M60 motorway

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The M60 motorway, Manchester Ring Motorway, or Manchester Outer Ring Road, is an orbital motorway around the Manchester conurbation in Lancashire and Cheshire. It is 36 miles long and was numbered as such in 2000, with parts of the M62 and M66 and all of the M63 being amalgamated into the new route.[1]


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.

As an orbital motorway, it is equivalent to London's M25 motorway; unlike the M25, the M60 forms a complete loop. 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.

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 will not be provided. Consequently, daily congestion on this section is expected to continue indefinitely.[7] A combined approach was initiated in 2014, comprising managed motorway system and lane gain scheme. Work commmenced in July 2014 and is expected to be completed by August 2017

M60 genealogy

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


The junctions on the M60 are very closely spaced together, with an average distance of 1.3 miles between junctions. The recommended junction spacing for motorways is 1 every 10–20 miles.[9] By comparison, the M6 motorway has an average distance of 5.3 miles between junctions.

M60 motorway
mile Anti-clockwise exits - "B" Carriageway Junction Clockwise exits - "A" Carriageway
0.0 Stockport A5145 J1 Stockport A5145
1.5 Cheadle A560 J2 No access
Cheadle, Wilmslow A34 J3 Cheadle, Wilmslow A34
Cheadle, Wilmslow A34 J4 Chester, Warrington, Manchester Airport M56, Birmingham (M6)
4.5 Wythenshawe A5103
Manchester, Knutsford (A556), Chester (M56)
J5 Manchester, Didsbury A5103
6.0 Sale A6144 J6 Sale A6144
6.8 Altrincham A56 J7 Altrincham, Stretford A56
7.5 Carrington A6144 J8 Carrington A6144
9.3 Trafford Park, Trafford Centre A5081 J9 Trafford Park, Trafford Centre, Urmston A5081
10.3 Trafford Park B5214 J10 Trafford Park B5214
11.4 Irlam, Eccles A57 J11 Irlam, Eccles A57
12.2 Warrington, Liverpool M62
Salford M602
J12 Warrington, Liverpool M62
Salford M602
13.0 Swinton A572
Worsley, Leigh A575
J13 Swinton A572
14.1 St Helens, Leigh A580 J14 No access
Bolton, Wigan, Preston M61 J15 Bolton, Wigan, Preston M61
16.3 Salford, Clifton, Pendlebury, Kearsley A666 J16 No access
18.5 Whitefield, Manchester, Prestwich A56 J17 Prestwich, Whitefield A56
19.8 Leeds, Bolton, Preston, Liverpool M62
Bury, Burnley M66
J18 Leeds M62
21.0 Middleton, Manchester A576 J19 Middleton, Manchester A576
22.6 No access J20 Blackley, Moston A664
24.7 Oldham, Failsworth A663 J21 Oldham, Failsworth A663
26.3 Manchester City Centre, Chadderton A663 J22 Oldham, Failsworth A62
28.6 Ashton-under-Lyne A635 J23 Ashton-under-Lyne A635
30.6 Manchester A57
Sheffield M67
J24 Manchester A57
Sheffield M67 Denton Island
Bredbury A560 J25 Bredbury A560
No access J26 Stockport A560
Stockport East (multiple roads) J27 No access
36.1 Road continues to J1


  1. "M60 Motorway". Highways Agency. Archived from the original on 2009-11-15. http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20091115001925/http://www.highways.gov.uk/roads/23612.aspx. Retrieved 2012-03-18. 
  2. "M60". Highways Agency. Archived from the original on 15 November 2009. http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20091115001925/http://www.highways.gov.uk/roads/23612.aspx. 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. https://www.dft.gov.uk/press/speechesstatements/speeches/m60widening. Retrieved 28 January 2008. 
  5. "M60 Junctions 8-12 Managed Motorways". Highways Agency. http://www.highways.gov.uk/roads/road-projects/M60-Junctions-8-12-Managed-Motorways. Retrieved 2012-12-19. 
  6. "M60 Junctions 15-12 Lane Gain". Highways Agency. http://www.highways.gov.uk/roads/road-projects/m60-junctions-15-12-lane-gain/. Retrieved 2012-12-19. 
  7. "M60 Junction 8 to M62 Junction 20: Smart Motorway". Highways Agency. http://www.highways.gov.uk/roads/road-projects/m60-junction-8-to-m62-junction-20/. Retrieved 2014-05-31. 
  8. M62, Pathetic Motorways
  9. http://www.cbrd.co.uk/motorway/m60/

Outside links

Further reading

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

Motorways in the United Kingdom

Great Britain: M1  • M2  • M3  • M4  • M5  • M6  • M6 Toll  • M8  • M9  • M10  • M11  • M18  • M20  • M23  • M25  • M26  • M27  • M32  • M40  • M42  • M45  • M48  • M49  • M50  • M53  • M54  • M55  • M56  • M57  • M58  • M60  • M61  • M62  • M63  • M65  • M66  • M67  • M69  • M73  • M74  • M77  • M80  • M85  • M90  • M180  • M181  • M271  • M275  • M602  • M606  • M621  • M876  • M898  • Sections of A road: A1(M)

Former motorways marked in italics

Northern Ireland: M1  • M2  • M3  • M5  • M12  • M22