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UK road A59.svg
A59 road
Length (miles) 109
Length (km) 175
Direction West-East
Start Liverpool
Primary
destinations1
Bootle
Preston
Clitheroe
Skipton
Harrogate
End York
Roads joined
Risk Rating Low-medium, Medium and Medium-high[1]
Notes
  1. Primary destinations as specified by the Department for Transport.


The A59 is a major road in the United Kingdom that runs from Liverpool in Merseyside, to York in North Yorkshire.

Contents

Route

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Merseyside

The A59 begins in the centre of Liverpool at the mouth of the Birkenhead Tunnel, and heads north out of the city, first as Scotland Road in Vauxhall, then Kirkdale Road, Walton Road and County Road, then as Rice Lane and to Walton Vale. It passes Aintree Racecourse as Warbreck Moor and Ormskirk Road (forming the boundary between Aintree and Netherton, before reaching the Switch Island junction, which is a large semi roundabout semi traffic light controlled junction, where the A5036, the M57, the M58 and the A59 all meet.

From the Switch Island junction the A59 travels through Maghull and Lydiate, into Lancashire through Aughton and thence to Ormskirk.

Lancashire

At Ormskirk, it reverts from a dual carriageway to single carriageway, on an old bypass. North of Ormskirk the A59 passes through Burscough and Rufford, before reaching the traffic light controlled crossroads at Tarleton, where the A565 joins. From here the road goes through Much Hoole and Bretherton before becoming the Longton (and Hutton) bypass.

The road passes the Lancashire Police HQ, before going through Penwortham and into Preston. Once out of Preston the A59 meets the M6 at junction 31 between Lower Brockholes and Samlesbury.

After the M6, bypassing Blackburn the A59 goes through Myerscough Smithy, veers left, and runs around the perimeter of Samlesbury Aerodrome (a British Aerospace installation). It then goes through Mellor, Osbaldeston, Copster Green and Langho where it meets the A666. At this point it bypasses Billington and Whalley before reaching Clitheroe (another bypass) and Chatburn.

After Chatburn the road goes past Sawley before going through the village of Gisburn (which is said to have been spelt 'Gisburne' for hundreds of years until the railway came along and a railway employee missed the "e" off the station sign).

Yorkshire

From Horton it enters North Yorkshire and goes through West and East Marton before a roundabout junction with the A56 after which the road passes Broughton. Afer passing through Broughton, the road meets the Skipton bypass at its western end, where it overlaps the A65 on its route between Kendal and Leeds. Skipton bypass was opened in 1981, providing welcome relief to the town, which often became a bottleneck as through traffic crossed in the town. The concurrent bypass crosses the B6265 north of the town, and then de-merges with the A65 to the east of the town.

The A59 was upgraded to primary status during the 1990s due to its increased perceived importance as an east-west route. It then passes over the Embsay and Bolton Abbey Steam Railway through a roundabout junction with the B6260 before rising up Beamsley hill, which was two lanes eastbound (uphill) and a single lane westbound during the incline - which was improved at various points during the 1980s. At the top of the hill, the road crosses into the Harrogate district. At this point, there is a long narrow descent on the edge of a huge ravine, down to the village of Blubberhouses.

The A59 then runs along the head of Fewston Reservoir and follows the route of a Roman road past the 'golf balls' at Menwith Hill, an RAF Base. The road then declines towards Harrogate passing Kettlesing, and the Knabbs Ridge wind farm. In Harrogate it meets the A61 Ripon Road, and continues through the suburbs of the town, avoiding the centre. This is largely due to the history of the town - Harrogate's centre was traditionally known as 'Low Harrogate', whilst the A59 travels through 'High Harrogate'. This stretch of the route is claimed to be the busiest road in North Yorkshire. Part of this section travels across the Stray, an act-protected tract of grassy land which horseshoes around the town. The A59 then turns left at the Empress Roundabout, which is itself on the Stray, towards Starbeck - although traffic travelling towards York is directed onto the A661 to utilise the Harrogate and Knaresborough Southern Bypass (A658). The A59, however, continues to travel through Starbeck, then heads east to Knaresborough.

The remainder of the route is comparatively flat. From Knaresborough the A59 meets up with York-directed traffic from Harrogate on the A658, and skirts to the north of Goldsborough towards the A1(M). Originally the route went through the village of Flaxby and onto Allerton, but the route now travels a stricted east-west route and meets the A1(M) at its junction 47. The road then passes to the south of Green Hammerton. Originally it ended here, with the A66 routed down from Boroughbridge and going into York. Now the A59 itself heads towards York, travelling close to such places as Nun Monkton, Upper Poppleton and Moor Monkton before finally ending just to the west of the city walls on Dalton Terrace, just off the A1036, the old A64.

Road Safety

The A59 has persistently featured in the top 10 most dangerous roads in Britain [2]. In 2008 European Road Assessment Programme reported the risk of being involved in a death or disabling injury accident as being between Low-medium and Medium-high depending on the section of road travelled [3].

In 2004 The Times reported on the lives of those who have lost loved ones on this road [4].

See also

External links


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