|Distance:||17.2 miles (27.7 km)|
|Meets:||A6063, A5085, B6242, B6244, B5269, B6245, B6246, A671, B6478|
|Route outline (key)|
Preston – Longridge
The road starts at a junction with the A6063 at Preston Prison just off the ringway A6, A59 multiplex and heads northeast. Almost immediately the road takes a sharp right-hand turn and then passes the old coal depot on the left. As we head up Ribbleton Lane, it is quite obvious that this area is in need of serious regeneration. We cross Skeffington Road which is one of only four places in Preston that has a railway level crossing but only one – on the A5072 – is currently in use. We then meet up with the A5085; if we wish to head North on the M6 we must turn right here as the Haighton Interchange (J31A) has only a south-facing on-slip.
We continue towards Longridge through the Preston suburbs and meet Fulwood Row at a mini-roundabout. Continuing on, we cross over the M6 to enter an area of heavy industry. The B6242 arrives at the next roundabout affording access to M6 (southbound only). Longridge Road becomes Preston Road as we leave the built-up area and we soon arrive in the small village of Grimsargh. Here, after passing St Michael's church on the left we cross a narrowish bridge which still spans the course of a dismantled railway line. We swing from north- to east-bound on a right-hand bend through the centre of the village before returning to open country. The road gradually curves left to resume a northerly course and as we approach Longridge a reservoir appears on our right, and we reach a mini-roundabout at a fork in the road. Ahead, the B6244 runs into the town centre; we need to take the right-hand road to continue on the B6243.
Longridge – Clitheroe
On the far side of Longridge the B6243 meets a T-junction where it TOTSOs right; the B5269 is the road to the left. There is then another TOTSO a short distance further on, by some more reservoirs, where the road ahead is the B6245. Our road continues east across the fields and passes through some tiny villages before reaching Hurst Green, the largest place on this part of the road. It skirts the grounds of Stoneyhurst College (a public school) before crossing a bridge over the River Hodder; remains of a much older bridge are still clearly visible just downstream.
After meeting the B6246 the road heads north for a short period before continuing east to cross a narrow bridge over the River Ribble and enter Clitheroe. It runs through the western suburbs before crossing the railway line and running beneath the castle to a mini-roundabout. The road ahead is the B6243 but that is one-way in the other direction so traffic must turn left to detour via the station.
Originally the B6243 ended on the A59 Castle Street. That road was moved onto its present route at roughly the same time as Clitheroe town centre also received a relief road (now numbered A671). The B6243 was given the original route of the A59 in the town centre. However, much of this is a one-way system making it difficult to distinguish between the B6243 and the parallel unclassified roads that also carry through traffic. Theoretically the B6243 has two eastern ends at either end of the A671 relief road.