M60 (Manchester Orbital Motorway)

This isn't a review, but rather a forum for people to voice their grievances on the curious renumbering of the motorways around Manchester.

Charles Walkden writes:

Just found out yesterday [March 11 1998] that what is possibly the first schizophrenic motorway is going to be created around Manchester. For the past few years, various motorways have been built around Manchester and a subset of these will shortly form a topological circle. This circle will become the M60 (I think) and will consist of, in part, bits of the M62, M63, M66, etc. To start with, a joint junction numbering system will be used, with junctions labelled by their old and new numbers, with the old ones being phased out gradually. Just like 50p pieces, and just as pointless an exercise.

Stuart Mitchell writes:

If you've been down there, have you noticed the south side of Manchester is now ringed by the M60? I was trying to work out where junction 1 was...

David Chamberlin writes:

Just found your page in my efforts to unravel the mystery of the M60. I live in Stockport and my wife travels to Oldham via the M63 and M62. She has recently noticed the re-numbering and we wondered if it might be the start of an outer ring-road called M60. How can we be sure?

For Stuart Mitchell's benefit: Our junction (M63/J10, A34) is now apparently M60/J3 and the numbers now go clockwise so I assume they start at the "pyramid" in Stockport, just south of the biggest brick structure in Europe (Stockport railway viaduct).

My question: what will "they" do with the M62 as it will now have a Liverpool-Worsley section and a Whitefield-Hull section "joined" by about 10 miles of M60 ...?

Stuart Mitchell replies:

Yep, I reckon that the M60 will start numbering from the old M66/M63 junction. I think that's where the old idea of the A6(M) was going to start from, which was going to run east of Stockport to join the A523 just south of Hazel Grove.

The M62 will remain as it is between Liverpool-Worsley and Whitefield-Hull. Perhaps they could have renumbered the former section (M52 perhaps?) but I guess that would have thrown everyone completely.

I wondered if they were going to improve the current M60/M62/M66 junction - surely that's going to get really plugged up with traffic wishing to remain on the M60?

Charles Walkden offers the following conspiracy theory on the M60:

Incidentally, on the Granada equivalent of Midlands Today (my heart, alas, is still in Coventry) when they do the local travel news, they always show footage from the motorway cameras to show how busy the motorways are. Since the M60 was created, they (usually) only have to show footage of one motorway (instead of several, when we had the M62, M66, etc). Maybe the introduction of the M60 was partly a New Labour spin-doctoring idea: one busy motorway looks far better than lots of busy motorways? Just a thought.

Charles Walkden comments:

The M60 meets the M62/M66 at the infamous Junction 18 of the M62. Imagine you were planning an interchange between two major motorways. Would you (a) have a series of (reasonably) well-designed flyovers/flyunders like the M60/M602/M62 interchange, or (b) have a four lane motorway terminate (with virtually no warning) at a mini-roundabout? Ok, there are some slip roads for left-turns, but anything else involves keeping one eye on the badly positioned overhead gantry signals, and one eye trying to work out which lane you - and other nearby vehicles - are actually in...

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