Press release

Completion works for new A556 slip roads underway

First major phase of works on the A556 link road between the M6 and M56 to get underway on Monday (11 July).

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Work to complete the first major phase of Highways England’s £192 million Knutsford to Bowdon A556 link road between the M6 and M56 will get underway on Monday (11 July).

The eastbound exit slip road at junction 7 of the M56 will close from 2am on Monday for around 4 months as the junction – which serves motorway and A556 drivers as well as traffic on local roads – is totally remodelled.

Once completed in November, the new arrangements will provide direct ‘free flow’ access between the A556 and M56 without drivers having to negotiate roundabouts or traffic lights. It will also give local drivers easier access to the A556 and M56, as well as local A56 Lymm and Altrincham roads, in a new layout twinning the existing Bowdon roundabout with a new roundabout at Yarwood Heath.

Highways England project manager Paul Hampson said:

The new arrangements at junction 7 will provide important improvements in their own right - giving drivers direct and swifter access between the A556 and motorway, and making it far easier for local road users to use Bowdon roundabout.

Much of the infrastructure is already in place as regular users of the existing layout have seen for themselves and we’ll be spending the next few months tying the new link roads into the A556 and linking the new and existing roundabouts.

Given the current layout we cannot complete this work without closing the exit slip road from the eastbound M56 and while good alternative routes are in place, we would like to thank drivers in advance for their patience.

Once the new junction layout opens in November it will link with the existing A556 until the new dual carriageway opens next spring.

A new aerial photograph released today by Highways England, shows the construction of the new layout next to Bowdon roundabout taking shape.

While the eastbound exit slip road is closed, drivers will be able to leave the motorway via junction 20 of the northbound M6 near Lymm services or at junction 6 at Hale.

Anyone seeking more information about the project, closures or diversion routes can visit the project webpage.

Construction of the new A556 link road, between the M56 and the M6, started in November 2014 and is due for completion in spring next year. The scheme is part of a £15 billion government investment in motorways and major A roads by 2021 which is being delivered by Highways England as part of the Northern Powerhouse initiative.

General enquiries

Members of the public should contact the Highways England customer contact centre on 0300 123 5000.

Media enquiries

Journalists should contact the Highways England press office on 0844 693 1448 and use the menu to speak to the most appropriate press officer.

Published 6 July 2016