|From:||Calton Moor House (SK116487)|
|To:||Hazel Grove (SJ925865)|
|Distance:||31.9 miles (51.3 km)|
|Meets:||A52, B5053, A53, A520, B5331, A54, A536, A537, B5470, B5090, B5091, B5358, A5149, A5143, A6|
|Old route now:||A538|
|Route outline (key)|
The A523 is a cross-country A-road skirting the western edge of the Peak District.
In the 1990s the entire A523 was renumbered A52, presumably to stop traffic using that road between Newcastle-under-Lyme and Derby. However, this change was undone almost immediately and few changes ever made it on the ground.
Section 1: Calton Moor House - Macclesfield
The road then descends via a number of sharp bends to Waterhouses. From here there is a popular cycle track/footpath (the Manifold Way, along the route of a railway line closed in the 1930s) up the Hamps and Manifold valleys to Hulme End. More open moorland is reached with the road's summit being at the junction with the B5053 at the oddly named Bottom House. A straight continuous steady descent then follows with one double bend on the outskirts of Leek where the road has been diverted (in turnpike days) to avoid Lowe Hill.
In the centre of Leek, the A523 used to go along the now-pedestrianised Derby Street. A remnant of this route is seen in the spur along Ashbourne Road. However, the present signposted route directs traffic via two TOTSOs either end of Springfield Road, the closest Leek has to a bypass (and allowing the A523 to be the dominant partner in a short multiplex with the A53) to avoid the congestion of the Market Place. We pass the football ground (big deal!) and continue out to Rudyard. The original turnpike went in a fairly straight line but involved steep gradients. The road was diverted to avoid the hill and now has many bends above and roughly parallel to the lake itself. I prefer the hill to a head-on on the bends followed by a fall into the lake.
Rushton Spencer is reached on a typical Cheshire-style road, although we don't actually enter that county until we cross the River Dane on the far side of the village. We cross the A54 at Bosley lights, after which there's an attractive stretch by the Macclesfield Canal and into Macclesfield, again via the Football Ground - must be catching!!
Macclesfield boasts a number of busy roundabouts followed by a D2 stretch of road again with roundabouts plus pedestrian lights, which spoils the effect.
Section 2: Macclesfield - Hazel Grove
We are now on the outskirts of Prestbury where the Cheshire set live and the road reverts to Cheshire form. We go past Adlington and into Poynton, famous for an attractive church and a revised "shared space" type junction where pedestrians have equal priority, replacing traffic lights.
The final stretch of the road is wide and straight, entering Stockport MBC at a typical garden centre, passing lights at the A5143 and ending at the junction with the A6 adjacent to the Rising Sun Hotel, Hazel Grove.
The works comprised of high visibility signs, introduction of hatched areas in the centre of the carriageway, high friction surface materials, high visibility black and white painting of existing safety fence, improvements at signalised junctions,road markings emphasising speed limit and a new Puffin Crossing located on the A523 Macclesfield Road, Hazel Grove near to the junction with Chatsworth Road.What's more, EuroRAP lists the A523 (Macclesfield-Hazel Grove section) in the Top Ten most improved roads in the country.
- The A523 Trunk Road (Metropolitan Borough of Stockport) (Detrunking) Order 2002 - This order is one of three detrunking the A523 following the 1998 consultation A New Deal for Trunk Roads in England
- The A523 Trunk Road (County of Cheshire) (Detrunking) Order 2002 - This order is one of three detrunking the A523 following the 1998 consultation A New Deal for Trunk Roads in England
- The A523 Trunk Road (Calton Moor to Cheshire Border) (Detrunking) Order 2002 - This order is one of three detrunking the A523 following the 1998 consultation A New Deal for Trunk Roads in England
- The Cheshire East Borough Council and Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council (A523 POYNTON RELIEF ROAD) (CLASSIFIED ROAD) (SIDE ROADS) ORDER 2017