Hook Moor Interchange
|Hook Moor Interchange|
|Location Map ( geo)|
|M1 merge onto A1 at Hook Moor|
Hook Moor forms the northern terminus of the M1 (Junction 48) on the A1(M) (Junction 43, though initially Junction 44). The junction opened in its present form in 1999, completely obliterating the previous layout of the junction which was a local junction on the dual carriageway A1 giving access to the A642, A656 and B1217.
The M1 takes the mainline through the interchange, with the A1(M) to the south branching off, and for southbound traffic on the A1(M) the junction forms a TOTSO.
For several years, the A1(M) was marked for only two lanes, despite being built to provide three, as it flowed directly into a 1960s-era dual carriageway. The completion of the Darrington-Hook Moor section of the motorway in 2005 removed the need for this, and the motorway was repainted as dual three lanes. However, travelling northbound, the road width provides for a much greater merge length than is actually used, and there is still a significant length of wide hard shoulder that was originally intended for use as a running lane.
The historic crossroads
Hook Moor was, historically, a junction on the Great North Road, and there has been an important junction here for many centuries. Before the motor car, it was a five-armed junction which was notable for being the point at which the Great North Road joined the line of the Roman road north towards York, known locally as Roman Ridge. Another road running broadly east-west connected Garforth with Towton. In the early 20th century, it took the form of a crossroads where the Great North Road crossed the local east-west route, and Roman Ridge coming in from the south diverted from its original straight line to meet the Great North Road just to the south.
When road classification arrived, the Great North Road became A1, while the section of Roman Ridge travelling south from Hook Moor, which was not part of the new A1, was classified A656. To the west, the road towards Garforth and Wakefield was A642, leaving an unclassified route travelling east.
Creation of the Interchange
This was how things remained until 1963, when the A1 Aberford Bypass opened to traffic. Micklefield, just to the south, had been bypassed some three years previously, but that section stopped short of Hook Moor and it appears (though it is hard to determine) that the improved road stopped short of reaching Hook Moor. With the Aberford Bypass, the A1 was carried past the old junction at Hook Moor on a new bridge, sited immediately to the east and overshadowing the crossroads.
The junction was remodelled and became much more complex - for the first time, an interchange. The A1 to the south was removed from the crossroads altogether, and the A656 now formed the southern arm of the crossroads. A sliproad off the northbound A1 stopped on the A656 immediately south of the crossroads, while another sliproad on to the northbound side started just to the east of it, squeezed in between the original Great North Road and the new flyover.
At this point there effectively became two junctions at this location: Hook Moor, the historic crossroads, and Hook Moor Interchange, the exit from the newly-built high speed A1.
The motorway upgrade
In the late 1990s, the junction changed again with the construction of the extension to the M1, which was to terminate on the A1 at Hook Moor. This saw wholesale reconstruction of the whole of the Aberford Bypass, and in order to accommodate the motorway interchange, access to the local road network at Hook Moor was to be replaced by a junction on the new M1 further west at Parlington.
This involved re-routing both of the A-roads away from Hook Moor to terminate at the new motorway junction, and extending the B1217 to reach it too. A new local route was constructed from Micklefield, alongside the A1, which terminated here, resulting in a new configuration that stands today: the B1217 passes east-west through the crossroads, taking priority, with the former Great North Road to the north, and the unclassified connection to Micklefield to the south. Roman Ridge now diverts off its traditional line some considerable way to the south, avoiding a bridge over the new M1.
The interchange was also significantly modified. All sliproads to and from the Hook Moor crossroads were removed, and the line of the A1, built in the early 1960s, now forms only the northbound side of the A1(M). To the east of this is a vast new junction where northbound the A1(M) merges with the M1 and southbound the motorway widens to six lanes before splitting in two. In truth, most of the length of the Aberford Bypass now forms part of the interchange, and it has no connection to the ancient crossroads that gives it its name.
|London, Leeds, Manchester (M62)|
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