Where is it?
M60 junction 18, the notional north-east corner of a circular road, where the M62 merges in for a multiplex around the northern section, and the M66 terminates.
What's wrong with it?
This is essentially the dictionary definition of the word "shambles". Quite aside from the fact that it's another of those evil concoctions, the three-level stacked roundabout, which is laughably under-capacity for such an interchange despite having huge renovations when the M60 was created, its main fault is that the through route doesn't go through it.
Make the simple, forgivable assumption that to stay on the M60 you continue straight on, and you will end up on the M62 or M66, depending on which direction you came from. There's no way to ignore it: to stay on the M60 you either have a tight left-turn sliproad or (worse) the problem of negotiating a six-lane roundabout with traffic lights. On a motorway. Wow.
Why is it wrong?
There's a simple reason for this one. When the junction was built, it was the crossing point of two motorways, the M62 and M66. Considering the M66 finished about two miles south of here, and didn't go that much further to the north, this was just fine and dandy.
When the M60 was created as a Manchester ring road, it was mostly done out of bits and pieces of existing motorway around Manchester — it used the south end of the M66 and the M62 around the north of the city, and so it had to pass through this junction. It's been modified to have six lanes around the roundabout and signs and traffic lights everywhere, but the fact remains that it's still a roundabout!
What would be better?
How about making the M60 free-flowing? It doesn't have to be the priority route through the junction (the M62 takes most of the traffic) — just something to prevent a continuously numbered motorway from passing through three sets of traffic lights. How about tunnelling under as at M1/M62? Still bad, but better than this.
Right to reply
Two trumpets servicing each other is also pretty common in countries that commonly utilize tolled roads/motorways, ie. Japan and Poland (France is one of them as well).
It's possible to shove one of them just to the north of the current stack. Or we can peel off the stuff we don't need and just keep those that'd actually improve conditions.
If only HE and TfGM would consider it !
I use this junction daily. trying to continue on the M60 in a clockwise direction. At best it takes 30 minutes to get round this stupid obstruction. Now since the new supposed "Smart Motorway" is working (not) in my opinion it has made things worse. Believe me it is easier avoiding the whole setup. This needs some serious consideration. Flyover, tunnel or some other unrestricted flow.
Remove the need to impede traffic through several set of lights that are always out of sync. resulting in tail backs in every direction even through traffic on the East and West M62.
One of the most time-saving exercises you can take when heading to this roundabout is if you're heading North up the M60 (from Middleton/Oldham), and are wishing to then continue on the M60 towards the M61, don't be silly and move into the heavily congested free-flowing left hand lane. Instead just use the second lane in (Signposted Leeds) and at the actual roundabout, just take the first exit.
This would probably apply to EVERY left hand turn anyone wishes to make at this junction, but the example I mentioned seems to be most effective.
It actually makes perfect sense traffic wise too - there's actually a relatively small amount of traffic that travels north up the M60 from Middleton/Oldham and then turns RIGHT at the roundabout onto the M62 Eastbound - the reason being is if these drivers know their way around, they'd know to have just come off the M60 at J21 and travel to the M62 via the A627(M) and not Simister Island, it's much more direct and quicker.
There really should be 2 lanes and not just 1 which free-flow around the corner here.
Make M60, M62 and M66 a 4 level stack interchange.
Personally I do not agree with the earlier comment. We should not be encouraging traffic to go up Broadway to the A627M which goes past schools and houses and in my experience it takes ages to complete the 2 right turns required to get to Broadway. Certainly quicker to go up to Simster Island and turn right onto the M62 in my experience. Coming the other way its 2 left turns so less clear cut but I still don't think we should be sending traffic up Broadway.
It was announced today that improvements to this junction will be one of the first RIS2 schemes. What is proposed I don't know, but I hope it will be coordinated with the M60 north-west quadrant study...