|Distance:||59.1 miles (95.1 km)|
|Meets:||A6, A52, A606, A614, A617, A619, A57, A634, A631, A630|
|Old route now:||A630|
|Route outline (key)|
The A60 follows a somewhat curious route, mainly due to the demands of a road-numbering system that likes two-digit numbers to fan out, roughly speaking, from London. Zone 6 is quite narrow at its southern end; it could not accommodate an important road between the A6 and the A1, essentially because there was no route that required one, unlike in, say, zones 1 and 4 which have wider angles and can fit in the A10, A11, A12, etc. So the first two-digit road in zone 6 is not found until the Midlands.
In very early days the preferred way to Nottingham from Leicester was via Loughborough, the Fosse Way (A46) being narrow and lonely, a situation unhelpful to early motorists prone to breaking down in the middle of nowhere. Meeting a town now and then was useful. Later, when traffic became more of an issue, it became fashionable to sign long-distance routes away from towns; so the A46/A606 route was gradually improved, with the A606 becoming trunked from Hickling Pastures to Nottingham. The southern end of the A60 is shown as an important thick red line on 1920s motoring maps, but gradually lost ground as a through route. It is still important enough to be a primary route, linking as it does population centres of 50,000 and 300,000 people — and with traffic surveys on parts of the A60 showing up to 20,000 vehicles per day; trunk roads in Wales probably carry only half as much traffic.
Section 1 - Loughborough - Nottingham
The A60 begins where it always has, namely at a junction with the A6 in Loughborough town centre. It heads north through town to cross the Grand Union Canal and reach the Midland Main Line. Here is a curious little junction, forming a crossroads with the A6004 Loughborough Ring Road (which only runs west of this point), with a fork in one corner for the railway station. We firstly head north past the Brush "Falcon Works", turning to the right under the old Great Central Railway. We now drive east, crossing the River Soar, until the B676 leaves for Melton Mowbray (and it used to go all the way to Bourne); then we gradually realign northwards through Hoton and then Rempstone, where the A6006 (ex B5324) crosses at a new set of traffic lights. Signage round here is green, implying either an upgrade to primary status at some future date or a mistake in the signage department. On we go at a good rate, albeit limited to 50 mph from the Nottinghamshire border, pursuing a course on the western edge of the wolds through a clutch of pretty villages that include the cuddly-sounding Bunny, until just past Ruddington we meet the A52 Nottingham bypass at a roundabout.
Nottingham is signed to the left here along the A52, but to be honest it's a bit of a long way round, and it's perfectly simple to continue along the A60 through West Bridgford (meeting the A606 and B679 at a complicated crossroads) and crossing the Trent at the famous Trent Bridge (with the cricket ground and Nottingham Forest FC on the right), to attain the centre of Nottingham.
Section 2 - Nottingham - Mansfield
In parts of the city centre the road signs are appalling, and trying to find the A60 to Mansfield from the A6011 from the east can be a frustrating business. Whatever, primary status is now assumed, and the A60 proceeds north through the city, where it generally hugs the eastern edge of the city centre, passing either side of the Ice Stadium. We join what is the Mansfield Road at a very acute fork, before dropping downhill past the Rock Cemetery and Forest Recreation Ground, home to the annual Goose Fair. This is a large funfair and festival held every October, and geese aren't generally seen, apart from a fibreglass one placed on the double roundabout with the A6130 and B682. Beyond here is a fork for the A611, on its way to Hucknall. We will see this road later on in our journey. Further on, we reach the large district of Sherwood, and its shopping area lines the A60 for some distance.
A mile or so after these junctions the A6514 joins from the left: this is part of the Nottingham western ring road, but its number doesn't appear on the signs, and there's no sign to Loughborough for southbound traffic. The next couple of miles used to constitute the only piece of trunk road on the A60. Shortly, the A614 bears right for Ollerton and Doncaster at the Leapool Roundabout (also known as Redhill Island), and we are left as a standard primary route on our way to Mansfield.
We are now basically in Mansfield, as we drop down in the smart suburbs of Berry Hill and High Oakham. Once we reach the town centre, things get confusing. At a nondescript collection of out-of-town shopping developments, the A60 splits, and we must take the left fork, as the right fork is only driveable heading south. At a large crossroads, we reach the Mansfield Inner Ring Road. It is generally accepted that the A60 turns right here, along the eastern half of the ring road. Although shown on maps as the A6009, the ring road is not numbered on any signs, yet the A60 also appears in brackets round the ring road, as if the locals can't quite understand the notion of preserving a number through a built-up area. It is quite possible that Loughborough-Mansfield is a lot quicker via A6/M1/A611! - but the A60 nonetheless makes it eventually, taking about an hour and a quarter (and nearer two hours at rush hour!), and travelling 29 miles so far.
Section 3 - Mansfield - Worksop
Heading out of the town centre, we must first pass through the suburb (and separate town) of Mansfield Woodhouse. This section can be very congested with commuters at peak times. We pass the turning for the B6032 towards the town centre, shortly before the Fourways Crossroads. About half a mile further on, the A6075 (formerly B6033) crosses at a staggered junction, and a quicker route from here to Doncaster is via this road to Ollerton.
North of Mansfield, with the past evidence of coal mining left behind, the A60 is a pleasant primary route through attractive countryside — not especially fast, not especially slow. (It never was a trunk road hereabouts, the A614 to the east dealing with long-distance traffic.). The B6407 splits to the west (on its way to Shirebrook) just before we pass through the oddly named hamlet of Spion Cop, and a 30 limit. Shortly after, we pass under the old Mansfield - Ollerton railway and pass through Market Warsop. Warsop throws us a couple more B-roads, the B6035 in the town centre, and the B6031 which meets up with the B6407 beyond Warsop Vale. We leave Warsop behind, and rise up a long hill before dropping down into the little village of Cuckney. The village is at a pair of crossroads, the first is for the A632 and the second for the A616. These crossroads are known locally as being quite dangerous, and it is very surprising that the A60 along here was until recently, a 60 mph limit....
Beyond Cuckney we return to the classic Dukeries scenery of wood and rolling fields, passing a lot of old fashioned tenanted smallholdings. We begin to bend round in a gentle arc past the grounds of Welbeck Abbey, with its Great Lake to the east. Nothing here has been bypassed; anyway, you don't want to travel too fast or you'll miss the scenery. Just after the turning for Welbeck (and its popular Garden Centre), the road hits Derbyshire soil for a short period, barely a mile and a quarter to be exact. A turn off for the B6042 is the only waypoint in the county, this is the turn to Cresswell Crags, a significant prehistoric settlement and museum. (The museum is not prehistoric, of course.) Another mile or so further (and back in Nottinghamshire) and we come to an oddly shaped roundabout where the A619 from Chesterfield joins from the west. Oddly, the priorities are not like a "classic" roundabout, traffic on the roundabout must give way to traffic joining it, French style! Another mile along a wide, suburban road and we meet the A57 Worksop bypass at a normal roundabout.
Section 4 - Worksop - Doncaster
At this point the pre-bypass A60 used to carry straight on into the town centre, and it crossed the Sheffield - Retford railway line by the station at a level crossing. These days, however, we turn left and multiplex briefly with the A57, before turning right into the north of Worksop at a roundabout after a short burst of dual carriageway. There's a bit of wiggling about until a sharp left turn takes us back onto the original line towards Doncaster. We are not quite out in the countryside yet though, as we pass through a mile or so of suburb. A short section of rural road then beckons, before reaching the villages of Calton in Lindrick, Costhorpe and Langold. All these villages have 30 or 40 mph speed limits.
This final stretch of the A60 is non-primary, but is nevertheless the most direct road between Worksop and Doncaster. Other possibilities include the B6045 via Blyth — but one still actually has to go through Blyth; or there's the B6079 to the A1 at Ranby — but this is a southern detour. It's not over-logical. At Oldcotes, there is a roundabout with the A634, providing routes to Maltby and Retford (via Blyth). North of Oldcotes, the road allows fairly fast progress, but it is obvious that the route is of lower quality than that seen previously. Along Maplas Hill, we cross into South Yorkshire, and enter Tickhill.
At Tickhill we reach a junction with the (primary) A631 (a relatively epic road from Rotherham to Louth). Here, the A60 loses the battle for priority, and we must turn right and follow the A631 through Tickhill for some distance before the A631 bears right at the Buttercross (our A60 has priority here). North of the village, we run parallel to the A1(M), through Wadworth (with a turn for the B6094), and eventually crossing the motorway at an angle (no junction) and enter the village of Loversall. The main heart of the village has been bypassed to the west, sending us on an alignment that sees us cross the M18, but alas, no junction again. We must travel to Doncaster to access the motorway network, possibly a reason why the A60 is so quiet along this section.
We enter Doncaster through the suburb of Balby, immediately crossing a new roundabout providing access to a shopping centre. Shortly after, the A60 becomes dual carriageway for the rest of the route, albeit a small section, and one that has been narrowed to one lane in each direction in parts; this is the largest section of dual carriageway on the entire route! Soon we reach the A630, which has come into Doncaster from the A1(M) at Junction 36. At one point the A60 led into the town from here, but things have changed to favour the A630 since then, and so the A60 terminates at a large T-junction with the A630, about a mile short of the town centre. The A60's original terminus can be found in the centre of town on the now-pedestrianised old A1 by the Guildhall on French Gate.
|Route||Location||Type of Road||2008 AADT|
|A60||Daybrook, N. Nottingham||WS2||27177|
|A60||Mansfield Town Centre||S2||18979|
|A60||Worksop, with jct of A619||WS2||22456|
|A60||South of Tickhill||S2||4131|