|To:||Stanley Gate (SD442052)|
|Distance:||9.1 miles (14.6 km)|
|Meets:||A59, B5187, B5194, M57, B5192, A5208, B5197, A570|
|Old route now:||M58|
|Route outline (key)|
The route starts on the A59 less than a mile south of Aintree railway station and perhaps two miles from Switch Island. We head eastwards, passing a minor road which forms the link to the northbound A59. It runs eastwards as Longmoor Lane, becoming dual carriageway before passing a large hospital. It's typical urban dual carriageway, with lots of gaps in the central reserve, lots of signal-controlled junctions, etc. We run to the south of Aintree Racecourse then past a golf course to pass under M57 junction 6. From there we sweep through Westvale into Kirkby where we have to turn left to stay on the A506 (the right turn is the A5208).
We run northwards now as single carriageway, under a railway then leave town heading towards the M58. Another curiosity follows - the A506 is single carriageway, but as the road becomes dual on the approach to the M58, we turn off right to stay on the A506. Not so unusual until you realise that the maps show the link to M58 J1 as unclassified dual carriageway. Most other places would have had that link as a spur of the A506.
Having turned right, we go over the motorway, then TOTSO again to run parallel to the M58 to Stanley Gate on the A570, close to M58 junction 3, where the A506 terminates. The single-carriageway section between Kirkby and Stanley Gate runs through fields.
When originally inaugurated in Lancashire in the 1970s, the A506 took over a new-build road to the south of Skelmersdale new town, running from the M6 at J26 west to end on the A570 west of Skelmersdale. The road was twice extended in the same decade, firstly via Kirkby to meet the M57 and then further to end on the A59. These extensions both took over part of the B5192 (which originally ran from Fazakerley to Stanley Gate), leaving only a short section of that road still in existence as the A506 took a different route through Kirkby.
The section of the A506 east of the A570 was rebuilt to motorway standards in the second half of the 1970s and was finally given motorway status in 1980, becoming part of the M58.