Greater Manchester is a metropolitan county in North West England, with a population of 2.68 million. It encompasses one of the largest metropolitan areas in the United Kingdom and comprises ten metropolitan boroughs: Bolton, Bury, Oldham, Rochdale, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford, Wigan, and the cities of Manchester and Salford. Greater Manchester was created on 1 April 1974 as a result of the Local Government Act 1972.
Greater Manchester spans 493 square miles (1,277 km2). It is landlocked and borders Cheshire (to the south-west and south), Derbyshire (to the south-east), West Yorkshire (to the north-east), Lancashire (to the north) and Merseyside (to the west). There is a mix of high-density urban areas, suburbs, semi-rural and rural locations in Greater Manchester, but land use is mostly urban. It has a focused central business district, formed by Manchester city centre and the adjoining parts of Salford and Trafford, but Greater Manchester is also a polycentric county with ten metropolitan districts, each of which has at least one major town centre and outlying suburbs. The Greater Manchester Urban Area is the third most populous conurbation in the UK, and spans across most of the county's territory.
For the 12 years following 1974 the county had a two-tier system of local government; district councils shared power with the Greater Manchester County Council. The county council was abolished in 1986, and so its districts (the metropolitan boroughs) effectively became unitary authority areas. However, the metropolitan county has continued to exist in law and as a geographic frame of reference, and as a ceremonial county, has a Lord Lieutenant and a High Sheriff. Several county-wide services were co-ordinated through the Association of Greater Manchester Authorities up until April 2011, when the Greater Manchester Combined Authority was established as the strategic county-wide authority for Greater Manchester, taking on functions and responsibilities for economic development, regeneration and transport.
The M62 motorway is a west–east trans-Pennine motorway in northern England, connecting the cities of Liverpool and Hull via Manchester and Leeds. The road is 107 miles (172 km) long. The motorway, first proposed in the 1930s, was built between 1971 and 1976, with construction beginning at Pole Moor and finishing in Tarbock. The motorway also absorbed the northern end of the Stretford-Eccles bypass, which was built between 1957 and 1960. Adjusted for inflation to 2007, the motorway cost approximately £765 million to build.
Since the Stretford-Eccles bypass was opened, the motorway's history beyond construction has included a coach bombing and a rail crash. The motorway is additionally memorable for Stott Hall Farm, a farm in the Pennines situated between the carriageways which has become one of the most known sights in West Yorkshire.
The road passes the cities of Salford, Manchester, Bradford and Leeds. Between Liverpool and Manchester, the terrain of the road is relatively flat, while between Manchester and Leeds, the road crosses the hilly Pennines to its highest point on Windy Hill near Saddleworth Moor, which is also the highest point of any motorway in the United Kingdom, at 1,221 feet (372 m) above sea level.
Oasis are an English rock band that formed in Manchester in 1991. They have sold more than 50 million records worldwide, have had eight UK number-one singles and have collected 15 NME Awards, 5 Brit Awards and 9 Q awards.
The band initially gained prominence performing on the Manchester club circuit. They were signed to independent record label Creation Records and afterwards released their debut album Definitely Maybe in 1994. The following year, the band recorded (What's the Story) Morning Glory?, and at the height of their fame, Oasis released their third album, Be Here Now (1997). It became the fastest-selling album in UK chart history, but lost much of its long-term appeal after the initial hype. The band suffered a notable decline in popularity in America and lost three long-time members between recording and releasing Standing on the Shoulder of Giants (2000) and Heathen Chemistry (2002).
Their sixth album Don't Believe the Truth (2005), despite turbulent recording, became their best-selling and best-received album in a decade. In February 2007, Oasis received the BRIT Award for outstanding contribution to music. Dig Out Your Soul, the seventh studio album by the band, is set to be released on October 6, 2008.