M60 Stretford - Sale - Altrincham Bypass

Where is it?

It doesn't do a loop around Manchester and Salford...

Yes it does. You can't fool me.

No, it doesn't. You're thinking about the 21st century M60 - the beast that killed off sections of the M62, M63 and M66.

This is the original M60. The one that came and went before the idea that the Manchester Outer Ring Road should have one number.

So, it's not been built then?

Well, not much of it...

Not much of it?

Not much, no. There's one small section been built, on a much smaller scale than originally planned. There's other sections of the route that have come and gone, been suggested and been rejected.

What are they then?

The back and forth section of the route is the part known as the A556(M)...

The actually built section is that old favourite - the A6144(M)!

OK, I'll buy it. So where exactly was it meant to go?

The route was first proposed back in the early 1950s, within the Cheshire County Council Development Plan of the time. It was then refined and altered slightly before reappearing in the 1962 proposals as outlined in the SELNEC Highways Plan of that year.

The route would have started just to the north of M6 J19, the opposite side to the later A556(M) proposals. It would then have headed NNE, roughly parallel and to the west of A556, just east of Hoo Green before meeting what became the M56, but was then known as the Cheshire East-West Motorway near Millington.

From this point, the route was placed relatively close to the built-up areas of Bowdon and Altrincham to allow for comparitively short connections to be provided. There would be junctions in Bowdon with Charcoal Road, in Altrincham with Sinderland Lane, and with Carrington Lane in Sale - known today as the western junction on the A6144(M). It would then follow the line of the A6144(M) across the Mersey, and meet with the M62 (as was) at the site of the present junction.

It would then have curved parallel to M62, before crossing A56 and turning northwards, passing to the east of the Manchester/Altrincham Railway (now part of the Manchester Metrolink light rail system), before coming on to the A56 line at City Road, and proceeding as a widening of that road beyond the Manchester and Salford Inner Ring Road, and beyond "Link Road 17/7" (which became the A57(M) Mancunian Way) and would have terminated roughly in the area of Deansgate Station.

The motorway would have been elevated in the vicinity of Trafford Bar, and would have had a spur to the Docks and the Trafford Park Industrial estate.

So what happened? Why was it never built?

Simply because it was never seen as a high enough priority. As in common with a large number of proposals, it finally bit the dust as a complete proposal in the mid-1970s.

An idea of the priority given to the route can be seen in this memo fragment from 1969.

Go on then - show me a map of the route...

OK, here they are!

Bear in mind, however, that whilst the locations of all junctions are accurate, a "best guess" approach has had to be made with the actual junction layouts. The odd layout at the junction with the M56 is taken from the later A556(M) proposals, and then modified appropriately.

Can I comment on this motorway?

Of course! Contact me and I'll put them here!

Have any other visitors commented?

Jonathan Harris comments:

If this motorway was built it would give a good shortcut to the M56 to avoid going round that M62/M6 way round over the often congested Thelwall Viaduct or go round the Ring Rd towards the M56 that's a longer way round. The old A road through sale and altrincham is still awful - get some of it built please!

Someone who wishes to remain anonymous is definately not in favour of the M60 [July 08]:

A look a the map of the so called Stretford bypass shows why the powers that be were right not to buld at least that part of the Motorway. It was one of those planned when it was felt to be a good idea to demolish half of a city to provide a motorway to the centre. I live close to the area that would have been bligted by this motorway and I can only say I am glad they never built it.

By the way they did build a bypass for the A56 through Sale and Altrincham. It is called the M56 and the M60. I use it all the time, and except at the height of rush hour it is quick and easy to use.


Altrincham - Sale - Stretford Bypass





14 miles

23 km





Map Links:

Might Have Been Map