Manchester is a major city in the North West of England, and is one of the biggest hubs for transport in the region. Originally, traffic through the city centre was carried north-south on the A56 and east-west on the A6. The completion of the A57(M) in 1967 reduced much of the need for the A6 to be used through the city and from the 1980s onwards, the role of the A6 has been diminished somewhat by the construction of the remaining sections of the Manchester & Salford Inner Relief Route. Indeed, the A6 cannot be followed through the city centre any more, whereas the A56 still continues without hindrance.
Much of the city's current road pattern has been brought about as a result of the 1996 Manchester Bomb that devastated the Arndale Centre. The closure of Corporation Street to through traffic has seen a rise in traffic on Deansgate, and to control this, a number of turn prohibitions exist.
In 1998, the M60 Manchester Outer Ring Road was created, and competed in late 2000.
1960s road proposals
Roads planned for the central area
In 1962 the SELNEC Report was published which recommended a system of motorways and dual carriageways to counter the growing levels of traffic congestion the city was suffering. Over the following decade detailed plans were drawn up for the new roads. Many of these roads were to be in close proximity to one another thereby providing high levels of redundancy. By the early 1970s work was progressing on replacing older slums with new housing. The new estates were built to accommodate the new roads and by the end of the decade there were many strips of open land across the city where the new roads were to run. In particular the line of the Inner Ring Road
between Moss Side and Ardwick is clearly visible on contemporary mapping with larger areas where the junctions were to be. Despite all this hardly any of planned roads were built. Work had started on the Princess Parkway Motorway
between the Inner Ring Road and A57(M) but only the slip roads were ever built. Just to the west of this the Chorlton Road Extension, A5067
, was also started on with a section of dual carriageway to the south of the A56/A57(M) junction. By the end of the 1980s the reserved land had started to be built on obliterating any evidence of where the roads were to go.