M60 Junction 18 Simister Island Interchange Preliminary Design Consultation February - March 2023

Closed 23 Apr 2023

Opened 15 Feb 2023


Investing in your roads

At National Highways, we believe in a connected country where our network makes these connections happen. Our roads link with railway stations, ports, and airports to give people a choice of travel and to support interconnectivity. When it comes to getting people where they need to be, we provide three times more miles per person than the railways.

About us

We operate, maintain, and improve England’s motorways and major A-roads and our network totals around 4,300 miles. While this represents only 2% of all roads in England by length, these roads carry a third of all traffic by mileage and two-thirds of all heavy goods traffic.

Our road network forms the economic back bone of the country, is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and is relied on by communities and businesses to get from A to B.

Our 1,200-mile network across the north of England stretches from the big cities like Manchester and Liverpool to the rural, single carriageways of Cheshire, Lancashire, and Cumbria. It is one of the most diverse areas of motorways and major A-roads in the country to maintain and keep moving, so that we all get home safely.

We also support local tourism, connecting the millions of holidaymakers who travel across the country to visit hotspots like the Peak District, the Lake District and Blackpool every year.

Why is the scheme needed?

National Highways is currently looking at how to ease congestion and make journeys more reliable at the Simister Island Interchange (M60 junction 18). More than 90,000 vehicles use this busy junction as a route to the M60, M62 and M66 on a daily basis. With traffic levels predicted to rise in the coming years it is important that the junction is future-proofed as soon as possible so that it continues to support local needs and economic growth. The current cost estimate for the scheme is between £207 million to £340 million. Please note, this is a wide range based on early estimates and is subject to change during later design stages

Scheme objectives

The main objectives of the scheme are to:

  • Improve the journey experience for users of this section of our network by:
    • reducing congestion at peak times
    • reducing journey times
    • delivering more reliable journey times
  • Provide a scheme that is safe for all road users.
  • Minimise the impact of our scheme on the surrounding environment including within Noise Important Areas and Air Quality Management Areas.
  • Support future economic growth across the Greater Manchester area by delivering against local aspirations set out in regional and local authorities’ transport strategies and local plans.

What we have done so far

We held a public consultation in summer 2020 which included two options for the improvement of Simister Island Interchange, the ‘Northern Loop’ and ‘Inner Links’. The consultation found an overall preference for the Northern Loop option, which was supported by 67% of respondents. The Inner Links option was not as well supported, with only 24% of respondents preferring the option. In particular respondents raised concerns that introducing the additional lanes and signals on the roundabout, required for the Inner Links option, could make the junction more confusing for drivers to navigate, leading to an increased risk of accidents.

An options appraisal was undertaken where the two options were considered against several criteria, including the scheme objectives, safety, benefits, costs, environmental effects, construction and feedback from the summer 2020 consultation. Although both options supported the scheme objectives, our assessments showed that the Northern Loop provided the best overall solution and was able to support an increase in traffic flow, and improvements to journey times, for a much longer amount of time.

We announced the Northern Loop as our preferred route for improving the junction in January 2021. Since then, we have been working to develop the design which will widen both the M60 and M66 to allow traffic to flow more freely. A fifth lane will be added to the M60 between junctions 17 and 18 in both directions. A new hard shoulder will also be installed to provide refuge in an emergency. We’ll be working closely with affected residents and properties to ensure the impact of the carriageway widening is minimised. A new M60 loop link road will also be built to allow traffic from M60 eastbound to join the M60 southbound (clockwise). A new two-lane link from the M60 northbound to the M60 westbound (anti-clockwise) will also replace the existing single lane link. The M66 southbound will also be widened to four lanes as it passes through junction 18 to improve traffic flow.

Our consultation video, including a 'fly through' to show the scheme.




We’re holding a public consultation on our proposals to improve the M60/M62/M66 Simister Island Interchange.

We’d like to hear what you think, so please share any concerns, ideas or local knowledge that you may have.

The consultation will be open for 6 weeks, from Wednesday 15 February to Tuesday 28 March 2023.

Please view the consultation brochure and supporting information on this page for more details and follow the link below to complete a response form.

Why your opinion matters

The feedback and comments you provide will help us to understand the local area better as well as the scheme benefits and any potential impacts.

All responses received during the public consultation will be recorded and analysed. Where it is possible, we will use your feedback to help
develop the scheme design or to help identify ways to address concerns about the impacts of the scheme.

How to respond

We’d like to hear your views. You can respond using one of the following methods:

  • Complete an online version of the response form by following the link at the bottom of this page.
  • Send a paper copy of the response form to our freepost address: Freepost M60 J18 SIMISTER ISLAND - simply put the completed response form in an envelope with the freepost address written on the front and put it in your local post box. There is no need to use a stamp.

All responses must be received by National Highways by 11:59pm on Tuesday 28 March 2023. Responses received after this date may not be considered.

Where to get more information

We want to make sure you have access to all the information you need about the scheme. During the consultation you can:

  • Access the related documents at the bottom of this page, such as the consultation brochure, online response form, the Preliminary Environmental Information Report (PEIR) and its Non-Technical Summary, along with plans showing the scheme layout and boundary.  Click on the following links to access interactive versions of the full PEIR and its Non Technical Summary .
  • Speak to a member of the project team during one of our telephone consultation events by calling 0808 196 4502 during the following dates and times (calls to 0808 numbers are free):
    • Saturday 4 March 2023 – 11am to 4pm.
    • Tuesday 7 March 2023 – 11am to 7pm.
    • Thursday 23 March 2023 – 11am to 7pm.
  • If you have any technical questions which we are unable to answer on the phone, we will arrange for a member of our technical team to call you back at a time convenient for you.
  • Join one of our online webinars where we’ll present our proposals and hold a live question and answer session. We’ll be holding these during the following dates and times.
    • Thursday 23 February 2023 – 1pm to 3pm.
    • Wednesday 15 March 2023 – 5pm to 7pm.

Visit our website to find out more about how to join one of these webinars.

If you would like more information about accessing our consultation materials, require printed copies of the materials, which we can supply in alternative formats, or if you have a query about the consultation please contact us using the following details:

  • Phone our Customer Contact Centre on 0300 123 5000.

Public consultation events

One of the best ways to find out more about our proposals and have your say is to come to one of our public consultation events. Here you’ll be able to find out more about the scheme and speak to members of the project team who will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

  • Parrenthorn High School Tuesday 21 February 2023, 11am to 7pm Heywood Road, Prestwich, Manchester, M25 2BW.
  • Our Lady of Grace Hall Saturday 11 March 2023, 10am to 4pm 11 Fairfax Road, Prestwich, Manchester, M25 1AS.
  • Unsworth Cricket Club Monday 20 March, 12pm to 8pm The Pavilion, 32 Pole Lane, Bury, BL9 8QL.

We’ll be publicising details of the events on the scheme’s webpage at: www.nationalhighways.co.uk/M60-Simister-Island, on our North-West Twitter and Facebook accounts and in press releases. Any changes to the events will be shared on the scheme webpage and via social media. We recommend checking the scheme webpage or calling us on 0300 123 5000 in advance of attending an event to confirm it is going ahead.


  • All members of the public


  • Roads