Junction 38M6 Junction 38

Junction 38 is as can be seen below isan unusual junction, the northbound slip road leaves the motorway turning full circle then crossing under the M6 to join with the Southbound Slip roads then joining the A685 at a roundabout. The reason for this is partly to do with the route of the A685 and M6 as well as the geography of the area. The M6 and A685 cross each other about a mile south of the junction, under normal conditions this would be where the junction would have been built, however this is at the northern end of the Lune gorge with a rock face on the western side of the M6 and the railway and River Lune on the other this would be a very difficult place to build a junction. The decision was therefore taken to build the junction about a mile north of the Bridge just north of the village of Tebay.

By this time the A685 is about a quarter of a mile to the east of the M6, with the M6 aligned to start its climb to shap summit, however the valley is wider here making a junction easier to build. Although not dangerous such as Junction 34 this junction has its faults. The bends on the northbound side tend to slow traffic down, this is fine for traffic leaving the M6, however traffic joining need to accelerate this is hindered by the bend. The second fault is the fact that the slip roads leave the motorway going downhill rather than uphill, this arrangement impedes accelerating for those joining the M6 and impedes braking for those leaving, however the geography of the region would make reversing this would involve a major construction which for a relatively quite junction would be impractical.

Coming southbound the junction is in reality only for the village of Tebay, it is signposted Kendal & Brough however traffic for Brough would have left at junction 40 whilst most traffic for Kendal would have left at junction 39. Northbound though it is the junction for Brough and Appleby both small east cumbrian towns. It is also the junction to leave the M6 northbound for the A66 to the north east particularly Middlesborough and Newcastle however this is not indicated on the signs.


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