|Distance:||9.3 miles (15 km)|
|Meets:||A635, A6051, B6175, A670, A6050, B6194, A62, B6477, A627, A6048, B6190, A663, B6195, B6189, A664|
|Route outline (key)|
The A669 is an urban A-road running east and west from the Lancashire town of Oldham.
Section 1: Greenfield – Oldham
The road begins at a small roundabout at the very bottom of the hill where the A635 descends as it leaves the Pennines. It departs the stone cottages of Greenfield on a slightly narrow route, and arrives at a rather unexpectedly dramatic section. The A670, that we wish to join, is around 100 feet directly above us on the side of a hill. There is only one thing for it – a 70 degree bend left is immediately followed by a sweeping 180-degree hairpin turn right onto a 12% gradient. We pass the turning for the similarly clinging B6175 right on the hairpin turn, then arrive at a very acute junction with the A670.
We turn left, again doubling back on ourselves, to multiplex with the A670 for a short time into Grasscroft, before forking right and ascending a small hill to rejoin the A669. This particular junction here is a little hazardous though because most of the traffic turns right here to continue onto the A669 (and coming the other way, most of the traffic turns left to join the A670), and there are indeed some people who like to fly through the junction without giving way to the A670 traffic and it has caused a few collisions over the years. The next couple of miles rise through Grasscroft with a 40mph speed limit thanks to a road that was largely widened in the 1970's and in Lydgate, meets the A6050 which goes to Mossley and Platting Road which comes out at the A62, although it returns to 30mph in before the next two Saddleworth villages of Grotton and Springhead. Leaving Saddleworth, we then travel through some typical Oldham suburbs but don't think the South Pennine Moors are finished yet because just before Oldham Town Centre, the suburb of Clarksfield contains a very short but steep climb, which isn't made easy by the addition of a bus lane in this very climb.
The old road through Oldham town centre has been bypassed by a 1970s relief road, which we join via a roundabout and which is signed as the A62. Our road becomes a little lost almost as if it has finished (and multiplexed) here, amid the rather confusing signage and profusion (for a relatively short section of road) of entry and exit slip roads.
If you are heading in the other direction from Oldham towards Greenfield, there are many 'snow warning signs' that you will notice, these are for the A635 road that the A669 joins onto in Greenfield. Unlike the other snow warning signs in the area, these are very modern and replaced their 1960's counterparts in around 2010. If they are flashing but you are wishing to travel to Holmfirth, the only option is the M62 J22.
Section 2: Oldham – Middleton
We pick up the A669 again at an unusual junction on the other side of the town centre: where the A62 TOTSOs A669 traffic has to turn off as well to go straight ahead as if rejoining the ring road; the A669 reappears by turning off the onslip (the opposite is true in the other direction). We TOTSO left onto the original route of the road and head west, and again pass through a couple of miles of standard suburbia. A large set of traffic lights greets us in Chadderton at the junction with Broadway (A663), and the A669 proceeds through Mills Hill and onwards to terminate at a 1970s roundabout with the A664 in Middleton. That road has taken on the original western end of the A669, which used to end on the original A664 in the vicinity of the next roundabout.
The only other alteration made to the route of the A669 is the bypass around Oldham town centre (and even then there was a multiplex along the A62) – other than that it follows its original alignment.