M60 motorway (Great Britain)

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M60 shield
Manchester Outer Ring Road
Looking south at Cutler Hill near Failsworth
Route information
Part of E 20 and E 22
Maintained by Highways England
Length36.1 mi (58.1 km)
7 miles (11 km) are concurrent with the M62 motorway
  • Opened: 1960 (as M62), 1971 (Middleton Link), 1974 (as M63)
  • Renumbered: 1998
  • Completed: 2000
Major junctions
Orbital around Manchester
CountiesGreater Manchester
Manchester, Stockport, Trafford Park, Ashton-under-Lyne, Oldham
Road network
M58 M61

The M60 motorway, Manchester Ring Motorway or Manchester Outer Ring Road is an orbital motorway in North West England. Built over a 40-year period, it passes through most of Greater Manchester's metropolitan boroughs except for Wigan and Bolton. Most of Manchester is encompassed within the motorway, except for the southernmost part of the city (Wythenshawe and Manchester Airport) which is served by the M56.

The M60 is 36.1 miles (58.1 km) long and was renamed the M60 in 2000, with parts of the M62, M66 and all of the M63 being amalgamated into the new route.[1] The road forms part of the unsigned Euroroutes E20 and E22.

In 2008, the M60 was proposed as a cordon for congestion charging in Greater Manchester, although this was rejected in a referendum relating to the Greater Manchester Transport Innovation Fund.


The M60 at Cutler Hill, Failsworth.
The M60 motorway as it passes beneath Stockport Viaduct

The M60 was developed by connecting and consolidating the existing motorway sections of the M63, M62, and an extended M66. It came into existence as the M60 in 2000, with the completion of the eastern side (Junctions 19–24) opening in October.[2]

The original plan called for a completely new motorway, but policy change led to the plan which created the current motorway. As soon as it opened, the motorway got close to its projected maximum volume on significant sections.

It is an orbital motorway, and in 2004, a section of the northern M60 was the UK's busiest stretch of road, with an average of 181,000 vehicles per day using the stretch between junctions 16 and 17. Usually, the western side of the M25 motorway holds that distinction, but the M25's figures at the time were lower than normal due to roadworks starting.[3]

In 2006[4] the section between junctions 5 and 6 was widened from three to four lanes each way and the section between junctions 6 and 8 was widened from two to three lanes each way with an additional two-lane collector/distributor road on either side of the main carriageways. Access for junctions 6 to 8 is only from the collector/distributor road. Some of the junctions were extensively re-modelled. As part of the project, the A6144(M) motorway, which connected to the M60 at junction 8, was downgraded and lost its motorway status.

The Greater Manchester congestion charge which would have affected drivers only during peak times coming off the M60 towards Manchester was rejected by a referendum on 12 December 2008.

Work to upgrade two sections of the M60 to a managed motorway system had been planned to commence in 2013. This would have included a new lane from junction 12 to 15 and a new lane from junction 8 to 12 near the Trafford Centre.[5][6] Both these projects were subsequently cancelled in favour of a new project that includes speed cameras on this section but no additional lane or hard-shoulder running. An 'environmental assessment' was cited as the reason an additional lane was not provided. A combined approach was initiated in 2014, comprising managed motorway system and lane gain scheme. Work commenced in July 2014, and the full stretch of smart motorway became fully operational on 31 July 2018.[7]

M60 genealogy[edit]

The M60 orbits the urban core of Greater Manchester, highlighted in red on the map
M60 motorway genealogy
Section Original number
J1 – J7 M63
J7 – J12 Opened as M62,[8]
later became M63
J12 – J18 M62
J18 – J19 M66
J19 – J23 Planned as M66,
opened as M60
J23 – J25 M66
J25 – J1 M63


Each motorway in England requires that a Statutory Instrument be published, detailing the route of the road, before it can be built. The dates given on these Statutory Instruments relate to when the document was published, and not when the road was built. Provided below is an incomplete list of the Statutory Instruments relating to the route of the M60.

  • Statutory Instrument 1988 No. 1708: M66 Motorway (Manchester Ring Road, Denton to Middleton Section) and Connecting Roads Scheme 1988 S.I. 1988/1708
  • Statutory Instrument 1988 No. 1728: M66 Motorway (Middleton to the Lancashire/Yorkshire Motorway (M62) Section) and Connecting Roads Scheme 1988 S.I. 1988/1728
  • Statutory Instrument 1993 No. 363: M66 Motorway (Manchester Outer Ring Road, Denton to Middleton Section) A663 Broadway All-Purpose Connecting Road Order 1993 S.I. 1993/363
  • Statutory Instrument 1993 No. 364: M66 Motorway (Manchester Outer Ring Road, Denton to Middleton Section) and Connecting Roads Scheme 1988 Amendment Scheme 1993 S.I. 1993/364
  • Statutory Instrument 1999 No. 2724: The M60 Motorway (Improvement Between Junctions 5 and 8) Connecting Roads Scheme 1999 S.I. 1999/2724
  • Statutory Instrument 2002 No. 2403: The M60 Motorway (Junction 25) (Speed Limit) Regulations 2002 S.I. 2002/2403


The junctions on the M60 are very closely spaced together, with an average distance of 1.3 miles (2.1 km) between junctions. The recommended junction spacing for motorways is every 10 to 20 miles (16 to 32 km).[9] By comparison, the M6 motorway has an average distance of 5.3 miles (8.5 km) between junctions.

Data[10] from driver location signs are used to provide distance and carriageway identifier information.

M60 motorway junctions
mile km Anti-clockwise exits (B Carriageway) Junction Clockwise exits (A Carriageway)
0.0 0.0 Stockport (West & Centre) A5145 J1 Stockport (West) A5145
1.5 2.4 Cheadle A560 J2 No access (on-slip only)
Cheadle, Wilmslow A34 J3 Cheadle, Wilmslow A34
No access (on-slip only) J4 Chester, Warrington, Manchester Airport interchange, Birmingham (M6) M56
4.5 7.3 Chester, Manchester Airport interchange, Birmingham (M6) A5103 (M56) J5 Manchester (C), Didsbury A5103
6.0 9.7 Sale A6144 J6 Sale A6144
6.8 10.9 Manchester (C), Stretford, Altrincham A56 J7 Altrincham, Manchester (C), Stretford A56
7.5 12.0 End of variable speed limit UK traffic sign 671.svg J8 Carrington A6144
Carrington A6144 Start of variable speed limit UK traffic sign 879.svg
9.3 15.0 Trafford Park, Trafford Centre A5081 J9 Urmston B5158, Trafford Park A5081
10.3 16.5 Trafford Park, Urmston B5214 J10 Trafford Park B5214
11.4 18.4 Eccles, Irlam A57 J11 Irlam, Eccles A57
12.2 19.7 Manchester (C), Salford M602
(M6), Liverpool M62
J12 Liverpool, Warrington M62
Manchester (C), Salford M602
13.0 21.0 Swinton A572, Worsley A575 J13 Worsley, Leigh A575, Swinton A572
14.1 22.7 St. Helens, Leigh A580 J14 No access (on-slip only)
(M6 North), Preston, Wigan, Bolton M61 J15 Preston, Wigan, Bolton M61
16.3 26.2 Salford, Kearsley A666 J16 No access (on-slip only)
18.5 29.7 Manchester City Centre, Prestwich, Whitefield A56 J17 Whitefield, Prestwich A56
19.8 31.8 Start of variable speed limit UK traffic sign 879.svg J18
UK traffic sign 543.svg
Burnley, Bury M66
Leeds, Huddersfield M62
Leeds M62
Bury, Burnley, Blackburn M66
End of variable speed limit UK traffic sign 671.svg
21.0 33.8 Middleton A576 J19 Manchester City Centre, Middleton A576
22.6 36.4 No access (on-slip only) J20 Middleton, Blackley A664
24.7 39.8 Rochdale, (A627(M)), Chadderton (A663) J21 Manchester City Centre, Chadderton (A663)
26.3 42.3 Manchester City Centre, Oldham A62 J22 Oldham A62
28.6 46.0 Ashton-under-Lyne A6140 J23 Ashton-under-Lyne A635
30.6 49.3 Manchester City Centre, Denton A57, Hyde, Sheffield (M67) J24 Denton A57, Hyde, Sheffield (M67)
Manchester City Centre A57
Bredbury A560 J25 Bredbury A560
No access J26 Stockport (E&C) A560
Stockport (East) A560 J27 No access (on-slip only)
36.1 58.1 Motorway continues to J1


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "M60 Motorway". Highways Agency. Archived from the original on 15 November 2009. Retrieved 18 March 2012.
  2. ^ "M60". Highways Agency. Archived from the original on 15 November 2009. Retrieved 30 October 2009.
  3. ^ http://www.dft.gov.uk/stellent/groups/dft_transstats/documents/downloadable/dft_transstats_038887.pdf dft.gov.uk
  4. ^ "Speech by Minister of State for Transport, Dr Stephen Ladyman, delivered at the opening ceremony of the widened M60 junction 5-8". Department For Transport. 26 June 2006. Archived from the original on 17 July 2007. Retrieved 28 January 2008.
  5. ^ "M60 Junctions 8-12 Managed Motorways". Highways Agency. Retrieved 19 December 2012.
  6. ^ "M60 Junctions 15-12 Lane Gain". Highways Agency. Retrieved 19 December 2012.
  7. ^ "North-West Smart Motorways - M60 junction 8 to M62 junction 20". Highways England. Retrieved 30 June 2020.
  8. ^ M62, Pathetic Motorways
  9. ^ "M60". CBRD. Retrieved 8 April 2018.
  10. ^ "Traffic England Live Traffic Condition Map". Locations extracted from Traffic Camera Popup identifier text. Highways Agency. p. 1. Archived from the original on 10 February 2012. Retrieved 30 October 2009.
  11. ^ "M60 fatal crash: Car chased by police drove wrong way on motorway". BBC. 28 May 2021. Retrieved 29 May 2021.

External links[edit]

Route map:

KML is from Wikidata

Further reading[edit]

  • Hyde, M., O'Rourke, A. and Portland, P. Around the M60: Manchester's Orbital Motorway. Altrincham: AMCD Publishers, 2004.