The A571 is a largely urban A-road in south Lancashire.
GThe route starts at a busy roundabout to the west of St Helens town centre marking the northern end of a multiplex between the A58 and A570. The A571 heads eastwards and curves round in between some large superstores and reaches a roundabout with a sculpture of a miner in the centre. A spur of the A570 turns left and the town centre is to the right. There is then, in quick succession, a mini roundabout where the A571 turns left, heading out of town.
There's another sweeping corner past the Pilkington glass factory and down a hill to a overbridge with a disused railway, where the road narrows down considerably. The A571 then passes through a residential area, then climbs a hill at Haresfinch. It then passes through another residential area then reaches the dual-carriageway A580 at traffic lights. The A571 multiplexes with the A580 for a short distance to the east, then the A571 turns left at the next set of lights to regain its number. It passes alongside Carr Mill Dam, a popular area for watersports.
The A571 then curves to the left, then the right as it turns into Martindale Road past the area of Moss Bank, onto a straight (the limit at this point is 40, but it is frequently ignored). There is then a downhill stretch and another sweeping corner to the right, into the large village of Billinge. The road then continues through Billinge (another frequently ignored speed limit: this time it's a 20 zone). The road then climbs uphill, and reaches a traffic-signal-controlled junction with the B5207.
Past here there is a T-Junction with the relatively busy B5206, after which the road enters open country. There is a rural stretch through to the M6 overbridge, shortly after which there is a downhill stretch of the road passing Winstanley. The road then climbs uphill slightly as it reaches Pemberton. The A571 then continues on towards the Saddle junction at Wigan, where it ends on the A49 and traffic is obliged to turn left into the town centre. Originally the A571 turned north to run along the full length of Billinge Road and end on the A577.