The A672 is best avoided if the weather is poor as snow drifts can rapidly cover it. However, on a decent day it is quite a pleasant, but bleak, run across the Pennines.
The start of the road in eastern Oldham is nothing special, apart from the numerous variations of a Snow Warning Sign that are positioned at the entry to it in order to deter crossing in bad weather. An urban section of road, which slowly climbs upwards as it leaves Oldham, follows until eventually the houses stop beyond Sholver, the road becomes 40mph and the moors strike into view. Beyond here is where the road closure is in force in adverse weather.
The A672 north of Denshaw
As the road climbs upwards, a tricky crossroads exists at Grains Bar, before the road drops dramatically into the village of Denshaw which is signposted as the tourist outpost for Saddleworth. Here, the A672 crosses over the A640 and also meets the A6052 at a busy five-way junction in the centre of the village - where signs still denote the road as primary and the road to Halifax, and then there is a climb back out towards the bleak wilds of the moors. After some very tight bends and sweeping alignments, the road meets the Pennine Way footpath and crosses the new county boundary, put in place in 1974 when Saddleworth became part of Greater Manchester. We then get to a 0.5 mile long dual- carriageway as it runs underneath the M62 which was installed in the late 1960's at the same time as the motorway itself; I can only assume the original narrow single carriageway road was deemed to small to handle 4 slip roads and therefore the road was extended with a central reservation for ease of entering and exiting the motorway slip roads. A very odd little dual carriageway in all, obviously it wasn't put in place to benefit A672 traffic as such. The whole dual carriageway though seems to have been barely touched since 1969 because when pulling out of the motorway slip roads onto the carriageway, the gaps in the central reservation are almost unsurfaced and have grass growing through them and are not indicated clearly with road markings at all.
The road ahead is twisty and prone to ice in winter, but is now a test site for LED road studs, which were installed in February 2010. The studs start at the end of the dual carriageway and transition traffic into the darkness of the road, before the next set guides traffic over the dogleg at Oxygrains Bridge. It is very dark on this road at night, the trail of streetlights make it easier to get bearings on the twisty road - especially as there is a very unforgiving drop into the Booth Wood Reservoir below! Passing the recently re-opened Turnpike Inn the road then passes the infamous Moselden Lane turning (unsavoury activities abound up there!) and the speed limit reduces to 40mph as the road twists down a steep descent into Ripponden. As it passes Rishworth School the limit drops to 30mph, and the road becomes very urban before it terminates with little ceremony at the signalised Y-junction with the A58.