|Distance:||68 miles (109.4 km)|
|Meets:||A46, A617, B6326, B6325, A6075, B6461, A614, B6034, A632, A60, B6042, B6418, A618, B6417, A619, M1, A6135, A61, A629, A6102, B6088, A628, B6106, A635, A6024, B6110, B6108, B6432, A62|
|Old route now:||A617, A6135, A6102, B6088|
|Route outline (key)|
Section 1: Newark – Barlborough
The road starts off in Nottinghamshire on the A46 Newark bypass. It heads north across the River Trent into South Muskham where it bears left at a mini-roundabout. It then continues north-west through a number of small villages, eventually reaching Ollerton where the A614 is crossed at a roundabout. Borehole records indicate a plan to upgrade the route to bypass Kneesall and improved the alignment through to Ollerton, though it is unclear if this would have been single or dual carriageway.
The road now continues on through deepest Sherwood Forest. After giving way to the A60 in Cuckney the road enters Derbyshire and runs through the former mining heartlands of Creswell (with huge height restrictions for the bridge under the Robin Hood Line), Clowne, and Barlborough. After crossing the A619 there is a short dual-carriageway section leading to the M1 at J30 where the A616 disappears, multiplexing north along the motorway for the best part of 20 miles.
Section 2: Tankersley – Huddersfield
The A616 reappears at J35A and heads west towards Stocksbridge on a super-fast, trunk, single-carriageway road. There is shortly a roundabout with the A61, which provides access to M1 north, Chapeltown and some services. This was once a notoriously dangerous stretch of three-lane single-carriageway road, or S3 (27 deaths in 15 years). It has since been remodelled into a mixture of two lane and S2+1 route, providing climbing lanes for some of the steep hills - there is a lot of HGV traffic along here, heading towards the Woodhead Pass and the Steelworks at Stocksbridge, which is accessed by a side turning on the bypass itself. This remodelling has reduced accident levels (along with the "Average Speed Cameras" along the entire bypass!), but there can still be some near misses on the grade-separated junctions with the A629 and A6102. These junctions are quite a rarity, as grade separation does not occur often on British single carriageways.
Beyond the steelworks, the Stocksbridge bypass ends, and the road narrows, following the original route of the road. This means more bends, crossroads and villages. Most of the section to Flouch Inn has a 50mph speed limit, apart from a 40mph zone (governed by a speed camera!) at the village of Midhopestones.
The A616 surrenders its briefly held status of primary route to the A628 at the Flouch Inn roundabout north of Langsett (turn left here for Manchester via Woodhead). To the right can be seen some thirteen wind turbines on top of a ridge. The road then swoops down towards a river crossing under a new metal bridge carrying the Trans-Pennine Trail (which follows the course of the old Woodhead railway line). The road then climbs again, past the crossroads with the B6106 (turn left for a quick route to Holmfirth), and meanders through Crow Edge, then Scholes (turn left for the C577!), New Mill, Brockholes and Honley, after which it expires, no doubt exhausted, at the Huddersfield Ring Road.
Originally, the A616 started on the A1 just north of Newark Castle station. It then headed along what is now the A617 to cross the River Trent at Kelham before following an unclassified road to meet its current route. The crossing at Kelham was narrow and winding, so the A617 was diverted via Little Carlton to reach the Great North Road at South Muskham; this became the A6065 following the construction of the A1 Newark eastern bypass round the same time. In later years the A6065 was downgraded and so the A616 took on the former road south as far as the A46 whilst the B6325 continued along the Great North Road to the north.
Former section: Barlborough – Stockbridge
It is plainly obvious that the A616 has a large gap in the middle. When the Stocksbridge Bypass opened, the number was re-routed at that end to join up with the M1 at the newly opened junction 35A. This meant that the A616 multiplexes for a very long distance all the way to junction 30.
Previously, the A616 passed through Barlborough village (now bypassed), and over the M1, with no access (it was served by the A619 at the present junction 30). The road then joined up with a short spur of road from the motorway roundabout and down the hill to Renishaw, following what is now the A6135.
After crossing the River Rother, the old A616 passed Eckington to enter the outskirts of Sheffield. It passes through Mosborough, Birley, Intake, and Manor Top (each suburb decreasing in desirability as you go). At this point the tramlines which had previously crossed a few miles back share the road for a mile or so, and it becomes the City Road to begin its steep descent (1 in 10) down into the city centre. At the foot of the hill (now called Duke Street and the B6070) it forms one spoke of the massive Park Square roundabout immediately to the east of the centre of Sheffield, or it would if you could get to Park Square from this direction... someone in the Council obviously thought it would be a good place to put a bus gate. Never mind, at least you can look at the meandering concrete of Park Hill Flats (a listed building) to your left, reputedly the biggest housing complex in Europe.
The A616 zigzagged through the centre of Sheffield and then follows the current route of the tramline to Hillsborough where the A6102 picks it up as far as Stocksbridge, some 10 or so miles north-west of Sheffield. The route as far as Hillsborough was downgraded to the B6079 in the 1980s and the A616 rerouted to multiplex with the A61 as far as Parkside Road where it forked off here to continue on its original route through Middlewood. The old A616 went along what is now the B6088 through Stocksbridge itself to join its current route by Underbank Reservoir.
The Stocksbridge bypass, built in 1988, took the A616 not only out of Stocksbridge but also out of Sheffield, giving the road its current two-section route.
- Newark: SK793546
- Barlborough: SK474767
- M1 Junc 35A: SK354980
- Flouch: SE198014
- Huddersfield: SE143162