|Location Map ( geo)
|122 miles (196.3 km)
|A5036, A5042, A565, A5051, A5038, A59, A5046, A5047, A580, A5048, B5173, B5188, B5189, A5047, A5058, B5198, A526, M57, B5194, A58, B5199, B5200, B5201, B5413, M62, A557, A570, B5419, A569, A562, A574, A5061, A49, A50, M6, B5210, B5159, B5212, B5320, M60, B5211, B5231, B5230, A576, B5228, A5186, M602, A5063, A5066, B5461, A6042, A57(M), A56, A5067, A6, A665, A6010, B6178, B6167, M67, A6017, A627, A560, B6174, A6018, A628, A626, A6016, A624, B6105, A6013, A6101, B6547, B6069, A61, B6539, B6070, B6073, A630, B6064, B6053, B6200, A618, B6067, M1, B6463, B6059, B6060, B6041, A60, B6024, B6034, B6040, A1, A614, B6420, A638, A6075, A1133, A156, B1190, B1241, A46, B1273, A1192, A15
|Old route now:
|Route outline (key)
The A57 was nearly a coast to coast route. It passes through three major city centres (Liverpool, Manchester, and Sheffield - with elevated sections in each) and several smaller ones, multiplexes with the A6 and the A1, follows the banks of two canals and negotiates the remotest part of the Peak District. In one city it part of it is a tram route, whilst in another its former route is also a tram route. After all these adventures, it sadly gives up just 40 miles short of the east coast, Lincoln apparently proving too big an obstacle. An obvious candidate for an eastward extension would have been the Wragby Road, continuing to Louth or Skegness. Is it coincidence that road was originally the A157?
The 1946 Trunk Roads Act created a Liverpool-Skegness trunk road which incorporated three sections of the A57: Liverpool-Warrington, Hattersley-Hollingworth, and Sheffield-Lincoln. Only the second of these three is still trunk today.
Section 1: Liverpool - Manchester
The A57 starts on the waterfront in Liverpool opposite the Three Graces. It heads east as the one-way westbound Water Street before running over the elevated Churchill Way across the Scotland Road (A59) and then getting lost. It reappears to the east of the city centre halfway along London Road (the actual through route has been closed to traffic) and heads out of town as the Prescot Road, crossing the M57 at junction 2 near Prescot (where the A58 also starts, and takes over the primary route status).
From Prescot the A57 continues as non-primary through Rainhill to meet the M62 at junction 7, and resumes primary status as far as Warrington and the A49. There is a brief non-primary section to the M6 (junction 21), then it is primary again as far as the M60 (junction 11). This section runs alongside the Manchester Ship Canal, bypasses Irlam and Cadishead and passes Barton Aerodrome on the left. Beyond the M60 the A57 passes through Eccles and Salford, running next to the M602 on the Eccles New Road. Part of the Metrolink tram system's recent Eccles extension runs along this road. At the roundabout at the eastern end of the M602 the A57 finally becomes the main road into Manchester from the west.
Section 2: Manchester - Sheffield
The A57 crosses the River Irwell at Regent Bridge before entering its moment of motorway glory as the A57(M) Mancunian Way skirting the south of Manchester's city centre on an elevated section and crossing the A56 and A34. This includes a half-completed exit that goes the wrong way up Brook Street (a one way street). The original A57 ran further north through the city centre along Liverpool Road (now the A6143) and Whitworth Street (B6469) as far as the A6 London Road which marked the start of a multiplex.
At the end of Mancunian Way, we reach a TOTSO, straight on being the short unsigned A635(M) and thence the A635 (for Saddleworth Moor, Barnsley and Doncaster) whilst the A57 turns south, briefly multiplexing with the A6, and then branching off along Hyde Road. This section of road was extensively cleared for the westward extension for the M67, and consequently has seen a lot of redevelopment.
The A57 meets the M60 at junction 24 with the infamous "ski" jump of the M67 not far away. From here to the other side of Hyde, the road is bypassed by the M67, until the motorway gives out at a roundabout with the A560 and all traffic is dumped back onto the A57 through Mottram Moor. Despite extensive campaigning, and numerous signs from frustrated locals crying out for a bypass, the A57 through Mottram remains part of the principal trunk road from Manchester to Sheffield. There's a junction with the A6018 halfway along to add to the fun.
At the other side of Mottram, the A628 takes up the trunk route over Longendale, Woodhead Pass, while the A57 loses its primary status, TOTSOs to the right, and enters Derbyshire. It meanders along suburban traffic into the centre of Glossop, where it meets the A624 at traffic lights in the town centre.
On the other side of Glossop, the scenery changes dramatically as the road becomes the start of the Snake Pass and starts to climb the Pennines. After the first hairpin bend, wonderful views of the landscape unfold around the pass as it winds its way up Coldharbour Moor, which marks the watershed between the Irish Sea and the North Sea. We reach a height of around 521 m above sea level at the top, and the road has a speed restriction of 50 mph. You really don't want to get stuck behind anything that is slow, because there aren't that many overtaking opportunities.
At the top of the pass, the road drops down into forest, past the eponymous Snake Pass Inn, and enters the valley of the River Derwent, where the route has been realigned due to construction of the Ladybower Reservoir (more for engineering reasons; virtually none of the old A57 has been flooded). When the reservoir was first filled, the church spire of Derwent village to the north could still be seen protruding from the water, but it was later demolished. Traces of other buildings can still be seen during droughts. The A57 crosses the main valley of the Derwent by a large viaduct, the scale of which is concealed by the deep waters of the reservoir. We now head back uphill, go back up to NSL and are on a much better, faster road where we can finally get up to some speed before we reach Sheffield. Apart from at weekends, the road is reasonably quiet. We head into the city in a 40 mph zone.
Section 3: Sheffield
The A57 enters Sheffield via Manchester Road, Fulwood Road and Western Bank. It is a relatively quiet way into the city, maybe because back at Mottram, Sheffield is signed up the A628, A616 and M1 (a much longer route). At the Brook Hill roundabout, the route breaks until the far side of the city centre - traffic being directed around the A61. The original route along Glossop Road was reclassified as the B6069 in the 1970s and then again later in 2008 as the B6547. The original route through the city centre along West Street is now occupied by a tram line. When the new Inner Ring Road was built, the route down Broad Lane and Corporation Street ceased to be the A57; it is now the B6539 and those in the know will use this route as it is much more direct.
Restarting again on the east of the city centre, the now-primary A57 continues along the Sheffield Parkway when the A61 Inner Ring Road turns off at an unusually shaped signalised junction. The A57 heads towards the M1, Rotherham and Worksop, passing under the shadow of the towering Hyde Park Flats complex (although not as towering as they were before being refurbished in 1990). The route passes along a green boulevard with glimpses to the north of the Lower Don Valley, the former heart of steel manufacturing. After a couple of miles, the A57 passes under the A6102 Prince Of Wales Road, which although signed as the Ring Road, forms a second Outer Ring Road (the term Outer Ring Road is no longer prescribed by the DfT). Almost immediately we reach another TOTSO, where the A630 goes on to Rotherham and to a meeting with the M1 at junction 33, and the A57 picks up Worksop as a target destination along the Mosborough Parkway, which is mainly S2+1 and WS2 along its whole length. Although this is a bypass, it is actually quicker to continue along the A630 and then south on the M1 to junction 31 to rejoin the A57. The bypass was originally planned as a grade-separated expressway to the M1 at Junction 30 (Barlborough Interchange).
The old Route of the A57 is now reclassified as the B6200.
Section 4: Sheffield to A1
Leaving Sheffield we join Aston Way which is the 1984 bypass route of the A57 to relieve the villages Aston and Swallownest of traffic, although ironically, the traffic levels through the village now exceed the levels that justified the bypass in the first place. Aston Way is a mix of S2/S2+1 and a short section of dual carriageway, a new roundabout was built at its junction with the southern leg of A618 in the late 1990s as a casualty reduction measure and the right turn from the northern leg was forced to U-turn around the new roundabout. Borehole records suggest that one of the route options for the western terminus included a route that passed closer to the River Rother and linked into the existing A57 near Furnace Lane, rather than at Fence.
The route passes over the M1 at Junction 31, and continues east along the original route, towards Anston. Plans have been floating around for decades to upgrade this section, the most recent developed in 2002 to form a dual carriageway between the M1 to a point about a quarter of a mile east of the B6463, however allocation of funding has been a major obstacle - the current position as of November 2008 was that £16.99m was allocated for a start on site in April 2011, with completion in 11 months.
The A57 continues along its original line all the way to the Worksop Bypass which was completed in 1986. The bypass gave much needed relief to the centre of the market town of Worksop and is a mix of dual-carriageway, WS2 and S2 type roads with large roundabouts at each end and at four key junctions along the route, linking with the B6041, A60, B6024, B6034 and B6040. Worksop has become a key distribution centre for numerous businesses including Wilkinsons and Insight Technologies. The A57 continues towards the A1 past Clumber Park to the new grade-separated junction built in 2008 that replaced the former Dukeries roundabout, now known as Apleyhead.
Section 5: A1 to Lincoln
From here to Markham Moor the A1 has adopted it as the southernmost part of its bypass of Retford, Bawtry and Doncaster. At Markham Moor, the A1 and A57 part company, the A1 rejoining its original route (coming in from Retford as the A638), whilst the A57 bypasses East Markham to meet the A6075 at Darlton. This little road could have been famous, as beyond Mansfield it becomes the A38. Had it been numbered as a logical extension of the A38 it would have been a 3-road in the 1-zone!
The A57 crosses Dunham Toll Bridge - the only crossing of the River Trent between Newark and Gainsborough - and into Lincolnshire. Over the years this section has been considerably straightened out - I suspect that until the bridge came there was no main route this way at all, and the road from Dunham Bridge to Drinsey Nook was just a collection of country lanes.
At Drinsey Nook the A57 gives way to the road that uses the bank of the Foss Dyke canal (not to be confused with the Fosse Way - the A46) most of the way from Torksey, on the River Trent, to Lincoln. This is the A156 coming in from Gainsborough, but beyond the junction continues as the A57 towards Lincoln. The canal was built by the Romans to provide a short cut between the Wash and the upper Trent, avoiding the treacherous waters of the Humber and lower Trent.
The bypass of Saxilby, where the road crosses the Foss Dyke and the Gainsborough-Lincoln railway line, was opened on 15 September 1937. This event is commemorated by a plaque on the bridge.
The view from the A57, or the parallel railway on the other bank of the canal, makes this the best way to approach Lincoln, with the cathedral and other landmarks on the hill seen to best advantage. After crossing the city bypass (A46) the A57 enters the western end of the city across the old racecourse. It used to terminate at a junction with the A15 (High Street) at the medieval Stonebow, but following pedestrianisation of the High Street it was diverted along Wigford Way and Oxford Street to meet the A15 there. However, in 2017 the A57 was diverted along the 1997 built Brayford Way, where it crosses Brayford Way Bridge over the Fossdyke and the railway line to meet a roundabout with the A1192. The A57 turns left on to the 1980's-built Ropewalk and goes down Tentercroft Street to the newly-built East West Link Road to meet the A15 south of the railway line. The previous A57 in the centre of Lincoln became parts of the B1273, B1003 and B199.
|Bishop's Bridge, Lincoln
|The new bridge and deviation to avoid an awkward bend was opened on 7 July 1937 by J.E. Fordham, Mayor of Lincoln. The bridge had a 30 foot carriageway and footpaths, a total of 45 feet between parapets. Cost £13,666.
|The 700 yard road was opened on 15 September 1937 by Lord Heneage, Charman of Lindsey County Council. It had taken 2 years to construct, employed 80 men and cost £47,000. It included ferro-concrete bridges over Fossdyke Canal and the railway of 40 foot width and with skew spans of 57 feet and 97 feet respectively. The carriageway was 24 foot wide with 5 foot footpaths.
|The 800 yard scheme was for an 80 foot road containing a dual carriageway and a footpath on the south side. A further 1300 yards eastwards extension of the dual carriageway would take it to just before Twyford Bridge where there was a short single carriageway diversion. It would remove 5 dangerous bends. Cost of the two schemes was £27,000. Opened during 1938 or before 7 February 1939. Later renumbered as A1.
|Ladybower Reservoir diversions
|The construction of Ladybower Reservoir and the submerging of Ashopton village required the construction of 5.25 miles of new main and unclassified roads. Ashopton Viaduct carried A57 and Ladybower Viaduct carried A6013 across the reservoir and had been completed by 1943. They were 945 feet and 628 feet long respectively.
|West Drayton Bypass
|The 1.9 mile dual carriageway from Elkesley to Markham Moor Roundabout was opened on 12 February 1957, apart from a quarter mile at the western end where one carriageway was in use whilst the river bridge was widened for the second carriageway. Nottingham Journal of 8 May 1957 reported that it had been completed. Later renumbered in 1961 as A1.
|Apleyhead to Elkesley
|3 miles of new dual carriageway and improvements to an existing single carriageway to make into dual carriageway. Later renumbered in 1961 as A1.
|Hulme - Ardwick, Manchester
|Mancunian Way elevated section, D2/D3 from A56 to A6, opened on 20 March 1967, initially as all-purpose A57 as the City Council's first application to make it a motorway was turned down by MoT. Official opening by Prime Minister Harold Wilson on 5th May. Became motorway A57(M) some time later (apparently summer 1971) but retained original green direction signs (including internally illuminated gantry signs) for many years, presumably to save the cost of replacing them.
|Saxilby: Odder to Burton Lane Diversion
|The 1.6 mile diversion from the winding road section between Saxilby and Lincoln was opened on 15 December 1972 per the Noise Insulation Regulations notice. Improvement work was also carried out between B1241 Mill Lane, Saxilby and west of Odder Bridge. This involved rebuilding the carriageway and widening to 24 feet, putting in hard verges and drainage and footpath lengths on the north side. Contractor was Kesteven County Council, cost £65,178. These were in advance of detrunking the road.
|East Markham Bypass
|Opened on 11 October 1976 by Frank Higgins, Chairman of the County Council's Environment committee. The new railway bridge bypassed the level crossing of the East Coast Main Line. Cost £0.5 million.
|Opened on 19 December 1983 by Edward Leigh, MP for Gainsborough and Horncastle. The single contract for £718,000 was for both the A57 Southern and A1133 Eastern bypasses. Total cost was between £850,000 and £900,000.
|Aston Relief Road
|The 3.2 mile road from Sheffield Road, Fence to M1 J31 Aston Interchange was completed in November 1984 (per the 1985 National Roads England Report). Outturn works cost £5 million. The section west of Chesterfield Road later became part of B6200.
|The 5.5 mile road was opened on 1 May 1986 by Michael Spicer, Parliamentary Under-secretary of State for Transport. Cost £11.4 million.
|Cadishead Way: stage 1. The 2.5 mile road from Brinell Way to Boysnope Wharf was opened on 24 March 1992 by Councillor J. Murphy. Contractor was Birse Civils, cost £7.9 million. The western stage 2 opened in 2005.
|Warrington Southern Expressway
|Midland Way, from Crosfield Street to Cockhedge Green. Opened on 13 November 1996. Cost £14 million.
|Lincoln: Brayford Way
|Opened on 16 June 1997 by Kenneth Carlisle, former MP of Lincoln. It included Brayford Way Bridge over River Witham by Brayford Pool. Cost £10.4 million.
|Eccles Inner Relief Route
|Bentcliffe Way. Construction News of 22 September 2005 reported that the contract was awarded in February 2000 and it was completed in 52 weeks. Contractor was Birse Civils, cost £2.9 million.
|Cadishead Way: stage 2. The 1.5 mile road from Liverpool Road to Brinell Way was opened on 16 September 2005 by Derek Twigg, Transport Minister. There were two long reinforced concrete retaining walls on steel H piles on the section next to the Manchester Ship Canal. Network Rail also wanted to retain the route of a disused railway so a “floating” rail bridge under the line was built. At 36m long and 20m wide it was one of the widest spanning box structures in the UK. It was constructed using in-situ reinforced concrete and there were no piles in the foundations. Contractor was Birse Civils. The tendering was on a quality price basis and the target bid was £11.6 million. The contract was completed on time and £1.1 million under budget. The eastern stage 1 Irlam bypass opened in 1992.
|Lincoln East West Link Road
|Tentercroft Road extension. The road from High Street to Pelham Bridge / Canwick Road was due to open on 15 August 2016 per the Lincolnite of 9 August 2016. The official opening was reported in the 17 November 2016 edition. It enabled traffic to avoid the High Street level crossing. Contractor was Balfour Beatty, tender price £10.5 million.
- The A57 Trunk Road (Markham Moor to Lincoln) (Detrunking) Order 2003 - This removes trunk status from Markham Moor to Lincoln following the 1998 review of Trunk Roads
- The A57 Trunk Road (M1 to A1) (Detrunking) Order 2002 - This removes trunk status from the M1 to the A1 following the 1998 review of Trunk Roads
- The A57 Trunk Road (A57/M60/M67 Denton Roundabout to Manchester City Boundary) (Detrunking) Order 2002 - This removes trunk status from the Denton roundabout to the Manchester City Boundary following the 1998 review of Trunk Roads
- The A57 Link Roads Development Consent Order 2022 - A57 at Mottram
Campaign Group for Mottram to Tintwistle By Pass
Haydn Vernals Roads Pages
- Churchill Way Flyovers to close for six months (28.09.2018)
Sheffield City Council
- Brookhill Roundabout
- West Bar Roundabout
- Western Bank
- Manchester Rd/Furnlawton Rd
- Bernard Rd/Parkway
- M1 Aston