M27 motorway

Route map:
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

M27 shield
M27 highlighted in blue
Route information
Maintained by National Highways
Length27.9 mi (44.9 km)
HistoryConstructed 1972–83
Major junctions
West endCadnam
50°55′06″N 1°35′35″W / 50.9182°N 1.5930°W / 50.9182; -1.5930 (M27 motorway (western end))
Major intersections
J3 → M271 motorway

J4 → M3 motorway

J12 → M275 motorway
East endPortsmouth
50°50′12″N 1°03′54″W / 50.8366°N 1.0650°W / 50.8366; -1.0650 (M27 motorway (eastern end))
CountryUnited Kingdom
Southampton, Fareham, Portsmouth, (Ringwood), (Bournemouth), (Poole), (Salisbury), (Winchester), (Chichester), (Brighton)
Road network
M26 M32
Looking down onto the M27 from Portsdown Hill
M27 Between junctions 5 and 7 (there is no junction 6)

The M27 is a motorway in Hampshire, England. It is 27.9 miles (44.9 km) long and runs between Cadnam and Portsmouth. It was opened in stages between 1975 and 1983, providing the largest two urban areas in Hampshire (Southampton and Portsmouth) with a direct motorway link. An extension into the county of West Sussex was planned but never constructed.[1] A number of smaller motorways were proposed, connecting the city centres of Southampton and Portsmouth to the motorway;[2] of these only the M271 and M275 were built. Three sections of the M27 have since been widened to four lanes each way, the first between junctions 7 and 8, the second between junctions 3 and 4, and the third begins at the slip road where junction 11 joins until mid-way to junction 12.


Running approximately parallel both to the coast of the Solent and to the A27, the M27 starts as an eastwards continuation of the A31 from Bournemouth and Poole, at Cadnam in the New Forest. The motorway meets the A36 from Salisbury, crosses the Wessex Main Line railway, and then meets the M271 to central Southampton. After the M271, the road becomes a dual four lane motorway and passes Rownhams services, it then meets the M3, (two lanes going off, two lanes continuing to the other side of the junction) reverting to a dual three lane motorway as it passes to the north of Southampton, passes Southampton Airport, meeting junction 7 and becoming dual four lanes again, then becoming dual three lanes after junction 8, it then runs alongside the West Coastway Line as it heads south-east towards Fareham. It then runs alongside the northern outskirts of Fareham, briefly with a fourth climbing lane in either direction, before its junction with the M275 to Portsmouth. Very shortly after this point the motorway ends, becoming the A27, a four lane dual carriageway almost to motorway standards until the junction with the A3 (M) motorway. The official reason for this section of road not being a continuation of the motorway is the hard shoulders being too narrow. Although the M275 which the M27 junctions with, has no hard shoulders along its entire length.


Opening dates[edit]

The M27 was opened in stages (in common with many UK motorways) between 1975 and 1983.[3]

  • Junction 1 to 2 opened 20 August 1975
  • Junction 2 to 4 opened in December 1975
  • Junction 4 to 7 opened in 1983
  • Junction 7 to 8 opened in February 1978
  • Junction 8 to 12 opened in March 1976

The South Stoneham Crematorium, which was located north of South Stoneham Cemetery, was demolished during 1973 to make way for the construction of the M27 motorway. The South Stoneham garden of remembrance is now located at the north end of the cemetery, adjacent to the motorway.[4]

Unfulfilled plans[edit]

It has been said[clarification needed] that the M27 was intended as a motorway connecting south coast towns from Penzance to Ramsgate.[5] However the only proposal of a route similar to that was by the Institution of Highway Engineers in 1936.[1][6][7] Road developments in the New Forest are also restricted due to its national park status.

The M27 was meant to be extended to Chichester; a sign of this is the width of the A27 road between junction 12 and the junction with the A3(M), which has three or four lanes, a hard shoulder and grade-separated junctions. It is not part of the M27 as its hard shoulders are not quite wide enough to comply with motorway regulations.[1][8]

The M272 was meant to go from junction 5 through Portswood to the centre of Southampton. The M272 was instead built (in much-reduced form) as the A335 Thomas Lewis Way.[9]

Junction 6 was never built – there were plans for a motorway spur (probably to be numbered M273) connecting the M27 to the centre of the Townhill Park area of Southampton.[2]

A planned service area just east of junction 9 was never constructed. The long westbound exit slip road at junction 9 was designed to allow an entry to and exit from the service area.[10]

2015 incident[edit]

In November 2015, an elderly woman died after falling from the A3057 bridge that crosses over the M27, into westbound traffic, just before junction 3. She had not taken her anti-psychotic medication, and escaped from her Southampton home through an upstairs window before climbing off the garage roof and running away.[11][12]

Smart motorway conversion[edit]

In March 2018, work began to convert the section between junctions 11 and 4 to a smart motorway. The scheme will turn the hard shoulder into a permanent fourth running lane, adding refuge areas along the route and installing new CCTV and speed cameras with mandatory variable speed limit signs.

In early January 2019, official work began when average speed cameras were switched on between junctions 5 and 4. Average speed cameras further along on the scheme will be turned on as work continues along the route. The work has suffered repeated delays, originally due to be complete in Spring 2021. The commissioning phase began in mid February 2022, during which time the smart motorway technology will be tested, including stopped vehicle detection radars. This is with a fully open carriageway and a 60 mph (97 km/h) speed limit controlled by electronic signs on new gantries and CCTV and speed cameras. The 60 mph limit was lifted on 29 June 2022 when the upgraded section was fully opened and returned to the national speed limit.[13]


Data from driver location signs are used to provide distance and carriageway identifier information.[14] Where a junction spans several hundred metres and start and end points are available, both are cited.

M27 motorway junctions
miles km Westbound exits (B carriageway) Junction Eastbound exits (A carriageway) Coordinates
Road continues as A31 to The WEST, Poole, Bournemouth and Ringwood Terminus
Cadnam A336, Brook, Bramshaw B3079, Lyndhurst A337
50°55′14″N 1°35′23″W / 50.9205°N 1.5896°W / 50.9205; -1.5896 (M27, Junction 1)
The New Forest, Cadnam, Lyndhurst A337
Start of motorway
Salisbury A36, Fawley A326 J2 Salisbury, Romsey A36, Fawley A326, Paultons Park 50°56′45″N 1°31′46″W / 50.9458°N 1.5295°W / 50.9458; -1.5295 (M27, Junction 2)
Southampton, The Docks M271(S), Romsey M271(N) J3 Southampton, The Docks M271 50°56′45″N 1°28′35″W / 50.9458°N 1.4764°W / 50.9458; -1.4764 (M27, Junction 3)
Rownhams Services (Roadchef) Services Rownhams Services (Roadchef) 50°57′26″N 1°26′57″W / 50.9573°N 1.4492°W / 50.9573; -1.4492 (M27, Rownhams Services)
The MIDLANDS, London, Winchester M3 J4 The MIDLANDS, London, Winchester M3 50°57′14″N 1°24′28″W / 50.9539°N 1.4077°W / 50.9539; -1.4077 (M27, Junction 4)
Southampton, Eastleigh, Airport A335 J5 Southampton, Eastleigh, Airport A335 50°56′58″N 1°22′16″W / 50.9495°N 1.3712°W / 50.9495; -1.3712 (M27, Junction 5)
Non- existent J6 'Non-existent'
Hedge End A334 J7 Hedge End, Botley A334 50°55′01″N 1°19′03″W / 50.9170°N 1.3176°W / 50.9170; -1.3176 (M27, Junction 7)
Southampton, Hamble, East Docks A3024 J8 Southampton (E), Hamble A3024 50°53′54″N 1°18′44″W / 50.8984°N 1.3122°W / 50.8984; -1.3122 (M27, Junction 8)
Fareham (W) A27, Whiteley J9 Fareham (W) A27, Whiteley 50°52′27″N 1°15′09″W / 50.8743°N 1.2526°W / 50.8743; -1.2526 (M27, Junction 9)
Alton A32 (No access from A32 to M27) J10 No exit 50°52′00″N 1°10′56″W / 50.8668°N 1.1823°W / 50.8668; -1.1823 (M27, Junction 10)
Fareham (C) A27, Gosport (A32) J11 Fareham (C) A27, Gosport (A32) 50°51′36″N 1°09′27″W / 50.8600°N 1.1576°W / 50.8600; -1.1576 (M27, Junction 11)
Portsmouth, Ferries M275 J12 Cosham, Paulsgrove, Hilsea A27, Portsmouth (W), Ferries M275 50°50′32″N 1°05′34″W / 50.8421°N 1.0927°W / 50.8421; -1.0927 (M27, Junction 12)
29.0 46.6 Start of motorway Terminus No exit, access to A3 via J12 50°55′14″N 1°35′23″W / 50.9205°N 1.5896°W / 50.9205; -1.5896 (M27, Junction 1)
Cosham A3(N), Hilsea A3(S) Road continues as A27 to Havant, Portsmouth (E), Chichester, Brighton and London (A3(M))
  • Distances in kilometres and carriageway identifiers are obtained from driver location signs/location marker posts. Where a junction spans several hundred metres (yards) and the data is available, both the start and finish values for the junction are shown.
  • Coordinate data from ACME Mapper.
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

Nearby attractions[edit]

Junction 1 is about 1,800 metres (2,000 yd) (2,400 metres (2,600 yd) by road) from The Rufus Stone, where King William II, also known as William Rufus, was killed in what may have been a hunting accident in 1100.[15]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "M27 Portsmouth-Chichester". Pathetic Motorways.
  2. ^ a b "Overall plans for the city". Retrieved 27 January 2007.[permanent dead link]
  3. ^ "M27 – The South Coast Motorway and A3(M) Statistics and options". The Motorway Archive Trust. Archived from the original on 11 March 2007. Retrieved 27 January 2007.
  4. ^ "South Stoneham Cemetery". Southampton City Council. 13 November 2009. Archived from the original on 16 May 2010. Retrieved 16 November 2009.
  5. ^ Marshall, Chris; Le Poidevin, Nigel; McGuire, Dave; Denson, James; Steve; Clive. "CBRD Motorway Database – M27". Retrieved 30 September 2008.
  6. ^ "Appendix A". The post war development of highways. Institution of Highway Engineers. 1943.
  7. ^ Charlesworth, George (1984). "2". A history of British Motorways. London: Thomas Telford Ltd. ISBN 978-0-7277-0159-6.
  8. ^ "M27 – The South Coast Motorway, M271, M275 and A3(M)". Archived from the original on 2 January 2007. Retrieved 25 January 2007. The land acquired for this stretch of the motorway was not quite wide enough – by less than a foot – and the Chief Highway Engineer of the day, quite rightly if a little pedantically, ruled that it didn't conform to motorway standards and must therefore be an all-purpose trunk road.
  9. ^ "Pathetic Motorways".
  10. ^ "Meon". Motorway services online. Retrieved 28 October 2009.
  11. ^ Reporters, The Daily Telegraph (24 October 2016). "NHS care workers did not aid patient in crisis 'as staff about to go home'". The Telegraph.
  12. ^ "Bridge fall death a 'wake-up call' for Southern Health". BBC News. 27 October 2016. Retrieved 12 October 2021.
  13. ^ "M27 junctions 4 to 11: Smart motorway - Highways England". 15 May 2020.
  14. ^ Area 3 Driver Location Signs (map) – Highway Authority, 2009
  15. ^ As measured on Google Maps

External links[edit]

Map all coordinates using: OpenStreetMap
KML is from Wikidata