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M6 motorway

The M6 motorway is a motorway in England, United Kingdom. It runs from a junction with the M1 near Rugby in central England to Carlisle, close to the Scottish border. It is certainly the longest motorway in the country and is often claimed to be the busiest, although the M25 may also lay claim to this dubious distinction, depending on the measurement used.

History and Curiosities

The first part of the motorway, and indeed the motorway in the country, near Preston was opened by then Prime Minister Harold Macmillan on December 5, 1958. In subsequent years the motorway was extended piecemeal in both directions and currently stands at 230 miles long. On the elevated ground between Shap[?] and Tebay[?], the north and south-bound carriages split apart. Uniquely, at this point a local road runs between the two carriageways without a junction to the motorway.

Future Developments

Near completion (February 2003) is the M6 Toll, Britain's first toll road, which will run around the east and northern sides of Birmingham in addition to the current M6, alleviating congestion at the motorway's busiest point.

The A556(M) link road, providing a route to the M56[?] eastbound towards Manchester for motorists coming from the south on the M6 has been the subject of a public inquiry for many years.

The M74[?] upgrade near Gretna Green will extend the motorway to the Scottish border, connecting the M6 to the M74. On completion it is expected that the M74 will be renamed the M6, creating a motorway running more than 350 miles from Rugby to Glasgow.


The towns, cities and roads listed are those given on road signs on the motorway as the junction is approached. Throughout we use northbound and southbound although the motorway is closer to running east-west at its beginning.

Junctions on the M6 motorway
No.Exits to : Northbound Exits to : Southbound
1Rugby, Lutterworth, A426Rugby, A426
2Coventry, Leicester, A46, M69[?], (M1) Coventry(E), Leicester, A46, M69[?]
3Bedworth, Coventry(N), Nuneaton, A444 Bedworth, Coventry(N), Nuneaton, A444
4Coventry(S&W), NEC[?], Birmingham Airport, A446 The SOUTH WEST, Birmingham(S), Solihull[?], Birmingham Airport, NEC[?], Lichfield, M42[?], A446
4aThe NORTH, The SOUTH, M42[?], (M1), (M40)No exit
5No exit Birmingham(E), Solihull[?], A452
6Birmingham(E,Cen & NE), Lichfield, A38 Birmingham(Cen&NE), A38
7Birmingham(N), A34 Birmingham(N), Walsall, A34
8The SOUTH WEST, Birmingham(S&W), West Bromwich[?], M5[?] The SOUTH WEST, Birmingham(S&W), West Bromwich[?], M5[?]
9Wednesbury[?] A461Wednesbury[?] A461
10Walsall A454 Walsall, Wolverhampton(Cen&E) A454
10aNo exit NORTH & MID WALES, Wolverhampton, Telford, M54[?]
11Wolverhampton A460 Cannock[?], A460
12Cannock[?], Telford, Wolverhampton NORTH WALES, A5, (M54)[?] Telford, A5
13Stafford(S), A449 Stafford
14Stafford(N), A34 Stafford(N), Stone[?], Eccleshall[?], A34
15Stoke-on-Trent, Stone[?], Eccleshall[?], A500 Stoke-on-Trent, Newcastle-under-Lyme, A500
16Newcastle-under-Lyme, Stoke-on-Trent(N), Crewe, Nantwich, A500 Newcastle-under-Lyme, Stoke-on-Trent, Crewe, Nantwich, A500
17Congleton, Sandbach[?], A534 Congleton, Sandbach[?], A534
18Holmes Chapel[?], Middlewich[?], A54 Holmes Chapel[?], Middlewich[?], Chester, Northwich[?], A54
19Northwich[?], Knutsford, Macclesfield, A556 Manchester & airport, Stockport[?], A556, (M56(E))[?]
20NORTH WALES, Runcorn, Chester, Stockport[?], Manchester, Lymm[?], Macclesfield, M56[?], A50 NORTH WALES, Runcorn, Birkenhead, Lymm[?], Warrington, M56[?], A50
21Warrington, Irlam[?], A57 Warrington, Irlam[?], A57
21aManchester, Bolton, Leeds, Liverpool, M62[?] Manchester, Bolton, Leeds, Liverpool, Southport[?], M62[?]
22Warrington, A49 Newton, Leigh[?], A49, A579
23Manchester, Liverpool, Newton, A580 St. Helens[?], Liverpool, Southport[?], A580
24St. Helens[?], Ashton[?], A58 No Exit
25 No Exit Wigan, A49
26 Skelmersdale[?], Liverpool, Southport[?], M58[?] Skelmersdale[?], Liverpool, Southport[?], M58[?]
27 Wigan, Parbold[?], A5209 Parbold[?], Standish[?], Chorley, A5209
28 Leyland[?] (A49) Leyland[?] (A49)
29 Burnley[?], Blackburn[?], M65[?] Burnley[?], Blackburn[?], Preston(S), M65[?]
30 Manchester, Bolton, Leeds, Blackburn[?], M61[?], (M62)[?], (M65)[?] No exit
31 Preston, Clitheroe[?], A59 Preston, Blackburn[?], Clitheroe[?], A59
31a No Exit Preston(E), Longridge[?], B6242
32 Blackpool, Preston, M55[?], (A6) Blackpool, Fleetwood[?], Preston(N), Garstang[?], M55[?]
33 Garstang[?], Fleetwood[?], A6 Lancaster(S), A6
34 Lancaster, A683 Lancaster, Kirkby Lonsdale[?], Morecambe[?], Heysham[?], A683
35 Carnforth[?], Morecambe[?], A601(M) (A6) Carnforth[?], Morecambe[?], A601(M) (A6)
36 Kirkby Lonsdale[?], Skipton, Barrow[?], A65, A590 South Lakes, Kendal[?], Barrow[?], Kirkby Lonsdale[?], Skipton, A590, A65, (A591)
37 Kendal[?], Sedbergh[?], A684 Kendal[?], Sedbergh[?], A684
38 Kendal[?], Brough[?], A685 Brough[?], Appleby[?], A685, B6260
39 Shap[?], Kendal[?], (A6) Shap[?], (A6)
40 Penrith[?], Keswick, Brough[?], Scotch Corner[?], A66 North Lakes, Penrith[?], Keswick, A66
41 Wigton[?], B5305 Wigton[?], B5305
42 Carlisle, A6 Carlisle, A6
43 Carlisle, Hexham[?], Newcastle, A69 Carlisle, Hexham[?], Newcastle, A69
44 End of motorway Galashiels[?], Hawick, Carlisle(N), Glasgow, Edinburgh, A7, A74

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