A6(M) (Bredbury - Hazel Grove)
|Hazel Grove (SJ924853)
|4.5 miles (7.2 km)
|M66, M63, A560, A627, A6, A555
|Route outline (key)
Up until 1972 this section of the Outer Ring Road was given the M68 number. The A6(M) would have ran to the west of Stockport. Both routes would have met at a five way junction near Hazel Grove known as Oxhey Interchange.
In 1973 a consultation took place with four options for the North - South Bypass. Three of these routes were to the west of the town and the fourth option was a route to the east using the previously protected route of the Outer Ring Road. It was this route which was eventually chosen. As a result the former A6(M) route to the west of Stockport was abandoned and the number was shifted to this alignment.
The scheme shown at the 1973 consultation consisted of two intermediate roundabout interchanges at the A626 and A6 before terminating at a small roundabout on the A523. By the mid 1980s the A626 junction had changed to a half diamond allowing only north facing movements and the south facing movements are provided at another half diamond at the A627. The Stepping Hill Link which forms a northern bypass of Hazel Grove makes its first appearance.
A public inquiry was held over the winter of 1987-1988 in which the inspector recommended some changes to the proposals. These concern the area around the A626 where a historic farmhouse which was to be demolished was reprieved. So in 1989 the route was altered slightly and the A626 junction was removed to be replaced with north facing slips at the A627 junction. The final changes came in 1991 with a number of improvements. The Stepping Hill Link has a minor realignment. The northbound entry slip at the A627 junction is lengthened. The main changes concern the southern end of the route with the addition of a collector-distributor system between the A6 and A523 junctions. This allows provision for the A555 link road to Manchester Airport.
Another road scheme was planned to connect to the A6(M) at the same time as these proposals. This was the Disley and High Lane Bypass. This would have joined the A627 junction and provide freeflow north facing links. A newspaper article from the time describes the freeflow junction as a "monster 22 lane motorway" which refers to the cross section of the main carriageway and all the slip roads. The amount of local opposition to such a large junction forced a rethink and later plans show a roundabout on the eastern side of the junction with the Disley and High Lane Bypass plugging into that.