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 three of those four approaches would now lead directly onto a motorway. As a consequence, the junction was reconfigured, 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. And it is not even signposted in both directions: westbound, from Baillieston Interchange, signs show it as the A8(M), but eastbound from the local road network it is simply signposted as part of the M8.
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 (M8, M73)|
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When the various parts of the A8(M) were built, listed in chronological order.
All the junctions and destinations along the route.