Kendal and Back

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The intricacies of getting a picture framed in a shop in Kendal meant it could not be posted and instead had to be picked up. So my only trip to the Lake District is represented by twenty minutes in KFC and a cold walk through a multi storey car park with two large framed pictures. On the bright side, I also got some nice shots of the Preston Bypass and more.

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Heading out

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The M62 westbound at Oldham. The advance signing from the Yorkshire border to the M60 is being changed to overhead gantry signing. I wonder if all motorways will eventually go this way — the new M1 section uses them. This particular sign, for the A627(M), is missing a panel at the top.

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Skip the M60 and M61 to arrive here, the M6 Preston Bypass. This was the first motorway in Britain to be built (the original section lies between junction 29 and the M55 junction 1). Originally it had just one interchange aside from its terminii, here with the A59.

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More Preston Bypass. On opening, it had two lanes each way, a wide grassy central reservation and trees along the embankments. You wouldn't know it today.

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M6 between Preston and Lancaster. This bit reminded me a lot of an Italian Autostrade — very long, very straight, very flat, clearly very old and with an overpass every few hundred yards.

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A mad concrete bridge. They just don't make them like this any more!

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Advance signing for the A601(M). For a while this was the top end of the M6, until it was extended and branced off, leaving this little spur. Bizarrely, the A601(M) suggests that this is part of the A601 which has been upgraded to motorway standard — but the A601 is the Derby inner ring road.

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Some serious scenery along this bit of the M6, but not a patch on what comes north of here.

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And here's our exit. From here we take the A590, which becomes the A591 where the A590 turns off itself, and at the same time the A6 joins in. I was shocked to see the A591 signed as "A591/A6" in places — this is multiplexing! Where two road numbers use the same bit of road, the least important isn't meant to be signed.

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A seriously chunky pair of arrows on this fork sign. Notice that the bypass is signed "(A6)" to keep long distance A6 traffic out of Kendal.

Heading back

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Back on the M6, heading home. This part of the Lancaster bypass — the second bit of M6 to be built — has survived largely intact. Take a look at this bridge though. At the time, hard shoulders weren't continued through bridges because the risk of someone breaking down there was thought to be minimal. This doesn't help emergency services though!

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The junction in the middle of the Lancaster bypass, 34, was built only to allow emergency services access to the motorway. It was eventually opened to public traffic as well, resulting in this substandard junction. The two slip roads merge into one single-carriageway road here, as these signs show.

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Lancaster (Forton) Services — and yes, the brackets are part of the name — have this tribute to the 60's. I didn't go inside but it looks wonderful, in a concrete eyesore kind of way. For some reason I think Brad of SABRE would describe this as "fabbo"...

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A nice wintery shot of the M6 Preston Bypass again, this time southbound, for what it's worth.

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You can make out the Samlesbury Interchange here — the first motorway interchange, where the M6 meets the A59 at Preston.

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The M61, approaching the M65 turn off, which allows me to shoehorn in the M65 "road to nowhere" story — recently I was emailed by someone who mentioned that the M65 has this name since it was meant to run from here at Preston across the Pennines, around the top of Bradford and Leeds to hit Tadcaster on the A64.

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This would be a shot of the signing for the M61/65 interchange which includes an exit for a local road, but the gore sign got in the way. Still, if you like reading "M65" again and again, this could be right up your street.

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The Manchester Ring Road where the M62 gets back what rightfully belongs to it. The M60 exits here, toodles around the roundabout, and goes on to usurp the M66's carriageway.

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More of the new signing on the M62. The A627(M) stops at a roundabout for this interchange, but apparently it "includes provision for a future flyover". Which means a horrible square roundabout and a motorway with a substandard interchange.

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And here we are, atop the Pennines on the M62! A cold and wintry scene here, with a light covering of snow.

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Oh look... the two carriageways are splitting apart! The westbound traffic is right over there. That can only mean one thing. We've reached...

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The house in the middle of the M62! The farmer wouldn't sell up, so rather than sending it either side the engineers put traffic around him, possibly just to annoy him. People still live here too.

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I can't think of a more magnificent motorway bridge, and nothing I've seen abroad tops it, certainly not just to carry a B-road. When they built this bridge, they weren't joking.

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Back home, and here's the ridiculous situation where the M1 becomes secondary to its own spur, the M621. The left two lanes joined from the M62 so all M1 traffic shuffles across. This surely isn't how such a major route should work.