|Location Map ( geo)|
|From:||Fernhill Gate (SD685074)|
|Distance:||11.3 miles (18.2 km)|
|Meets:||A58, A6145, A579, A666, A673, A58, A56, A680|
|Old route now:||A680|
|Route outline (key)|
The A676 is a largely urban A-road through and then east of Bolton.
The starts starts on the A58, to the west of Bolton. Whilst the former branches off to become the ring road and forms Beaumont Road, the A676 takes the original line of the A58 and heads into the town centre, before getting totally lost in the town centre relief road network (it somehow finds itself at the junction with the A666 before too long though). The next section through Tonge Moor is a drag, before it crosses the A58 again at Hall i' th' Wood. Before too long, the B6391 to Darwen branches off and Bolton is left behind (but beware of the TOTSO with the B6196 to Ainsworth and Bury! Ancient signs here were green, but these are now white suggesting primary status was lost decades ago.
A quick ruralish section is passed beyond the TOTSO trap, with lower speed limits than previously, before a particularly awkward junction with one of the UK's many Watling Streets (this one is part of the original Roman Road between Manchester and Ribchester). The A676 heads down the hill ahead into the suburbs of Ramsbottom, which even today is still a tedious bottleneck for traffic. Before too long, thankfully, the route goes under the East Lancashire Railway (via a narrow bridge controlled by traffic lights) and over the River Irwell to reach a roundabout on the A56 (ending the M66 in the process - no access to it from here though!) and terminates. The road ahead was once the A676 (which ended on the original A56 in the centre of Edenfield) but is now part of the A680 to Rochdale.