M58

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Route of the M58

The M58 is the motorway from north of Liverpool to Skelmersdale, Wigan and the M6. It's not all it was meant to be and in fact — like the M67 — it's one of those motorways that is unfinished at both ends.

In its unfinished state it provides a fast and remarkably quiet route across north west Lancashire, which has terrible junctions at either end, and indeed in the middle (in fact it has more CBRD Bad Junctions per mile than any other — one for every four miles of its route, on average), but provides three deserted lanes of flat, direct travel at almost any time of day.

To the east of the M6, a further section of M58 was planned to run across the south of Wigan to reach the M61, thereby providing another route between Liverpool (and its docks in Bootle) and Manchester. An underpass exists beneath the M61 just to the north of junction 5. The route was almost built in the early 2000s in a Wigan Borough Council plan for a local road called the A5225 — a watered-down road scheme that wouldn't quite have gone all the way to the M61.

There was also meant to be a much better onward connection from the west end of the M58 into central Liverpool, relieving the A59 towards the city. This never happened either, and without it the M58 stops in open land without really carrying traffic into the urban area at all.

Junction 2 is missing from the M58, for another never-finished idea. The M59 would have set off north from here, bypassing Preston to the west and ending on the M55, which is also missing its junction 2. It might seem that the M58 is a bit of an unfinished job — the truth is that it was cobbled out of other bits of road and it's something of a surprise that it exists at all. Much of the eastern half used to be the A506, built as part of the Skelmersdale New Town development and once called the Regional Road.

The M58 also has the distinction of being the only motorway to use a slang word (not an abbreviation) appear on its signs. "Skelmersdale" is referred to in one or two places as "Skem".

Factfile

Start Aintree (M57, A59)
Finish Wigan (M6)
Passes Skelmersdale
Length 12 miles
Connects to M6, M57

Images

Views of the M58 from on and off the road. If you have a photo to contribute, contact me.

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Exiting the M6 southbound and turning around the tight loop to reach junction 6, the signs here are unusual.
Photo by Steven Jukes

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The link road to the A577 - arguably part of the M58 itself - is a rare example of a single carriageway road under motorway restrictions.
Photo by Steven Jukes

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Heading west away from junction 6, we have just two lanes and a wide gap where the flyover for the next section towards the M61 would have been. A little way beyond here, we spontaneously grow a third lane.
Photo by Steven Jukes

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From there until Switch Island, the motorway is unspeakably dull and never particularly busy. It has three lanes all the way that cross flat countryside, and often have a tedious straight sections.
Photo by Steven Jukes

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Approaching Switch Island, the third lane vanishes again, and there are painfully obvious clues that this was only meant to be a sliproad.
Photo by Steven Jukes

Exit List

All the junctions and destinations along the route.

Junction   Westbound               Eastbound
(M57 J7)
10.5 km
Liverpool (S & Airport)
M57 Link
Liverpool (Cen)
A59
Bootle
All Docks Vehicle Ferry
A5036
Southport A5758
Formby (A565)







A59

M57

WEST
A5036
Switch Island (Non-standard interchange)










A5758
(A565)

A59
N/A More information about this junction
LanesLanesLanesLanesSignsSignsSigns LanesLanesLanesLanesSignsSigns
1 mile, 2 lanes Up   Down 1 mile, 2 lanes
13.3 km More information about this junction
LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes LanesLanesLanesLanes
1 mile, 3 lanes Up  
1
14 km
Kirkby
(A506)
Maghull
(A506) (Roundabout Interchange) More information about this junction
LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes
4 miles, 3 lanes Up   Down 5 miles, 3 lanes
3
20 km
Ormskirk
St Helens
Rainford
A570
A570 (Roundabout Interchange)(Roundabout Interchange) A570 Ormskirk
St Helens
Rainford
A570
More information about this junction
LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes
2 miles, 3 lanes Up   Down 2 miles, 3 lanes
4
22.5 km
Skelmersdale
(E & Cen)
(A577)
(Roundabout Interchange)(Roundabout Interchange) (A577) Skelmersdale
(E & Cen)
(A577)
More information about this junction
LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes
2 miles, 3 lanes Up   Down 2 miles, 3 lanes
5
25.5 km
Skelmersdale (W)
Up Holland
A577
Pimbo Interchange (Non-standard interchange) A577 Skelmersdale (W)
Up Holland
A577
More information about this junction
LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes
2 miles, 3 lanes Up   Down 2 miles, 3 lanes
(M6 J26)
28.7 km
N/A M6










Orrell Interchange (Non-standard interchange)
(A577)
EAST
M6










The NORTH WEST
Preston
M6 Link
The SOUTH
Manchester
Warrington
M6 Link
Wigan
(A577)
More information about this junction
LanesLanesLanesLanes LanesLanesLanesLanesLanesSigns

With thanks to Chris McKenna for information in this section.