Junction Three

Back in the 1970s, Leeds liked to think of itself as a modern sort of place, and was keen to show off its transport plans. For a time, the slogan "Motorway City of the Seventies" was stamped on outgoing mail as the city's postmark. Part of its big plans were for two approach motorways from the south which would merge and continue around the east side of the city centre to meet the Inner Ring Road.

By the late seventies, the two southern approaches were complete: the M1 South East Urban Motorway and the M621 South West Urban Motorway. The final connection — the North East Urban Motorway — was never built, and in the late 1990s the unfinished ends were tidied up into a permanent terminus. For the first time the two motorways were linked to form a through route, and the whole lot became M621.

The result is quite unique: a vast, free-flowing interchange where almost all traffic exits the M621 and heads for the city centre. For all practical purposes, it's still the terminus of two motorways, and it's unusual to see a brand new junction on this scale in an urban environment.

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Harry Yeadon

A civil engineer, working principally in the North West of England, responsible for many of the area's motorways.

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