Where is it?
East of Manchester, where the ring road meets what is supposed to be the road to Sheffield.
It was spotted by David Peek.
What's wrong with it?
I have said many times before — and, no doubt, I'll carry on saying it until long after the point it's ceased to be interesting — that Bad Junctions isn't here to list all the plain-vanilla roundabout interchanges that can't cope with the traffic.
Is this a plain vanilla roundabout interchange that just can't cope any more? Well, no, it's rather more interesting than that. It's a half-built apology for what was meant to be, a botch-up on a grand scale, and one that contains a pretty dodgy bit of design work to boot. Fittingly enough, it forms one end of the M67, the motorway for which the term "bodge job" might have been coined.
It wouldn't be quite so unpleasant were it not for the odd decision to have the A57 to the east join the M67 immediately before the roundabout, so traffic from each road must take it in turns to move on to the junction.
Is it even worth mentioning that there are traffic lights all the way around the roundabout? No, I thought not. It goes without saying.
Why is it wrong?
Once upon a time, the dreamy optimists who ran things in this part of the world had a really groovy idea. Hey, they said, let's build a motorway from Manchester to Sheffield. Yeah, that'll work! Let's start it right in the middle of Manchester and send it out over the Pennines. That's feasible, right? Of course it is.
The sun was shining and everyone was smiling as they built phase one of their plans, the Denton and Hyde bypasses, temporarily terminating at Denton Interchange. Then they had to go at that point, perhaps to enjoy the heartwarming sight of a little girl with a red balloon and a lollipop, or play with a little kitten with a ball of string, or something like that. In the meantime evil Mr Reality — the baddie of this little melodrama — crept in by the back door and threw a big load of planning inquiries, feasibility studies, environmental impact assessments and cost-on-benefit analyses all over the Manchester to Sheffield Plan, which squashed it, for no better reason than that it was going to be absurdly expensive, difficult to build and impossible to keep open through the winter.
The M67 is, therefore, forever doomed to be a big three-lane motorway that bangs into this roundabout, with the A57 piling in from the left-hand side at just the wrong moment, and there's nothing anyone can do about it.
Naughty Mr Reality.
What would be better?
To the east of the junction are a pair of concrete ramps pointing up into the air — the intended starting point of the flyover that would have carried the motorway over the roundabout. The locals refer to this as the ski jump.
This is a bit of a mad idea, but bear with me. Maybe there's scope to use the ski jump to make things a bit better? Either a flyover straight ahead into the A57 or, if it would help more, one sliproad from the M67 to the M60 northbound would seem easy enough to provide, and would get right-turning traffic off the roundabout.
I know, I know. Me and my silly ideas.
Right to reply
I disagree with this being a bad junction. I frequent this junction quite often, and never really have had any real hold up. Yes its not ideal, but the trouble is at the other end of the M67 with the pathetic excuse for the main road which is the A57 to Glossop/Sheffield.
This junction originally was more intended for local traffic to access the two motorways, the M67 and the then M66 (now part of the M60) with some limited interchange between the two motorways. However, because other related schemes were never built this junction now has to act as a major motorway to motorway interchange.
As previously mentioned the M67 was planned to go over the top of the roundabout and continue into central Manchester. At the other end it was planned to continue as a bypass of Mottram on the A57 and Hollingworth and Tintwistle on the A628 into open country. For various reasons, political and otherwise, neither were built.
It was assumed that much local traffic intending to travel north of Manchester would use the local route through Ashton to join the then proposed M66 further north than Denton whilst most long distance transpennine traffic would use the M62.
At that time it was intended to continue the then M63 Stockport east-west bypass eastwards from its junction with the M66 at Bredbury as a bypass of Bredbury and Gee Cross, linking up with the then new dual carriageways on the A560 at Hattersley, which meet the M67 at its current eastern terminus. Thus southbound traffic would use the A560 - M63 route instead of the M67 and Denton junction. However this is another scheme which came to nothing, along with the southern extension of the then M66 as an A6(M) bypass of Stockport and Hazel Grove. What now forms the tight bend on the main carriageway of the M60 at Bredbury through another strangely laid out junction were originally the slip roads designed to connect two crossing motorways, the M66 - A6(M) and the M63, which, along with part of the M62, were merged to form the now M60.
One problem I frequently encounter at this junction is appalling lane discipline, particularly when turning right. People don't notice the lanes move over to the left as you negotiate the roundabout. This means you can be following your lane round, using correct lane discipline, only to find someone who was in the lane on your left is now trying to occupy your lane.
This happens so often when travelling M60 North - M67 East that it's often almost impossible not to be shoved across to the lane on your right.
Well, as an occasional user, I find the only troublesome bit is coming from the north on the M60 and heading towards Sheffield. I've never yet hit the correct lane at the right time.
Passing underneath is another transport oddity, the route of the once-a-week-in-one-direction-only train from Stockport to Stalybridge.
I occasionally use this junction and have no problem navigating it, but be driven there by someone who's not seen it before and confusion reigns - for me it has all the hallmarks of a bad junction, confusion, panic and obstructed flow.
The slip roads from the M60 have been rebuilt to be wider and provide more stacking space towards the roundabout.
A second phase of works is underway to re-profile the roundabout itself, and modify the A57/M67 merge. Time will tell if it is a successful project.
They've made a right mess of the exit slip road coming from the M60 northbound. It doesn't make any sense. Four lanes, one of which goes left onto the A57 into Manchester. That's sort of OK though shame about the give way.
But the other three lanes are signposted M67 and A57 east. If you use lane 2, you will get beeped at by the traffic getting into the M60 when you go across the North bound entry. So realistically you can only use the right 2 lanes to go right, meaning a wasted lane. All very frustrating.
The entry from the A57/M67 from Denton is no better post-roadworks. Different, but no better.
I echo Ed's comments. If you are coming off the M60 North to go to Denton/Sainsburys and use the lane marked for A57 East you are essentially heading to the scene of the accident. It forces you to cut across traffic trying to join the M60N from the M67. The whole thing looks like it was designed by a pot smoking chimp.
Very happy to see the comment from Tim below - I have just nearly had a collision with traffic joining the M60 northbound when following the roadsign for Denton A57. Extremely dangerous and reported to MP!
I come off this junction to Denton from work and almost every night there is a near miss with traffic going to Denton and onto M60 from M67. It's so dangerous.
I think recently the roundabout has had the carriageway markings re-painted and it is now more confusing.
Today some 20 year old kid in a small Toyota cut me up good as I was in the M60 lane then gave me the fingers. I was livid and made my feelings obvious but this happens every day. It is a confusing mess.
I know they have tried to improve the junction with traffic lights etc but I will try to avoid it if I can. I am a retired man with 40 years driving experience and a clean driving licence and I don't need the stress.
For the first time in my driving life I am thinking of buying a van or a 4 x 4 for more road presence so I can have some muscle on the road. I know it's sad to think like this but I acknowledge that driving standards are non existent and the basic Ministry driving test woefully inadequate.
Sadly, all the works have made this junction only slightly more bearable. The signs giving lane designations disagree with the paint on the tarmac, despite a modification on the west side of the roundabout there is still lane conflict on the roundabout...
On the plus side, M67 westbound queues seem to be a bit better than before the works - but essentially it seems a lot of money has been spent on a bit of resurfacing and simply re-bodging what was already a bodge job. Give us that M67 (W) to M60 (N) flyover to bypass the mess - or why not build one from M60 (N) to M67 (E) as well and make this a Triangle? OK, I'll stop dreaming now, shall I?
It's an absolute death trap...and that is putting it mildly. No one using it knows which is the correct lane to anywhere!!
It is so congested that drivers either already on the roundabout, or coming onto or leaving the roundabout, constantly jump the lights.
Drivers in the right hand lane, wanting to come off, should be in the left hand lane, and vice versa. It's virtually impossible to join and leave correctly and remain with car and life intact!
Now to the stupid sliproad leading from the M60 onto the A57 to Manchester..arrrgggg. Did the planners mean to turn this into Grand Theft Auto?..they certainly have done that.
The eastbound A57 slip also provides the only road access to Denton railway station. Not to worry though, it only sees one train a week on Friday morning.
The other day I had some business in Merseyside, and decided to head back to Barnsley via M67. I knew Denton roundabout had a bad reputation, but I figured it's only a roundabout, how bad can it be?
God almighty, how wrong I was. Traffic on the exit sliproad was nearly stationary and backed up onto the main line of M60 for over a mile (beyond the Bredbury scissors), bringing the entire motorway to a crawl. The entire roundabout was jammed up, with every entry and exit blocked and nowhere for traffic to go, so each cycle of the lights allowed about half a car or 1/6 of a wagon onto or off the roundabout. It took 40 minutes to negotiate the junction, once on M67 it was plain sailing (bonus: no queue at Mottram!) and I could see the entire Denton-bound carriageway was at a standstill for over a mile. It was like the Leeds Inner Ring Road near peak times, but on a much larger scale.
And all this was just on an ordinary weekday afternoon - god only knows what it's like when someone breaks down there, or there are roadworks!
There are also lots of near misses when heading west to north. As you approach the roundabout from the M67 you have two lanes for M60 north. As you move around the island you have some very suspect lane markings which attempt to tell you to move over a lane. Of course, to a good driver who knows the rules, this isn't a problem, but there aren't many drivers about these days who do seem to know how to use a roundabout properly. The worst part is just where the A57 to Manchester peels off. If the person in the left lane doesn't move over, (as often happens) drivers in the right lane get stranded. Whether the fault lies with the lane markings or the drivers, I would say a bit of both.