|Location Map ( geo)|
|Ainley Top spur from M62|
|modified dumbell + spur to roundabout|
|M62, A629, A643|
|Junctions related to the A629|
|Calder and Hebble Junction • College Road Roundabout (Rotherham) • New North Road • Orange Street Roundabout • Shorehead Roundabout • Skipton Bypass Roundabout • Thorpe Hesley Interchange|
|Junctions related to the A643|
|Elland Road Interchange • Nelson Street • Outlane Interchange|
Ainley Top is a large roundabout at the intersection of the A629 and A643. It also carries an unnumbered primary route spur from the M62 and the village of Blackley and was opened in 1973 as part of the M62 works in this area, forming junction 24 of the motorway.
The original road layout here was grade separated with the A643 going over the A629 and a link road between them. When the M62 opened it was modified into the current layout, leaving the original road through Ainley Top village for local traffic but canny locals can still rat-run through the village. The Elland Bypass is younger than the junction, opening in 1976, and this resulted in the current issues the junction faces today.
Owing to its location and since it forms the main connection for both Huddersfield and Halifax it is today one of the busiest roundabouts in Yorkshire. Queues can occur at most times of the day with lengthy queues on all approaches. This has had an effect on the casualty rate leaving the roundabout as a serious site for concern - which is why a 50 mph speed limit was implemented by Kirklees MBC in 2007.
Works to improve the flow of traffic seem unlikely as the junction straddles the boundary between Kirklees Council and Calderdale Council, and therefore works would have to be done jointly. Widening the roundabout is difficult as there is also a 400 kilovolt transmission line running across and a pylon stands tall in the centre of the island.