A8(M)

Somewhere to the east of Glasgow lies the A8(M) - but look carefully, because it's not easy to find.

The A8(M) is the UK's shortest motorway, running for just over 280 metres (308 yards). It forms a link between two roundabouts at Baillieston Interchange, better known as the junction between the M8 and M73.

Until 2016, the large roundabout at Baillieston Interchange had four approaches: two led to the M73 in either direction, one was the A8 towards Edinburgh, and the fourth was the bypassed section of A8 heading towards Glasgow through the suburbs. But the scheme to complete the M8, replacing the remaining section of A8 between Glasgow and Edinburgh, meant that it was now a junction only of motorways.

As a consequence, it was reconfigured so that the roundabout came under motorway regulations, and a new length of link road was built - also under motorway regulations - connecting the roundabout to the A8 into Glasgow and the local road network.

That short link road is the A8(M), the UK's newest motorway and possibly its most trivial. It is the first new signposted motorway number to be allocated in 13 years (the last was the M6 Toll in 2003) and the first new signposted A(M) number since the A74(M) first appeared in 1992. It is far and away the UK's shortest signposted motorway, less than a third the length of the previous record-holder, the A308(M) near Maidenhead. It has never been signposted in both directions and, as if it needed to be any more idiosyncratic, it is now not signposted at all.

Westbound, from Baillieston Interchange towards the A8, one sign indicated the A8(M) for the first months of the road's existence, but eastbound from the local road network it has only ever been indicated as part of the M8. The westbound sign was replaced not long after the road opened, apparently because of a change of heart at Transport Scotland about the value of the number to the motoring public. The A8(M)'s official designation is now only apparent on maps.

The UK's new shortest motorway lacks the thrills of the A308(M), which runs for a bit less than a kilometre and can boast such features as a slight incline and one gentle bend. The A8(M) is, by comparison, a much less frenetic affair. There is no noticeable slope to negotiate, and it runs in a perfectly straight line between the two roundabouts.

The highlight of any roadtrip along its length is undoubtedly the bridge where the motorway crosses a sliproad from the northbound M73 to the westbound M8, which briefly offers the opportunity to enjoy panoramic views of not just the sliproad below but also some of the grass verges and embankments surrounding it.

Start

Bargeddie

End

Baillieston

Passes

None

Connects to

M8, M73

Length

0 miles

Click a section name to see its full details, or click a map symbol on the right to see all motorways opened in that year.

Completed Name Start End
Baillieston - Swinton M8 J8 Baillieston Swinton Chronology map for 2017

Exit list

Symbols and conventions are explained in the key to exit lists. You can click any junction to see its full details.

Junction   Eastbound               Westbound  
M8 J8 The NORTH
Stirling
Kincardine Bridge
M73 Link (M80 Link)
Edinburgh
M8 Link
The SOUTH
Carlisle
M73 Link (M74 Link)








M73
(M80)



M8
EAST









M8



M73
(M74)
N/A
LanesLanesLanesLanes LanesLanesLanesLanes
0.17 miles, 2 lanes 0.17 miles, 2 lanes
N/A A8
(A89)











WEST
A8









City Centre
Swinton
Easterhouse
A8
Local traffic
Bargeddie
Coatbridge
Airdrie
A8 (A89)
LanesLanesLanesLanes SignsSigns LanesLanesLanesLanes SignsSigns
Routes

Picture credits

  • Photograph of the entirety of the A8(M) is taken from an original by exiled and used with permission.

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