|Location Map ( geo)|
|M1 view of interchange.|
|3-level stacked roundabout (with freeflow links)|
The junction originally opened (partially) in 1968, before the M62 had been built. Much like the terminus of the M180 at the A15 in 1981, there was no traffic flowing east-west under the roundabout. It fully opened in 1970 as a standard three-level roundabout when the Gildersome-Lofthouse section of M62 opened in December 1970. Much of the M62 in West Yorkshire would not be open until 1972. It was the first motorway junction with a roundabout which had two main motorways flowing through it (a motorway-to-motorway interchange with a three-level interchange with roundabout). For four years from 1970, the M62 did not pass underneath. Only from 27 August 1974 did the M62 connect from the east. The diameter of the roundabout is 244m.
The 11.65 mile Ferrybridge to Lofthouse contract was awarded to Dow-Mac Concrete in 1972 for £11,207,071. This would connect the Lofthouse Interchange to the A1. The scheme to from Lofthouse to the A1 had been announced in October 1965.
Original 1960s plans
The likely reason for the inconvenient design was the unrealised proposals for the Flockton Link Motorway which would have cut the corner for M62 east to M1 south movements; this never happened and the roundabout consequently became a horrendous bottleneck, much like Simister Island to the west.
Matters were not helped by the extension of the M1 to connect with the A1 at Hook Moor. Simultaneously with this new link, direct connections between the M1 to the north and M62 to the west were opened in 1999 by Yorkshire Link, the DBFO consortium which built the road. In addition to these direct links, traffic signals and left-turn lanes were installed on the main roundabout itself, but these have only had a minimal effect on reducing the chronic queues at this interchange.
The junction is novel in that a B-road threads its way through the connecting sliproads without access to the motorways. It also provides a good view of the peak hour chaos that the surrounding area suffers from.
In 2021 a consultation was published for further improvements to the interchange, to look to address some of the delays, particularly at peak hours, as well as the maintenance requirements of the aging structures. Three options were proposed:
This would see the roundabout replaced with another roundabout, which would provide additional lanes to stack vehicles. It is noted in the consultation that this would be a short term solution that would see delays return "within five years".
In this option, a new free-flow link would be constructed for M1 northbound to M62 eastbound traffic. This option would see the roundabout retained, and would therefore still require a programme of enhanced maintenance. It is estimated that this is a medium term solution, with a further project required in around 15 years.
This would demolish the existing roundabout and provide free flow links for all movements.
|THE NORTH, Leeds (M621)|
|Leeds||proposed renumbering of the M1 if it went west of Leeds|
|London, Wakefield||proposed renumbering of the M1 if it went west of Leeds|