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Location Map ( geo)
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From:  Hanchurch (SJ850420)
To:  Nantwich (SJ673516)
Via:  "Stoke D Road"
Distance:  18.8 miles (30.3 km)
Meets:  M6, A519, A34, A5006, A50, A52, A5006, B5045, A53, A527, B5370, A5271, A34, M6, B5078, A531, A5020, B5071, A51
Former Number(s):  A5006, A52
Old route now:  A51
Primary Destinations
Highway Authorities

Cheshire East • National Highways

Traditional Counties

Cheshire • Staffordshire

Route outline (key)
A500 Hanchurch – Nantwich
A500 Nantwich Bypass
This article is about the current A500, which is known as the "Stoke D road" and runs from junction 15 of the M6 near Hanchurch to Nantwich.
For the original, a road in London between Marble Arch and Finchley, see A500 (Marble Arch - Finchley)

How many roads do you know with a one letter name? Well, I guess there are a few "I" Roads, e.g. the B1117 and one in Kilburn and one somewhere in Scotland, but the one I know best is the D Road, aka the A500 in Stoke-on-Trent. Until the war the A500 was the Finchley Road in Northwest London, but it was decided to extend the route of the A41 from Watford into central London along this road, so the number became available. It seemed appropriate to save it for a major project, and the D Road was the first project to come along in the 5 Zone which was considered important enough. It's your guess as to whether the "D" moniker refers to its shape (with the M6 as the downstroke) or whether it refers to the fact that D is the Roman numeral for 500.


Section 1: Stoke 'D' Road

We now have the description of the present Stoke-on-Trent 'D' Road 20 miles, 22 minutes

The D Road was planned at the same time as the building of the M6, and the first two parts of it were built to link the motorway to the A34 north and south of the city (or north and south of Newcastle, to be more exact). At first the three-mile link road from junction 16 to Talke Pits was numbered the A500, and the one-mile link from junction 15 to Trent Vale was numbered as part of the A5006.

Looking at a 1970s map of the Potteries, a relief road route is pretty clear: along the Trent to Stoke, then follow the main railway line along the valley that separates Newcastle from Hanley. Land wasn't too much of an issue (old industrial workings could be cleared) except in Stoke-upon-Trent itself, where quite a bit of demolition was required in the streets near the town hall, including having to reroute a river and canal and move some of the burials in St Peter's churchyard. The road was officially opened on 2 November 1977 (by William Rodgers, Transport Secretary) after this middle section was completed in the Queen's Silver Jubilee year (1977) and, not surprisingly, officially named "Queensway". The official opening plaque still exists on the Glebe Street overbridge, a stone's throw from the Civic Centre.

Due to lack of money, the two junctions in Stoke itself (5 and 6 on the list below) were built as future-proofed roundabouts. The Stoke Pathfinder project (completed 2006) transformed this section of the road, by grade-separating the A500 and building C-D lanes either side of the main carriageways for local traffic. The original roundabouts were destroyed (and the river and canal were rerouted again) and traffic-light-controlled crossroads built above.

So let's run through the junctions on the D road. The junction numbers do not appear on signs and are here purely for ease of reference.

1: Hanchurch

Main Article: Hanchurch Interchange

Junction 15 of the M6 is a trumpet style; built on an attractive, wooded bend in the motorway, it should be approached with care, especially in the rush hour. Immediately you leave the motorway there's an island, where the A500 begins straight on and the A519 (Newcastle-Newport) crosses from north to south. Traffic levels since this junction and roundabout were built are now such as to make this a real bottleneck during peak times, with long queues building up on the A500. Follow the A519 south to meet the A5182 for Shrewsbury. A real improvement would be to eliminate the roundabout with the A519, and give traffic on that its own junction further south.

2: Trent Vale

Main Article: Hanford Interchange

Going over the Lyme Brook and entering the City of Stoke-on-Trent, we come to what's normally called the Hanford island (although it's not actually in Hanford). Originally, and for many years, this was a simple roundabout junction with the A34. It's now been upgraded, with the A500 whizzing along on its new flyover. Indeed, until the flyover was built, this is where the A500 started, with the section to the west being the A5006. The approach to this roundabout is the start of the 50 mph speed limit that lasts until just before Jn 10

3: Sideway

Main Article: Sideway Roundabout

This was originally built as another trumpet-style junction, this time onto the A5006 in Boothen, serving Stoke City's old Victoria Ground and the Michelin tyre works, with access off the slip road to the city's waste-disposal centre. When the new A50 was built, it was plugged in to the A500 here, leaving the old trumpet largely intact. The Britannia Stadium is a quarter of a mile along here - and the M1 is at the end of the road.

4/5/6: Stoke

Originally three separate junctions, the Pathfinder Project combined them all into a single collector / distributor, with access from the A500 at the first end you come to. Exits onto the A500 are in the middle and at the end. At the south end of this junction are the to-/from-the-north slips onto the local road to Mount Pleasant (junction 4). Immediately north of this is the A52 with access to the A5007 and Stoke Minster (junction 5). The northern end of the junction is with the A5006, heading to Hanley (junction 6).

7: Cliffe Vale

A south-facing limited-access GSJ with the B5045. This is the signposted route for A52 traffic to (although not from) Newcastle, to avoid going through Stoke town centre.

8: Basford

Main Article: Etruria roundabout

Frequently called Etruria Roundabout, although not actually in Etruria, this is a GSJ with the A53 (Newcastle-Hanley); at this point the road re-enters Newcastle Borough. Adjacent is the former Etruria station, of which little remains even though it only closed in 2005. The National Garden Festival was held back in 1986 half a mile away along the A53; its site is still called the Festival Park.

9: Wolstanton

A dumbbell junction. Originally built as a colliery access road, it now serves an Asda. In 2007, the long-disused original colliery access road was brought back into use and now serves as the A527 Wolstanton bypass; for many years traffic leaving the A500 at this junction had to return by the same route. A recent scheme has involved widening the A500 from here to the Porthill roundabout by adding an additional lane to cater for significant traffic flows from Wolstanton and the retail park, to/from the Porthill roundabout.

10. Porthill

A GSJ with the former A527 (Newcastle-Tunstall), next to Longport station. Following construction of the Wolstanton and Tunstall bypasses, this road has been renumbered A5271 to the east (marked on some earlier maps as B5999) and B5370 to the west. An access road to an industrial estate also meets the roundabout.

A500 near Audley

10A: Chatterley

The only brand-new junction on the D road. It is a trumpet-style junction onto the Tunstall bypass, taking the A527 north of the town and opening up land in the valley for development.

11. Talke Pits

Main Article: Talke Interchange

A GSJ with the A34 (Newcastle-Congleton); there is an extra bridge over across the middle of the island to accommodate vehicles which can't negotiate the curves of the roundabout. This forms part of a route north from the Alsthom factory in Stafford that make very large electrical equipment such as transformers. Roundabouts south of here on the A34 have cut-throughs for the transporter vehicles. A local road to Tunstall also meets here.

12. Audley

A diamond junction for traffic on the local road between Audley and Alsager, the only wholly unclassified junction on the A500.

13. Barthomley

Main Article: Barthomley Interchange

A GSJ with the M6 junction 16, where the A500 now comes to a halt for the first time since we last met the M6. The roundabout marks the boundary between Staffordshire and Cheshire. The B5078 (to Alsager) also has access here.

Section 2: M6 Junction 16 – Nantwich

So far, so good. The A500 is a beefy, GSJ'd expressway typical of bold postwar thinking. Not much of a view, but impressive nonetheless, even though traffic levels have somewhat reduced its usefulness. But it couldn't stop there. The logical final touch would be to extend it to Crewe. In 1977 the main road from Stoke to Crewe was the A52 (now the B5500), and what a useless road it was. And it looks so easy: just plug that 4 km gap from the M6 to the A5020 at Stowford. Ah, but in Staffordshire they have men. In Cheshire we have, well, I spent a day once at Congleton Borough planning department, and, er, I'll fetch me coat… I was at school at the time, and my English teacher lived in Barthomley. His car had a sticker in the window that said "Save Barthomley", and if you look at the map you'll see he had a point. He did get some of his way: the new road was to be single carriageway (the excuse for this being that the A534 was to be rebuilt at the same time) and hidden in cuttings. A local road was extended to the M6 island to make an extension to the B5078, giving Barthomley access to all those lovely roads. Early maps showed the road under construction as the A52 but it was opened as an extension to the A500.

And instead of a direct road to the A5020, why not throw in a couple of turns at roundabouts? I know there is a railway line at Stowford which makes things a bit tricky, but I'm sure Telford or Brunel would've coped. And I suppose it did make sense to throw in a junction (at Meremoor Moss) with a new road to take traffic around Weston to Nantwich. So, to recap, it's now 1990 and the A500 has completed its journey. Not as a dual carriageway to Crewe, but as a country lane to Weston and some old bits of A52 to Nantwich.

A500 east of Nantwich

But no, there's more! If the A500 was only taking traffic to Nantwich there wouldn't be a problem; it was then home to only about 10,000 souls. But in fact there's loads of through traffic across to Chester and Wrexham so let's build two more roads! The first stage was a Nantwich bypass (logically renumbered in 2009 as the A51), taking traffic away from the town centre and the railway level crossing. Around the same time they improved the old section of the road slightly by inserting an extra bridge over the railway at Hough. In 2003 the £28m D2!! Hough/Shavington bypass from the A500/A5020 junction to the beginning of the Nantwich bypass at Cheerbrook was completed. Shortly afterwards, the A500 west of Jn 19 M6 was transferred to Cheshire County Council from Highways England as part of a government scheme to reduce the size of the strategic roads network to save money, with no funds for maintenance being transferred. The new road passes over the West Coast Main Line at Basford and there's a roundabout providing a junction with the B5071 Gresty Road. A new road has been built to take the B5071 north to new commercial and housing developments. A roundabout was built in 2003 to take a rerouted A5020. The new Crewe Green Link Road (Stage 2), has been built from here to the existing link road and is D2 with a roundabout half-way along to give access to new housing and commercial developments. There is an enormous amount of development now taking place between the A500 here and the railway from Alsager to Crewe.

The then Highways Agency planners, cognisant of plans to further develop the A51 to Chester, (proposals that seem to have been lost in the mists of time since Chester CC was split into two separate councils), built this new road as a dual carriageway. Whilst there may have been the intention to dual the notoriously overloaded Barthomley Link section, (now carrying upwards of 30,000 cars a day plus large numbers of HGVs to the new sheds near the A500), this was all lost when the A500 West was handed over to Cheshire County Council, and then totally ignored by the successor council, (Cheshire East), until very recently. The coming of HS2 has woken up this rather sleepy council and with HS2 coming to Crewe, and huge housing and commercial developments in and around Crewe and Nantwich, the Barthomley Link is now to be dualled. This was due to start in early 2022, but the need for some redesign meant this is now put off to 2024. So only 22 years late, which seems to be about par for all UK road schemes ! (sorry to be cynical !)

However, some relief was provided in June 2014 in the form of an improved Jn 16 and its westbound approach involving the installation of two 600m eastbound approach lanes, and signalising the whole junction. In general, this arrangement works reasonably well except at evening rush hours when the main traffic movement which is A500 East to M6 North builds up lengthy queues awaiting their turn through the roundabout.

Opening Dates

Year Section Notes
1962 M6 J15 Hanchurch - Hanford Potteries "D" Road Stage 1. The 1.1 mile dual carriageway opened on 19 December 1962, the same day as the M6 extension from J14 to J15 opening. Carriageways were 25 feet wide with a 15 foot central reservation. Contractor was Percy Bilton Ltd, tender cost £377,093. Opened as A5006.
1964 M6 J16 Barthomley - A34 Talke Potteries "D" Road Stage 2. The 3.5 mile dual carriageway opened on 15 May 1964. Width was 88 feet with dual 24 foot carriageways and a 15 foot central reservation. It had one interim junction with Alsager Road. Contractor was Percy Bilton Ltd, tender cost £1.65 million, total cost £1.78 million. The adjoining M6 section had opened previously on 15 November 1963.
1973 Talke - Etruria Potteries "D" Road Stage 3 : the 4.25 mile dual carriageway was officially opened on 27 June 1973 by Keith Speed, Junior Transport Minister. Contractor was John Laing Construction Ltd., contract price £3.8 million.
1977 Etruria - Hanford Potteries "D" Road Stage 3 : Queensway. The dual carriageway was officially opened on 2 November 1977 by William Rodgers, Transport Secretary, to complete the "D" Road. Contractor was Tarmac Construction Ltd., cost £26 million.
1987 Barthomley M6 Link Road The 3.5 mile single carriageway road linking South Cheshire to M6, from Weston Hall to M6 J16, was opened on 21 July 1987 by Peter Bottomley, Minister for Roads and Traffic. Contractor was Alfred McAlpine, cost £9 million. The section west of Meremoor Moss Roundabout was later renumbered A531. In addition Cheshire County Council constructed the A5020 (now B5472) link from Meremoor Moss Roundabout to Crewe Hall and the 0.5 mile B5078 diversion to connect to M6 J16.
1991 Nantwich Bypass The 2.1 mile single carriageway road from Cheerbrook Roundabout to the B5074 roundabout was opened on 6 March 1991 by Lord Brabazon of Tara, Transport Minister. Contractor was Galliford Northwest. Tender cost was £5.09 million, total cost £7.268 million. Later renumbered to A51.
2003 Basford - Hough - Shavington Bypass The 4.7 mile dual carriageway was opened on 22 May 2003 by Gwyneth Dunwoody M.P.. Cost £28 million.


Related Pictures
View gallery (79)
A500 Audley exit.jpgA500, Stoke D-road, Talke Pits - Coppermine - 3335.jpgA5007, Stoke-On-Trent - Geograph - 1666884.jpgThis is what the A500-A50-A5006 junctions that merge together would look like as a Trumpet-hybrid-dumbbell..pngIMG 1349.JPG old columns ZX3s.jpg
Other nearby roads
A34 • A50 • A52 • A520 • A521 • A524 (Ashbourne - Newcastle-under-Lyme) • A527 • A5005 • A5006 • A5007 • A5008 • A5009 • A5010 • A5011 • A5035 • A5271 (Stoke) • A5272 • B5029 • B5037 • B5038 • B5039 • B5040 • B5041 • B5042 • B5045 • B5046 • B5047 • B5048 • B5049 • B5050 • B5051 • B5052 • B5066 • B5490 • B5999 • E05 • E33 (London - Glasgow) • M6 • M6 Toll • M64 (Trentham - Long Whatton) • RM180 • T54 (Britain) • T56 (Britain)
A51 • A464 (Oaken - Nantwich) • A529 • A530 • A534 • A5017 (Nantwich) • A5301 • B5072 (Nantwich) • B5073 • B5074 • B5338 • B5341
A500 • A501 • A502 • A503 • A504 • A505 • A506 • A507 • A508 • A509 • A510 • A511 • A512 • A513 • A514 • A515 • A516 • A517 • A518 • A519
A520 • A521 • A522 • A523 • A524 • A525 • A526 • A527 • A528 • A529 • A530 • A531 • A532 • A533 • A534 • A535 • A536 • A537 • A538 • A539
A540 • A541 • A542 • A543 • A544 • A545 • A546 • A547 • A548 • A549 • A550 • A551 • A552 • A553 • A554 • A555 • A556 • A557 • A558 • A559
A560 • A561 • A562 • A563 • A564 • A565 • A566 • A567 • A568 • A569 • A570 • A571 • A572 • A573 • A574 • A575 • A576 • A577 • A578 • A579
A580 • A581 • A582 • A583 • A584 • A585 • A586 • A587 • A588 • A589 • A590 • A591 • A592 • A593 • A594(N) • A594(S) • A595 • A596 • A597 • A598 • A599
Defunct Itineraries & Motorways : A500 • A506 • A511(N) • A511(S) • A524 • A526 • A529 • A544 • A555(N) • A555(S) • A556(M) • A563 • A564 • A569 • A580 • A598

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