A6 (Isle of Man)
|Location Map ( geo)
|Old Castletown Rd, Braddon Bridge
|4.5 miles (7.2 km)
|A41, A33, A25, A5, A24, A1, A23, A22, A18
|A24, A23, A21
|Route outline (key)
The A6 forms a partial ring road around Douglas, having been created from sections of other routes.
The route starts at the southern end of Douglas Bridge, at a roundabout where the A41 and A33 also terminate. It then heads west along Old Castletown Road, passing some industrial units and terraced housing, with the River Douglas on the right. As the river meanders away, the road becomes tree lined, and appears to leave Douglas behind, but this is a bit of an illusion. The island's University sits in the trees to the right, and before long the industrial estate at Ellenbrook comes in to view. The A25 then forks off to the left, and after passing under the railway and over the Middle River, the A6 climbs Kewaigue Hill alongside a golf course. The climb is long, but not particularly steep, with the A6 reaching a roundabout just over the summit.
The roundabout is the largest, and one of the busiest on the island, with the A6 crossing the A5, the main road from Douglas to the south of the island and its Airport. The long, undulating straight of Cooil Road follows, passing another large industrial area, with a number of retail units on the roadside. The A6 then turns right at the next roundabout, the A24 continuing ahead along the straight, and winds through the business park, complete with another roundabout, and on to Vicarage Road. This is an old lane which has been upgraded and enjoys open views across fields to the north. Hidden behind the trees to the right, however, are modern housing estates, accessed from the next couple of roundabouts.
The route then drifts downhill, past another roundabout with the B27, and then drops down between the two churches at Braddan to meet the A1 at Braddan Bridge. This complex (for the Isle of Man) junction involved two roundabouts, a wide bend, and a bridge over the River Dhoo. The A1 and A6 multiplex over the bridge between the two roundabouts, perhaps the longest multiplex on the island, and then the A6 turns left to head north again on Braddan Road. Halfway along a short straight, the route turns right onto Ballafletcher Road at a mini roundabout, the A23 continuing ahead past the hospital. The road dips down, passing another industrial area on the left, to Cronkbourne Village, a small group of Victorian millworkers cottages which have been refurbished and modernised. Despite this, the road has to wind around the buildings and over the River Glass.
Climbing again, the A6 is now following Johnny Wattersons Lane through modern housing estates. The A22 is crossed at a roundabout, the last on the route, in Ballanard, and then after passing a cemetery on the left, fields appear once more. The route climbs around the bends at Cronk-y-Berry, and then comes to an end on the A18 at Cronk-ny-Mona. To complete the tour around Douglas, turn right along the A18 to Signpost Corner and then take the A39 into Onchan, from where either the A38 or A35 will lead back to the coast.
Originally the A6 only followed Old Castletown Road, linking the centre of Douglas to the A5 west of Kewaigue. It was then evidently decided to re-route it around Douglas to provide a ring road, and this seems to have been acheived in stages. At first it was diverted along the southern end of the A24 (with the old road blocked off at the A5) and Vicarage Road, where a new link through the business park bypassed a narrow section of this formerly unclassified road. A short section of the B27 was also used to reach the A1 at Braddan Bridge. This formed a box around west Douglas, but more was to come. By 2010 it had been extended further, taking over part of the A23 to reach the A21, which has been entirely renumbered. The apparent dislike of multiplexes on the island will probably prevent further extension along the A39 or any other routes.
Although some maps still show the A21, documentary evidence from Tynwald, the Manx Government, proves that it has been renumbered.