Where was it?
near Middleton, Lancashire
When was it built?
Sometime before March 1972...
Show me, OK?
OK, one map coming up!
There 'aint no M68 there!
True, very true.
So what's going on then?
The M68 is no more; today it's part of the M60, between junctions 18 and 19.
Now I know that used to be part of a different motorway - the M66.
You're right, it certainly was.
You've made this up, haven't you?
No, but you're going to have to do better than that.
There are three places that I have seen a reference to M68. One is in the Department for Transport's 2002 Roads List, where it is simply listed as "Temporary - reserved Manchester outer ring road (southern section to facilitate possible extension eastwards from Hazel Grove)". Now, that sounds like the eastern side of M60 (nee M66) to me, and possibly the lost A6(M), but that list is fairly notorious for being, shall we say, less than completely accurate.
The second place came into my hands recently (October 2004). I was browsing in a library (sad, aren't I?) when I came across a White Paper called "Roads in England 1971-72", published by the Ministry of Transport. Anyway, one of the sections in this book was entitled "Local Authority Motorways as at 31 March 1972". Anyhow, I scanned the list, and came to a sudden stop at the following line:
M68 Middleton Link 1.2 miles Lancashire CC
In other words, the section of M66 south of M62, was at that time known as M68! A scan of that small section is available here.
Further confirmation came to me recently, courtesy of Tony Priest: a Manchester A-Z map showing the M68. A larger version than that shown above is available here.
I see... So, when did it become part of M66?
That's a part of the story that I haven't uncovered yet. I'm guessing that when the section of M66 to the north was opened, in 1975.
As usual, all information is gratefully received!
Can I comment on this motorway?
Of course! Contact me and I'll put them here!
Have any other visitors commented?
Not yet, they haven't.