£220m link road scheme for M58 and M6 in Wigan finally gets moving - 80 years on

It’s a dream almost 80 years old – with a route first identified shortly after World War Two.
The M6/M58 Junction 26 roundabout at OrrellThe M6/M58 Junction 26 roundabout at Orrell
The M6/M58 Junction 26 roundabout at Orrell

One section of an estimated £220m link road that stretches across the entire Wigan borough has taken another step towards becoming a reality.

The M58 scheme – linking Junction 26 of the M6 at Orrell with Billinge Road, Pemberton – will now undergo a formal review from National Highways: a requirement before construction can go ahead.

The entire link road, approximately nine miles in length, would link junction 5 of the M61 with junction 26 of the M6 and bring connectivity between Leigh, Hindley, Wigan, Ince, and Pemberton.

It’s a dream almost 80 years old – with a route first identified shortly after World War Two.

Previously, Bolton and Wigan jointly bid for £186m of housing infrastructure funding to deliver the strategic link. While that bid was unsuccessful, Homes England gave feedback that the bid or a combination of bids could be suitable for longer term funding.

The council has agreed for National Highways to review and validate checks for junction improvements throughout the Orrell interchange as part of a new M58 link road, including a new arm on the east side of the eastern roundabout.

David Proctor, assistant director for planning and regeneration at Wigan Council, said: “The published decision is to agree for National Highways to proceed with their formal review of the design work for the M58 link road scheme, which is needed to enable the requirements for delivery of the scheme to be fully realised.

“Wigan Council is committed to the delivery of the M58 scheme, with the required steps progressing to include design and preparatory works, prior to entering into a construction contract following which a delivery programme and commencement date can be timetabled.”

The M6/M58 Junction 26 roundabout at OrrellThe M6/M58 Junction 26 roundabout at Orrell
The M6/M58 Junction 26 roundabout at Orrell

This plan aims to alleviate traffic on Ormskirk Road (A577) which is one of Wigan borough’s busiest routes, promoting east to west connectivity and improving air quality. The council hopes the road will provide a route from the motorway into the heart of Wigan town centre.

Following planning approval in 2018 and 2021, the scheme would still need to be assigned to a contractor if National Highways gives the green light before work could commence.