|Distance:||10.1 miles (16.3 km)|
|Meets:||A628, A635, B6107, A616|
|Route outline (key)|
The road starts off at as a sharp turning with the A628 at Woodhead Reservoir, and curves around the north side of the reservoir (the A628 passes over part of the reservoir by means of a low bridge). From there, the road starts to make the climb out of the valley, very gradually at first, before dropping into a sharp dip and over a stream in a deep gully; here the bend at the stream bridge was very sharp, until that part of the road was rerouted somewhat.
Now the road climbs more steeply, leaving the conifer forests behind, and heading into the bleak moorland. This route is one of the first Transpennine Crossings to be closed in winter, and can still be shut on occasion as late as April. Large wooden snow poles can be seen on both sides of the road, to allow the snow blowers to find the road. As the road climbs, it runs parallel to a small river, which allows the road to climb up the hill with the least effort. It is still steep, however, as signs on this stretch proclaim a 10% gradient for 3/4 of a mile.
Eventually, after a couple of miles of climbing through nothing but moorland and rocky outcrops, the road tops out at Holme Moss Summit. At the summit itself, there is a small gravel car park provided to allow travellers to take in the view. From here, Holmfirth and its valley is visible in the distance, and there is a transmitter station not far from the car park in the foreground.
Just beyond the car park, a sign proclaims that we are at the top, and the elevation is 1719 feet above sea level. So, from here on is downhill – a sign immediately warns of a long, 10% gradient ahead. Strangely, on the opposite side of the road, distance markers are painted on the road – counting down to the summit. Perhaps they are painted for cycling time trials, as the climb on this side is very long and drawn out!
However, we carry on towards Holmfirth. Passing the entrance to the transmitter station on our left, and a small concrete car park on our right, we start to follow the road around a series of bends, following the contours of the hill, making our descent a bit more gradual. There are no more snow poles, being on the sheltered eastern side of the hill, but we're by no means anywhere near civilisation yet, as we hit a double bend and the gradient increases to 11% (1 in 9). The steepest part of the hill is around a series of hairpin bends (not tight ones like you'd see in the Alps, but still tricky), as we finally reach a village called Lane.
The road levels out a bit through the village, which has a 30 limit, which remains that way until the road drops down in Holme village, where we pass a bus turning circle on the way into the village. Slightly irritatingly (for those with a bad back), the road through Holme is a School Safety Zone, and full-width speed ramps have been installed to slow traffic down. It is a reasonably good idea though, as the road is a narrow S2 but effectively an S1 because of parked cars.
As we leave Holme, we are greeted with another downhill gradient, the sign telling us it's another 10% again. For a short while, the road is NSL (60 mph), until we reach the outskirts of Holmfirth, at Holmbridge. The road gets tricky again here with all the parked cars, and a little congestion can be expected in places. The road finally flattens out again as we cross the river at the bridge the village is named after, and a mile later we reach the town centre of Holmfirth.
At Holmfirth, several roads converge from various directions. First to meet our road is the A635 from Manchester, which comes in from the left at a very acute angle. Although our road has priority, the A635 takes over the route for a few hundred yards, before it makes a right at the main junction in town and heads towards Barnsley. The A6024 carries straight on, and after half a mile or so reaches the next road – the B6107 on our left, which heads to Meltham, and is “unsuitable for heavy goods vehicles”.
From here on, Holmfirth takes on a more suburban feel, leaving the town centre and the mill buildings behind. The speed limit then raises to 40 mph until we get to Honley, where the final section is 30 mph again. A signalised crossroads gives the opportunity to turn right onto the A616; however the dominant flow here is onto the Huddersfield-bound A616, which the road seamlessly joins at a set of traffic lights. Here you have no choice but to head in the Huddersfield direction, and the A6024 ends here.