Manchester and Salford Inner Relief Route
|Manchester and Salford Inner Relief Route|
|Manchester • Salford|
The Manchester & Salford Inner Relief Route is a political term for the inner ring road encircling both Manchester and Salford city centres. It was finally completed in 2002, in time for the Commonwealth Games when the gap between the western end of Trinity Way and the A57 was filled.
The Mancunian Way was not planned to be part of any ring road, but was later incorporated into this one when the early plans for a wider loop around the city centres were shelved.
Trinity Way A6042
This length of the route is completely purpose built, opening in sections between the late 1980s and early 2000s. The original section between the A6 and A665 cuts a direct swathe through the urban area, and is subject to a clearway order, and despite being purpose built D2 is restricted to 30 mph.
In 2002, the westward extension was completed, which required massive improvements to the railway structures in the area as well as a new junction with the A57 Regent Road. The new alignment, having to be hugged closely against the railways, is a lot less direct than the older section and has some poor visibility over bridges. There was also provision for the canal extension through to Middlewood Locks, which is now in service.
All of the major junctions on are signal controlled, with congestion being a problem at peak hours, although the road is a vast improvement over the old slog down Deansgate.
Mellor Street, Great Ancoats Street A665
This length utilised existing city streets and therefore looks very different to the rest of the route. It features numerous at grade junctions and a very convoluted gyratory system where the A664 and A62 join in the fun. The route runs roughly straight down this section but is not quick owing to the presence of side streets and retail parks.
Mancunian Way A635, A635(M), A57(M)
This section forms the oldest part of the route, and boasts motorway regulations in part. It, however, commences as a 40 mph all purpose D2, passing under the railway arches, before it continues towards the Downing Street Flyover, constructed in 1992 to replace the congested roundabout that was here originally. At this point prohibited traffic is funnelled down a slip road, the speed limit rises to 50 mph, and the secret A635(M) begins. This is very short lived as the A57(M) begins as soon as the flyover touches down before rising onto the original "highway in the sky" to soar across Upper Brook Street, Cambridge Street, Princess Road, and eventually drop back to ground level just before entering the Chester Road Underpass (opened in 1995), and terminating onto the A57.
The majority of the Mancunian Way, barring the improvements at both ends, opened between 1966 and 1967. It was originally all-purpose due to a clerical error but motorway status was applied in the early 1970s.
Great Egerton Street A57
The shortest section, massively upgraded to allow access onto the Mancunian Way. As a result the squeeze under the railways and metrolink lines is very impressive, but also a source of major queues at peak times.