A59 (Liverpool to York)

By Stuart Mitchell

The A59, from Liverpool to York, has quite a ``busy'' beginning, by the Albert Docks. It winds past the start of the Birkenhead and Wallasey Mersey tunnels, before going through the suburbs of Walton and Aintree - the infamous ``Scotland Road'' or, on Brookside, ``Scotty Road'' - before hitting Switch Island, the meeting point of the M57 and M58 - soon to be improved (and it needs it!)

It remains dual in stretches in a generally North-Easterly direction through Maghull and Ormskirk up to Preston, where it goes over the Ribble. Sharing carriageway with the A6, it swings more towards the east now. At the ``Tickled Trout'' interchange, it meets the M6 and travels dually up to the junction with the A677 to Blackburn, where you have to bear left to stay on it. Passing the haunted Salmesbury Hall and the Aerospace factory nearby, it heads past Whalley, Clitheroe and Downham, the latter being the location for the film, ``Whistle Down the Wind''. It travels just to the north of Pendle Hill, famous for its Witches of previous centuries, before a few improved stretches and eventually the Yorkshire border.

Once in Yorkshire, the scenery changes into a more rural landscape. After meeting the end of the A56 (which goes back SouthWesterly to Chester), it merges briefly with the A65 (Leeds-Kendal) before travelling uphill towards the central Pennines. This is perhaps the most picturesque part of its course - up Beamsley Hill and over Blubberhouses Moor.

Shortly it passes Menwith Hill U.S. Base, which interrupts the otherwise barren landscape with its huge golf ball structures concealing massive satellite dishes. The road heads downhill towards the inland resort of Harrogate, again a busy section, brushing along the ``Stray'' - two hundred acres of grass which envelope the town. The road then travels into Knaresborough, a very attractive market town with a famous viaduct (which appears on all Yorkshire tea towels).

After leaving Knaresborough, the road continues east, travelling over the newly built A1(M) and continues over the Vale of York into York itself, passing the old railway works, and eventually hitting the A1036 where the road ends.

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