A6 road (England)


A6 road (England)

UK road routebox
road= A6
length-mi=
length-km=
direction= South-North
start= Luton
destinations= Bedford
Leicester
Loughborough
Derby
Matlock
Stockport
Manchester
Preston
Lancaster
Kendal
Penrith
end= Carlisle
construction-date=
completion-date=
junctions= ukroadsmall|421
ukroadsmall|45
ukroadsmall|14
ukroadsmall|38
ukroadsmall|590
ukroadsmall|684
ukroadsmall|66
ukroadsmall|69

The A6 is a major road in England. It currently runs from Luton in Bedfordshire to Carlisle in Cumbria. As set out below (see "Former route south of Luton"), previously it started in Barnet in Hertfordshire and ran north west through London Colney to St Albans and then due north via Harpenden to Luton.

Running north west from Luton, the road travels through Bedford, bypasses Rushden, Kettering and Market Harborough, continues through Leicester, Loughborough, Derby and Matlock before going through the Peak District to Bakewell, Buxton, Stockport, Manchester, Salford, Chorley, Preston, Lancaster, Kendal and Penrith before reaching Carlisle.

South of Nottingham, the road is paralleled by the M1 motorway, and north of Manchester the M6 and M61 motorways approximate its course.

Luton - Kettering

It begins as "St Mary's Road" at an elongated roundabout with the A505 road, part of the Luton inner ring road. This becomes "Guildford Street" and passes near the railway station. It leaves the ring road and crosses under the Midland Main Line, becoming "New Bedford Road". It meets the A5228 outer ring road at a roundabout. On the outskirts of Luton as "Barton Road", it passes the BP "Streatley Express" station on the left and Texaco "Barton Road Service Station" just after the "Grasmere Road" roundabout where it meets the Icknield Way Path. At the next roundabout, there is a Sainsbury's at the "Bramingham Park Centre", which is near Bramingham Business Park and the Cardinal Newman High School. Leaving Luton, it enters the district of South Bedfordshire as "Barton Road" after a roundabout with "Quantock Rise". There is a roundabout at Streatley, where the road becomes the dual-carriageway "Luton Road". The one-mile £9.4m dual-carriageway Barton-in-the-Clay Bypass was opened in December 1990. The former route is now the B655 (for Hitchin). It passes through the "Bartonhill Cutting". It becomes single carriageway at the roundabout with the B655 at the other end of the bypass. It enters South Bedfordshire as "Bedford Road", passing the "Speed Plough Service Station" near the now defunct "Speed the Plough" pub. The one-mile £2m Silsoe Bypass opened in February 1981. It meets the A507 (for Shefford and Ampthill) at a roundabout at Clophill, crossing the River Flit, and passing the "New County Service Station". It passes through Maulden Wood as the dual-carriage "Deadman's Hill", crossing the [http://www.greensandridge.freeuk.com Greensand Ridge Walk] then passes through Haynes West End, becoming "Wilstead Road", which passes the "Four Winds Service Station". It enters the district of Bedford and bypasses Wilstead and goes past the large Wilstead Industrial Estate. The one-mile £3m Elstow Bypass opened in early 1983. It meets the A421 at the Elstow Interchange GSJ near the large BP "Bedford Connect" service station and Asda distribution centre, then meets the A5134 at a roundabout. From here, the Bedford Western Bypass will be built. The road crosses the Marston Vale Line, then enters Bedford as "Ampthill Road". There is a roundabout with the A5141, then it crosses the railway again near Bedford St Johns railway station. It meets the A600 and A5140 at a roundabout, then passes [http://www.bedford.ac.uk Bedford College] and crosses the River Great Ouse as "King Street". It takes two one-way routes ("Tavistock Street" - "High Street" and "Horne Lane" - "Union Street") through the town centre, which meet at a roundabout. It meets the A5141 again at a roundabout near Bedford Modern School and becomes the dual-carriageway "Clapham Road" near a large Sainsbury's. North of Bedford, the three-mile £26m dual-carriageway Clapham Bypass opened on December 12, 2002, named the "Paula Radcliffe Way", after the marathon runner who went to school at nearby Sharnbrook. It crosses the River Great Ouse twice, and is crossed by the John Bunyan Trail, near a GSJ for Clapham and Oakley. There is another GSJ for Highfield Parc Industrial Estate. At the end of the bypass, the road suddenly loses the broad expanse of tarmac and looks like a minor B road and becomes "Bedford Road". There are speed cameras here. It passes through Milton Ernest, passing [http://www.miltonernest.beds.sch.uk Milton Ernest Lower School] , and " [http://www.queenshead-miltonernest.com Queens Head Hotel] ". As "Rushden Road", it passes the " [http://www.pub-explorer.com/beds/pub/falconinnbletsoe.htm Falcon Inn] " close to Bletsoe. It meets a roundabout for Sharnbrook, then passes near Souldrop and [http://www.bna-naturalists.org/branches/ouse/ouse.htm West Wood] . It is crossed by the Three Shires Way on the border of Northamptonshire and the district of East Northamptonshire, then there is a turn for Wymington. The three-mile £10m part-dual-carriageway Rushden & Higham Ferrers Bypass opened on August 14, 2003, where the road meets the A5001, B645 and A45. The old route is now the A5028. It crosses the River Nene and the Nene Way, bypassing Irthlingborough and meeting the B571 at a roundabout. The road still goes through Finedon. There is the Shell "North Bound Service Station" just north of the village on "Burton Road". The two-mile £2.6m Burton Latimer Bypass opened in October 1991. "Weetabix" is accessible from the roundabout with the A14.

Kettering - Leicester

Kettering was bypassed when sections of the east-west corridor A14 were built. Between the A6 junction and A509 junction, there are the two BP "Kettering East & West Connect" garages, Little Chef and Burger King restaurants on each side of the road. Near the Rothwell junction, there is the Esso "Rothwell Service Station" and McDonald's restaurant on the east-bound carriageway. The five-mile three-lane £11.4m Rothwell-Desborough Bypass opened on August 14, 2003. The road enters Leicestershire and the district of Harborough as "Harborough Road" at the start of the five-mile £9.5m Market Harborough Bypass, which was opened in June 1992. It briefly re-enters Northamptonshire again, and at this point there is a roundabout with the A427 (for Stoke Albany) and A4304 (former A427), and an exit for Great Bowden. It is crossed by the Leicestershire Round, and there is the "Malthurst A6" Texaco garage and McDonald's restaurant at the junction with the B6047 (for Melton Mowbray) at the north end of the bypass. There is a turn to the left for Foxton and Foxton Locks. It is crossed by the Midland Main Line. The A6 still passes through the village centre of Kibworth, where it passes the " [http://www.diningpubs.co.uk/pub_details.asp?id=291 Coach & Horses] " pub. The road becomes "Leicester Road". The three-mile dual-carriageway Great Glen Bypass opened on February 19, 2003, though operated as a dual-carriageway only after April 4, 2003. It crosses the River Sence and there is a roundabout. The bypass ends with a roundabout, just before the road enters the district of Oadby and Wigston.

Leicester - Peak District

On the outskirts of Leicester the road becomes "London Road". There is a roundabout with "Florence Wragg Way", where the road becomes "Glen Road". It passes a Sainsbury's supermarket at Oadby on the left. and becomes "Harborough Road", then "Leicester Road". Further in, it passes the BP "Oadby Filling Station" and an Asda supermarket on the right, before reaching the outer ring-road (A563), next to Leicester Racecourse. There is the Shell "Oadby Garage" just after the roundabout on the left where A563 and A6 join, with the two-track tram shed/terminus, now used for storage, next door. It becomes "London Road", where the dual-carriageway ends, and it enters the city of Leicester, passing the [http://www.leicesterhigh.co.uk Leicester High School for Girls] on the right. There is a crossroads, for "Stoughton Road" (A6030) at Stoneygate, and a roundabout with the "Victoria Park Road" (B568). It passes close to Leicester University and many take-away shops. To the right is Highfields, a largely immigrant community. It crosses the Midland Main Line near Leicester railway station. In the centre of Leicester, it is subsumed into Leicester's inner ring-road, the A594. Before this, it went via "Charles Street", and before then, down "Granby Street" and "Gallowtree Gate". Then around the Clock Tower, and along "Belgrave Gate". The current route via the Inner Ring Road and "Abbey Lane" is also altered from the old route, which from "Belgrave Gate" went via "Belgrave Road" (along the "Fosse Way") as did the old course of the A46 turning left at Melton Mowbray turn onto "Loughborough Road" and then into Birstall, where it meets with the current route at the start of the dual carriageway just before the A563 roundabout.

It crosses the Grand Union Canal and the River Soar as "St Margarets Way". It becomes dual-carriageway on the northern outskirts of Leicester, and passes the National Space Centre in Belgrave as "Abbey Lane" then meets at a roundabout with the A563 outer ring-road entering the borough of Charnwood, then passes the BP "St Paul's Filling Station" on the left. Leicestershire Constabulary have a training college near here in Birstall. North of Leicester, as "Loughborough Road" it meets the A46 Leicester Western Bypass just south of Rothley and the start of the four-mile £43.3m dual-carriageway Quorn-Mountsorrel Bypass, which opened in October 1991. The road at this point follows the Soar Valley, and is mostly on embankment or viaduct, crossing the river 4 times. From here the road goes through Loughborough. although a new section of road from a roundabout with "Ling Road" (A6004) can be quicker and follows "Epinal Way" past the university, avoiding the many traffic lights in the town centre. In Loughborough there is the BP "Elms Park Service Station" on the right, and close-by a Sainsbury's supermarket; helpful for vegetarian students at the internationally renowned local university. Leaving the town, it passes the BP "Sandicliffe of Loughborough" on the right. Just north of Hathern, where the A6006 (for Sutton Bonington) and B5324 (for Long Whatton) meet the road, there is the Esso "Hathern Turn Service Station". There is a much-needed dual-carriageway section which skirts the Leicestershire/Nottinghamshire border (the River Soar) and the road becoms "London Road" and enters the district of North West Leicestershire. It passes through Kegworth, passing the "Britannia Inn" and becomes "Derby Road". It joins the M1 at the extremely busy roundabout of junction 24, which is where the A50 Derby to Stoke-on-Trent Link begins. The road follows one of the former A6 dual-carriageway sections, passing Lockington, before meeting traffic from the south-bound M1 at junction 24a. South-bound traffic on the A6 here has to negotiate a roundabout and a set of traffic lights, which has numerous and lengthy hold-ups at peak times. The three-laned A6 overlaps the A50 for a couple of miles, and there is a junction with the B6540 (former A453) and crosses the Trent and Mersey Canal and River Trent, where it enters Derbyshire and the district of South Derbyshire. The A50/A6 passes a Welcome Break, with a Burger King and Shell garage on both sides of the road near Shardlow. The next section, the A6 Spur, was opened with the A50 in September 1997. The £10.6m dual-carriageway Alvaston Bypass/Improvement opened on 17 December 2003.

Elvaston Castle is to the right. The road enters Derby initially along "London Road", then at Alvaston it meets the A5111 Derby Ring Road ("Raynesway" built in the 1930s) at a roundabout where the A6 is not signposted to the left; directions to Matlock are given for "Raynesway" (to the right). This roundabout is proposed to be [http://www.highways.gov.uk/roads/projects/17418.aspx grade-separated] as there are lengthy queues at peak times. It passes the BP "Island Service Station" on the left at the next roundabout, and the ring road leaves to the left. It enters Crewton, and there is a roundabout with "Ascot Drive" to the left near a large B&Q, and the road exits to the right as "Pride Parkway", which is related to the adjacent Pride Park Business Park and Pride Park Stadium, home of Derby County F.C.. Nearby to the right, the former Wilmorton Campus of [http://www.derby-college.ac.uk Derby College] has now been demolished for housing. The former route of the A6 ("London Road") is now partly the B6000. It crosses the Midland Main Line and meets the old route at "The Cock Pitt", a large roundabout beside the new Westfield Derby, close to the centre of Derby with a multi-storey car park in the centre. The road overlaps the A601, Derby's inner ring-road and the A52, crossing the River Derwent, then leaving to the left as "King Street" at an intersection on "St Alkmund's Way" near the former site of St Alkmund's Church, and passes " [http://www.rawpromo.co.uk The Flowerpot] " pub on the left. As "King Street", it passes the " [http://www.derbycity.com/pubs/7stars.html Seven Stars] " pub. As "Garden Street", it splits in two at an elongated roundabout surrounding the Texaco "Allens Service Station" and "Five Lamps" pub. At a roundabout known locally as the "Five Lamps", which has had [http://www.seered.co.uk/five_lamps_fiasco.htm controversial] [http://www.derbygripe.co.uk/lamps.htm alterations] , it becomes "Duffield Road", passing the " [http://www.viamichelin.com/b2b2c/gbr/dyn/controller/dlPoiAccess?idx=6&id=177245&productId=80630&return_url=%2Fb2b2c%2Fgbr%2Fdyn%2Fcontroller%2FDLAmbiguous%3DproductId%3D80630%26strLocid%3D3bMG1SRVBfVEFfMjQ4MjYwMzQwMDAxMTY2NlNFUlJFUDExMTBjTlRJdU9URTJNVFE0Y0xURXVORFl6TVRVMw%3D%3D%26mapId%3D-tm94pdvtdnydye&fromlist=true&wnoss=true&IconFileID=8&ie=utf-8 Broadway Hotel] ". At this roundabout, the older Derby inner ring road ("Broadway" - A5111) met the A6, before 1983, and the section until Allestree was also the A38 from 1975-83. North of Derby, there is a roundabout junction with the A38. In leafy Allestree, it passes the "Shell Allestree" garage. The road follows the Derwent Valley, entering the district of Amber Valley through Duffield and Belper, passing a large Morrison's (formerly Safeway) store. In Belper, it becomes "Bridge Street", passing the Total "Lion Garage" on the right. The road goes past a large mill, formerly owned by Richard Arkwright, and now a [http://www.derwentvalleymills.org museum] . Further north it passes the Esso "Riverside Station" just before the A610 junction. At Whatstandwell it meets the B5035 (for Crich and Wirksworth), then enters the district of Derbyshire Dales. There is an Esso "Ridgewood Motors" on the left, then at Cromford, it meets the A5012 (Via Gellia). Matlock Bath is a mecca for motorbikers, and many use the A6 for pleasure and speed, and close by is Gulliver's Kingdom. Entering Matlock, the road passes under the railway and over the River Derwent and Limestone Way, meeting the A615 at a roundabout. The road passes through the middle of the town and further north is Darley Dale, where the road as "Dale Road" passes the hospital, the Texaco "Two Dales Service Station", and crossroads with the B5057. On the right is the "Dale Road Filling Station"

Peak District - Manchester

From Matlock the road enters the Peak District National Park. From Rowsley, it follows the River Wye, meeting the B5056 near the endpoint of the River Lathkill. It passes Haddon Hall and enters Bakewell passing the Murco "Park View Filling Station" on the right and Total on the right, meeting the B5055 and A619 at a roundabout. At Ashford-in-the-Water, there is a junction with the A6020 (for Baslow). The road passes through Taddington Dale. Taddington has a dual-carriageway bypass. There are junctions with the B6049 (for Blackwell) and A5270, and it enters the district of High Peak and passes under four railway bridges. It enters Buxton as "Bakewell Road", passing a Morrisons on the left and meets the B5059 at a roundabout. It leaves Buxton as "Fairfield Road", and heads towards Stockport slightly north-east to Dove Holes and to a roundabout with the A623

The four-mile £38m part-dual-carriageway Chapel-en-le-Frith & Whaley Bridge Bypass opened in August 1987. The former route is the B5470. The bypass ends with a roundabout with the A5004 for Chapel. It crosses the Peak Forest Canal and the B6062 leads to Chinley, then goes under the Buxton Line. At Furness Vale it passes the railway station and the primary school. It meets the A6015 (for New Mills) at Newtown, near the railway station and primary school, where the road enters Cheshire. At Disley on Market Street, there is the "Total Disley" garage, and the road passes the [http://www.disley.cheshire.sch.uk primary school] , the Crescent Inn, police station and the Dandy Cock then crosses the Buxton Line near the railway station near the Rams Head Vintage Inn. At High Lane, the road enters the Borough of Stockport in Greater Manchester (Cheshire).

There were plans in the 1970s for a bypass around Stockport, by a motorway initially known as the A6(M), which never was given the go-ahead, although many construction schemes were designed. It was kicked into touch in July 1998, in the distant early years of the 1997 Labour government. Due to build up of traffic in the Stockport area, the same scheme is now going to be built as the A555, to link up east of Stockport with the M60. In July 2006, it finally received the full funding to proceed. In Hazel Grove it goes under the viaduct carrying the South TransPennine railway line, and meets the A523 (for Macclesfield) from the left and the A627 (from Romiley) from the right. There is McDonald's on the left near the Hazel Grove railway station. Towards Stockport, there is a Sainsbury's on the right, and the road becomes "Buxton Road". In Stepping Hill, it goes near the Stepping Hill Hospital on the left. There is the "Shell Stockport" garage near the Woodsmoor railway station and in Great Moor, the Esso "Great Moor Service Station" relatively near the Davenport railway station, where it meets the B6171, the A5102 (for Bramhall) to the right. As the road approaches Stockport town centre there is the Texaco "Grosvenor Service Station", near the crossroads with the B5465. At Mersey Square, Stockport just before the road crosses the M60, the road becomes "Wellington Road North", crosses the Stockport to Stalybridge Line and the "Total Wellington Road" garage is on the right. At Heaton Chapel, there are crossroads with the B5169 (for Reddish), and the A626 joins to the right. It enters the city of Manchester just before it meets the B6178 and becomes "Stockport Road" near the "Shell Levenshulme" station on the right. Near the junction with the B5093 is the Levenshulme railway station. It goes under the railway and meets the A5079 "Slade Lane" from the south. There are crossroads with the A6010, and the A5184 leaves to the left. In Longsight, it meets the A665 Manchester inner ring road and the A57 at a roundabout, which it overlaps until it goes under the A57(M)/A635(M), passing the old site of UMIST (now the University of Manchester).

Manchester - Chorley

North of Manchester, the road continues through Manchester and Salford, and passes through the various former cotton mill towns of central Lancashire, notably through Chorley, Preston and Lancaster. Its route remains paralleled by the M6 and M61 motorways here, including the oldest motorway stretch in the UK (M6 Preston by-pass).

In Manchester, the road crosses the River Irwell and enters the city of Salford. Here the road is called "Chapel Street" where the original Salford Royal Hospital stands (now flats) at its junction with Adelphi Street. At the Adelphi Street/Oldfield Road junction its name changes to "the Crescent". Along this stretch we now pass several places of cultural interest including the University of Salford, and Salford Museum and Art Gallery on the right, as well as the Old Fire Station and the Working Class Movement Library on the left. Along this stretch it also passes Salford Crescent railway station near the junction with Albion Way. It then carries on as the dual carriageway "Broad Street" through Pendleton past Salford Shopping City (Salford Precinct) and the junction with Langworthy Road (A5186). It next arrives at Irlams o' th' Height where it departs from the dual carriageway (where the A580 East Lancashire Road begins) at the old Irlams o' th' Height/Pendlebury (roundabout) boundary. Once round the Height roundabout it becomes Manchester Road as it goes through Pendlebury for a short distance passing both the Royal Manchester Children's Hospital and Hospital Road on the right. Next we enter Swinton and pass Victoria Park on the right opposite the junction with Barton Road. The Farmer's Arms, the White Lion (both on the left) and the Cricketer's Arms (on the right) pubs are all shortly followed by the junction with Worsley Road (A572) where its name changes to Chorley Road. Along Chorley Road we soon pass Swinton Post Office and Swinton and Pendlebury Town Hall (Salford Civic Centre) on the left with Swinton Shopping Centre on the right. At this point is the town centre's crossroads with Partington Lane (on the left) and Station Road (on the right) which are both part of the B5231. On the left are the town hall's once hallowed lawns and Swinton Parish Church (St. Peter's) on opposite corners. Both the Central Library and the Bull's Head pub are seen on the right on opposite corners. The new Swinton Police Station is just a few yards along on the left from the town centre junction. Then once past the Forester's Arms pub (on the right) and the junction with Moorside Road and the Red Lion pub ("The Cat") to the left we very soon arrive in Manchester Road, Wardley (at Sindsley Brook) passing both the Brook Taven and the Morning Star pubs (on the right) as the road heads north west towards Walkden.

It then goes under the M60 near the junction with the M61, near the "Worsley Braided Interchange" and [http://www.wardleyhall.org.uk Wardley Hall] (home of the Roman Catholic Bishop of Salford) and enters Whittle Brook and Walkden as "Manchester Road", passing the Linnyshaw Industrial Estate on the right. It passes the Texaco "Gordon Limes Service Station" on the left, and meets the A575 (for Worsley and Farnworth) and B5232 (for Boothstown) at crossroads where the road is dual-carriageway as the "High Street". It becomes " [http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/112903 Manchester Road East] " and passes a Tesco on the right, progressing towards the district of Little Hulton, which it enters a few minutes later. It meets the A5082 (for Tyldesley and Farnworth) at crossroads near St. Paul's, Peel [http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/449240 Church] , becoming "Manchester Road West", passing St. Paul's, Peel and Wharton primary schools.

On leaving Little Hulton, the road enters the Borough of Bolton near the Chloride Battery [http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/86549 Works] on the left. Near Farnworth, the road meets the M61, at junction 4, which closely follows parallel with the A6 up to Preston. The road is now the primary route "Salford Road" and meets the A579 at crossroads at [http://www.bolton.org.uk/hultonlaneends.html Hulton Lane Ends] near the " [http://www.pub-explorer.com/lancs/pub/redlionoverhulton.htm Red Lion] " and "Hulton Arms", becoming "Manchester Road". It meets the A58 at a roundabout at Chequerbent and is no longer a trunk road, close to M61 junction 5, then enters Westhoughton, passing the "Mercury Filling Station" on the left. There is the B5235 near the " [http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/419102 White Horse Tavern] ", then it crosses the Manchester-Southport Line, and it meets the B5236 at Wingates, near the St. John's Primary School and the St. John the Evangelist [http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/96516 Church] . On leaving Westhoughton, the road becomes "Chorley Road". At Four Gates, there is the B5239 for Aspull at the "Royal Oak" pub. It meets the A6027 roundabout close to the M61 junction 6 for Horwich. It passes through Hilton House, at Scot Lane End, it meets the B5408 (the former route) for Blackrod, becoming the "Blackrod By-Pass Road". It meets the B5238, for Horwich, at crossroads near Blackrod railway station and the [http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/80315 Ridgeway Arms Hotel] . Close by on the M61 is the Bolton West (formerly Rivington) service area. It rejoins the old route where it meets the B5408, near the "Thatch & Thistle" pub. It enters Adlington, and the district of Chorley where it [http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/52322 crosses] the River Douglas as "Chorley Road", becoming "Market Street" and passing the Texaco "Les Walkden Garage" on the left. In the centre of Adlington it meets the B6227 near Adlington railway station, and the police station, becoming " [http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/118447 Church Street] " then "Westhoughton Road". It crosses the Leeds and Liverpool Canal and meets the A673 from Bolton and [http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/118449 A5106] from Standish.

It crosses the River Yarrow and passes the [http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/118455 Miller's] pub and the [http://www.albany.lancsngfl.ac.uk Albany Science College] as "Bolton Road". In Chorley, the central section is dual-carriageway with many [http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/52307 roundabouts] . It meets the B6228 at a roundabout, passes a Morrison's and the railway station, then meets the A581 and B6229. It passes the Texaco "Preston Road Service Station" and a hospital on the left and meets the B5252 at a roundabout where it crosses the railway. The dual-carriageway A674 to the right goes to Blackburn via the nearby junction 8 of the M61 and a Mormon [http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/118142 temple] .

Chorley - Carnforth

From Chorley, it meets the B6229 and B5248 at Whittle-le-Woods, passing the St John the Evangelist Church and Texaco "Jubilee Service Station" on the right, crossing the River Lostock. It enters Clayton-le-Woods, passing the "Shell Clayton Green" on the left, and meets the B5256 (for Leyland) at a roundabout, near a large [http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/467649 Asda] , [http://www.cuerdenvalleypark.org.uk Cuerden Valley Park] and Cuerden Hall. It passes through Clayton Brook, passing the Esso "Clayton Brook Service Station" on the right, and crosses the M65, entering the district of South Ribble, near its western terminus. There are two roundabouts for the Walton Summit Industrial Estate, either of which lead to the Walton Summit Motorway. Next is a roundabout with the M6 at junction 29, which is now shared with the M65 where the it becomes a trunk road. This was the start of Britain's first motorway, built in 1958. The road becomes dual-carriageway as it enters Bamber Bridge. There are crossroads with the northern terminus of the A49 and the B6258 near a large Sainsbury's on the right and [http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/415512 B & Q] on the left, then a roundabout with the A582 - where the road heads north to the right. The start of the M65 is accessible only from this roundabout at junction 1a. It crosses the East Lancashire Line and meets the B5257 at a roundabout. It meets the B6230 at a roundabout at [http://www.wt-woods.org.uk/DogKennelWood Dog Kennel Wood] , crosses the River Darwen and meets the A675 (for Walton-le-Dale). It [http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/151776 crosses] the River Ribble and the Ribble Way, entering the district of Preston. The road enters Preston as a single carriageway, meeting the A59 (for Blackburn), B6243 (for Ribbleton), and A6063. It passes through the centre of Preston, becoming " [http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/137778 North Road] ", passes the Texaco "North Road Service Station" on the right, meets the A5071 "Moor Lane", then becomes "Garstang Road", passes the BP "Key Filling Station" on the right and Moor Park, and crosses the A5085, passing the "Shell Fulwood" garage on the left. At Fulwood, it meets the B6242 at crossroads, then passes the Texaco "Fulwood Service Station" and Sharoe Green. It meets the B6241 Preston ring road near junction 1 of the M55, the other end of Britain's first motorway where it no longer is a trunk road.

It passes the Texaco "Broughton Filling Station" on the left and crosses Woodplumpton Brook and meets the B5269 at crossroads at Broughton, passing the Texaco " [http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/46794 Kinders Garage] " on the right. It meets Barton as "Garstang Road" and passes the " [http://www.bartongrangehotel.com Barton Grange Hotel] " and the " [http://www.thebartonfox.co.uk Barton Fox] ", running along the Preston and Wyre district boundary, and begins to run parallel to the West Coast Main Line, which it crosses. The district boundary crosses to the other side of the road and it enters the district of Wyre. It passes through Bilsborrow and the " [http://www.pub-explorer.com/lancs/pub/roebuckbilsborrow.htm Roebuck] ". It leaves the district boundary, and crosses the River Brock at Brock, near the " [http://www.lunesdalecamra.org.uk/pubs/display.php?pub=24 Brockholes Arms] ", over the Lancaster Canal. On the right, it passes the Esso "Claughton Garage" and Total "Rogers of Brock". At Catterall, it meets the B6430 and crosses the River Wyre, and meets the A586 (for Churchtown). It passes the "Churchtown Service Station" on the right and enters Garstang and crosses the Lancaster Canal again. It meets the B5272 and B6430 near the " [http://www.croftershotel.co.uk Crofters Hotel] ", passes the "Houghton's Filling Station" and "Redline Garage" on the left, and enters Cabus, passing " [http://www.quattros.co.uk/main_cabus.htm Quattros's] " restaurant. At Forton, it passes the "Pennine Filling Station" on the left and the " [http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/436433 New Holly Inn] ", close to the Forton service station on the M6. At Potters Brook, it meets a crossroads and enters the city of Lancaster. It meets the M6 at junction 33 and goes [http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/30478 through] Galgate as "Main Road", passing the " [http://www.the-plough.co.uk Plough Inn] " and " [http://www.newinngalgate.co.uk New Inn] ", and under the West Coast Main Line, which it then runs adjacent to. The University of Lancaster lies in the one kilometre separation between the A6 and the M6, where there is a short section of dual-carriageway on the A6 alongside the West Coast Main Line. There is a right turn for Bailrigg. The road enters Lancaster as "Scotforth Road" then "Greaves Road", passing St Paul's [http://www.lancashirechurches.co.uk/lancasterscstp.htm Church] , the Texaco "Toll Bar Service Station" on the left and BP "Bowling Green Service Station" on the right.

It meets the A588 for Preesall at a roundabout, goes past the Royal Lancaster Infirmary on the left, then crosses the Lancaster Canal. It splits up in two as it passes through the centre of Lancaster. It rejoins and splits again to cross the River Lune on the [http://www.priory.lancs.ac.uk/greyhound_bridge.html Greyhound Bridge] and older [http://www.priory.lancs.ac.uk/skerton_bridge.html Skerton Bridge] . The A589 leaves to left for Morecambe and the A683 to the right for Caton and M6 junction 34. The road rejoins as "Owen Road" near Skerton High School and there is the B5231 to the right for Morecambe, and a road to the right for Halton. It passes the Texaco "Slyne Road Garage" on the left and crosses the Lancaster Canal and heads through Hest Bank as "Lancaster Road", passing the " [http://www.slynelodge.co.uk Slyne Lodge] ", and Bolton Town. It crosses the Lancaster Canal and meets the A5105 (from Morecambe) to the left at Bolton-le-Sands. As "Main Road", it passes the " [http://www.mitchellshotels.co.uk/royal-hotel.shtml Royal Hotel] ". Here the road is at its closest point to Morecambe Bay. It follows the Lancaster Canal and enters Carnforth as "Lancaster Road", passes the Christ Church parish church on the right and " [http://www.mitchellshotels.co.uk/county-hotel.shtml County Hotel] " and the BP "Carnforth Service Station" on the left, and meets the B6254 to the right which leads to M6 junction 35.

Carnforth - Carlisle

Leaving Carnforth, famous for its connections with the film Brief Encounter, the road as "Scotland Road" crosses the River Keer. It passes the Esso Truckhaven truck stop on the left just before it meets the A601(M) at junction 35a of the M6 near Warton. There is a roundabout with the A6070, and the road, which has a short section of dual-carriageway, crosses the West Coast Main Line near Yealand Conyers. It enters Cumbria and the district of South Lakeland near the [http://www.wildlifeoasis.co.uk Lakeland Wildlife Oasis Centre] and [http://www.wildlifetrust.org.uk/cumbria/Reserves/Hale%20Moss.htm Hale Moss] . Nearby on the M6 is the Burton-in-Kendal services. The Esso "Mossdale Service Station" is on the left. It passes through Hale and the " [http://www.pub-explorer.com/cumbria/pub/kingsarmshotelhale.htm King's Arms Hotel] ". At Beetham, it crosses the River Bela then passes through Milnthorpe as "Beetham Road" and "Church Street", meeting the B5282 and B6385. It goes through Heversham passing by the " [http://www.bluebellhotel.co.uk Blue Bell Hotel] " on the left. It passes Levens Hall on the left, crossing the River Kent at the old " [http://www.visitcumbria.com/sl/levens-village.htm Levens Bridge] ", then meets the [http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/65276 A590] and overlaps the A591 becoming a trunk road, the dual-carriageway Kendal bypass. It passes Sizergh Castle and the BP "Prizet Filling Station", before leaving at a GSJ becoming the single carriageway "Milnthorpe Road". It passes the BP "Helsington Service Station" and passes through Kendal splitting in two, where it meets the northern end of the A65.

In Kendal, it passes [http://www.kendal.ac.uk Kendal College] and the Queen Katherine School next to a Morrisons' superstore. It crosses the River Kent on the " [http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/97858 Nether Bridge] " and " [http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/168040 Miller Bridge] ". It passes under the Windermere Branch Line near Kendal railway station then meets the A685 (to Kirkby Stephen), passes over the River Mint as "Shap Road" and is crossed by the Dales Way. It passes the " [http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/227203 Plough Inn] " near Selside, where it becomes the boundary of the [http://www.lake-district.gov.uk Lake District National Park] . It crosses the River Mint again and at " [http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/305105 Huck's Bridge] " at Borrowdale, it enters the district of Eden. It climbs up to over 1,300 ft and heads over the [http://www.shapcumbria.co.uk Shap Fells] [http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/294782 into] Wasdale, [http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/173666 passing] near the [http://www.shapwells.com Shap Wells Hotel] , where it leaves the National Park, and passes the RMC granite works. A spur of the A6 [http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/88766 meets] the B6261 and [http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/88767 joins] the M6 at junction 39. The road is no longer a trunk road and passes the Corus Lime [http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/293749 Kilns] on Hardendale Fell and [http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/88480 enters] Shap where it is crossed by the Coast to Coast Walk, and over the West Coast Line. It passes [http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/164134 under] then over the M6, then passes close to [http://www.lowther.co.uk/business_centres/hackthorpe_about.php Hackthorpe Hall] and the "Lowther Castle Inn". It passes [http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/88873 over] the M6 near Lowther, which is near the [http://www.visitcumbria.com/pen/lboprey.htm Lakeland Bird of Prey Centre] . It passes over the railway at Clifton near Penrith. There is a right [http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/88877 turn] for Brougham and it crosses the River Lowther at Eamont Bridge where passes the " [http://www.travelpublishing.co.uk/HiddenPlacesEngland/Cumbria/ENG32049.htm Beehive Inn] " and the " [http://www.pub-explorer.com/cumbria/pub/crownhotelpenrith.htm Crown Hotel] ", then meets the B6262 and crosses the River Eamont over a narrow [http://www.visitcumbria.com/pen/eamontbridge.htm bridge] . It meets the A66 at "Kemplay" roundabout next to Penrith Hospital.

It takes a central route through Penrith, entering the town as "Bridge Lane" then "Victoria Road" and leaving as "Stricklandgate" then "Scotland Road" it passes the BP "Townhead Garage", then the Esso "Davidsons Garage". [http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/101093 North] of Penrith, it meets the B5305 (which heads to Wigton) at the "Stoneybeck" roundabout next to the " [http://www.pub-explorer.com/cumbria/pub/stoneybeckinnbowscar.htm Stoneybeck Inn] " situated on a new section of the A6 built for junction 41 of the M6. The next section of the A6 is one of the most dangerous roads in the county and follows a former Roman road, having seen several deaths in the past few years [http://www.cumberland-news.co.uk/news/viewarticle.aspx?id=365938] [http://www.cumberland-news.co.uk/news/viewarticle.aspx?id=382145] . This section essentially follows a parallel path to the M6, and passes through Plumpton where it meets the B6413; an old Roman fort called " [http://www.roman-britain.org/places/voreda.htm Voreda] " at Castlesteads; High Hesket which it bypasses; Low Hesket where it passes the "Rose & Crown"; [http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/195885 enters] the district of Carlisle near Cotehill; and meets the M6 (and the B6263) eventually at junction 42: the start of the Carlisle bypass. Entering Carlisle, it passes the BP "Carleton Service Station", a [http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/342947 C-op] at Harraby, the Esso "Harraby Green Service Station" then [http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/343144 crosses] the River Petteril (near a large [http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/343135 radio mast] ) then the Tyne Valley railway line. The A6 travels through south-eastern Carlisle as "London Road", before finishing at "Botchergate" in the centre of Carlisle where it transforms seamlessly into the A7 which runs out of Carlisle and across the Anglo-Scottish border terminating eventually at Scotland's capital city of Edinburgh.

Former route south of Luton

The route of the old A6 south of Luton is now the A1081 for most of its length. In the initial road numbering scheme, the A6 started in Barnet where it joined what was then the A1 Great North Road. From Barnet the road went to London Colney, St Albans, Harpenden to join the current start of the road at Luton. At St Albans, the road met the then A5 at a crossroads: going north on both roads, the A5 arriving from the southwest, and leaving the crossroads northwest, and the A6 arriving from the southeast and leaving to the northeast. Nowadays that stretch of the A5 has "also" been renumbered so that the crossroads in St Albans is now A5183 and A1081. A6 is the longest road in England

Other former routes

There is a run down stretch of road, approx. half a mile east of Levenshulme (in Greater Manchester) called Nelstrop Road North, that was an original stretch of the A6, before it was moved westwards to its current route. As it is on the border of the City of Manchester and the Metropolitan Borough of Stockport, neither council claim responsibility for it, and so it has fallen into a state of disrepair.

ee also

* A6 murder - the August 1961 murder of Michael Gregsten at a lay-by on the A6 in Bedfordshire, and the controversial trial and execution of James Hanratty for the crime.

External links

* [http://www.sabre-roads.org.uk/roadlists/f99/6.shtml Society for All British Road Enthusiasts entry for the A6]
* [http://www.road-to-nowhere.co.uk/route-guides/A6/ Road to Nowhere: A6]
* [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/northamptonshire/3185941.stm Badgers on the Rothwell-Desborough Bypass]
* [http://alvaston-bypass.i8.com Road Protest Alvaston Improvement Site.]
* [http://www.highways.gov.uk/roads/projects/a_roads/a6/alvaston Highways Agency Alvaston Improvement.]
* [http://www.cbrd.co.uk/futures/completed/a6.shtml CBRD Alvaston Bypass.]
* [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/derbyshire/3326969.stm Alvaston Bypass opens.]
* [http://www.cbrd.co.uk/futures/bin/a555.shtml CBRD A555 (former A6(M)).]
* [http://www.u-to-us.com/semmmsp1 Stockport bypass.]


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