M60 junction 18 Simister Island Interchange
Proposals to create extra capacity at junction 18 to reduce congestion and support economic growth.
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.