|To:||Shuttleworth Hall (SD784318)|
|Via:||Crosshills, Cowling, Laneshawbridge, Colne, Nelson|
|Distance:||19.2 miles (30.9 km)|
|Meets:||A629, B6172, B6265, B6250, A56, B6247, M65, A682, B6249, B6248, A671, A678|
|Former Number(s):||B6247, B6446|
|Route outline (key)|
Despite the relatively unimportant sounding number, the A6068 is actually rather vital for East Lancashire and parts of North Yorkshire as it forms the main connection between the M65 and A629. Originally it ran only east of Colne but the building of the M65 saw it lengthened.
Starting at the junction with the 1980s A629 Aire Valley Road (between Keighley and Skipton), the A6068 strikes westwards through Crosshills (passing over a very busy level crossing first). The reason for the apparent zigzag is that the road starts off by heading south along the pre-bypass A629 before heading west where it always did. The road then climbs up onto the hills for several twisty undulating miles which don't give the impression of a major road.
Eventually, the road simply deposits traffic into Colne and, after crossing the A56, the notorious North Valley Road section begins – and this was originally a bypass. It is nigh on impossible not to hit a queue here, the effects of which are not mitigated by the ubiquitous presence of retail parks. A short 50 mph section follows as the road gains a second carriageway and meets the end of the M65 (J14) before continuing southwards to give itself up as a sacrifice to the A56.
It reappears about a mile further west on the edge of Nelson and heads west to meet the M65 one junction downstream (J13) and consumes the route of a former B road (the B6247), passing Fence, and skirting Padiham before meeting the A671. From here the road is a new-build 1980s link road crossing the A678 at the site of the former Padiham Power Station before climbing up a lengthy hill (with bonus climbing lane!) to meet the A56 Accrington Bypass at junction 8 of the M65. Here the road ends, having been blocked by the very road it started some 10 miles to the east.
The original route of the A6068 ran purely from the A629 near Kildwick to the A56 in the centre of Colne. The Colne bypass and the road on to Padiham and the A671 was numbered B6247; part of this road still exists as it was not taken over by the A6068 in the 1970s. Although the M65 here was opened in the early 1980s it took a few more years for the A6068 to be extended to meet it at Shuttleworth Hall, by which time the A56 had already settled in.