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Route of the M58

The M58 is not all it was meant to be. There was supposed to be another section of this road east of the M6 connecting it to the M61, and thereby providing another Liverpool to Manchester link. There was also meant to be a much better connection into Liverpool to the west. This never happened, of course, and without it the M58 doesn't seem to reach its full potential, remaining fairly quiet at all times of day. How the M6 interchange would have been adapted for through east-west movements doesn't bear thinking about.

The route was almost finished as a Wigan council scheme to be called the A5225 - a watered down 21st century road scheme that wouldn't quite have reached the M61. The original plan, though, was unusual in having two places where its terminus was provided for - a set of flared carriageways on the A58 approaching the M61, and an underpass just to the north that was never put into service.

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 junction 2. You may get the idea that the M58 is a bit of an unfinished job - the truth is that it was cobbled out of other bits of road as it is. 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 has more CBRD "Bad Junctions" per mile than any other - one for every four miles of its route, on average. Take a look at the links to the right of this page. 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 places as "Skem".

Factfile

Start Aintree (M57, A59)
Finish Wigan (M6)
Passes Skelmersdale
Length 12 miles
Terminates None
Spurs None
Meets None

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) Kirkby
Widnes
M57 Link
Aintree
Liverpool (Cen)
A59
Bootle
All Docks Vehicle Ferry
A5036









A59

M57
WEST
A5036
Switch Island (Non-standard interchange)












A59

N/A More information about this junction
LanesLanesLanesLanesSignsSigns LanesLanesLanesLanesSigns
1 mile, 2 lanes Up   Down 1 mile, 2 lanes
More information about this junction
LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes LanesLanesLanesLanes
1 mile, 3 lanes Up  
1 Kirkby
(A506)
Maghull
(A506) (Roundabout Interchange) More information about this junction
LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes
4 miles, 3 lanes Up   Down 5 miles, 3 lanes
3 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 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 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) 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.