M6 motorway

The M6 motorway runs from junction 19 of the M1 at the Catthorpe Interchange, near Rugby, Coventry via Birmingham then heads north, passing Stoke-on-Trent, Liverpool, Manchester, Preston, Lancaster, Carlisle and terminating at the Gretna junction (J45). Here, just short of the Scottish border it becomes the A74(M) which continues to Glasgow as the M74. Its busiest sections are J4-10a at Birmingham and J16-19 in Cheshire as this forms the main route from the East/West Midlands and London to Manchester and Liverpool, These sections are now Smart Motorway.

As of 2016, the M6, as well as combining with the length of the A14 from Brampton (Cambridgeshire) from junction with A1(M), the A74(M) and M74 to the junction with the M8 in Glasgow, forms the longest continuous motorway in the United Kingdom and one of the busiest. It incorporated the Preston By-pass, the first length of motorway opened in the UK and forms part of a motorway "Backbone of Britain", running north−south between London and Glasgow via the industrial North of England. It is also part of the east−west route between the Midlands and the east-coast ports. The section from the M1 to the M6 Toll split near Birmingham forms part of the unsigned E-road E 24 and the section from the M6 Toll and the M42 forms part of E 05.


M6 motorway (Great Britain) map
Gravelly Hill Interchange, best known as Spaghetti Junction
Route information
Part of , , and
Maintained by Highways England
Length232.2 mi (373.7 km)
HistoryOpened: 1958
Completed: 2008
Major junctions
South endCatthorpe
52°24′02″N 1°10′31″W / 52.400442°N 1.175215°W
M1 motorway
Junction 2.svg

J2 → M69 motorway
Junction 3a.svg
UK-Motorway-M6 Toll

J3a → M6 Toll
Junction 4.svg

J4 → M42 motorway
Junction 4a.svg

J4a → M42 motorway
Junction 6.svg
UK-Motorway-A38 (M)

J6 → A38(M) motorway
Junction 8.svg UK-Motorway-M5.svg
J8 → M5 motorway
Junction 10a.svg

J10a → M54 motorway
Junction 11a.svg
UK-Motorway-M6 Toll

J11a → M6 Toll
Junction 20.svg

J20 → M56 motorway
Junction 21a.svg

J21a → M62 motorway
Junction 26.svg

J26 → M58 motorway
Junction 29.svg

J29 → M65 motorway
Junction 30.svg

J30 → M61 motorway
Junction 32.svg

J32 → M55 motorway
Junction 35.svg
UK-Motorway-A601 (M)

J35 → A601(M) motorway
Junction 45.svg
UK-Motorway-A74 (M)

J45 → A74(M) motorway
North endGretna
54°59′48″N 3°03′19″W / 54.996672°N 3.055336°W
CountiesLeicestershire, Warwickshire, West Midlands, Staffordshire, Cheshire, Merseyside, Greater Manchester, Lancashire, Cumbria
Road network
M5M6 Toll


The M6 motorway runs from junction 19 of the M1 and from the beginning of the A14 in Catthorpe near Rugby in central England, passes between Coventry, Bedworth and Nuneaton, through Birmingham, Walsall and Stafford and near the smaller cities of Wolverhampton and Stoke-on-Trent.[1] The motorway has major junctions with the M55 at Junction 32, north of Preston ending just before Blackpool, the M65 at Junction 29, south of Preston, towards Blackburn and then Burnley, the M56 and M62 at Warrington, giving access to Chester, Manchester and Liverpool.[2] The M6 then heads north past Wigan, Preston and Lancaster.[3] After the latter two cities it passes through Cumbria with some parts very close to the edge of the Lake District with a short stretch within the national park boundaries and then passes Carlisle on its way to Gretna,[4] before the motorway becomes the A74(M) a few hundred metres (yards) short of the Scottish border.[5][6]


Planning and construction

The first section of the motorway and the first motorway in the country was the Preston By-pass. It was built by Tarmac Construction and opened by the Prime Minister Harold Macmillan on 5 December 1958.[7] In January 1959 the Preston by-pass was closed because of rapid surface deterioration over a stretch of 100 yards (91 m) "due to water freezing and then thawing". Motorists were diverted to the old road while the UK road research laboratory at Harmondsworth pondered the importance of surface water drainage.[8]

Later, other sections of the motorway were constructed, and finally it was all linked together, giving an uninterrupted motorway length of 230 miles (370 km).[9][10][11]

M6 motorway, Cheshire, 1969
The M6 in Cheshire

The second phase of construction was completed in 1960, forming the Lancaster by-pass. Some 100 miles (160 km) south, the Stafford by-pass was completed in 1962.[12][13] By 1965, the remaining sections of motorway Stafford–Preston and Preston–Lancaster had been completed. 1968 saw the completion of the Walsall to Stafford link as well as the Penrith by-pass some 150 miles (240 km) north in Cumberland. In 1970, the Lancaster–Penrith link was completed, along with a short section of motorway by-passing the south of Walsall. The most northerly section of the motorway also opened in 1970, running to the designated terminus north of Carlisle. By 1971,[12] the full route was completed between the junction with the M1 motorway at Rugby and the A38 road several miles north-east of Birmingham city centre, including Bromford Viaduct between Castle Bromwich (J5) and Gravelly Hill (J6), which at 3½ miles is the longest viaduct in Great Britain.[14][15]

Junction 6 in Birmingham is widely known as Spaghetti Junction because of its complexity and round and curvy-like design. On the elevated ground between Shap and Tebay, the north and south-bound carriages split apart.[16] At this point a local road (to Scout Green) runs between the two carriageways without a link to the motorway.[17]

The section of the M6 that runs over Shap Fell in Cumbria is 1,036 ft (316 m) above sea level, one of the highest points on any motorway in the UK (junction 22 of the M62 on Saddleworth Moor is higher). The motorway engineers here chose to follow the route of the Lancaster and Carlisle Railway engineered by Joseph Locke (now part of the West Coast Main Line) where the motorway runs in a split-level cutting above the railway in the descent from Shap Fell through the Lune Gorge into southern Cumbria.[18]

The northbound entry slip road at Lancaster (junction 34) was unusually short, presenting problems for traffic joining the motorway. The M6 crosses the River Lune at this point and unless the bridge had been made wider, there was no space to build a longer slip road. This junction was upgraded from an earlier emergency-vehicles-only access point, which explains the substandard design.[19] The construction of the Heysham to M6 Link Road (The Bay Gateway) has completely re-modelled this junction with a wide additional bridge over the River Lune and other works repositioning slip roads with new acceleration lanes to modern standards.

The route was originally intended to replace the old A6, which it does along the northern section starting with the Preston Bypass. However, a much closer approximation to the overall actual route of the M6 (heading north from its southern terminus) is provided by following the A45, A34, A50, A49, then the A6.[20] South of Preston, the A6 route is instead supplemented by the M61 as far as Manchester, with the M60 acting as a bypass around the city. South of Manchester, there is no true motorway replacement for the old road. The M1 acts as a bypass for long-distance traffic in the south, from the Kegworth junction near Nottingham, to Luton and St. Albans near London; but, it is not an alternative for local traffic as the routes diverge by more than 15 miles while passing through Northamptonshire. Across the Pennines, the old road remains the main local through-route, and long-distance fast traffic between Derby and Manchester must instead take either the A50 and M6, or M1 and M62.[21]


In July 1972 the UK Minister for Transport Industries announced that 86 miles (138 km) of UK motorway particularly prone to fog would benefit from lighting in a project which "should be" completed by 1973.[22] Sections to be illuminated included the M6 between junctions 10 and 11, and between junctions 20 and 27.[22]

In March 2006, after 15 years of debate,[23] the government authorised the construction of a 6-mile (9.7 km) extension of the M6 from its then northern terminus near Carlisle to the Anglo-Scottish border at Gretna (the so-called "Cumberland Gap"), where it links into the existing A74(M).[24] The road opened on 5 December 2008, the 50th anniversary of the M6 Preston By-pass.[25] The project, which was a mixture of new road and upgrade of the existing A74, crosses the West Coast Main Line and had an estimated costs of £174 million. It completed an uninterrupted motorway from just south of Dunblane (via the M9, the recently opened M80 section near Cumbernauld and the M73) in the north to Exeter (via the M5) and to London (via both the M42/M40 and the M1) in the south.[26]

The M6 Toll, Britain's first toll motorway, which bypasses the West Midlands conurbation to the east and north of Birmingham and Walsall and was built to alleviate congestion through the West Midlands, and opened in December 2003. Before the opening of the toll motorway, this section of the M6 carried 180,000 vehicles per day at its busiest point near Wolverhampton (between the junctions with the M54 and M5 motorways), compared with a design capacity of only 72,000 vehicles. Usage, at about 50,000 vehicles, was lower than expected and traffic levels on the M6 were only slightly reduced as a result. The high toll prices, which were set by the operating company and over which the UK government has no influence until 2054, were blamed for the low usage.[27] Much traffic continues to use the M6 or the continued on the M1 and took the A50 or A52.[28] As of July 2012 the road between Junctions 3A and 11A now carries 120,000 motor vehicles every day.[29]

A proposed extension to the M6 Toll known as the 'M6 Expressway', which would have continued from the M6 Toll as far as Knutsford, at which point much of the existing M6 traffic leaves the M6 for Manchester, was abandoned in 2006 due to excessive costs, anticipated construction problems[30] and disappointing levels of use of the M6 Toll.

In October 2007, following a successful trial on the M42 in the West Midlands, the UK government announced that two stretches of the M6 would be upgraded to allow the hard shoulder to be used as a normal running lane during busy conditions under a scheme called active traffic management.[31] The two stretches, between junctions 4 and 5 and between junctions 10a and 8, are two of the busiest sections on the entire motorway.[32] It was then proposed that the system could be extended onto other stretches of the M6 while the government undertook a feasibility study to determine other likely locations for this technology to be used.[33] The stretch between junctions 4 and 5 was completed during December 2009[34] while the stretch between junctions 10a and 8 was completed during March 2011.[35] This was then followed by a stretch between junctions 5 and 8 which started construction in April 2012 and was completed in October 2014.[36]

Current developments

Managed motorway J13 to 15 and J16 to 19

After plans of the government to improve reliability and capacity between Junctions 11 by Cannock and Junction 19 near Knutsford, it favoured a new motorway in 2004, 'The Expressway' following a roughly parallel course to the existing M6.[37][38] In July 2006, the government announced its decision to abandon the Expressway proposal, and favoured widening accompanied by demand-management measures,[30] and launched a study to consider options for providing additional capacity.[39] After the stretch between junction 10a and 13 was upgraded to a managed motorway in February 2016,[40] it was then proposed to introduce a managed motorway between junction 13 and 19,[41] later divided into two separate stretches, between junctions 16 and 19 and junctions 13 and 15.[42] The stretch between junctions 16 and 19 started construction in December 2015[43] and was completed in March 2019[44] while construction on the stretch between junctions 13 and 15 commenced in March 2018.[45]


Data from driver location signs are used to provide distance and carriageway identifier information. Where a junction spans several hundred metres (yards) and the start and end distances are known, both distances are shown.[46][47]

M6 motorway junctions
mile km Northbound exits (A carriageway) Junction Southbound exits (B carriageway) Coordinates
Motorway continues as A74(M) towards Glasgow, Scotland Start of motorway 54°59′48″N 3°03′19″W / 54.996672°N 3.055336°W
313.2 504.3 Gretna B7076, Longtown A6071 J45
No access (on-slip only) 54°59′35″N 3°02′54″W / 54.992979°N 3.048234°W
River Esk 54°58′29″N 3°00′33″W / 54.974768°N 3.009213°W
Todhills Rest Area Services Todhills Rest Area 54°57′06″N 2°58′47″W / 54.951585°N 2.979612°W
Carlisle (North), Galashiels A7 J44
Carlisle A7, Workington A689 54°55′48″N 2°56′47″W / 54.930138°N 2.946332°W
River Eden 54°54′34″N 2°53′43″W / 54.909346°N 2.895290°W
Carlisle, Hexham, Newcastle A69 J43 Carlisle, Hexham, Newcastle A69 54°53′43″N 2°53′13″W / 54.895293°N 2.886851°W
Carlisle (South) A6 J42 Carlisle A6 54°51′27″N 2°52′42″W / 54.85759°N 2.878375°W
Southwaite services Services Southwaite services 54°47′57″N 2°52′16″W / 54.799077°N 2.871079°W
Wigton B5305 J41 Wigton B5305 54°41′36″N 2°47′30″W / 54.69343°N 2.791729°W
Penrith, Workington, Brough A66 J40 Penrith, Keswick, Brough A66 54°39′11″N 2°45′37″W / 54.653056°N 2.760186°W
Shap (A6) J39 Shap, Kendal (A6) 54°30′30″N 2°38′59″W / 54.508252°N 2.649765°W
Tebay services Services Tebay services 54°27′05″N 2°36′29″W / 54.451304°N 2.608008°W
River Lune 54°26′28″N 2°35′43″W / 54.44115°N 2.59518°W
Brough A685, Appleby B6260 J38 Kendal, Brough A685 54°26′12″N 2°35′49″W / 54.436805°N 2.596893°W
Kendal, Sedbergh A684 J37 Kendal, Sedbergh A684 54°19′51″N 2°37′22″W / 54.330965°N 2.622857°W
No access Services Killington Lake services 54°18′54″N 2°38′21″W / 54.315046°N 2.639122°W
Barrow, Kendal A590 (A591), Kirkby Lonsdale A65 J36 Skipton, Kirkby Lonsdale A65, Barrow A590 54°14′11″N 2°43′00″W / 54.236365°N 2.716541°W
Burton-in-Kendal services Services No access 54°10′41″N 2°44′02″W / 54.178185°N 2.733879°W
Entering Cumbria Entering Lancashire 54°10′12″N 2°44′15″W / 54.17005°N 2.73748°W
Carnforth, Morecambe A601(M) (A6) J35 Carnforth, Morecambe A601(M) (A6) 54°07′43″N 2°44′59″W / 54.128700°N 2.749758°W
Kirkby Lonsdale, Heysham, Morecambe, Heysham Uk roadsign ferry.svg A683, Lancaster A589 J34 Lancaster, Morecambe A683 54°04′18″N 2°46′16″W / 54.071578°N 2.771087°W
Lancaster (South) A6 J33 Garstang, Fleetwood A6 53°58′57″N 2°46′51″W / 53.982516°N 2.780743°W
Lancaster (Forton) services Services Lancaster (Forton) services 53°57′44″N 2°45′37″W / 53.962095°N 2.760229°W
River Wyre 53°57′14″N 2°45′05″W / 53.95391°N 2.75135°W
Blackpool, Fleetwood M55
Preston (N) (A6)
J32 Blackpool, Preston (N) (A6) M55 53°48′24″N 2°41′52″W / 53.806759°N 2.697787°W
Preston (E), Longridge B6242 J31A No access (on-slip only) 53°47′20″N 2°39′30″W / 53.788940°N 2.658262°W
River Ribble J31 Preston, Clitheroe A59 53°45′54″N 2°38′09″W / 53.764949°N 2.635903°W
Preston (C), Blackburn (N), Clitheroe A59 River Ribble
No access (on-slip only) J30 Manchester, Bolton M61, Leeds (M62), Blackburn (M65) 53°44′04″N 2°38′52″W / 53.734320°N 2.647705°W
Burnley, Blackburn, Preston (S) M65 J29 Burnley, Blackburn M65 53°42′58″N 2°39′39″W / 53.716190°N 2.660751°W
Leyland B5256 (A49) J28 Leyland B5256 53°41′45″N 2°40′39″W / 53.695893°N 2.677574°W
Charnock Richard services Services Charnock Richard services 53°37′54″N 2°41′27″W / 53.631534°N 2.690835°W
204.8 329.6 Entering Lancashire J27 Wigan, Parbold A5209 53°35′23″N 2°41′40″W / 53.589728°N 2.694440°W
204.4 329.0 Parbold, Standish, Chorley A5209 Entering Greater Manchester
Skelmersdale, Liverpool, Southport M58 J26 Skelmersdale, Liverpool, Southport M58 53°32′03″N 2°41′53″W / 53.534110°N 2.698045°W
Wigan A49 J25 No access (on-slip only) 53°30′07″N 2°39′35″W / 53.501806°N 2.659678°W
No access (on-slip only) J24 St Helens, Ashton A58 53°29′12″N 2°39′10″W / 53.486718°N 2.652898°W
Entering Greater Manchester Entering Merseyside 53°28′49″N 2°38′38″W / 53.4802°N 2.64398°W
St Helens, Liverpool, Southport A580 J23 Manchester, Liverpool, Newton A580 53°28′17″N 2°38′01″W / 53.471292°N 2.633629°W
192.4 309.6 Entering Merseyside J22 Warrington (North) A49 53°26′24″N 2°35′03″W / 53.440116°N 2.584105°W
192.1 309.1 Newton A49, Leigh A579 Entering Cheshire
Leeds, Bolton, Manchester (N) M62 J21A Manchester, Bolton, Leeds M62 53°25′33″N 2°33′21″W / 53.425926°N 2.555909°W
Liverpool, Warrington (N), Southport (M57) M62 Liverpool M62
Warrington (Ctr & East), Irlam A57 J21 Warrington (Central), Irlam A57 53°23′52″N 2°30′36″W / 53.397814°N 2.509947°W
Thelwall Viaduct 53°23′23″N 2°30′21″W / 53.389753°N 2.505784°W
185.6 298.7 NORTH WALES, Chester, Runcorn M56
Warrington (South), Lymm A50
Lymm Truck Stop
Macclesfield, Warrington (S) A50, Lymm B5158
Lymm Truck Stop
53°21′37″N 2°30′33″W / 53.360413°N 2.509089°W
NORTH WALES, Chester, Runcorn, Manchester (S & Airport interchange) M56[Note 1] 53°21′30″N 2°30′29″W / 53.358466°N 2.507973°W
Manchester, Manchester Airport interchange (M56) A556 J19 Northwich, Macclesfield, Knutsford, Winsford A556 53°18′42″N 2°25′03″W / 53.311596°N 2.417636°W
Knutsford services Services[Note 2] Knutsford services 53°18′03″N 2°24′06″W / 53.300826°N 2.401586°W
Northwich, Chester, Middlewich, Holmes Chapel, Winsford A54 J18 Northwich, Chester, Middlewich, Holmes Chapel, Winsford A54 53°12′01″N 2°23′15″W / 53.200377°N 2.387509°W
Sandbach, Congleton A534 J17 Congleton, Sandbach A534 53°09′12″N 2°20′48″W / 53.153230°N 2.346697°W
Sandbach services Services Sandbach services 53°08′21″N 2°20′11″W / 53.139048°N 2.336526°W
162.6 261.7 Entering Cheshire J16 Newcastle-under-Lyme, Stoke-on-Trent (North), Crewe, Nantwich A500 53°04′07″N 2°20′01″W / 53.068632°N 2.333565°W
162.3 261.2 Nantwich, Crewe A500 Entering Staffordshire
Keele services Services Keele services 52°59′37″N 2°17′22″W / 52.993555°N 2.289362°W
Stoke-on-Trent, Newcastle-under-Lyme A500 J15 Stoke-on-Trent, Stone A500, Derby (A50) 52°58′32″N 2°13′35″W / 52.975573°N 2.226319°W
Stafford services (northbound) Services No access 52°53′02″N 2°10′07″W / 52.883919°N 2.168555°W
No access Stafford services (southbound) 52°52′26″N 2°09′54″W / 52.873948°N 2.164907°W
Stone, Stafford (N) A34 J14 Stafford (N) A34 52°49′35″N 2°08′44″W / 52.826520°N 2.145596°W
End of variable speed limit UK traffic sign 671.svg J13 Start of variable speed limit UK traffic sign 879.svg 52°45′49″N 2°06′28″W / 52.763567°N 2.107873°W
Stafford (S & C) A449 Stafford (S) A449
Telford (M54) A5 J12 NORTH WALES, Telford (M54), Wolverhampton, Cannock A5 52°41′20″N 2°06′12″W / 52.689026°N 2.103453°W
No access (on-slip only) J11A
The SOUTH M6 Toll 52°40′10″N 2°04′27″W / 52.669538°N 2.074270°W
(M6 Toll), Cannock A460 J11 Wolverhampton, Cannock A460 52°39′30″N 2°03′52″W / 52.658424°N 2.06440°W
Hilton Park services Services Hilton Park services 52°38′36″N 2°03′23″W / 52.643402°N 2.056503°W
NORTH & MID WALES, Telford, Wolverhampton, Shrewsbury (A5) M54 J10A No access (on-slip only) 52°37′49″N 2°02′56″W / 52.630172°N 2.048950°W
Entering West Midlands 52°37′07″N 2°01′56″W / 52.61874°N 2.03209°W
Entering Staffordshire 52°37′01″N 2°01′49″W / 52.61693°N 2.03038°W
Walsall, Wolverhampton (C & E) A454 J10 Wolverhampton (C & E), Walsall A454 52°35′06″N 2°00′51″W / 52.584877°N 2.014275°W
Wednesbury A461 J9 Wednesbury A461 52°34′00″N 2°00′12″W / 52.566543°N 2.003202°W
119.9 193.0 The SOUTH WEST, Birmingham (W & S), West Bromwich M5 J8
The SOUTH WEST, Birmingham (W & S), West Bromwich M5 52°33′26″N 1°58′36″W / 52.557125°N 1.976681°W
Birmingham (N), Walsall A34 J7
Birmingham (N) A34 52°33′11″N 1°56′02″W / 52.553081°N 1.934023°W
Birmingham (C) A38(M)
Birmingham (NE) A38
Birmingham (NE), Lichfield A38
Birmingham (E & C) A38(M)
52°30′36″N 1°51′50″W / 52.510083°N 1.863792°W
Bromford Viaduct 52°30′22″N 1°49′44″W / 52.506°N 1.829°W
Birmingham (E), Sutton Coldfield A452 J5
No access (on-slip only) 52°30′33″N 1°47′21″W / 52.509274°N 1.789076°W
Entering Warwickshire 52°30′47″N 1°45′13″W / 52.51302°N 1.75356°W
No access (on-slip only) J4A The NORTH EAST (M1), The NORTH WEST (M6 Toll) , Tamworth M42(N)
The SOUTH WEST (M5), London (S & W) (M40), Birmingham (S), Birmingham International BR-logo.svg, Birmingham Airport interchange, N.E.C. M42(S)
52°30′36″N 1°44′49″W / 52.509966°N 1.747062°W
Entering West Midlands 52°28′43″N 1°42′54″W / 52.47857°N 1.71495°W
106.0 170.6 Start of variable speed limit UK traffic sign 879.svg J4 Coventry (S & W), Birmingham (E), N.E.C., Birmingham International BR-logo.svg, Birmingham Airport interchange A446 52°28′37″N 1°42′26″W / 52.476808°N 1.707237°W
105.7 170.1 Coleshill A446
The SOUTH WEST (M5), Birmingham (S), Solihull, N.E.C., Birmingham Airport interchange M42
End of variable speed limit UK traffic sign 671.svg
The NORTH WEST M6 Toll, Tamworth M42(N) J3A
No access (on-slip only) 52°28′26″N 1°40′18″W / 52.473880°N 1.671681°W
Corley services Services Corley services 52°28′17″N 1°32′47″W / 52.471488°N 1.546326°W
Coventry (North), Nuneaton, Bedworth A444 J3 Coventry (N), Nuneaton A444, Bedworth B4113 52°27′47″N 1°29′38″W / 52.463004°N 1.493776°W
Entering Warwickshire Entering West Midlands 52°27′29″N 1°28′58″W / 52.45798°N 1.48271°W
Entering West Midlands Entering Warwickshire 52°26′24″N 1°26′24″W / 52.43995°N 1.43995°W
Coventry (E) A46, Leicester M69 J2 (M1(N)), Leicester M69, Coventry (E) A46 52°26′16″N 1°25′47″W / 52.437870°N 1.429832°W
Rugby A426 J1 Rugby, Lutterworth A426 52°24′29″N 1°14′45″W / 52.408087°N 1.245725°W
Entering Warwickshire Entering Leicestershire 52°24′22″N 1°12′35″W / 52.40604°N 1.2096°W
85.2 137.1 Start of motorway UK motorway symbol.svg M1 J19
The SOUTH, London, Northampton M1 52°24′02″N 1°10′31″W / 52.400442°N 1.175215°W
The NORTH, Leicester M1(N) End of motorway Mauritius Road Signs - Information Sign - End of Motorway.svg
Road continues as
A14 towards Kettering
  1. ^ 1: Southbound offslip for the M56 signed as J20A.
  2. ^ 2: Unsuitable for heavy goods vehicles.


Each motorway in England requires that a legal document called a Statutory Instrument is 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 M6.

  • Statutory Instrument 1987 No. 252: County Council of West Midlands (M6 Motorway Junction 10) (Connecting Road) Scheme 1985 Confirmation Instrument 1987[48]
  • Statutory Instrument 1987 No. 2254: M6 Motorway (Catthorpe Interchange) Connecting Roads Scheme 1987[49]
  • Statutory Instrument 1990 No. 2659: M6 Motorway: Widening between Junctions 20 and 21A (Thelwall Viaduct) and Connecting Roads Scheme 1990[50]
  • Statutory Instrument 1991 No. 1873: M6 Motorway (Widening and Improvements Between Junctions 30 and 32) and Connecting Roads Scheme 1991[51]
  • Statutory Instrument 1993 No. 1370: Lancashire County Council (Proposed Connecting Roads to M6 Motorway at Haighton) Special Roads Scheme 1992 Confirmation Instrument 1993[52]
  • Statutory Instrument 1997 No. 1292: M6 Birmingham to Carlisle Motorway (At Haighton) Connecting Roads Scheme 1997[53]
  • Statutory Instrument 1997 No. 1293: M6 Birmingham To Carlisle Motorway (at Haighton) Special Roads Scheme 1997 Transfer Order 1997[54]
  • Statutory Instrument 1998 No. 125: The M6 Motorway (Saredon and Packington Diversions) Scheme 1998[55]

See also


  1. ^ Frommer's Short (22 December 2011). "4". The Borders and Galloway Regions, Scotland: Frommer's ShortCuts. 1. I (I ed.). London: John Wiley & Sons. pp. 56–. ISBN 978-1-118-27111-7.
  2. ^ Highways Agency, ed. (2004). "1". M6 Route Management Strategy: Warrington to the Scottish Borders : Final Strategy Summary Brochure, January 2004. 1. 1 (I ed.). Scotland: Highways Agency. p. 54.
  3. ^ Lesley Anne Rose; Michael Macaroon; Vivienne Crow (6 January 2012). "36". Frommer's Scotland. I. I (I ed.). London: John Wiley & Sons. pp. 424–. ISBN 978-1-119-99276-9.
  4. ^ Baldwin, Peter; Porter (M.S.), John; Baldwin, Robert (2004). "72". In Thomas Telford (ed.). The Motorway Achievement. I. I (One ed.). London: Thomas Telford. pp. 836–. ISBN 978-0-7277-3196-8. Retrieved 9 July 2012.
  5. ^ Highways Agency, ed. (2004). "1". M6 Route Management Strategy: Warrington to the Scottish Borders : Final Strategy Summary Brochure, January 2004. 1. 1 (I ed.). Scotland: Highways Agency. p. 73.
  6. ^ Frommer's Short (22 December 2011). "3". The Borders and Galloway Regions, Scotland: Frommer's ShortCuts. I. I (I ed.). Scotland: John Wiley & Sons. pp. 56–. ISBN 978-1-118-27111-7. Retrieved 9 July 2012.
  7. ^ "Preston Bypass Opening (Booklet)" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 29 February 2008. Retrieved 20 January 2008.
  8. ^ "The Preston By-pass-Enquiry Needed". Practical Motorist and Motor Cyclist. Vol. 5 no. 57. March 1959. p. 803.
  9. ^ Surveyor. The St. Bride's press. 1978. p. 21.
  10. ^ British Information Services; Great Britain. Central Office of Information (1 January 1970). "I". Survey of British and Commonwealth affairs. One. I (I ed.). England, United Kingdom: Published for British Information Services by Her Majesty's Stationery Office. Retrieved 9 July 2012.
  11. ^ Great Britain. Central Office of Information. Reference Division; British Information Services (1979). Inland transport in Britain. H.M.S.O. ISBN 978-0-11-700989-9. Retrieved 9 July 2012.
  12. ^ a b Institution of Highway Engineers (1981). The Highway engineer. Institution of Highway Engineers. p. 23. Retrieved 9 July 2012.
  13. ^ "III". Surveyor. 1. XII (XII ed.). London: The St. Bride's press. 1978. p. 35.
  14. ^ "''ciht.org.uk''". Ciht.org.uk (Self-published). Archived from the original on 7 February 2012. Retrieved 31 December 2011.
  15. ^ John Porter (M.S.) (2002). The Motorway Achievement: Frontiers of Knowledge and Practice. Thomas Telford. pp. 539–. ISBN 978-0-7277-3197-5.
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  17. ^ "2". The Spectator. 245. F.C. Westley. 1980. Retrieved 9 July 2012.
  18. ^ Great Britain. Ministry of Housing and Local Government (1965). The Municipal Journal. 73. Municipal Journal.
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  21. ^ "M6". The Motorway Archive. Midland Links Motorways. Self-published. Archived from the original on 7 February 2012. Retrieved 9 July 2012.
  22. ^ a b "News: Motorway lighting". Autocar. Vol. 137 no. 3978. 13 July 1972. p. 19.
  23. ^ "M6 Carlisle — Gretna". CBRD. Self-published. Archived from the original on 27 October 2007. Retrieved 20 January 2008.
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  26. ^ Royal Town Planning Institute (2006). "I". Planning: for the natural and built environment. I. I (1 ed.). London: Planning Publications. p. 14.
  27. ^ "one year after study" (PDF). Highways Agency. 11 August 2005. Archived from the original (PDF) on 18 November 2009. Retrieved 24 January 2008.
  28. ^ Highways & road construction international. 41. 1973.
  29. ^ Great Britain. Parliament. House of Commons (2012). Parliamentary debates: Official report. H.M. Stationery Off.
  30. ^ a b "Decision on M6 Upgrade Announced". News Distribution Service for the Government and Public Sector. Archived from the original on 4 May 2008. Retrieved 3 May 2014.
  31. ^ "Hard-shoulder scheme to go nationwide". The Independent. 27 October 2007. Archived from the original on 27 October 2007. Retrieved 25 January 2007.
  32. ^ Baldwin, Peter; John, Porter (M.S.); Baldwin, Robert; Thomas Telford (2004). "XIV". In Thomas Telford (ed.). The Motorway Achievement. I. I (I ed.). London: Thomas Telford. p. 693. ISBN 978-0-7277-3196-8.
  33. ^ Baldwin, Peter; John, Porter (M.S.); Baldwin, Robert; Thomas Telford (2004). "XV". In Thomas Telford (ed.). The Motorway Achievement. I. I (I ed.). London: Thomas Telford. pp. 694–. ISBN 978-0-7277-3196-8.
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Further reading

  • Jackson, Mike (2004). The M6 Sights Guide. Severnpix. ISBN 978-0954540210.

External links

Route map:

Bromford Viaduct

The Bromford Viaduct carries the M6 motorway between Castle Bromwich (junction 5) and Gravelly Hill (junction 6) along the River Tame valley in Birmingham, England. This elevated stretch of motorway above the Tame itself is 3 1⁄2 miles (5.6 kilometres) long, which makes it the longest viaduct in Great Britain,

being a quarter mile longer than the Second Severn Crossing. It was constructed during the period 1964-1972.Between 2012 and 2014, the motorway along the length of the viaduct was converted to a smart motorway system, with variable speed limits.

Burton-in-Kendal Services

Burton-in-Kendal services is a motorway service station on the M6 motorway on the Cumbria, Lancashire border, England. It is located about 4 miles (6 km) north of Carnforth, and approximately 0.5 miles west of the Village of Burton in Kendal of which it takes its name. It is accessible to northbound traffic only, with southbound traffic having to use Killington Lake services (southbound only) about ten miles north (or the facilities in the town of Carnforth just off the motorway). It opened on 23 October 1970, operated by Mobil Motorway Services. It is currently operated by Moto.

Charnock Richard Services

Charnock Richard services is a motorway service station, between Junctions 27 and 28 of the M6 in England. The services are close to the boundary between the Lancashire borough of Chorley and the Metropolitan borough of Wigan,in Greater Manchester. It was the first service station to open on the M6 Motorway, when it opened in 1963. It is operated by Welcome Break. The complex was designed by Terence Verity, of Verity Associates.

The fastfood restaurant is located on the bridge over the motorway, instead of there being one on each side. In 2006, the bridge restaurant had to be restructured. It was operated by Trust House Forte, when it opened in 1963. The nearest town is Chorley.

Charnock Richard Services, southbound side, has an unusual and unique site layout. It is usual in motorway service areas within the United Kingdom for the fuel forecourt to be the last facility encountered, before rejoining the motorway. Charnock Richard services has the fuel forecourt sited at the top of the entry slip road, i.e., on arrival. Architecture of motorway service areas was then still experimental, and this arrangement was not deemed a success, and therefore not repeated.

Corley services

Corley services is a motorway service station between junctions 3 and 3A of the M6 motorway in the county of Warwickshire, England. It is close to the village of Corley, with the nearest city being Coventry. A footbridge, originally made of concrete but now clad in orange fibreglass panelling, spans the motorway to link services on both sides.

Corley was opened in 1972 (a year after the section of motorway it serves) and was originally operated by Forte. It is currently operated by Welcome Break and receives approximately 2 million visitors per year.

In December 2003, Corley became the first motorway service station to have a permanent Police Community Support Officer, jointly funded by Welcome Break and Warwickshire Police

Gravelly Hill Interchange

Gravelly Hill Interchange, better known throughout the UK by its nickname Spaghetti Junction, is junction 6 of the M6 motorway where it meets the A38(M) Aston Expressway in the Gravelly Hill area of Birmingham, England. The interchange was opened on 24 May 1972.

Hilton Park services

Hilton Park services is a motorway service station, between junctions 10a and 11 of the M6 motorway in Staffordshire, England. The nearest city is Wolverhampton.

Keele services

Keele services is a motorway service station, between junctions 15 and 16 of the M6 motorway near Keele in England. Operated by Welcome Break, it was built in 1963 and was designed by Terence Verity of Verity Associates.

The nearest towns are Stoke-on-Trent and Newcastle-under-Lyme. Close by is Keele University and it is possible to walk and/or drive from the University grounds to the Service Station, and this has been a popular route for students.

Both sides of the site have Shell petrol stations, W H Smith and Starbucks. There are KFC and Burger King restaurants on the bridge over the motorway.

On 27 August 1984, a fire ripped through the service station bridge at Keele, between its two bases, but there were no injuries. There was a plan for a hotel to be built here but this never happened.

Killington Lake Services

Killington Lake Services is a motorway service station on the M6 motorway between Junctions 37 and 36 near Killington Lake in Cumbria. It was opened in 1972.

It is owned by Roadchef. It comprises a BP petrol station, a Days Inn and a main facilities building with a Costa Coffee outlet and WHSmith newsagents. A McDonald's restaurant opened here in March 2014. It is on accessible to southbound traffic only therefore to access the services while travelling north, it is necessary to continue up to Junction 37 and then come off, turn round, and head all the way back down. However, northbound traffic would normally use the northbound-only Burton-in-Kendal services ten miles to the south of Killington Lake Services.

Knutsford Services

Knutsford services is a motorway service station on the M6 in Cheshire

M6 motorway (Hungary)

The M6 motorway (Hungarian: M6-os autópálya) is a north-south motorway in Hungary running along the Danube connecting Budapest to the seat of Baranya county Pécs, and further south to the Croatian border.

The southernmost Bóly - Ivándárda (border crossing with Croatia) section will be built last, at the same time as the connecting segment of the A5 in Croatia, the completion of the A5 is scheduled for 2023.

M6 motorway (Ireland)

The M6 motorway (Irish: Mótarbhealach M6) is a motorway in Ireland, which runs (together with the M4) from Dublin to Galway. The M6 extends from its junction with the M4 at Kinnegad all the way west to the outskirts of Galway City, but the Athlone bypass and the approach to Galway city - while of dual carriageway standard - have not been designated motorway and are still signed as N6. The motorway was officially completed and opened to traffic on 18 December 2009, and was the first city-to-city direct major inter-urban route to be completed in Ireland. The M6 and M4, which form the Galway-Dublin route, consist of a grade-separated 2+2 dual carriageway road with a top speed limit of 120 km/h. At approximately 144 km (90 mi), the M6 is the third longest motorway in the state.

M6 motorway (Pakistan)

The M6 (Urdu: موٹروے 6‎) is a proposed north-south motorway in Pakistan, which will connect Sukkur to Hyderabad. The 296 km long M-6 motorway is the only missing vital link of North to South connectivity, i.e. From Karachi to Peshawar. The motorway will cost approximately $1.7 billion to build. The M-6 will be a 6-lane motorway with a design speed of 120 km/hour, 89 bridges, 15 interchanges and 243 underpasses.The project is to be built as part of the larger Eastern Alignment of the China–Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). The construction contract was awarded in July 2017 however, construction is not started yet due to pending Government and NHA decision.

All the other segments of 1650 KM Peshawar Karachi Motorway have either been completed or awarded for construction except Hyderabad-Sukkur Motorway section of PKM.

Planned time to complete this 296 km long motorway is 29 months. China State Construction Engineering won the project after bidding process in May 2017 with anticipated ground work to be started by August 2017 and finish the same by December 2019. However, The 296-km stretch is the last missing link on the Karachi-Lahore motorway on which construction work has yet to be started.

Preston By-pass

The Preston Bypass was Britain’s first motorway. It was designed and engineered by Lancashire County Council surveyor James Drake as part of a larger initiative to create a north-south motorway network that would later form part of the M6 motorway. The bypass was opened on 5 December 1958 by the Prime Minister, Harold Macmillan. Nearly £3 million was spent in its construction. The original ​8 1⁄4-mile (13.3 km) motorway ran around the east side of Preston between Bamber Bridge (now the M6, Junction 29) and Broughton (now the M55, Junction 1) and crosses over the River Ribble at Samlesbury at the M6 Junction 31.

Planning started in 1937, despite there being no legal powers that permitted motorway construction until the introduction of the Special Roads Act 1949. Early work was hampered by heavy rainfall, resulting in postponement of various heavy engineering works such as the base foundation; the result of the weather meant the original two-year plan was delayed by a further five months. Weeks after opening, the road had to close temporarily due to water causing further problems, when the base layer was damaged as a result of a rapid freeze and thaw cycle.

The bypass has undergone two separate lane-widening schemes during its existence, first in 1966 when it was widened to three lanes, then in the 1990s to expand it to four lanes in each direction. The latter upgrade was significant enough to require reconstruction of the entire route including all bridges and it is now effectively a different motorway from the one that opened in 1958.

R22 highway (Russia)

The Russian route M6 (or Р22, also known as the Caspian Highway) is a major trunk road that links Moscow to the Caspian Sea. The road runs concurrent with route M4 from Moscow to Stupino, then branches off south of Stupino and goes southeast across Ryazan Oblast, Tambov Oblast, Voronezh Oblast, and Volgograd Oblast, running along the right bank of the Volga River through Volgograd before terminating at Astrakhan. Its length is 1381 kilometers. The entire route is part of the European route E119, and the stretch between Volgograd and Astrakhan is part of the European route E40. In 2018, the northern terminus will be moved to the M4 south of Stupino.

Sandbach services

Sandbach services is a motorway service station on the M6 in Sandbach, Cheshire.

Southwaite Services

Southwaite services is a motorway service station, between junctions 41 and 42 of the M6 motorway near Southwaite, Cumbria, England. It is about 7 miles south of Carlisle.

It is operated by Moto (it was owned and operated by Esso when the northbound base opened in 1972). A southbound base was added in 1977.

Southwaite has entrances from both the northbound and southbound carriageways of the motorway, and there are facilities built on both sides. A pedestrian footbridge connects the two sections of the service area. The northbound side has a Greggs; both sides have a Burger King restaurant, WH Smiths, M&S Simply Food and a Costa Coffee.

Stafford services

Stafford services is a pair of motorway service stations on the M6 motorway near Stone, Staffordshire, England. In August 2011 it was rated as 4 stars (northbound - Moto) and 3 stars (southbound - Roadchef) by quality assessors at Visit England.It is unusual, in that the facilities on the northbound (opened 1996) and southbound (1999) sides of the motorway are operated by separate companies: Moto (formerly Granada) and Roadchef respectively. They are 1 mile (1.6 km) apart.

Tebay Services

Tebay Services are motorway service stations on the M6 motorway at Orton in the Eden District of Cumbria, England.

Todhills Rest Area

Todhills Rest Area is a rest area in between Junctions 44-45 of the M6 motorway in England. It is the last Services northbound on the M6 and the first southbound. It was first opened in the 1980s on the A74. When the M6 was extended in 2008, it was initially believed that Todhills would need to close so the road could be widened, but this did not prove to be the case, and the widening scheme was completed without having to close the rest area.

Todhills is not classed as a Service Station because it only has one shop. Since 2008, Todhills is the second of only two rest areas in England, the first being Brent Knoll on the M5 (now Sedgemoor). Both sides have fuel stations, and southbound contains a hotel.

The rest area provides the following services:

Costa Food/Snacks

Shell Fuel (Northbound)

BP Fuel (Southbound)

Travelodge Accommodation (Southbound)

Great Britain
Northern Ireland
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