From Roader's Digest: The SABRE Wiki
|To:||Manchester City Centre (SJ838979)|
|Length:||5.5 miles (8.9 km)|
|Meets:||M56 J3, M60, A5145, A6010, A57(M), A34|
The A5103 is a major thoroughfare, starting at Piccadilly Gardens, in Manchester and finishing at the M56, in Northenden. The road is two lane dual carriageway, but with few grade separated junctions. The road is used by many as a link to the airport and to the motorway network south.
The road starts at Piccadilly Gardens where it meets the A6 and A62. It continues along Portland Street, along fast food outlets and off licences where it then meets the A34. It multiplexes with the road north for 200 yards until heading south along Lower Mosley Street, past the former Manchester Central station, now a conference centre. The road becomes Albion Street and passes Deansgate station. The road then meets Mancunian Way at a roundabout interchange. This is where most of the traffic joins and leaves.
The road is now 2x2 dual carriageway and is now Princess Road. The road passes under a grade-separated junction (one of the few en route), with an unusually large central reservation. This is presumably because of the proposed plans from the 1960s of a motorway (see Links). However, after passing under the junction, there are innumerate sets of traffic lights, with the B5219, the A6010 and the A5145, as well as many other unsigned roads. There are also many speed cameras set at 40mph.
The road picks pace as we exit the sprawl of South Manchester and the road becomes Princess Parkway, with a 50mph speed limit. We cross the River Mersey and almost immediately hit the M60. The junction is free-flowing and is a half whirlpool interchange, with limited exits, with northbound traffic only allowed to head clockwise and southbound traffic anti-clockwise. The A5103 also meets the B5167 at Northenden at a diamond junction. Finally, the Princess Parkway ends and the M56 starts at a roundabout interchange with the A560. This junction also allows people who haven't realised that the M56 continues east to the M60 to rejoin. Motorway restrictions start, with the usual 70mph speed limit.