A58(M) and A64(M)

The Leeds Inner Ring Road is one motorway with two numbers, designated A58(M) from its western end to Claypit Lane and A64(M) from there to the eastern end.

The A64(M) part is very small, and was once a candidate for the title of Britain's shortest motorway, a battle it fought for many years with the equally inconsequential A308(M). Today Glasgow's A8(M) is considerably shorter than both, but neither can claim to be quite so uneven: the A64(M) is considerably longer eastbound than it is westbound.

The A64(M) is so confusingly lopsided because Woodpecker Junction, where the motorway terminates and becomes the A64, was meant to be something bigger. In the 1970s it was planned to be the point where the Inner Ring Road turned south to connect with some unfinished ends at junction 3 of the M621. This was never done; so what would have been a double-deck road structure only exists in one direction. Eastbound traffic goes on the top deck all the way, but westbound the motorway can't begin until the other half of the top deck appears.

The rest of the Inner Ring Road, in terms of engineering, is something of a masterpiece. It removes a massive amount of through traffic from the city streets without really being noticable at all. It runs almost entirely in a vertical-sided cutting, up to 20ft deep, with numerous short cut-and-cover tunnels. It hides the road and shields its noise so effectively that even when walking it's hard to tell you're anywhere near it until you find yourself on an overbridge looking down at four lanes of fast moving traffic.

At North Street, there's the unusual design feature of a right-hand exit sliproad when heading eastbound. Early plans of the route reveal that this was added to save space, the alternative being an exit slip around the outside of the current loop, which would have interfered with the merge from the A660. The same early plan showed the sliproads to the A61 at Claypit Lane on the inside of the junction, with the mainline passing around the outside - a pair of right-hand entry and exits, which thankfully were never built!

Finally, this was the UK's first ever urban motorway, opening shortly before Manchester's A57(M) Mancunian Way and beating more famous roads like Westway (originally a motorway but now part of the A40) by several years.




Quarry Hill




2 miles

Click a section name to see its full details, or click a map symbol on the right to see all motorways opened in that year.

Completed Name Start End
Leeds Inner Ring Road Stage I Westgate Woodhouse Lane Chronology map for 1967
Leeds Inner Ring Road Stage II Woodhouse Lane Claypit Lane Chronology map for 1971
Leeds Inner Ring Road Stage II Claypit Lane North Street Chronology map for 1971
Leeds Inner Ring Road York Road Extension North Street York Road Chronology map for 1973
Leeds Inner Ring Road: York Road Extension North Street North Street Chronology map for 1973
Leeds Inner Ring Road Stage III Wellington Road Westgate Chronology map for 1975

Exit list

Symbols and conventions are explained in the key to exit lists. You can click any junction to see its full details.

The A660 junction incorporates Woodhouse Lane multi-storey car park, built directly above the Inner Ring Road with direct access sliproads from the motorway itself. It appears in the exit list as the grey block with blue and white 'P' symbol.

Junction   Westbound               Eastbound  
(M621 Link, M62 Link, M1 Link)
Halifax A58
Bradford (A647)
Huddersfield (A62)
Ilkley A65
Airport Airport
Int'l Pool, Station
A58 (M1, M62, A62, A647)

LanesLanesLanesLanes SignsSigns LanesLanesLanesLanes SignsSigns
0.25 miles, 2+2 lanes 0.25 miles, 2+2 lanes
City Centre Civic Precinct
Hospital (LGI)
LanesLanesLanesLanes LanesLanesLanesLanes
0.75 miles, 2 lanes  
Westgate Tunnel Westgate Tunnel
  0.75 miles, 2 lanes
Skipton A660
Hospital (LGI)
Nuffield Hospital
A660 A660


Skipton A660
Multi-Storey Car Park
LanesLanesLanesLanes LanesLanesLanesLanes
0.5 miles, 2 lanes 0.25 miles, 2 lanes
A64(M) becomes A58(M) A58


A58(M) becomes A64(M)
Wetherby A58
Harrogate (A61)
  0.25 miles, 2 lanes
City Centre
Harrogate (A61)
Wetherby (A58)

City Centre Loop
Harrogate (A61)
Wetherby (A58)
Quarry Hill
LanesLanesLanesLanes LanesLanesLanesLanes
0.3 miles, 2 lanes 0.3 miles, 2 lanes
A64 becomes A64(M)
City Centre
Markets Area
WY Playhouse
A61 A61 (M1 Link, M621 Link)
St James's Hospital
LanesLanesLanesLanes Signs LanesLanesLanesLanes
0.2 miles, 2 lanes 0.2 miles, 2 lanes
N/A A653

Cross Gates
LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes SignsSigns LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes SignsSigns

Picture credits

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