Originally the M18 was a spur from the M1 for traffic heading on to the A1. It was eventually extended to meet the M62, connecting Sheffield to Doncaster, Hull and North Lincolnshire.

In places it's remarkably fast and quiet, especially its northernmost stretch which has three lanes running straight and flat across the countryside, making the M18 is one of the police's favourite motorways for speed patrols. It's also surprisingly well-endowed with lanes and motorway connections for such a short and remote route: it is, after all, a shortcut to East Yorkshire from the south and isn't too heavily used. The only exception is around Doncaster, the busiest section and for reasons that are hard to explain also the narrowest. Two lanes now struggle to cope with rush hour traffic, which promptly evaporates when the road widens out at either end of the bottleneck.

For a little while, the M18 used to have a short spur towards Scunthorpe called the A18(M). The slightly strange phasing of motorway construction projects around Hatfield - which saw a series of very short sections built one after the other - meant that for a few years in the 1970s the whole area was in a constant state of transition. It was very nearly a temporary road, and whether it was meant to last any length of time before being consumed by the M180 isn't known. It was only ever applied to the link between the M18 and the A18, and is now underneath the eastbound exit from the M180.

Start
Rotherham
End
Goole
Passes
Doncaster
Connects to
Length
26 miles
Open Junctions Section
Nov 1967 J0-2 Thurcroft → Wadworth
Jun 1972 J5*-6 Hatfield → Thorne
Jun 1975 J6-7 Thorne → East Cowick
Jul 1977 J4-5* Armthorpe → Hatfield
Feb 1979 J2-4 Wadworth → Armthorpe

Exit list

Junction   Northbound               Southbound  
7
292.8 km
Hull
Goole
M62 Link
Leeds
Manchester
M62 Link (A1(M) Link, M1 Link)


M62
(M1)
(A1(M))
NORTH



M62
LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes
5 miles, 3 lanes 5 miles, 3 lanes
6
286 km
Thorne
Selby
A614
(A1041)
A614
(A1081)
A614 Hatfield
Thorne
A614
LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes
2 miles, 3 lanes 2 miles, 3 lanes
5
283 km
Scunthorpe
Grimsby
Humberside Airport
M180 Link
Services Doncaster North
M180 Scunthorpe
Grimsby
Humberside Airport
M180 Link
Services Doncaster North
LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes
4 miles, 2 lanes 4 miles, 2 lanes
4
276 km
Hatfield
Thorne
A630
(A18)
A630
(A18)
Doncaster
A630
(A18)
LanesLanesLanesLanes LanesLanesLanesLanes
6 miles, 2 lanes 6 miles, 2 lanes
3
267 km
Doncaster
Robin Hood Airport
A6182
A6182 A6182 Doncaster
Robin Hood Airport
A6182
LanesLanesLanesLanes LanesLanesLanesLanes
2 miles, 2 lanes 2 miles, 2 lanes
2
264.5 km
The NORTH
The SOUTH
Doncaster
A1(M) Link
A1(M) A1(M) The NORTH
The SOUTH
Retford
A1(M) Link
LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes
8 miles, 3 lanes 8 miles, 3 lanes
1
255 km
Rotherham
Maltby
A631
A631 A631 Rotherham
Maltby
A631
LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes
3 miles, 3 lanes 3 miles, 3 lanes
M1 J32
251 km
N/A M1




SOUTH
M1



The SOUTH
Nottingham
M1 Link
Sheffield
Rotherham
M1 Link
LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes
Routes

Picture credits

With thanks to Chris C2R for information on this page.