Linnyshaw Moss

How wide is the widest motorway? It might surprise you to learn that the widest motorway in the UK was opened in December 1970 and its incredible width hasn't been surpassed since then. There are a total of seventeen lanes side-by-side at its widest point, plus eight full-width hard shoulders. It's enormous.

The reason you might not immediately bring it to mind is that it's not where you might expect it: not on the sprawling M25, for a start, and not on the extravagant M8 in Glasgow. In fact it's on the often-overlooked M61, north-west of Manchester, as the motorway passes through a complex of sliproads called Worsley Braided Interchange at a place called Linnyshaw Moss.

The verges are very wide and the trees have grown quite tall now, but all seventeen lanes do run side-by-side and all form part of the same motorway. These photos — taken way back in May 2005 — show some of this unique junction from above.

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Published20 February 2016

Last updated24 February 2017