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M61 motorway
UK motorway M61.PNG

Road of the United Kingdom

Length 20 miles (32.2 km)
Direction Northwest - Southeast
Start Worsley
Primary destinations Manchester
End Preston
Construction dates 1969 - 1970
Motorways joined Junction 1.svg UK-Motorway-M60.svg
J1 → M60 motorway
Junction 9.svg UK-Motorway-M65.svg
J9 → M65 motorway
M6 motorway

The M61 motorway is a motorway in North West England. It runs from the M60 motorway northwest of Manchester, heading northwest past Bolton and Chorley to join the M6 just north of the junction between the M6 and M65 motorways to the south of Preston.


Worsley Braided Interchange

Perhaps the most distinguishing section of the M61 is to be found at the southern end at the Worsley Braided Interchange between Junctions 1 and 3. This stretch of the road on the approach to the terminus with the M60 ring road is a collection of myriad sliproads and overpass tunnels providing free-flowing access to and from:

  • The A580 (East Lancashire Road).
  • The motorway spur road to and from the A666.
  • Both clockwise and anti-clockwise carriageways of the M60.
  • Both northbound and southbound carriageways of the M61.
The M61 at night looking towards Chorley

This complicated junction earns a place in the Guinness Book of World Records for having the most traffic lanes side by side (17), spread across several parallel carriageways.[1]


The M61 has one service station: Bolton West services (formerly known as Anderton, Adlington and Rivington), located between Junctions 6 and 8 (as Junction 7 was never built). This MSA was used in the filming of The Services, a pilot episode for the Farnworth-born comedian Peter Kay series That Peter Kay Thing, a spoof documentary of a day in the life of the MSA staff.


Data[2] from driver location signs are used to provide distance information.

M61 Motorway
km Northbound exits Junction Southbound exits
The NORTH, Lancaster M6 M6, J30 Start of motorway
33.2 Blackburn, Burnley, Preston (South) M65 J9 Blackburn, Burnley, Preston (South) M65
27.6 Chorley, Whittle-le-Woods A674 (A6) J8 Chorley, Whittle-le-Woods A674 (A6)
Bolton West services Services Bolton West Services
15.4 Horwich (A673)
Chorley (A6)
J6 Bolton (West),
Horwich (A673)
11.2 Westhoughton, Hindley, Wigan, Bolton A58 J5 Westhoughton. Hindley, Wigan, Bolton A58
8.2 Atherton, Walkden, Farnworth A6 J4 Atherton, Walkden, Farnworth A6
4.5 No access J3 Bolton (A666)
Bolton (A666) J2 Manchester (Central) (A580)
Start of motorway J1 Oldham, Rochdale M60 (East)
Leeds (M62)
Salford, Sale M60 (South)
Manchester Airport (M56)

See also

External links


  1. ^ British Roads Database URL accessed February 18, 2008
    "The number's up for Britain's roads". (Telegraph Media Group Limited). October 2002. Retrieved 2008-02-18. "The west side of Manchester is notoriously busy and holds the record for the widest section of motorway - an impressive 17 lanes where the M61 and M60 meet." 
    Matthews, Peter (ed) (1992). The Guinness Book of Records 1993. Enfield: Guinness World Records Limited. pp. 121. ISBN 0-85112-978-1. 
  2. ^ Driver Location Signs, Highway Agency Area 10 (map) - Highway Authority, 2009

Coordinates: 53°37′37″N 2°35′10″W / 53.6270°N 2.5862°W / 53.6270; -2.5862



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