A627(M)

The A627(M) Oldham to Rochdale motorway is not a photo stop on the tour bus. It's not very long or very scenic. Possibly the most arresting thing about the road is that it's in some extraordinarily deep cuttings, which are impressive, if not particularly exciting.

For the committed road enthusiast, there are a couple of oddities to enjoy. One is the interchange with the M62, a signalised roundabout where traffic continuing on the A627(M) needs to stop for traffic lights - making this a rare example of a motorway with traffic lights on its mainline. The roundabout is enormous and the carriageways of the A627(M) split wide apart before reaching it, because it was built with provision for a future flyover. Since the road opened in the 1970s, the chances of that flyover being built have shrunk so as to be almost invisible, and what we are left with is a big square roundabout and regular traffic jams. It would be easy to say that the flyover should be built so that the junction would work properly, but whether or not it would make a difference depends on the proportion of traffic that's going straight through from one side of the A627(M) to the other - and it's entirely possible that most traffic leaves or joins the M62 here, so a flyover would be empty and the roundabout would be just as busy.

Perhaps the lack of urgency to connect its two halves together is explained by the motorway's origins in the 1962 SELNEC Highway Plan, which describes it as two completely seperate road schemes with two separate purposes. One was the Broadway Extension, a continuation of the A663 near Oldham northwards to reach the motorway that became the M62. The other was the Rochdale Spur, a route from the motorway north towards Rochdale town centre. For convenience they both met the motorway at the same junction, and so what looks like a through route over the M62 is actually two spurs doing two different jobs.

The southern half of this spur has a spur of its own, the easily-overlooked Slattocks Link - a dual two-lane motorway leading from a roundabout under the A627(M) to another roundabout on the A664 next to a large industrial area. Its purpose was to allow the A627(M) to form a bypass for traffic that would otherwise use the A664 into Rochdale. It is hugely over-specified for the traffic it serves and might be one of the quietest motorways in the UK. It is also, in its own quiet way, one of the more controversial. It is signposted as part of the A627(M), but Pathetic Motorways has some evidence to suggest that the Slattocks Link might be numbered A6138(M).

Start
Oldham
End
Rochdale
Passes
None
Connects to
Length
6 miles
Open Junctions Section
Jan 1972 Entire motorway

Exit list

Junction   Northbound               Southbound  
4 Rochdale
Sudden
(A58)
Milnrow
(A664)
Retail Park






(A58)
NORTH






(A664)
N/A
LanesLanesLanesLanes SignsSignsSigns LanesLanesLanesLanes SignsSigns
1 mile, 2 lanes 1 mile, 2 lanes
3 Manchester
Bolton
M62 Link (M60 Link)
Leeds
Hull
M62 Link
M62
(M60)
M62 Manchester
Bolton
M62 Link (M60 Link)
Leeds
Hull
M62 Link
LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes Signs LanesLanesLanesLanes Signs
1 mile, 3 lanes 1 mile, 2 lanes
2 Castleton
Middleton
(A664)
(A664) Castleton
Middleton
(A664)
LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes LanesLanesLanesLanes
2 miles, 2 lanes 2 miles, 2 lanes
1 N/A
A663 (M60)
SOUTH
A663

A627






Manchester
Failsworth
A663 (M60 Link)
Royton, Shaw
A663
Oldham A627
LanesLanesLanesLanes SignsSigns LanesLanesLanesLanes SignsSigns
Routes

Picture credits

With thanks to Peter Anderton, Chris McKenna and Paul Martin for information on this page.