Photo Gallery - The A6144(M)

The A6144(M), which met its end overnight on Wednesday 24th May 2006, was one of the quirks of Britain's motorway network - a single-carriageway spur about a mile and a quarter long joining the M60 at junction 8, west of Stretford, to the A6144 west of Sale, bridging the Mersey in the process. There are three other single-carriageway motorway stretches, but all are very short.

As it was under motorway regulations, stopping was prohibited except in emergencies, and a 70 mph speed limit applied, giving a rare opportunity to drive legally at 70 mph on a single-carriageway road. There were no hard shoulders, but a pair of emergency laybys were provided about half-way along.

It was given motorway status because it only led to a motorway junction, and so could not be used by traffic barred from motorways, although it was possible to reach the A56 at Stretford along slip roads without joining the main M60.

It could not be considered part of the stategic road network, but it provided a useful link between the M60 and the large chemical works at Carrington and the commuter villages of Partington and Lymm. It is used by a substantial volume of traffic, including many HGVs, that otherwise would need to go through the centre of Sale.

The location of the road can be seen here.

Looking eastwards from the footbridge which crosses the road about two-thirds of the way along. The prohibition of stopping limits photographic opportunities. The centre line has been marked out with a wide hatched area, but as it is bounded by broken lines, overtaking is permitted where safe to do so. The line of the road can be traced behind the trees up to the short section visible at the extreme top left, just before the junction with the M60.

Looking westwards, with the signal-controlled junction with the A6144 proper visible in the distance, and a blue motorway sign showing a T-junction.

Further west, on the A6144 proper, the speed limit on between Sale and Carrington has been reduced from NSL (60) to 40, even though, as the photo shows, this is an entirely rural road of a configuration fairly similar to the A6144(M). The previous NSL stretch was about 1 miles long. There's a black-painted Gatso ahead on the left-hand side of the road - the calibration markings can just be seen between the bike and the red car.

A close-up of the Gatso in the photo above, half-hidden by foliage. This camera was repainted yellow in September 2002 and the foliage trimmed back - see the speed cameras photo gallery page.

Regrettably, this campaign did not succeed.

Unfortunately, this fascinating anomaly is no more. As part of the major scheme to widen the M60 between Junctions 5 and 8, involving the construction of collector/distributor roads alongside the main carriageway, Trafford Metropolitan Borough Council have downgraded the A6144(M) to the status of an all-purpose road and numbered it as a spur of the A6144. This may make sense in the overall scheme of things, but even so it is a great shame to see it disappear. The speed limit was also slashed from 70 mph to 50 mph at the time - although there is no reason from the layout of the road that the normal 60 mph single-carriageway National Speed Limit could not have applied. I and several others objected to this, but unfortunately to no avail. You have to wonder how long it will be before Gatsos appear.

The Ordnance Survey rather jumped the gun by showing it as a red A-road on the edition of the Manchester OS Landranger map published in late 2003, over two years before it lost its motorway status.

The western end of the road on 25th May 2006, showing the new 50 limit signs and a distinct lack of a "start of motorway" sign.

A close-up of the restrictions sign. As virtually all non-motorway traffic is banned (and mopeds and learner drivers would have to turn around at M60 Junction 8) it makes you wonder what was the point of removing motorway status.

Fortunately, some of the signs have been preserved for posterity - with the full co-operation of the contractors (photo courtesy of ).

(Last updated May 2006)

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