M60 junction 18 Simister Island Interchange

Proposals to create extra capacity at junction 18 to reduce congestion and support economic growth.

Start date 2024
End date 2026
Cost £76.9 million to £303.7 million

Latest updates

  • 07 January 2022

    Consultation Postponed

    We have been working hard to develop our designs for the M60 / M62 / M66 Simister Island Interchange scheme, with the aim of launching a public consultation from 10 January 2022 to seek your views and feedback on our proposals.

    We need to do some further reviews which means we need to reschedule our planned consultation.

    We want to ensure that you are kept up to date, and we expect to provide further updates on the project and associated public consultation soon.

  • 20 December 2021

    Project Update

    We’ve been working on the preliminary design of the scheme since the Northern Loop was announced as the Preferred Route in January 2021. As our proposed scheme has developed, we have identified a number of additional design elements which have required further assessment work and site surveys to be completed.

    This additional work has meant that submission of our application for a Development Consent Order (DCO) has been delayed. As our consultation is an important part of our DCO application, we are now looking to hold our consultation in early 2022 and plan to submit our DCO application to the Secretary of State for Transport via the Planning Inspectorate in Summer 2022. We would expect to hear an outcome in Winter 2023 and if successful construction work would start in early 2025.


    Upcoming Consultation

     We’ll be launching our consultation on 10 January 2022 as we would like to hear your views on the proposed scheme and the development of the design. We would also like your feedback on the environmental assessments and mitigation measures we’re proposing, as well as our emerging plans for the construction phase of the scheme.

    The consultation is an important opportunity for you to tell us your thoughts on the proposed scheme, including any changes that have occurred locally in the last year which may impact on our proposed design. We are keen to understand and take account of the views of all our customers, stakeholders and local communities.

    Keep an eye on our webpage in the New Year to find out how to get involved in the consultation.

  • 27 January 2021

    Preferred Route Announcement

    We have chosen the Northern Loop option for improving Simister Island, which connects the M60, M62 and M66.

    View the northern loop option map.

    For more information about this route, see our Preferred Route Announcement brochure.

    This decision follows a two-month period of public consultation which we held in summer 2020, where over 67% of respondents preferred the Northern Loop.

    When selecting the preferred route, we considered several criteria, including the scheme objectives, safety, benefits, costs, environmental effects, construction and feedback from the consultation.

    This means that we’ll be building a new loop structure to provide a free-flow link road between the M60 eastbound to the M60 southbound, allowing drivers to continue along the M60 without having to leave the motorway, navigate the roundabout and re-join the same motorway.

    We’ll also build a new two-lane free-flow road from the M60 northbound to the M60 westbound to replace the existing single-lane, and widen the M66 southbound to four lanes through junction 18.

    As part of this project, we’ll also convert the hard shoulder into a permanent traffic lane between M60 junctions 17 and 18, providing 5 lanes in both directions.

    Next steps

    We’ll now continue with further surveys and assessments so we can develop the detailed design of the improved junction.

    This scheme is classed as a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP) under the Planning Act 2008. This means we’re required to make an application for a Development Consent Order (DCO) to obtain consent to build the project.

    The application will be made to the Planning Inspectorate, who will examine the application in public hearings and then make a recommendation to the Secretary of State for Transport, who will decide whether or not the project will go ahead.

    We plan to submit our application for a DCO by winter 2021/22, and a decision is expected in summer 2023. This short video explains more about the process.

    We’ll be holding another consultation before our DCO submission. This is where we’ll want your feedback on a more detailed design of the junction.  We’ll continue to provide updates on this webpage as we progress, and you can subscribe for email alerts when we update this page.  

  • 17 August 2020

    Consultation now closed

    Our public consultation has now closed. Thank you to everybody who took the time to provide us with your feedback on our scheme and the options we presented. We’ll now take time to analyse and consider the feedback we received. You can read our Report on Public Consultation which summaries the responses we received between June and August 2020.

    We will then make a ‘preferred route announcement’ following the consultation report. This is where we confirm which option we will take forward to improve Simister Island Interchange. We will use your feedback to help us make this decision.

    Although our consultation has now closed, we’d still like to hear from you. If you have any questions or would like more information about the project or what happens next, you can contact us on the following details:

    Email: M60J18SimisterIslandInterchange@highwaysengland.co.uk
    Telephone: 0300 123 5000 (Customer Contact Centre)
    Write to: M60 J18 Simister Island Interchange Project Team, Highways England, 3 Piccadilly Place, Manchester M1 3BN

    We may not post any updates about this scheme for some time while we analyse the responses, but we will be carrying out more engagement with communities and stakeholders when we reach our preferred route announcement. We hope to be able to hold face to face events for this, depending on social distancing restrictions at the time. You can subscribe to be alerted by email when we update this webpage in the future.

    This short video gives more information about how we develop major road projects and the process we expect to follow to obtain planning permission to build the scheme.

Project information


In March 2020, the Government’s second Road Investment Strategy included a commitment for Highways England to improve Simister Island Interchange between the M62, M60 and M66.

Simister Island Interchange is one of the busiest motorway junctions in the north-west used by around 90,000 vehicles each day. The junction struggles with such high volumes of traffic above what it was designed for, and as a result suffers from congestion and poor journey time reliability.

The project will improve junction 18 of the M60 and facilitate smoother flows of traffic along the connecting motorways, contributing to more reliable and safer journeys into and around Greater Manchester.

The main aims of the scheme are:

  • Improve the journey experience for users of this section of network by:
    • reducing peak congestion and faster average speeds
    • reducing journey times
    • delivering more reliable journey times
  • Provide an option which is safe for all road users
  • Minimise the impact of the project on the surrounding environment including within Noise Important Areas and Air Quality Management Areas
  • Facilitate future economic growth across the Greater Manchester area and support delivery of proposed development sites close to the M60 and M66

We’ve carried out an environmental impact assessment on the two options we are presenting for consultation, and we are producing an Environmental Assessment Report for the scheme which will be published when complete.

The assessment so far indicates that the options are not expected to have significant impacts on the environment. We are however aware that junction 18 lies within both an Air Quality Management Area and a Noise Important Area. This means that air quality and noise have already been identified as issues in this area. We’re also aware of several other factors to consider, including an area of special landscape value, existing water quality issues, a peatland, and protected species.

We’re still at an early stage in the scheme’s development, and as with any large construction scheme, there is always the potential to make existing issues worse. Measures to reduce negative impacts, such as visual screening and noise barriers, will be identified where possible and open to consultation during future stages of the scheme.

We will undertake more detailed surveys and assessments based on statutory requirements and national guidance to inform the environmental assessment as the scheme progresses.


Traffic information

Information about scheduled roadworks and events on our motorways and major roads.

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