The M60 is another one of the the wonders of the modern world. It circles Greater Manchester and the aim is to create an M25-style orbital motorway (hopefully without the stationary traffic). The north Manchester section (roughly the 9 o'clock to 1 o'clock section) is made up of the old M62. The west to south Manchester section (9 o' clock to 5 o'clock anti-clockwise) is made up of the old M63. The remaining section, from the end of the M63 to the M62 is half completed at present part of it is the existing M66 (see Renumbering below for details) and the other bit is under construction, scheduled for completion Summer 2000.
This orbital has been far too long coming. For most easterners trying to get to, say, Manchester's Ringway airport, this involves a huge trip around the top of Manchester, then through the Irwell Valley (notorious traffic black spot) then finally to the M56. So many areas are inaccessible due to the absence of decent mway connections. Hopefully, after next summer, Manchester will be totally reachable from whatever direction it is approached. Once completed, this orbital will carry an immense amount of traffic, but should take the pressure off the present most-used section, which is (as mentioned previously) the Irwell valley section, where in the space of a few miles the M61, the M63, M62, M602 and various important A routes merge and branch.
As (b) above. This bit of road is to form a triangle between the A38 going to Sutton Coldfield and the A5 from Brownhills. This fabbo bit of dual is very untidy, as was quite obviously once meant to have had a flyover built over the roundabout below. This was never built, although the embankment is there, so one is diverted off the carriageway down to the A5/A5127 junction. In the opposite direction (joining the A5117 from the A5 say) there is an ancient one way sign and a No Stopping sign, underneath it says something heavy like 66 miles. It is only at this point that you are told you are on the A5117 bracketed A38.
The Manchester Orbital Project has involved a massive renumbering programme, more or less guaranteed to throw many drivers. With all credit to the Highways Agency and the DOT, they have tried to alleviate most possible problems by ensuring that the jcn numbers on the section of the M60 which was previously the M62 have remained the same. This has been acheived by playing with the start and finish of the M60. The major changes are outlined below:
a) The one mentioned above. The northern section of the M60 has swallowed up the M62. The M62 now exists to the west and east of the M60. The jcn numbers are still the same as when it was the M62.
b) The M63 has now gone. This has become the west and south section of the M60, from jcn 12, the M62/M602 jcn, (anti clockwise) to jcn 25, east of Stockport.
c) The M66, the constructed portion of which is in two halves. Still moving anti-clockwise, at jcn 25 A6017/A560 up to the M67 at Denton, jcn 24, where the M60 temporarily ends. The next section is under construction and will be finished (as mentioned above) Summer 2000. This takes in jcns 24 to 19, the A576 Middleton. There is further 1.3 miles of the M60 (old M66) up to jcn 18, where the M66, M60 and eastern M62 meet.
This takes in all the renumbering done to create a fully circular orbital mway.
Virtually all travel on the M62 west-east and vice versa will be affected by the M60, and the eastern section will make for a better route to North Wales or the airport. In fact, using the A627(M) combined with the M60 might speed this up even further. Briefly, from the M60, these connections are possible:
M62 east - Leeds, Bradford, Goole, Hull, Doncaster.
M62 west - Liverpool, Bootle, Docks, Southport.
M61 (M6) - Bolton, Preston and all points north via the M6.
M56 - North Wales, Chester, Birkenhead & Ellesmere Port (M53), Birmingham and all points south via M6.
M66 - Bury, Burnley.
M602 - Eccles, Salford.
M67 - the joke motorway. Denton, Audenshaw and eventually Sheffield and Barnsley via A57.
and don't forget the A6144(M) which goes to Carrington. See the page on that for more details.
I was told about the M60 well before I had chance to see it in the tarmac. Then I had to accompany my dad on a visit to his heart specialist in Cheadle, and I finally saw all the new signs and puzzled looks on drivers who thought they were on the wrong motorway. It is sad to see the demise of the M63, particularly as it was previously the M62! I am looking forward to the completion of the M60. By the way, many people may already recognise the M60 number, if they have ever sat staring at a box of Kellogs Frosties, as the post code has always been Manchester M60!