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Route of the M57 and A5300

The Liverpool Outer Ring Road never seems to go far enough in either direction to be a ring road. Okay, so Liverpool's on the coast, and a full circle was never likely, but this is little more than a straight line that happens to be near the city. Only the central section was ever built, so it doesn't get anywhere near as far around the urban area as it might.

In fact, for most of its existence, the M57 was entirely disconnected from the wider motorway network. At both ends, it shared a junction with another motorway - M58 in the north and M62 in the south - but there was no way to get to either of them without leaving the motorway and using a short section of all-purpose road through the junction. In December 2008 new free-flow sliproads were opened at junction 1, which for the first time connected the M57 to the M62 and made it part of the national network.

In the 1990s the southern end was extended to the Mersey, which was the original intention, though calling it the M57 would be far too easy and instead it was built as an all-purpose road, the A5300 Knowsley Expressway.

The northern junction, Switch Island, was meant to be a standard roundabout interchange, with lots of fun free-flow links zooming across the top just for good measure. The M57 would have passed over to continue north to Formby. This never happened, and instead the 'temporary solution' roundabout was left to cope with two motorways and three busy dual-carriageways converging at once. The junction was modified a couple of times to attempt to cope with the traffic, so it's now made up of fragments of roundabout and lots of traffic lights. Plans being put forward will, bizarrely, remove the roundabout altogether and terminate the M57 at a traffic-light controlled T-junction on the A59.

Factfile

Start Aintree (M58, A59)
Finish Ditton (A562)
Passes None
Length 9 miles
Terminates None
Spurs None
Meets M62

Images

Views of the M57 and A5300 from on and off the road. If you have a photo to contribute, contact me.

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Joining the M57 southbound from Switch Island, a few small signs announce that yes, what is apparently a slip road is actually the start of the motorway.
Photo by Steven Jukes

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Approaching this railway bridge, we get a wide carriageway on the right - where the rest of the motorway would have been - and even junction markings.
Photo by Steven Jukes

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All the way along everything is roundabouts, roundabouts, roundabouts. The only free-flowing junction prior to December 2008 was here, where a set of free-flow sliproads connect to the A580 East Lancs Road.
Photo by Steven Jukes

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At the southern terminus, we exit to the left to reach the M62. Straight on, over the flyover, the A5300 continues towards Widnes. But look at the signs - motorway restrictions end at this side, rather than where the all-purpose road merges in at the far end. This oddity has since been fixed.
Photo by Steven Jukes

Construction Timeline

When the various parts of the M57 and A5300 were built, listed in chronological order.

Open Jct Section
Apr1972 J4-7 Liverpool Outer Ring Road phase 1
Mar1974 J1-4 Liverpool Outer Ring Road phase 2
1995 A5300 Knowsley Expressway

Exit List

All the junctions and destinations along the route.

Junction   Northbound               Southbound
7 Liverpool (Cen)
A59
All Docks Vehicle Ferry
Bootle
A5036
Southport (A570)
Ormskirk
A59
Skelmersdale
Wigan
Preston (M6 Link)
M58 Link













A5036

A59
NORTH
Switch Island (Non-standard interchange)











A59
(M58)
More information about this junction
LanesLanesLanesLanesLanesSignsSigns LanesLanesLanesLanesSigns
2 miles, 3 lanes Up   Down 2 miles, 3 lanes
6 Kirkby
Fazakerley
A506
A506 (Roundabout Interchange)(Roundabout Interchange) A506 Kirkby
Fazakerley
A506
More information about this junction
LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes
0.5 miles, 3 lanes Up   Down 0.5 miles, 3 lanes
5 A580 (Non-standard interchange) A580 St Helens
A580
More information about this junction
LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes
0.2 miles, 2 lanes Up   Down 0.2 miles, 2 lanes
4 St Helens
Bootle
A580
(A580) (Roundabout Interchange)(Roundabout Interchange) (A580)

B5194
Knowsley
Industrial Estates
A580
More information about this junction
LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes
5 miles, 3 lanes Up   Down 4 miles, 3 lanes
3 (A526) (Fork) Huyton
A526
More information about this junction
LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes
  Down 1 mile, 3 lanes
2 Prescot
St Helens
A57
B5194

A57
(Dumbbell) A58

A57
Prescot
A57
More information about this junction
LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes
2 miles, 3 lanes Up   Down 2 miles, 3 lanes
1 Manchester
Warrington
Widnes
Huyton
Liverpool (Cen)
M62 Link (M6 Link)
A5300 becomes M57
A5080

M62










Tarbock Interchange (Non-standard interchange) M62
(M6)

A5080







Manchester
Warrington
Widnes
Huyton
Liverpool (Cen)
M62 Link (M6 Link)
M57 becomes A5300
More information about this junction
LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes
LanesLanesLanesLanesSigns
LanesLanesLanesLanesLanesSigns
3 miles, 2 lanes Up   Down 3 miles, 2 lanes
A562






(Roundabout Interchange)
SOUTH
A562
(M56)






Liverpool Airport
Speke
A562
Widnes
Runcorn
A562 (M56 Link)
More information about this junction
LanesLanesLanesLanes LanesLanesLanesLanesSigns

With thanks to Kieron, Chris McKenna, E McCarthy, Nick Jablonski and Paul Martin for information in this section.