Thursday 14th October 1971
The Queen formally opened the 107 mile trans-Pennine section of the M62 to complete the coast-to-coast link between Liverpool in Merseyside and Hull in East Yorkshire; 7 miles (11 km) of the route is shared with the M60 orbital motorway around Manchester, England. The road is part of the unsigned Euroroutes E20 (Shannon to Saint Petersburg) and E22 (Holyhead to Ishim).
The motorway, which was first proposed in the 1930s, and conceived as two separate routes, was opened in stages between 1971 and 1976, with construction beginning at Pole Moor and finishing at that time in Tarbock on the outskirts of Liverpool. The motorway absorbed the northern end of the Stretford-Eccles bypass, which was built between 1957 and 1960. Adjusted for inflation to 2007, its construction cost approximately £765 million. The motorway has an average daily traffic flow of 144,000 vehicles in West Yorkshire, and has several areas prone to gridlock, in particular, between Leeds and Huddersfield. The M62 coach bombing of 1974 and the Great Heck rail crash of 2001 are the largest incidents to have occurred on the M62.
Stott Hall Farm, situated between the carriageways on the Pennine section has become one of the best-known sights on the motorway. The M62 has no junctions numbered 1, 2, or 3, or even an officially numbered 4, because it was intended to start in Liverpool proper, not in its outskirts.
Between Liverpool and Manchester, and east of Leeds, the terrain along which the road passes is relatively flat. Between Manchester and Leeds it traverses the Pennines and its foothills, rising to 1,221 feet (372 m) above sea level east of junction 22 in Calderdale, not far from the boundary between Greater Manchester and West Yorkshire.