Broughton Interchange (Preston)
|Approaching the junction from the north|
There was no junction here originally when the Preston Bypass opened in 1958. Originally, the motorway swung westwards via a temporary bend to end on the A6. In 1965, when the Preston to Lancaster section was opened, this junction was converted into the UK's first three-level interchange (also known as a semi-directional T). It had been originally assumed this junction would take the form of a trumpet interchange like junctions built further up the M6, but this would have had sharp bends so a t-style junction was chosen as it would allow traffic to travel at the comparatively dizzying speed of 50mph.
The westwards extension of the M55 in 1974 created the current collector-distributor lanes for westbound traffic, and the eastbound four lane weaving section. This is the busiest part of the M55 with frequent queues during peak hours.
In 2009, the southbound M6 through the interchange was widened to three lanes, eliminating a severe bottleneck on the southbound carriageway.
In 2014 the northbound carriageway of the M6 was also extended to three lanes. This was achieved by creating an extra left hand lane for the M55 turn-off. The change has had the welcome side-effect of reducing weaving, becase northbound traffic including trucks now need only move one lane to the right, as opposed to two lanes previously.
|The NORTH, Lancaster, The Lakes|
|The SOUTH, Birmingham Manchester (M61), Liverpool (M58)|
|Blackpool, Fleetwood, Preston (North) (A6)|