|Distance:||17 miles (27.4 km)|
|Meets:||M62, A640, A629, A6107, B6114, A644, A6025, A649, A638, A651, B6122, A652, B6125, A62, A650, B6127, B6126, A6110, M621, A58|
|Old route now:||A6025, M621, A653|
|Route outline (key)|
The A643 is a largely urban A-road in the West Riding, running roughly parallel to the M62 for some distance.
Section 1: Outlane – Hartshead Moor
The road begins at the west-facing junction 23 of the M62, starting at the roundabout with the A640. In pre-M62 days it began at a T-Junction. It starts out as an NSL S2 heading alongside the M62 towards the full-access junction 24. Before the M62 was built, the road continued straight on through Ainley Top village, and if you like you can do the same these days too. Most people will head down the hill to a very large roundabout with the A629.
The road leaves the roundabout and heads towards Brighouse, initially as an NSL S2, then becoming, as we pass under the M62, a 30-mph-limited road through Rastrick. In Brighouse town centre, the road disappears for a short stretch where the A644 takes priority.
The A643 appears again on the other side of Brighouse, and then passes through Clifton village. It opens up and becomes an NSL S2, which has been greatly widened over the years, especially following construction of the M62. Before the latter event, the road bore to the righ; its original course is now the service road for the Hartshead Moor Service Area, on both sides of the motorway.
The current A643 joins the A649 and multiplexes with it to cross over the M62, then leaves the A649 a quarter of a mile further on at a crossroads where the original course of the A643 reappears.
Section 2: Hartshead Moor – Leeds
Back to a 30 mph limit here, we drop down into, through, and out of Cleckheaton, crossing the A638 in the town centre. We climb again and cross the A651, then dropping down towards the A652 which is crossed by turning left then immediately right again. The road continues through Birstall and crosses over the A62 before climbing the hill and getting to a short stretch of NSL road before it becomes a 30 again in between the M62 bridge and the crossroads with the A650 on the edge of Morley.
We continue down the hill towards Leeds, and reach a section of 40 mph road just before we turn left at a roundabout and multiplex with the A6110 Leeds Ring Road for a while. Signing for the A643 disappears from here in this direction, though the route number is clearly indicated from the other direction. We turn right off the ring road, following signs for (and shortly afterwards passing) Leeds United Football Ground which takes its name from the road we are on, Elland Road. (Elland, rather than Outlane, was the original destination of the south-westbound A643.)
The A643 meets the M621 at junction 2 and gives its number to most of the Ingram Distributor, a 40 mph D2 which takes vast quantities of traffic from the M621 to the Leeds Inner Ring Road. It goes through a tunnel and under an old railway bridge. The road ends where it joins the A58, just before the Armley Gyratory.
This final stretch, from the M621 into Leeds, is the only primary section of the entire route.
An amended OpenStreetMap trace for this route awaits uploading to the SABRE Wiki.
The original western end of the A643 was in Elland rather than Outlane, with the old and new routes converging in Brighouse. Outlane to Brighouse was originally numbered A6028; this became part of the A643 in 1935 when the road to Elland was renumbered A6025.
Prior to the construction of the M621, the A643 continued along the full length of Elland Road; the motorway has now destroyed part of its route. After meeting the A653, the site of which is now somewhere in the very large and complicated Holbeck Interchange, the A643 ran along Meadow Lane to end on the original line of the A61 just by Leeds Bridge.