|Distance:||2.7 miles (4.3 km)|
|Meets:||A629, B6114, A643, A644|
|Old route now:||B6114|
|Route outline (key)|
At just under three miles long and serving only to connect two comparatively modest towns within the West Yorkshire conurbation, the A6025 is surprisingly varied and, in light traffic, quite fun to drive. There's twisty bits, straight bits, flat bits, steep bits, rural bits, urban bits, underpasses, scenery, you name it. It terminates at a river/canal bridge at one end and meets a dual carriageway at the other. It really has got a little bit of everything. Well, almost everything.
And if you include the now downgraded former A6025 west of Elland you also get a single-track stretch, a fast, straight stretch through open moorland, and arguably the finest of all the M62 crossings, the Scammonden Bridge. But, as the saying goes, 'more on that story later'.
I'm going to start my review at the Elland end of the road, which I'll freely admit is somewhat illogical, since this was originally neither one end of the road nor the other. But since I drive it in that direction much more often than in the other, that's the way I'm going to do it.
Off we go then, picking the road up from the north side of Elland Bridge, now the B6114, which carries traffic over the River Calder and Calder & Hebble Navigation Canal before veering sharply to the right and picking up the number A6025. On our left is a subway under the A629 Elland bypass and on our right the Barge & Barrel, a proper 'real ale' pub if ever there was one. We then head underneath the A629 passing an unusual height restriction sign (unusual because it is made out of permanently illuminated coloured lights on a black background to draw attention to the fact the bridge is ahead). This sign is actually warning not of the A629 underpass but of the railway bridge a little further on, past the junction with Exley Lane on the left. This bridge is sufficiently low to require high vehicles to use the middle of the road and hence, a 'Give Priority' sign, favouring traffic heading into Elland (well, obviously!).
Continuing on our way we pass some new flats and yet another former mill conversion on the left and then the building that I will always know as the Sacha Court, a restaurant-cum-hotel that has changed ownership (and name) many times but which presumably never did very good business as it now appears to be lying redundant. At this point the speed limit used to increase from 30mph to 40mph; however it is now only 30mph. The A6025 then heads out of town, past the crematorium on the left and the Colliers' Arms pub and Water's Edge nursery on the right, flanked by rows of terraced cottages typical of this part of Pennine Yorkshire. 'Water's Edge' gives a clue to the fact that the road is still running more or less parallel to the river and canal that we crossed at Elland Bridge, which is indeed the case throughout its length. Today it is all 30mph.
We now leave Elland altogether, into a 50mph zone and along a lovely wooded, bendy stretch with double white lines precluding what might otherwise be suicidal overtaking manoeuvres. In the middle of the woods we come across the premises of WT Knowles & Sons, whose main building is on one side of the road but whose storage yard is on the other - thus you quite often come across the somewhat comical sight of a fork lift truck waiting to cross the road.
A few more bends lead us out of the woods and into a rural stretch with fields populated by grazing sheep on the left and, on the right, a fine view of the waterways and a couple of small lakes alongside them. If the weather is right you may well see people participating in various water sports here.
We then head back into a 30mph speed limit as we approach the outskirts of Brighouse, passing the Casa restaurant and further rows of cottages on the right, then down through another little stretch of woodland and into a light industrial zone, with the steep hill to Southowram branching off from our left. If ever there is heavy rain, you can bet your bottom dollar that this part of the road will be flooded, though usually passable with care. A tight right hand bend takes us past the Red Rooster pub and up a little hill before levelling off before the road ends at a roundabout junction with the A644 and A643.
One of the things I like about the A6025 is that the speed limits, in my view, are pretty much spot on throughout. The 50mph zone in the middle used to be NSL sure enough but to be honest, there's only one very short bit where you could safely exceed 50mph. No, 50mph is fine by me, at least they didn't make it into a 40mph. In Elland meanwhile we are trusted with a 40mph limit on a stretch with houses on either side, a pub, a nursery, and at times, lots of parked cars. Obviously 40mph isn't always appropriate on this stretch but sometimes it is and it's refreshing to be able to make that judgement for yourself. Wonder how long that will last? The only bit where I think the speed limit is too low is the first part of the 30mph limit heading into Brighouse. This, I think, could quite reasonably be a 40mph though it would be unsafe to go that fast when the restaurant was open, but still, we're only talking about a couple of hundred yards so it's hard to quibble too much.
Confusingly, in 1922 the road ran west of Elland to the A640 at Deanhead and went nowhere near Brighouse. This was originally the A643 and was renumbered around 1935 when that road was rerouted to Outlane.
I'll now look briefly at the the road's original route west of Elland. This is now part of the B6114, although you'd be forgiven for not realising this if you were navigating by road signs alone. Despite the number being changed some time in the early 1980s, most of the signs still haven't been updated and still show this stretch of road as A6025. Ho hum.
Anyway, picking the road up at Elland Bridge again, we turn sharp right at the south side of the bridge heading through some industrial premises (and I mean through - they nestle right alongside the road and there's a funny little overhead passageway that you drive under) and out onto a narrow stretch (single-track in places) through some more woods. Following a landslide, this stretch was closed for some considerable time during the early 1990s; indeed I believe there was talk of it never opening again, but in the end it was repaired and reopened to traffic.
Emerging at the 'scissors junction' with the B6113, we continue through West Vale (best avoided at rush hour) and across the B6112 to Greetland and then the charming rural village of Barkisland. Regrettably my foregoing remarks about speed limits don't apply here, where a former NSL stretch has been downgraded to 40 and a lengthy former 40mph stretch has been downgraded to 30mph, for no justifiable reason as far as I can tell.
Leaving Barkisland we emerge into open countryside, skirting the perimeter of Ringstone Edge reservoir before heading out to the Scammonden Bridge and its awesome views of the M62 some considerable distance beneath. Sadly, stopping and having a proper look isn't permitted - double yellow lines have seen to that - you'll have to park some way distant and walk across the bridge if you really want to appreciate its true majesty.
On the other side of the motorway we continue along a fantastic, straight NSL stretch through open moorland before reaching the junction with the A640 in the middle of nowhere, which is where the A6025 originally terminated. Here you'll find a car park popular with bikers, paragliders, families and others wanting a rendezvous point in the middle of the moors together with, inevitably, an ice cream van. Not quite so remote after all, then.