M60 - A560

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Where is it?

Junction diagramM60 junction 26, where Manchester's ring road motorway interchanges with the parallel A560, allowing westbound to westbound and, er, westbound to westbound movements.

It was spotted by Peter Edwardson.

What's wrong with it?

It's half a junction, filling in bits of movements that the junctions either side either don't have or, in some cases, already do have. There's no access for traffic heading eastbound on the A560 — but it's still forced to stop at a set of traffic lights where the sliproads take it in turns to cross each other over. The layout of this means that heading eastbound on the A560, and waiting at the traffic lights, there appears to be a sliproad leading up to the left onto the motorway. The danger of this isn't just potential — numerous confused drivers have ended up facing the wrong way round on the M60 here. In addition, the A560 is dualled to the east but single to the west — and of course the west is the busier part.

Why is it wrong?

It shouldn't really exist at all — the reason it's wrong is that it's forced into existence by silly junctions at each side that leave out certain movements (there's no access to the westbound M60 from the junction further east, for example). If a couple of sliproads had been built there, it may have cost more, but would have avoided this.

What would be better?

Either add in the missing movements at the other junctions, or grade-separate this junction, so there's no traffic lights and no opportunity for confused pensioners to end up facing the wrong way on a busy motorway. There's no shortage of space for two levels of flyovers and room for them to merge in properly with the A560.

Right to reply

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These are all the comments that have been made about this junction.

Iain Benson thinks there is worse:

You only have half of this bad junction.

If you continue round to the right on the picture, it bends through 90 degrees and the A560 joins the north bound M60 in the outside lane.

It is incredibly dangerous, especially when you get a pootling Micra coming down the fast lane and trying to cut across two lanes of 70mph traffic to get into the inside lane!

Adrian Shaw adds a thought:

I work in construction and there is an unwritten rule (ie, there is actually nothing illegal but it is regarded as bad practice) with plumbers and electricians - you do not cross your pipes (or wires) over each other along the route. This is exactly what has been done at Lower Bredbury.

Luke responds:

All the movements at junction 26 already exist. For traffic clockwise into Stockport, you can leave at junction 25, and to enter the M60 clockwise towards Cheadle, you can get on less than half a mile later at junction 27. There is no use for this junction, just close it.

RW :

Came across this recently. When exiting the M60 westbound the lights are badly signed - you do not expect to come across lights on a motorway sliproad. There's a real risk of overshooting (or not even seeing the lights), and of rear end shunts.