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The M62 motorway is a west–east trans-Pennine motorway in northern England, connecting the cities of Liverpoolmarker and Hullmarker via Manchestermarker and Leedsmarker. The road also forms part of the unsigned Euroroutes E20 (Shannonmarker to Saint Petersburgmarker) and E22 (Holyheadmarker to Ishimmarker). The road is long; however, for seven miles (11 km), it shares its route with the M60 motorwaymarker around Manchestermarker.The motorway, which was first proposed in the 1930s, and originally conceived as two separate routes, was built in stages between 1971 and 1976, with construction beginning at Pole Moor and finishing in Tarbockmarker on the outskirts of Liverpoolmarker. The motorway also absorbed the northern end of the Stretford-Eccles bypass, which was built between 1957 and 1960. Adjusted for inflation to 2007, the motorway cost approximately £765 million to build. The motorway is relatively busy, with an average daily traffic flow of 100,000 cars in Yorkshire, and has several areas prone to gridlock, in particular, between Leedsmarker and Huddersfieldmarker in West Yorkshire.

Since the Stretford-Eccles bypass was opened, the motorway's history beyond construction has included a coach bombingmarker on 4 February 1974, and a rail crashmarker on 28 February 2001. The motorway is additionally memorable for Stott Hall Farm, a farm in the Pennines situated between the carriageways, existing due to the geology of the surrounding area and has since become one of the most known sights in West Yorkshire.

The road passes the cities of Salfordmarker, Manchestermarker, Bradfordmarker and Leedsmarker. Between Liverpool and Manchester, and east of Leeds, the terrain of the road is relatively flat, while between Manchester and Leeds, the road crosses the hilly Pennines to its highest point on Windy Hillmarker near Saddleworth Moormarker ( ), which is also the highest point of any motorway in the United Kingdom, at above sea level.


Origin of the road

The origins of the M62 date back to the 1930s, where the need for a route between Lancashiremarker and Yorkshiremarker had been agreed after discussion by the respective highway authorities of the counties. At the same time, it was envisaged that a route between Liverpool and Hull was also needed, connecting the two ports to industrial Yorkshire.

Some years later, after World War II, the Minister of Transport appointed engineers to inspect road standards between the A580 road in Swintonmarker and the A1 roadmarker near Selbymarker. In 1949, that year's Road Plan for South Lancashire specified the need to upgrade to dual carriageway and grade separation of the A580 road, and bypasses of both Huytonmarker and Cadisheadmarker. In 1952, the route for a trans-Pennine motorway, known as The Lancashire–Yorkshire Motorway, was laid down, with Ferrybridgemarker chosen as the eastern terminus rather than Selby. By the 1960s, however, the proposed upgrade of the A580 to dual carriageway in Lancashire was considered inadequate, and there was "an urgent need" to link Liverpool to the motorway network. The route of the Lancashire-Yorkshire motorway was also considered inadequate as it failed to cater for several industrial towns in Yorkshire. When James Drake visited the United States in 1962, his experience with the Interstate Highway system led him to conclude that the Merseyside Expressway, planned to run only between Liverpool and the M6, would need extending to the Stretford-Eccles Bypass, thus creating a continuous motorway between Liverpool and Ferrybridgemarker (a link between Ferrybridge and Hull was not considered until 1964). Initially these plans were unpopular and unsupported by the Ministry of Transportmarker, but nevertheless the scheme was added to the Road Plan in 1963.


Liverpool Inner Motorway

Originally, Liverpool was intended to have an urban motorway along with Manchester, Leeds, and Newcastle. In the latter cases, the motorways were constructed (the A57marker, A58, A64 and A167 respectively). The M62 was intended to terminate upon the Inner Motorway, but due to the Inner Motorway not being constructed, the M62 link was not constructed either. The proposed route would follow the railway into Liverpool as far as Edge Hillmarker, with junctions with Rathbone Road and Durning Road, dropping two lanes at the latter, before terminating on the Islington Radial.

West of Manchester

Originally, the section of the M62 west of Manchestermarker was intended to be a separate motorway linking Liverpoolmarker with Salfordmarker, but a continuous motorway between Leedsmarker and Liverpool was deemed to be more feasible, known as the M52. Construction of the motorway between Liverpool and Manchester started in 1971, with the construction of a link between the M57 and the M6 motorway. Concurrently, a contract to link the M6 with Manchester was under way, which required the removal of unsuitable material and drainage of the land. This section was completed in August 1974, creating a continuous link between Ferrybridgemarker and Tarbockmarker.

The section between Tarbock and Liverpool was the last section of the motorway to be completed, in 1976, due to the difficulties of building an urban motorway. In total, two viaducts, ten bridges and seven underpasses had to be constructed to secure the structural integrity of the surrounding residential area. The motorway, however, reached only as far as Queens Drive (Junction 4), leaving the first three junctions unbuilt.

In Greater Manchester

The first part of the M62 to be built was the Stretford-Eccles Bypass, which now covers junctions 7 to 13 of the M60marker. Construction started in 1957, and opened in 1960.

Two separate motorways were planned, with the M52 running from Liverpoolmarker into Salfordmarker; the other, the M62, would link Pole Moor with the Stretford-Eccles Bypass. The section between the interchange with the Stretford-Eccles Bypass and Salford is now occupied by the M602 motorway.

The Eccles-Pole Moor section was opened in 1971. Between Ecclesmarker and Pole Moor, 67 crossings of the motorway were required, including seven viaducts and eight junctions.

Between Windy Hill and Lofthouse

The first section of the Yorkshire section of the motorway was completed in 1970, between the county boundary at Windy Hillmarker and Outlanemarker. The construction of the section between Windy Hill and Pole Moor was a difficult task, given the inhospitable hilly terrain, numerous peat bogs, and undesirable weather conditions. To build this section of motorway, of material was moved, of which were solid rock; of this material was peat, which had to be cut from the rock strata and was eventually deposited on hillsides adjacent to the motorway. In addition to the problems caused by removal of the material, the geology of the moors resulted in the engineers needing to split the carriageways for three-quarters of a mile in the middle of this section, sparing Stott Hall Farm from demolition. Two notable bridge constructions were the bridge carrying the Pennine Waymarker, which is curved downwards with long cantilevers, and Scammondenmarker Bridge, often called the longest single-span non-suspension bridge in Britain, which carries a B road above the motorway. The mile-long section between Pole Moor and Outlane suffered fewer problems, with the summer weather being satisfactory. Concurrently, a section of the motorway was being built between Gildersomemarker and Lofthousemarker, resulting in the demolition of a significant proportion of the village of Tingleymarker to build the eponymous interchange.

East of Lofthouse

Two contracts were awarded for the section of the M62 between Lofthouse and Ferrybridgemarker in 1972, and both were completed in 1974. On the first contract, care was needed at the crossing of the River Calder due to the alluvial bedrock, while, on the second, precautions were taken as the length was built on old coal mine workings.

The sections between Ferrybridge and North Cavemarker were the last sections of the motorway to be conceived and built. One of the most notable features is the bridge crossing the River Ousemarker west of Goolemarker, a structure nearly one mile long, rising to thirty meters above ground level, which commenced construction in January 1973.

The bridge was delayed due to "steel supplies [being] a chronic headache" and a partial collapse of the framework, caused by bolts joining a cross-beam to a trestle shearing. The problems with the Ouse Bridge pushed the opening of the whole section east of Goolemarker back to May 1976.

Development after opening

Junction 32a during construction in September 2005.
In 1987, the Department of Transport proposed a relief road running parallel to the M62 to combat congestion around Manchester. The relief road would have been restricted for long distance traffic, and the current route, part of the Manchester Outer Ring Road (later the M60marker), used for local traffic. The proposal also suggested the closure of Junction 13. The proposal was designated a "long term" improvement in 1994, and ultimately cancelled on 23 November 1995.

In 2000, the section of the M62 between Eccles Interchange and Simister Interchange (Junctions 12 to 18) was renamed to the M60. Since then, two new junctions were opened—in December 2002, the previously missing Junction 8 was opened to allow access to the A574 and the Omega Development Sitemarker, while in January 2006, Junction 32a was opened, to link the motorway with the recently upgraded A1marker. The UK's first car-sharing lane on a motorway has recently been opened at Junction 26, allowing any eastbound traffic from the M606 with more than one occupant to use the lane.


Stott Hall Farm

Stott Hall Farm, viewed from Moorland above westbound carriageway
Stott Hall Farm ( ) is an 18th-century farm on Windy Hill, situated between the two carriageways of the motorway between junctions 22 and 23. The road forks around the farm for engineering reasons owing to the surrounding area's geology, though a local myth persists that the road had to be split because the owners refused to sell the land during its construction. This is not the case since the owners could have been obliged to sell via a compulsory purchase order. Due to its remoteness in the Pennines, the farm is often nicknamed as "the Little House on the Prairie". The farm is now separated from the motorway by crash barriers and a high fence to keep livestock in and drivers out, after some stranded motorists attempted to get aid when broken down. The farm, which was occupied by Ken and Beth Wild at the time of the motorway's opening, is now farmed by Paul Thorp. Due to its unusualness, it is one of the ten best-known sights from the motorway network and one of the best-known sights in West Yorkshire. The farm was used as a location for an early episode of ITV drama series, Where the Heart Is and has been the subject of a short documentary film.

High traffic levels

1999-2006 traffic flow graph.
The section between Halifaxmarker and Gildersomemarker is one of the most congested roads in Britain, and regularly slows to gridlock at Junction 27.

Annual average daily traffic flows of 100,000 cars were recorded east of the Pennines (Junction 22) in 2006 and 78,000 cars west of the Pennines. This was up from 90,000 and 70,000 respectively in 1999. By way of comparison, the UK's busiest motorway, the M25 motorwaymarker, carried a 144,000 cars between junctions 7 and 23 in 2006.

Proposed developments

M62 J25 to J30 Managed Motorway

An additional proposal to widen the motorway to four lanes between Junctions 25 and 28 to reduce congestion is in the planning stage.

Impact upon culture

The M62 motorway is mentioned in a number of songs. One of the earliest songs is "Driving Away From Home (Jim's Tune)" by It's Immaterial, a 1986 song that described the motorway as a way of getting to Manchester from the band's hometown of Liverpool. "The Snake", a song from the album Secrets by The Human League, discusses the road as an alternative route to Hydemarker from the Snake Passmarker, the main subject of the song, and suggests the A628 as another alternative.

More generally, "It's Grim Up North", by The Justified Ancients of Mu Mu, released in 1991, consisted of a list of towns and cities in the "grim North", in addition to the motorway itself. Doves named a song after the M62 on their 2002 album The Last Broadcast, which is stated to have been recorded "under the M62 flyover at Northendenmarker", although the M62 is several miles to the north. "The Man Who Lives On The M62" by John Shuttleworth and "Tradition" by Kathryn Williams refer not to the motorway itself, but to Stott Hall Farm. Shuttleworth compares his emotions of sorrow to those of the inhabitants of the farm, while Williams uses the urban legend of the owner's refusal to sell the farm as an example of tradition.

Rugby league is a popular sport in northern England—so much so that a 1994 survey revealed that sixty percent of people regularly attending rugby league matches lived in only four postal districts along the M62. Only three teams in the Super League, Catalans Dragons, Harlequins Rugby League and Celtic Crusaders play outside northern England, and thus the phrase "M62 corridor" is sometimes used as a synonym for the rugby league heartlands.


M62 coach bombing

On 4 February 1974, a bomb was detonated on a coach containing off-duty army personnel and family members, between Chain Bar (Junction 26) and Gildersome (Junction 27), resulting in the deaths of 12 people and injuries in 38 other people. After the attack, the nearby Hartshead Moor service station was used as a makeshift hospital and base of investigation. The Provisional Irish Republican Army were deemed responsible for the attacks.

Selby rail crash

On 28 February 2001, at 06:13 GMT, Gary Hart, a sleep-deprived driver, swerved off the M62 onto the East Coast Main Line near Selbymarker. While Hart was calling the emergency services, a GNER southbound train collided with Hart's Land Rover, and subsequently derailed into the path of an oncoming freight train. Ten people were killed, including the drivers of both trains, and a further 82 were injured.


The M62's route in relation to the four major cities it serves: Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds and Hull.
In addition to passing Warrington, Manchester, Huddersfield, Halifaxmarker, Bradford, Leeds and Wakefield, the towns of Huyton, St Helens, Widnes, Bury, Rochdale, Dewsbury, Pontefract, Selby and Goole are designated as primary destinations along the road. The road is a terminus to two motorways: the M57 motorway near Prescot and the M18 motorway near Rawcliffemarker; and has four spur routes: the M602 motorway, which serves Manchester, the A627 motorway, which serves Oldham and Rochdale, the M606 motorway, which serves Bradford, and the M621 motorway, which serves Leeds. Despite Hull being listed as a primary destination, the motorway downgrades near North Cave, sixteen miles west.

The motorway starts on Queen's Drive, on Liverpool's middle ring road. From there it runs eastward to Liverpool's outer ring road, the M57. The route has four exits for Warrington: Junction 7, an interchange with the A57 road, Junction 8, which also houses Ikea, Junction 9, which interchanges with the A49 road, originally intended to be a motorway itself, and Junction 11. Between these is Junction 10, which is a cloverstack interchange with the M6 motorway. The M62 then crosses Chat Mossmarker before interchanging with the M60 motorwaymarker. Due to original plans being to extend the section of the motorway into Manchester, motorists must turn off to stay on the route into Yorkshire.

In Greater Manchester, the motorway shares seven junctions, 12 to 18, with the M60 motorway. Junction 13, which is signposted for Swinton, is situated only half a mile from Junction 12, leaving exiting motorists the hazard of crossing the still-merging M62 traffic. After this, there is Worsley Braided Interchange, which, in addition to serving Junctions 14 and 15, also serves Junctions 1 to 3 of the M61 motorway, which terminates to Prestonmarker.

Near Junction 22, the motorway gains a lane to climb Windy Hill, before crossing the border into Yorkshire and interchanging with the rural A672 road, reaching the highest point of any motorway in England . There is then a seven-mile (11 km) travel through the Pennines to the next junction, passing Scammonden Water and Stott Hall Farm. The next junction is Junction 23, which is accessible only for westbound traffic. After this, the road dips through a valley to Junction 24 and drops slowly before interchanging with the A644 road at Junction 25. Between Junctions 22 and 25, the road is used as a border between the metropolitan boroughs of Calderdalemarker and Kirkleesmarker.

At Junction 26, named Chain Bar, the motorway interchanges with several roads: the M606 motorway, a spur into Bradford, the A58 road, which runs between Prescot and Wetherbymarker, and the A638 road, which runs to Doncastermarker, then follows the old route of the A1marker through Bawtrymarker and Retfordmarker, to Markham Moormarker where it rejoins the A1marker. The next junction also serves a spur route: the M621 motorway, before bypassing Leeds to the south to the interchange with the M1 motorway, Lofthouse Interchange, at Junction 29. East of Leeds, the motorway serves Wakefieldmarker at Junction 30 and crosses by the River Calder. At Junction 32a, the road is crossed by the A1 motorway, which also runs parallel to it for a short distance. The next junction serves the A162 road, previously the A1, and Ferrybridge service station. After Ferrybridge, the motorway becomes relatively flat, except for a mile-long bridge that crosses the River Ousemarker. For approximately ten miles after this, the road runs towards Hull, serving Howdenmarker and North Cave, before downgrading to the A63 road.


Data from driver location signs are used to provide distance and carriageway identifier information.
M62 Motorway
km Eastbound exits Junction Westbound exits
A5080 from Liverpoolmarker becomes M62
No access Start of Motorway
A5080: Huytonmarker, Knotty Ashmarker 5 A5080: Huytonmarker
12.7 A5300: Liverpool John Lennon Airportmarker

A5080: Huytonmarker

M57: Southportmarker
6 M57: Prescotmarker

A5300: Runcornmarker
16.5 A57: Prescotmarker

A570: St. Helensmarker

A557: Widnesmarker
7 A57: Prescotmarker

A570: St. Helensmarker

A557: Widnesmarker
23.3 (A574): Warringtonmarker (West), Burtonwoodmarker,

Burtonwood services

(A574): Warringtonmarker (West), Burtonwoodmarker,

Burtonwood services
26.7 A49: Warringtonmarker (Central), Newtonmarker 9 A49: Warringtonmarker (Central), Newtonmarker
29.1 M6: Birminghammarker, Prestonmarker, Chestermarker 10

M6: Prestonmarker, Birminghammarker, Manchester Airportmarker
33.4 A574: Warringtonmarker (East), Birchwoodmarker 11 A574: Warringtonmarker (East), Birchwoodmarker
43.3 M62 leaves concurrency with M60 12

M60marker: Ring Road, Boltonmarker, Burymarker, Leedsmarker

M602: Salfordmarker, Manchestermarker
Motorway is signposted as the M60marker from Junctions 12 to 18 (see original route)
56.5 M60marker: Ring Road

M66: Burymarker, Blackburnmarker

M62 leaves concurrency with M60
60.9 Birch services Services Birch services
64.5 A6046: Heywoodmarker, Middletonmarker 19 A6046: Middletonmarker, Heywoodmarker
68.4 A627: Rochdalemarker, Oldhammarker 20 A627: Rochdalemarker, Oldhammarker, Ashton
75.5 A640: Milnrowmarker, Shawmarker 21 A640: Milnrowmarker, Shawmarker
75.4 A672: Saddleworthmarker 22 A672: Rippondenmarker, Sowerby Bridgemarker
86.9 No access 23 A640: Huddersfieldmarker
89.4 A629: Huddersfieldmarker, Halifaxmarker 24 A629: Huddersfieldmarker, Halifaxmarker
95.2 A644: Brighousemarker, Halifaxmarker 25 A644: Brighousemarker, Dewsburymarker
97.7 Hartshead Moor services Services Hartshead Moor services
100.7 M606: Bradfordmarker

A58: Halifaxmarker

M606: Bradfordmarker

A638: Cleckheatonmarker
107.1 M621: Leedsmarker

A62: Bradfordmarker
27 M621: Leedsmarker

A62: Batleymarker

A650: Morleymarker
112.2 A653: Leedsmarker, Dewsburymarker, Leeds Bradford International Airportmarker 28 A653: Leedsmarker, Dewsburymarker
116.5 M1: Londonmarker, Leedsmarker, Wakefieldmarker 29

M1: Londonmarker, Wakefieldmarker, The NORTH
A642: Rothwellmarker, Wakefieldmarker 30 A642: Rothwellmarker, Wakefieldmarker
125.2 A655: Normantonmarker, Castlefordmarker 31 A655: Normantonmarker, Castlefordmarker
129.7 A639: Pontefractmarker, Castlefordmarker 32 A639: Pontefractmarker, Castlefordmarker
A1: The NORTH, Wetherbymarker 32A

A1: The NORTH, Wetherbymarker

The SOUTH, Doncastermarker
136.4 A162: The SOUTH, Doncaster (A1marker)

Pontefractmarker, Ferrybridge services


A162: Knottingleymarker, Ferrybridge services
A19: Selbymarker, Doncastermarker 34 A19: Selbymarker, Doncastermarker
M18: The SOUTH, Doncastermarker 35 M18: The SOUTH, Doncastermarker
A614: Goolemarker 36 A614: Goolemarker
A614: Howdenmarker 37 A614: Howdenmarker, Bridlingtonmarker
Start of Motorway 38

B1230: North Cavemarker, Gilberdykemarker
Motorway becomes A63 and continues into Hullmarker

Coordinate list


  1. "CEC (1987) estimated that the capital cost of the motorway was "of the order of £412 million at 1985 prices"." The inflation rates are taken from historical CPI figures.
  2. Farmhouse 'island' on M62: the movie at
  3. M62 Network Schematic showing extents of the Driver Location Signs Scheme within Area 12, Highway Authority 2009
  4. Driver Location Signs, Highway Agency Area 10 (map) - Highway Authority, 2009
  5. : Western end of the M62 Motorway
  6. : M6/M62 interchange
  7. : Western end of M60/M62 concurrency
  8. : Eastern end of M60/M62 concurrency
  9. : M62/M606 interchange
  10. : M62/M1 interchange
  11. : M62/A1 interchange
  12. : M62:J33 and Ferrybridge Services
  13. : Eastern end of the M62 Motorway

External links

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