Harrington Bridge, Sawley, where the B6540 crosses the River Trent
The B6540 is the former route of the A453 from Long Eaton to the A50, gaining its number when that road was moved onto the bypass in the 1970s. Most of the roads it once connected to have also been downgraded following the arrival of the M1 and A50 in the area.
The road starts at a roundabout on the A6005 in Long Eaton and heads south along the Market Place before zigzagging out of the shopping area. We join the residential Tamworth Road (showing the road's history) and run alongside the Erewash Canal for a few hundred yards before going over it; the canal winds to allow this. We then cross a roundabout, where we meet the B6002 then go under the Midland Main Line by Long Eaton station.
The straight road continues into the suburb of Sawley, where we come into sight of open fields for the first time. A sharp left-hand bend takes us out of town and over the River Trent and its navigation. A short distance further on we go under the M1. The road continues past a couple of flooded gravel pits to end at A50J1, where it also meets the B5010 (former A6). The road used to continue further and passed through Castle Donington to meet the current A453 just west of the East Midlands Airport, but this has been declassified.