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 all 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.
|Manchester Outer Ring Road|
Looking south at Cutler Hill near Failsworth
|Part of and|
|Maintained by Highways England|
36 mi (58 km)|
7 miles (11 km) are concurrent with the M62 motorway
|Existed||1998 – present|
Opened: 1960 (as M62), 1971 (Middleton Link), 1974 (as M63)|
|Orbital around Manchester|
J24 → M67 motorway
|Manchester, Stockport, Trafford Park, Ashton-under-Lyne, Oldham|
The M60 is 36.1 miles (58.1 km) long and was renamed the M60 in 2000, with parts of the M62 and M66 and all of the M63 being amalgamated into the new route. 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 is the only true orbital motorway in the United Kingdom; the M25 motorway in London is not, due to the Dartford Crossing being designated the A282.
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.
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.
In 2006 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. 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. A combined approach was initiated in 2014, comprising managed motorway system and lane gain scheme. Work commenced in July 2014 and is expected to be completed by summer 2018.
|M60 motorway genealogy|
|J1 – J7||M63|
|J7 – J12||Opened as M62,|
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). By comparison, the M6 motorway has an average distance of 5.3 miles (8.5 km) between junctions.
- "M60 Motorway". Highways Agency. Archived from the original on 2009-11-15. Retrieved 2012-03-18.
- "M60". Highways Agency. Archived from the original on 15 November 2009. Retrieved 30 October 2009.
- http://www.dft.gov.uk/stellent/groups/dft_transstats/documents/downloadable/dft_transstats_038887.pdf dft.gov.uk
- "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.
- "M60 Junctions 8-12 Managed Motorways". Highways Agency. Retrieved 2012-12-19.
- "M60 Junctions 15-12 Lane Gain". Highways Agency. Retrieved 2012-12-19.
- "M60 Junction 8 to M62 Junction 20: Smart Motorway". Highways Agency. Retrieved 2014-05-31.
- "Major delay to M60/M62 smart motorway means 50mph limit will stay until SUMMER 2018". Manchester Evening News. Retrieved 2017-09-05.
- M62, Pathetic Motorways
- "M60". CBRD. Retrieved 8 April 2018.
- "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 2009-10-30.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to M60 motorway.|
Route map: Google
Hyde, M., O'Rourke, A. and Portland, P. Around the M60: Manchester's Orbital Motorway. Altrincham: AMCD Publishers, 2004.