension to Hull.[32]
  • M31, a bypass of the busiest section of the M25, cutting the corner for traffic from the west.[33] Partially built as the A329(M) and A3290.
  • M59, M58 junction 2 to south of Preston.[34]
  • M60, a bypass of Altrincham and Sale, running from the M56 to Manchester. One section built as the A6144(M),[35] and the section between M6 and M56 was built as an all-purpose dual carriageway bypass of the A556.[36]
  • M64, between the M6 south of Stoke-on-Trent and the M1 near Derby. The central section was built as an upgrade of the A50.
  • M601, which would have entered Manchester from the M62 (now the M60) in the Irwell Valley at Clifton near Pendlebury.[37]
  • M650, Airedale Motorway from near Silsden to Shipley.[38]
  • A6(M) (or M66 extension), which would have formed an eastern bypass for Stockport.[39] As of March 2006, this is still under the planning stage as part of the SEMMMS (south east Manchester multi modal study) project (though not as motorway).
  • A556(M), which would have cut the corner between the M6 and M56 near Warrington.[40] Completed in 2017 as an all-purpose dual carriageway bypass of the A556.
  • Chippenham Spur, off the M4[41]
  • Strensham – Solihull motorway, a link between the M50 and M42. In the earliest stages of planning, a route that would have linked it with the M69 was considered.[42]
  • Most of the M67 – from Hattersley to the M1 via the Hope Valley in the Peak District national park and Sheffield. Various routes have been proposed but have yet to come to fruition due to controversy and/or expense.[43] In 2014, the then Sheffield Hallam MP and Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg signalled his support for improvements to the Woodhead Pass.[44] The latest proposal to extend the M67 is to tunnel under the Peak District from Hattersley to Stannington (an outer-suburb of Sheffield) and to link that tunnel to a new underground motorway providing links to the M1.[45]

Many cities had urban motorway plans, most of which were not built. London,[46] Newcastle,[47] Liverpool,[48] Manchester/SELNEC and Glasgow[48] 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.[49][50]

Northern Ireland[edit]

M-designated motorways[edit]

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[edit]

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[edit]

The following motorways were planned, but never built.

There were also urban motorway plans for Belfast[52][51]

See also[edit]


  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: M15".
  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: A41(M)".
  8. ^ "Pathetic Motorways: A46(M)".
  9. ^[bare URL]
  10. ^ "Pathetic Motorways: M62".
  11. ^ "Pathetic Motorways: M65".
  12. ^ "Pathetic Motorways: M68".
  13. ^ "Pathetic Motorways: M85".
  14. ^ "Pathetic Motorways: M531".
  15. ^ "Pathetic Motorways: A1(M)".
  16. ^ a b c "Pathetic Motorways: A4(M)".
  17. ^ "Pathetic Motorways: A5(M)".
  18. ^ "Pathetic Motorways: A8(M)".
  19. ^ "Pathetic Motorways: A20(M)".
  20. ^ "Pathetic Motorways: A48(M) Morriston Bypass".
  21. ^ "Pathetic Motorways: A48(M) Port Talbot Bypass".
  22. ^ "Pathetic Motorways: A50".
  23. ^ "Pathetic Motorways: A423(M)".
  24. ^ "Pathetic Motorways: A446(M)".
  25. ^ "Pathetic Motorways: A638(M)".
  26. ^ "Pathetic Motorways: A6127(M)".
  27. ^ "Lower Thames Crossing Statutory Consultation - Highways England - Citizen Space".
  28. ^ Elkes, Neil (6 June 2018). "Revealed: New bypass plan to end M6 and M5 traffic misery". birminghammail.
  29. ^ "Pathetic Motorways: M1 Sterling Corner Link".
  30. ^ "Pathetic Motorways: M12".
  31. ^ "Pathetic Motorways: M13".
  32. ^ "Pathetic Motorways: M19".
  33. ^ "Pathetic Motorways: M31".
  34. ^ "Pathetic Motorways: M59".
  35. ^ "Pathetic Motorways: M60".
  36. ^ "A556 Knutsford to Bowden improvement scheme".
  37. ^ "Pathetic Motorways: M601".
  38. ^ "Pathetic Motorways: M650".
  39. ^ "Pathetic Motorways: A6(M)".
  40. ^ "Pathetic Motorways: A556(M)".
  41. ^ "Pathetic Motorways: Chippenham Spur".
  42. ^ "Pathetic Motorways: Stensham-Solihull Motorway".
  43. ^ "Pathetic Motorways: M67".
  44. ^ "TransPennine: "Go the whole way, complete the M67, with a tunnel underneath"". 9 November 2014.
  45. ^ "Why is Sheffield Lagging Behind Leeds & Manchester?".
  46. ^ CBRD Histories: London Ringways Archived 18 November 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  47. ^ "Pathetic Motorways".
  48. ^ a b "Articles".
  49. ^ "Plans for part of A14 upgrade to become a motorway". GOV.UK. Retrieved 7 October 2018.
  50. ^ "New A14 bypass to open a year early". GOV.UK. Retrieved 5 December 2019.
  51. ^ a b c "History - Northern Ireland Motorway Plans - Northern Ireland Roads Site".
  52. ^ "History - Belfast Urban Motorway and A12 Westlink - Northern Ireland Roads Site".