M602

The M602 is one of those rare things: a motorway designed to get traffic straight into a city centre.

That's a very literal description, too, because a surprising proportion of the M602 is built in a perfectly straight line, running directly alongside the Manchester to Liverpool railway, the world's first inter-city line built in the early 1800s.

It was - like all urban motorways, it often seems - meant to go further than it does today. It terminates in Salford, transferring most of its traffic onto the A57 Regent Road towards Manchester city centre. The proposed extension of the M602, that would have carried it east to connect directly to the A57(M) Mancunian Way, never materialised.

Nonetheless, the M602 does its job very well. It's mostly sunken into a deep trench, minimising its impact on its neighbours, a range of residential areas and Eccles town centre. It links to the M60 and M62 at its western end, giving easy access both to Manchester's outer ring road and to onward motorway connections towards Preston, Liverpool and (for the brave) places outside Lancashire.

At its western terminus, the M602 flows directly into the M62 towards Liverpool. The two of them look for all the world like one motorway passing straight through, in an obvious east-west line from central Liverpool to central Manchester. There's a reason for that. The original plan was for one motorway between the two cities, to be called M52. It didn't happen because, while the earliest parts of the motorway were under construction, the idea of a coast-to-coast motorway called the M62 gained favour, and the western part of M52 was borrowed to create the section of M62 from Liverpool to the outskirts of Manchester. That left a stub of motorway towards Manchester city centre that didn't seem quite right for the M52 number, and so the M602 that we know and occasionally love was born.

Start

Worsley

End

Salford

Passes

None

Connects to

M60, M62

Length

4 miles

Open Junctions Section
Nov 1971 J1-2 Eccles Bypass
Dec 1982 J2-3 Eccles → Salford

Exit list

Junction   Westbound               Eastbound  
1
0.0 km
Ring Road South
Stockport
Manchester Airport
M60 Link
Ring Road North
Bolton
Leeds
M60 Link (M62 Link)
Liverpool
Warrington
M62 Link (M6 Link)





M60
WEST
M62 (M6)





M60
(M62)
N/A
LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes
2 miles, 3 lanes 2 miles, 3 lanes
2
4.0 km
Eccles
Hope Hospital
Trafford Park
A576
A576 A576 Eccles
Hope Hospital
Trafford Park
A576
LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes
2 miles, 2 lanes 2 miles, 2 lanes
3
6.9 km
N/A A57

A5063









A57
EAST
A5063
(A6)









Salford
Pendleton
A5063 (A6)
Trafford Park
Salford Quays
A5063
Manchester (C)
A57
Weaste A57
LanesLanesLanesLanes SignsSigns LanesLanesLanesLanes SignsSignsSigns
Routes

Picture credits

In this section

What's new

Go west! New Ringways pages are here

A new set of Ringways pages are now online, looking at unbuilt motorways and road projects west of London.

No smoke without ire

London's Ultra Low Emission Zone has just expanded to cover the whole inner city, and across the UK, other cities are implementing their own Clean Air Zones. Is this the future?

Devon help us

Road signs are colour coded for different types of road, but in Devon there are more colours than anywhere else. What do Devon's colourful signs mean?

Have you seen...

Major incidents

What happens when there's a big accident on a trunk route? Who picks up the pieces, and why does it take so long?