A57 - M60 - M67
Where is it?
East of Manchester, where the ring road meets what is supposed to be the road to Sheffield.
It was spotted by David Peek.
What's wrong with it?
I have said many times before — and, no doubt, I'll carry on saying it until long after the point it's ceased to be interesting — that Bad Junctions isn't here to list all the plain-vanilla roundabout interchanges that can't cope with the traffic.
Is this a plain vanilla roundabout interchange that just can't cope any more? Well, no, it's rather more interesting than that. It's a half-built apology for what was meant to be, a botch-up on a grand scale, and one that contains a pretty dodgy bit of design work to boot. Fittingly enough, it forms one end of the M67, the motorway for which the term "bodge job" might have been coined.
It wouldn't be quite so unpleasant were it not for the odd decision to have the A57 to the east join the M67 immediately before the roundabout, so traffic from each road must take it in turns to move on to the junction.
Is it even worth mentioning that there are traffic lights all the way around the roundabout? No, I thought not. It goes without saying.
Why is it wrong?
Once upon a time, the dreamy optimists who ran things in this part of the world had a really groovy idea. Hey, they said, let's build a motorway from Manchester to Sheffield. Yeah, that'll work! Let's start it right in the middle of Manchester and send it out over the Pennines. That's feasible, right? Of course it is.
The sun was shining and everyone was smiling as they built phase one of their plans, the Denton and Hyde bypasses, temporarily terminating at Denton Interchange. Then they had to go at that point, perhaps to enjoy the heartwarming sight of a little girl with a red balloon and a lollipop, or play with a little kitten with a ball of string, or something like that. In the meantime evil Mr Reality — the baddie of this little melodrama — crept in by the back door and threw a big load of planning inquiries, feasibility studies, environmental impact assessments and cost-on-benefit analyses all over the Manchester to Sheffield Plan, which squashed it, for no better reason than that it was going to be absurdly expensive, difficult to build and impossible to keep open through the winter.
The M67 is, therefore, forever doomed to be a big three-lane motorway that bangs into this roundabout, with the A57 piling in from the left-hand side at just the wrong moment, and there's nothing anyone can do about it.
Naughty Mr Reality.
What would be better?
To the east of the junction are a pair of concrete ramps pointing up into the air — the intended starting point of the flyover that would have carried the motorway over the roundabout. The locals refer to this as the ski jump.
This is a bit of a mad idea, but bear with me. Maybe there's scope to use the ski jump to make things a bit better? Either a flyover straight ahead into the A57 or, if it would help more, one sliproad from the M67 to the M60 northbound would seem easy enough to provide, and would get right-turning traffic off the roundabout.
I know, I know. Me and my silly ideas.
Right to reply
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These are the most recent comments on this junction. You can see all comments if you prefer.
Iamian finds this junction well integrated with public transport:
The eastbound A57 slip also provides the only road access to Denton railway station. Not to worry though, it only sees one train a week on Friday morning.
Buffy from Denton is playing games:
It's an absolute death trap...and that is putting it mildly. No one using it knows which is the correct lane to anywhere!!
It is so congested that drivers either already on the roundabout, or coming onto or leaving the roundabout, constantly jump the lights.
Drivers in the right hand lane, wanting to come off, should be in the left hand lane, and vice versa. It's virtually impossible to join and leave correctly and remain with car and life intact!
Now to the stupid sliproad leading from the M60 onto the A57 to Manchester..arrrgggg. Did the planners mean to turn this into Grand Theft Auto?..they certainly have done that.
David Peek has a dream:
Sadly, all the works have made this junction only slightly more bearable. The signs giving lane designations disagree with the paint on the tarmac, despite a modification on the west side of the roundabout there is still lane conflict on the roundabout...
On the plus side, M67 westbound queues seem to be a bit better than before the works - but essentially it seems a lot of money has been spent on a bit of resurfacing and simply re-bodging what was already a bodge job. Give us that M67 (W) to M60 (N) flyover to bypass the mess - or why not build one from M60 (N) to M67 (E) as well and make this a Triangle? OK, I'll stop dreaming now, shall I?
Neil G writes:
I think recently the roundabout has had the carriageway markings re-painted and it is now more confusing.
Today some 20 year old kid in a small Toyota cut me up good as I was in the M60 lane then gave me the fingers. I was livid and made my feelings obvious but this happens every day. It is a confusing mess.
I know they have tried to improve the junction with traffic lights etc but I will try to avoid it if I can. I am a retired man with 40 years driving experience and a clean driving licence and I don't need the stress.
For the first time in my driving life I am thinking of buying a van or a 4 x 4 for more road presence so I can have some muscle on the road. I know it's sad to think like this but I acknowledge that driving standards are non existent and the basic Ministry driving test woefully inadequate.
I come off this junction to Denton from work and almost every night there is a near miss with traffic going to Denton and onto M60 from M67. It's so dangerous.