|Part of E05 and E16|
|Maintained by Transport Scotland|
|Length||60.3 mi (97.0 km)|
|East end|| Sighthill |
55°55′28″N3°18′46″W / 55.9244°N 3.3128°W
J2 → M9 motorway
J8 → M73 motorway/A8(M) motorway
J13 → M80 motorway
J21 → M74 motorway
J22 → M77 motorway
J30 → M898 motorway
|West end|| Langbank |
55°55′24″N4°33′01″W / 55.9234°N 4.5504°W
|Counties||Edinburgh, West Lothian, North Lanarkshire, Glasgow, Renfrewshire|
| Edinburgh |
The M8 is the busiest motorway in Scotland.  It connects the country's two largest cities, Glasgow and Edinburgh, and serves other large communities including Airdrie, Coatbridge, Greenock, Livingston and Paisley. The motorway is 60 miles (97 km) long. A major construction project to build the final section between Newhouse and Baillieston was completed on 30 April 2017. The motorway has one service station, Heart of Scotland Services, previously named Harthill due to its proximity to the village.
With the advent of motorway-building in the United Kingdom in the late 1950s, the M8 was planned as one of a core of new motorways, designed to replace the A8 road as a high-capacity alternative for intercity travel. The motorway was constructed piecemeal in several stages bypassing towns, beginning in 1965 with the opening by Minister of State for Scotland George Willis of the bypass of Harthill. In 1968 the Renfrew Bypass was opened as the A8(M), becoming part of the M8 when the motorway to the west was connected.  The Glasgow inner city section was constructed between 1968 and 1972, using a scheme outlined in the Bruce Report, which was published as the Second World War was closing, and which set out a series of initiatives to regenerate the city.  Bruce's scheme evolved into what would become the Glasgow Inner Ring Road, a motorway "box" which would encircle the city centre, connected to the Renfrew Bypass at its south western corner, and the Monkland Motorway (built over the former route of the Monkland Canal) towards Edinburgh at its north eastern corner. Together, these three sections of motorway make up the present day M8.
Most of the motorway's length was complete by 1980. Since then, there has been a new interchange with the M80 motorway added in 1992, a 4-mile (6.4 km) eastern extension from Newbridge to the then-new Edinburgh City Bypass in 1995, and the new junction on the approach to the Kingston Bridge in Glasgow connecting to the new M74 extension in 2011.  As part of the Scottish Government's 'M8 M73 M74 Motorway Improvements programme', on which construction began in early 2015,  the remaining unfinished section between Baillieston (J8) and Newhouse (J6) was built, alongside other major improvements enhancing connectivity to the local road network, M73, and M74.   The new section was fully opened on 30 April 2017.  On 6 December 2019, the Southbar interchange (J29a) was reopened to facilitate regeneration in the Bishopton area, having been previously closed during the 1970s. 
From the Edinburgh City Bypass, the road runs west to junction with the M9 motorway (for the Forth Road Bridge), bypassing to the north of Livingston and south of Bathgate. It continues across Scotland's Central Belt. The next section – originally designated the Monkland Motorway – begins on the boundary of the City of Glasgow at the M73 motorway junction (the main interchange for all routes south via the M74 motorway) before passing through the districts of Barlanark, Riddrie, Dennistoun and Townhead (following the route of the abandoned Monkland Canal) on the way directly into the city centre. The central section – the uncompleted Glasgow Inner Ring Road – contains numerous junctions serving local communities including Cowcaddens, Garnethill, Kelvingrove and Anderston. It then crosses the River Clyde on the Kingston Bridge, runs west through Kinning Park, Bellahouston and Hillington before leaving Glasgow. Continuing west, it bypasses Renfrew and Paisley (carrying traffic directly over what was the main runway at Renfrew Airport, closed in 1966) before serving Glasgow International Airport, running to the south of Erskine, and terminating at Langbank, around 10 miles (16 km) east of Greenock. 
The M8 nominally comprises sections of the international E-road network, namely E05 (Langbank-Baillieston)  and E16 (Baillieston-Edinburgh),  although neither is signposted – no such roads are in the United Kingdom.
This article's Criticism or Controversy section may compromise the article's neutrality by separating out potentially negative information.(November 2020)
The central Glasgow section of the M8 is unusual amongst UK motorways (and more similar to many US Interstates) in that it directly bisects an urban city centre, whereas most other motorways bypass such centres. This section is mainly elevated on a concrete viaduct, lowering pollution concentrations but exposing some public spaces, roof terraces and other parts of buildings to noise and shading.[ citation needed ]
Some slip roads in the Glasgow section unusually enter and exit from the overtaking (right-hand) lane.
The motorway includes one of the busiest river crossings in Europe, Glasgow's Kingston Bridge.
Several incomplete structures were built around the motorway - at least 3 have been demolished or reused from the 1960s dubbed Bridges to Nowhere. A few incomplete structures remain.
The cause of most traffic congestion on the urban section is traffic from the M73 and M80 routes onto the eastern section of M8 which within 2 miles (3.2 km) reduces from five lanes to two on the Kingston Bridge approaches. Prior to the construction of the M74 extension, attempts were made to minimise delays on this section; these included restricting exits around the Kingston Bridge, a ramp metering programme, and expanded use of electronic signing above and beside the motorway as part of the CITRAC (Centrally Integrated TRAffic Control) system.  
The M8 is also criticised as a barrier to wildlife access (for example the reintroduced beaver) from the north of Scotland to the Southern Uplands. 
Successive failed attempts were made to build the southern flank of the Glasgow Inner Ring Road envisaged by the Bruce Report of the late 1940s. The eastern section had been planned to run north/south close to the High Street of Glasgow, through or under Glasgow Green to the southside of the Clyde. Public opinion was strongly against this and the eastern section was shelved, with a much later M74 connecting the far-eastern areas of Glasgow. This section, which is an extension of the M74 was built to a different route, intended to funnel long-distance traffic from the north and south which is bound for the southern Clyde Coast and allow it to bypass the urban section of the M8. Following many years of intensive political discussion and legal battles, the M74 completion began in 2008 and opened in June 2011. Indications are that the new road has been successful in reducing traffic levels on the urban section of the M8.
This article contains a bulleted list or table of intersections which should be presented in a properly formatted junction table.(December 2021)
|Eastbound exits||Junction||Westbound exits|
| M8 now terminates|
Edinburgh City Bypass A720
Berwick upon Tweed (A1)
Edinburgh City Centre A71
|J1 (Hermiston Gait)||Start of motorway|
|Edinburgh Airport, Stirling, Queensferry Crossing (M90) M9||J2 (Newbridge)||Stirling, Queensferry Crossing (M90) M9|
|Livingston A899||J3 (Livingston)||Livingston A899|
|Bathgate, Broxburn, Livingston (West) (A779) A89||J3a (Bathgate)||Bathgate, Broxburn, Livingston (West) (A89) A779|
|Bathgate, Whitburn, Falkirk A801||J4 (Whitburn)||Bathgate, Whitburn, Falkirk A801|
|Whitburn, Heartlands (B7066)||J4a (Heartlands)||Whitburn, Heartlands (B7066)|
|Shotts, Harthill, Salsburgh (B7066) B7057||J5 (Harthill)||Shotts, Harthill, Salsburgh (B7066) B7057|
|No access||J6 (Newhouse)||Airdrie, Lanark, Motherwell, Wishaw, Eurocentral (A723) A73|
|Lanark, Wishaw, Motherwell, Airdrie A8 (A73)||J6a (Chapelhall)||No access|
|Eurocentral||J7 (Eurocentral)||No access|
|No access||J7a (Shawhead)||Carlisle (M74), East Kilbride, Bellshill A725|
|Carlisle (M74) M73||J8 (Ballieston)||Carlisle (M74), Glasgow (South), Glasgow Airport M73, Glasgow (East) A8|
|Baillieston||J9 (Easterhouse)||No access|
|Easterhouse, Barlanark||J10 (Bartiebeith)||Easterhouse, Baillieston|
|Garthamlock, Queenslie B765||J11 (Stepps)||Stepps, Queenslie B765|
|Riddrie, Stepps A80||J12 (Riddrie)||Riddrie, Stepps A80|
|Stirling, Kincardine Bridge M80||J13 (Provan)||Blochairn, Parkhead|
|Blochairn, Dennistoun B763||J14 (Fruit Market)||No access|
|Glasgow Cathedral, Glasgow Cross, Kirkintilloch A803||J15 (Townhead)||Glasgow Cathedral, Glasgow Cross A803|
|No access||J16 (Craighall)||Aberfoyle, George Square (A81)|
|Dumbarton A82||J17 (Great Western Road)||Dumbarton A82|
| Anderston, Charing Cross (No exit from main carriageway)|
Glasgow city centre
|J18 (Charing Cross)||Kelvingrove, Charing Cross|
| Clydebank, S.E.C.C. A814 |
No exit from main carriageway
|J19 (Anderston)||Clydebank, S.E.C.C. A814|
|No access||J20 (Kingston Bridge)||Tradeston, East Kilbride (A730)|
| Tradeston, East Kilbride (A8, A730)|
|J21 (Seaward Street)||No access|
|No access||J22 (Plantation)||Kilmarnock, Prestwick Airport M77|
|No access||J23 (Dumbreck Road)||Govan, Ibrox B768 (only motorists coming from the M74 may use this junction as of September 2011, due to a barrier splitting the 4-lane motorway into 2 segments, with M8 traffic unable to reach the exit slip)|
|Govan, Kilmarnock (M77) A761||J24 (Helen Street)||Paisley, Bellahouston A761|
|Clyde Tunnel A739||J25 (Cardonald)||Clyde Tunnel A739|
|No access||J25a (Braehead)||Braehead|
|Hillington, Braehead A736||J26 (Hillington)||Hillington, Renfrew (A8) A736|
|Paisley, Renfrew A741||J27 (Arkleston)||Paisley, Renfrew A741|
|No access||J28 (Glasgow Airport)||Glasgow Airport|
|No access||J28a||Irvine A737|
|Paisley, Glasgow Airport A726, Irvine A737||J29 (St James)||Paisley A726|
|No access||J29a||Bishopton A8|
|Erskine, Erskine Bridge M898||J30 (Erskine)||Erskine, Erskine Bridge M898|
|Start of motorway||J31 (West Ferry)||Bishopton A8|
|Road becomes A8 towards Greenock|
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The A8 is a major road in Scotland, connecting Edinburgh to Greenock via Glasgow. Its importance diminished following the construction of the M8 motorway which also covers the route between Edinburgh and Glasgow.
The M20 is a motorway in Kent, England. It follows on from the A20 at Swanley, meeting the M25, and continuing on to Folkestone, providing a link to the Channel Tunnel and the ports at Dover. It is 50.6 miles (81.4 km) long. Although not signposted in England, this road is part of the European route E15. It is also used as a holding area for goods traffic when traffic across the English Channel is disrupted, such as Operation Stack and Operation Brock.
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The M49 is a motorway in England that links the M4 (J22) with the M5 (J18A). The southern end is on the outskirts of Avonmouth and the northern end is immediately to the east of the Prince of Wales Bridge which was constructed at the same time 1996. It is 5 miles (8 km) long and unique in that it is only accessible from other motorways.
Baillieston is a suburb of Glasgow, Scotland. It is about 7 miles (11 km) east of the city centre.
The M73 is a motorway in Glasgow and North Lanarkshire, Scotland. It is 7 miles (11 km) long and connects the M74 motorway with the M80 motorway, providing an eastern bypass for Glasgow. The short stretch between junctions 1 and 2 is part of unsigned international E-road network E05, where it continues along the M8 through Glasgow. To the south, the M74 motorway is also part of the E05.
The M80 is a motorway in Scotland's central belt, running between Glasgow and Stirling via Cumbernauld and Denny and linking the M8, M73 and M9 motorways. Following completion in 2011, the motorway is 25 miles (40 km) long. Despite being only a two lane motorway, parts of the M80 Stepps Bypass are used by around 60,000 vehicles per day.
The Kingston Bridge is a balanced cantilever dual-span ten lane road bridge made of triple-cell segmented prestressed concrete box girders crossing the River Clyde in Glasgow, Scotland.
The city of Glasgow, Scotland has a transport system encompassing air, rail, road, and an underground light metro line. Prior to 1962, the city was also served by trams. Commuters travelling into Glasgow from the neighbouring local authorities of North and South Lanarkshire, Renfrewshire, East Renfrewshire, and East and West Dunbartonshire have a major influence on travel patterns, with tens of thousands of residents commuting into the city each day. The most popular mode of transport in the city is the car, used by two thirds of people for journeys around the city.
The A728 is a route number in Glasgow, Scotland applied to two connected roads.
The Glasgow Inner Ring Road was a proposed ring road encircling the city centre of Glasgow, Scotland. Construction of the roads began in 1965, and half of its circumference was completed by 1972, but no subsequent construction was made and the remaining plans were formally abandoned in 1980. After 30 years, a route following roughly the southern section of the proposals have also been created as the new M74.
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The A726 road in Scotland is a major route with several distinct sections with different characteristics and names; owing to its stages of construction, since 2005 it has two separate parts, the first running between Strathaven in South Lanarkshire and Junction 5 of the M77 motorway south of Newton Mearns in East Renfrewshire via East Kilbride, and the other running between Junction 3 of the M77 and the M898 motorway near the Erskine Bridge, via Paisley and Junction 29 of the M8 motorway near Glasgow International Airport.
The A89 is a trunk road in Scotland, United Kingdom. It runs from High Street, Glasgow to Newbridge in Edinburgh. It was once the A8, which has now been replaced, mostly by the M8.
Auchenshuggle Bridge is a road bridge spanning the River Clyde in Glasgow, Scotland. The Auchenshuggle Bridge is the latest bridge to be built over the Clyde in the Auchenshuggle district of Glasgow, carrying the M74 motorway over the river and onto land which is part of Clydebridge Steelworks in Rutherglen, en route to the M8 junction near the heavily congested Kingston Bridge.
Broomhouse is a residential area in Glasgow, Scotland. It is about 6 miles (10 km) east of the city centre. Historically a small mining village and later the site of the Glasgow Zoo, in the early 21st century it grew substantially as an affluent commuter suburb.