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Route of the M181

If you're building a motorway — and we've all done it — there will be occasions on which it is necessary to provide a short spur road to connect your new highway with some part of the existing road network that is slightly out of reach. Because the little spur inevitably leads to a motorway, it should be a motorway too; otherwise cyclists and horse riders might get to the end and find themselves stuck.

There is, however, no need to number the little spur. It's just part of its parent route, like the little M23 spur near Gatwick or the branch from the M6 to Wigan. It's like a set of extended sliproads.

Every rule has exceptions, of course — especially where motorways are concerned — and the M181 is one of them. This piffling little connection from the M180 to the A18 west of Scunthorpe has ideas above its lowly station and, for some reason now concealed by the ragged and threadbare dungarees of history, was granted its own number when other spurs of greater length do perfectly well without.

This lengthy discussion of the road's spurious number (pun very much intended) is necessary because there is nothing about its physical manifestation that is worth discussion. It has a fairly smart trumpet interchange with its parent, the M180, and then proceeds in a straight line through perfectly flat countryside for a couple of miles before giving up at a roundabout on the A18. It passes nothing of interest, and its surroundings are so featureless that Scunthorpe is the closest settlement to both ends. There really is nothing more to say.


Start Bottesford Moor (M180)
Finish Scunthorpe (A18)
Passes None
Length 2 miles
Connects to M180


Views of the M181 from on and off the road. If you have a photo to contribute, contact me.


Southbound, approaching the trumpet interchange, the road splits - M180 wherever you go. To see the rest of the M181, imagine a two lane motorway running in a straight line on flat land and you've got it. I wonder why there's no hard shoulder northbound through this junction?
Photo by Steven Jukes

Construction Timeline

When the various parts of the M181 were built, listed in chronological order.

Open Jct Section
Dec1978 Entire motorway

Exit List

All the junctions and destinations along the route.

Junction   Northbound               Southbound
12.3 km Keadby

Frodingham Grange (Roundabout)

N/A More information about this junction
LanesLanesLanesLanesSigns LanesLanesLanesLanesSigns
2 miles, 2 lanes Up   Down 2 miles, 2 lanes
(M180 J3)
8.8 km
N/A M180

Bottesford Moor Interchange (Trumpet)

Humber Bridge (A15)
M180 Link
(M18 Link)
M180 Link
More information about this junction
LanesLanesLanesLanes LanesLanesLanesLanes

With thanks to Joseph for information in this section.