The M275 is a short spur into Portsmouth, serving the city centre and ferry ports, that marks the end of its parent motorway, the M27.

The existence of this, the M275, and the M271 further west, suggests that once upon a time there were plans for at least three more spurs from the M27, and indeed there's some evidence to suggest that if everything had gone to plan we'd also have an M272, M273 and M274.

Its missing brethren aside, the M275 is probably the most impressive member of the very small group of motorways with three-digit numbers. It has an astonishing amount of public art along its length: The Sail of the South and the Tipner Masts (funded through Millennium Project money) are designed to be seen from the motorway.

The road itself is impressive too, being a major feat of engineering in its own right. It is built on land that was reclaimed from the sea, running across what was once a section of Portsmouth Harbour, drained and elevated to carry the motorway. Much of the material used for the man-made causeway is chalk, which came from the M27's deep cutting through Portsdown Hill between junctions 11 and 12.

Halfway along the M275 is Tipner junction, signposted for the park and ride site. It was part-built back in the 1970s when the M275 was first built, but was incomplete and unused for decades until it was finally completed and opened to traffic in 2014. Its proximity to other junctions caused Portsmouth City Council to lower the speed limit on the whole motorway to 60mph in preparation for its opening.

At its southern terminus, a hastily-built new access direct from the ferry port onto the northbound entry sliproad is a disappointing addition to an otherwise high-standard motorway. It introduces a traffic light junction under motorway restrictions, and it's missing signs that inform drivers they're entering a motorway at all. Pathetic Motorways explores the whole motorway, and that messy junction in particular.

One silly junction aside, though, the M275 packs an awful lot of impressive stuff into its two mile run.







Connects to



2 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
Portsmouth North-South Motorway M27 J12 Hilsea J2 Rudmore Chronology map for 1976

Exit list

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

Junction   Northbound               Southbound  
M27 J12
46.1 km
M27 Link


LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes Signs LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes Signs
1 mile, 3 lanes 1 mile, 3 lanes
0.9 km
Tipner (W)
Park & Ride
Tipner (W)
Park & Ride
LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes
1 mile, 3 lanes 1 mile, 3 lanes
2.1 km


Cruises Vehicle Ferry
Cross-channel ferries Vehicle Ferry
LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes Signs LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes Signs
0.3 miles, 2 lanes 0.3 miles, 2 lanes
2.7 km N/A
HM Naval Base
Flathouse Quay
Portsmouth (W) A3
Isle of Wight Ferries Vehicle Ferry
LanesLanesLanesLanesLanesLanes SignsSignsSigns LanesLanesLanesLanesLanesLanes SignsSigns

Picture credits

With thanks to Wesley Johnston, Pete Turner, Clive, Phil Reynolds, Rob Bollen and Robin for information on this page.

In this section

What's new

Sorry, wrong number

Road numbering is a system with clear rules. What happens when the people responsible for numbering roads don't follow them?

We need to talk about Wisley

National Highways are spending a third of a billion pounds rebuilding one of the most congested junctions on the M25. Is it money well spent?

Oxford's Ground Zero

Oxford's Zero Emission Zone is just a trial, but transport policy in Oxford has become the catalyst for pitched battles and drawn in protestors from across the UK. What's happening to this genteel university town?

Share this page

Have you seen...

Alley by gaslight

Some of Central London's quieter streets are still, surprisingly, lit by old and rather beautiful gas lanterns. Here are a few, by day and by night.

About this page


Last updated