Greater Manchester spans 493 square miles (1,277 km2), which roughly covers the territory of the Greater Manchester Built-up Area, the second most populous urban area in the UK. 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—the product of concentric urbanisation and industrialisation which occurred mostly during the 19th century when the region flourished as the global centre of the cotton industry. 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 M62 motorway is a west–east trans-Penninemotorway 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.
Joy Division rapidly evolved from their initial punk rock influences, to develop a sound and style that pioneered the post-punk movement of the late 1970s. According to music critic Jon Savage, the band "were not punk but were directly inspired by its energy." Their self-released 1978 debut EP, An Ideal for Living, caught the attention of the Manchester television personality Tony Wilson. Joy Division's debut album, Unknown Pleasures, was released in 1979 on Wilson's independent record labelFactory Records, and drew critical acclaim from the British press. Despite the band's growing success, vocalist Ian Curtis was beset with depression and personal difficulties, including a dissolving marriage and his diagnosis with epilepsy.
In May 1980, on the eve of the band's first American tour, Curtis, overwhelmed with depression, committed suicide. Joy Division's posthumously released second album, Closer (1980), and the single "Love Will Tear Us Apart" became the band's highest charting releases. After the death of Curtis, the remaining members reformed as New Order, achieving critical and commercial success.