A6/Preston - Lancaster
|Meets:||A59, A5071, A5085, B6242, B6241, M55, B5269, B6430, A586, B5272, B6430, M6, A588, A589, A683|
|Route outline (key)|
Leaving Ringway in the centre of Preston, the A6 heads due north to junction 1 of the M55, which is also the original northern terminus of the M6 Preston Bypass. Even now, it is effectively still an interchange with the M6, as the M55 splits immediately east of the junction to join the north/southbound M6. If you are coming from the southbound M6, you don't actually join the M55 if you want the A6. The run out of the city centre can take some time, containing several sets of traffic lights, and a 30mph speed limit all the way.
North of the M55, the A6 loses primary status, although (until recently) variously signed with green primary route signs, the construction of James Towers Way now corrects the signing, white non–primary signing continuing north through Lancaster, Carnforth, over the county border into Westmorland, where some old green signs still persist near Levens. We pass around the small village of Broughton, which was bypassed in 2017. Three roundabouts provide access to the village and surrounding areas, before we return to the original route of the A6. Then, this used to be a good–quality NSL, but Lancashire County Council have added hatchings, islands, cycle lanes and a 40 limit from the end of James Towers Way to the far side of Brock next to the Jaguar dealership and there is now a 30 limit in that stretch, commencing from the before Brock, all the way through Brock and Bilsborrow, past the Myerscough College turn and reverting to 40 just before the skew bridge over the West Coast Mainline just north of Barton. The 40 limit ends and becomes 50 just before the B6430 turnoff. Along this stretch the only place of significance is the pleasant little market town of Garstang which was bypassed many many years ago.
The 50 limit is continuous all the way to Galgate Village, with a twisty bend underneath the railway and a narrow stretch through Galgate itself, then the formerly fast stretch between Galgate and Lancaster has had traffic lights added to Alexandra Park Lancaster University campus development; whilst a large health centre complex is under construction (2019) between the University traffic lights and Lancaster's built–up area.
The M6 runs parallel to the A6, usually less than half a mile away. We pass the main Lancaster University campus, and the southern suburbs of Lancaster. Lancaster used to have the burden of carrying most of the traffic heading between England and Scotland on the A6, so has a long one way system through the streets of the centre, some of which are quite narrow and twisty, although it manages to be two lanes most of the way round. Two bridges carry the A6 over the Lune, the river which gave its name to the city, with the former name of Luncaster.