|Location Map ( geo)|
|To:||West Bridgford (SK581375)|
|Via:||Oakham, Melton Mowbray|
|Distance:||38.4 miles (61.8 km)|
|Meets:||A6121, B1081, A1, A6003, B640, B668, A607, A6006, A46, A52, A60|
|Route outline (key)|
The A606 is a cross-country road in the East Midlands, wholly primary except for the two ends.
Stamford - Melton Mowbray
The road starts in the centre of Stamford, at the junction of North Street, West Street and Scotgate, with North Street and West Street being the A6121 and Scotgate the A606 to the west and B1081 to the east. From the junction, the A606 runs in a North-Westerly direction along Scotgate, indicating the A606's former use (before the A1 Stamford Bypass) as the A1.
Drivers on the A606 must then TOTSO as the A606 turns onto Empingham Road (with the B1081 (former A1) continuing straight ahead), and then runs up a steep hill towards the small village of Empingham. It is shortly joined by Roman Bank on the left, while Ermine Way leaves about 20 yds further on the right - indication of a previous Great North Road which forded the Welland about a mile west of the present Town Bridge.
The A606 then runs out of Stamford to the West and, after a simple grade-separated junction with the A1, becomes primary.
The next significant feature is a steepish dip into Shacklewell Hollow - difficult to overtake on the descent or ascent in either direction - and then the ubiquitous brown signs which herald the feature which had a significant impact on the A606 in the mid-1970s, namely Rutland Water. There's a turnoff for the south side villages (Edith Weston, the Luffenhams and the barely-present Normanton) and car parks, boating, fishing lodges, etc. The A606 briefly turns North and downhill to cross the River Gwash, the trickle that forms one of the country's largest reservoirs. Look left and you will see a high green bank which forms the dam. Better views of the reservoir will follow.
The road dog-legs through Empingham and finally resolves to travel west again. Rutland Water spreads out to the South, and to the South-West you may be able to see the peninsular village of Hambleton. There's another steep dip into and out of Whitwell, which claims to be twinned with Paris. We part company with the reservoir for a while. At a staggered junction a mile out of Whitwell, an unclassified road snakes South to Barnsdale - erstwhile home of 'Gardener's World'. This was the old A606 - travel beyond the car park and the horticultural tourists and you'll come to a gate with a submerged road beyond. Back at the brow of the hill, A606 continues on its new alignment, skirting the North side of the reservoir (more good views) and cutting across the northernmost finger of water before picking up its old course North of Egleton and coasting into Oakham.
The town of Oakham has now been bypassed by a S2 road full of roundabouts and speed restrictions to the north east. It is probably quicker to remain on the old road through the town centre, it is a shame councils build these type of "bypasses" that invariably are just feeder roads for new housing and industrial estates, therefore not attracting the through traffic that blocked up the town centres. The signage is also incomplete when coming from the East to Oakham and joining the bypass, but I can't quite remember why. I have a feeling Melton isn't signed at the roundabout?G
The A606 veers North-West through the hamlet of Barleythorpe and on towards Langham - the enormous complex of shiny vats to your left is the former Ruddles brewery, once home to a very fine beer.
There are more doglegs through Langham, and soon the road is out of Rutland and heading North-West through Leicestershire. There's a steep climb into Burton Lazars, which appears to be a small Leicestershire village but which is in fact a South-Easterly suburb of Melton Mowbray. The A606 crosses the railway again here - part of the line from Peterborough to Leicester, which has taken far longer to get to Melton than the A606 has.
Melton Mowbray - West Bridgford
The A606 enters Melton Mowbray down a long hill, hops over the railway at a nice little bridge and, once past that, hits the Melton one-way system (clockwise) by the Anne of Cleves pub. Going south to north one has to turn right at lights by the A607 junction, and then go straight over more lights at a crossroads where unwary drivers selecting the nearside lane find themselves shunted off down the A6006 towards Asfordby. Going north to south one turns left at this same crossroads, following the one-way system again, and eventually you have to turn sharp right at yet another crossroads to come back on yourself down the main street to the Anne of Cleves again. I usually only go through at weekends when it's quiet but I wouldn't be surprised to earn it's a pig of a ring road in rush hours.
Anyway, northwards, past the council offices on our left, and out of town. For a single carriageway road it's a pleasant and mostly straight drive, save for the villages which all seem to have right-angle turns in -- first the wonderfully named Ab Kettleby, then down the steep Broughton Hill (be careful at sunset, as the wood to the west of the road blocks light off quite thoroughly and makes the road gloomier than you'll be used to after the open countryside since leaving the A1), through Nether Broughton and then Upper Broughton (separated by the county boundary; we're now in Nottinghamshire). Nether Broughton must be one of the smallest places to have a one-way street in England: the loop through the village to the east of the A606.
There's a dead-straight run through the extremely scattered settlement of Hickling Pastures, taking due note of the warning signs telling you how many people have been killed on the roads this year in the county, after which we go over the A46 at a grade-separated roundabout where the road has been realigned somewhat to the west of its original route. There's surprisingly little habitation here at what must have been a fairly major crossroads for centuries.
Through some more woodland and we start to run parallel to the old Nottingham to Melton railway line. The road gives the large village of Keyworth a body-swerve to the east and threads its way between Normanton and Plumtree. Finally crossing under the railway at Tollerton it hits the A52 Nottingham bypass at a roundabout where to remain on the A606 one has to go round for a good 270 degrees, and into the home stretch, north past posh houses in Edwalton and into the Nottingham conurbation. At last it expires at a set of traffic lights with the A60 in the middle of West Bridgford, just short of Nottingham itself and Trent Bridge. The last bit from the A52 north is non-primary.
It's a great road to drive along on summer evenings, and far more enjoyable when aiming for Nottingham from the A1 south than trudging up to Grantham and taking the A52. Original Author(s): Martin Atkins, NorfolktoLancashire & Sandra Bond
As a road which has ran essentially the same course since classification, the A606 has been improved many times over the years.
Before the Stamford bypass, A606 started at the end of Scotgate, taking the left fork (Empingham Road) while the A1 took the right one (Casterton Rd). Now the old A1 is relegated to B1081, the A606 can multiplex over a little of its mileage.
Part of the A606 used to run through the area which is now Rutland Water. Because of the creation of the reservoir, the A606 had to be re-routed. This was done in the mid 1970s as the reservoir was being built.
The A606 used to run through the centre of Oakham, along what is now the B640 - along Main Road and Stamford Road. Oakham was bypassed in the mid to late 2000s with the bypass opening on January 10th 2007. It cost 10 million pounds, and is built to a S2 standard, with a number of roundabouts.
Normanton on the Wolds and Plumtree Bypass
Originally the A606 ran through the centres of these two villages, along Old Melton Road in Normanton and Main Road in Plumtree. The villages were bypassed fairly early on, Plumtree by July 1931 and Normanton on the Wolds in early 1932.