A Piece of History

For nineteen years, Greater Manchester laid claim to the most bizarre motorway in the British Isles. The A6144(M) was just over a mile in length and connected M60 junction 8 with the A6144, allowing goods traffic to access the large chemical plants near Carrington without having to travel through Sale. Aside from its absurd number and diminutive size, the motorway's principal claim to fame was that it was entirely single-carriageway.

In May 2006 the road was downgraded to allow Trafford Metropolitan Borough Council easier access for maintenance. Among road enthusiasts (and especially SABRE members), this was seen as a tragedy — the most interesting anomaly on the road network gone! It was also one less rare chance to legally travel at 70mph on a single-carriageway road.

With the help of SABRE member "Squadgy" I mounted a rescue mission, planning to grab the sign from whoever came to take it down. No such luck: it took until about 10pm for the road to be closed and the rest of the workforce wouldn't arrive until much later. We left empty handed.

In the morning though, he sent an excited message saying that the sign had been taken down overnight - so I returned with another accomplice and got permission to rescue some of the signs that had been removed.

The A6144(M) sign — and probably the others — are now in retirement, but occasionally tour SABRE Awaydays and other events to regale road enthusiasts with tales of their life on the road.

Obtaining road signs

The road signs shown on this page were obtained legally, with full permission of the highway authorities and their contractors. Roads.org.uk does not endorse the theft of road signs.

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Many thanks to Ste (Squadgy) and Peter Edwardson (PeterA5145) for their help in rescuing the signs — without them it wouldn't have been possible.

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