Press release

Final public information event for new A556 road

Drivers and people living around the A556 between Knutsford and Bowdon in Cheshire can find out the latest information on the new £192 million link road between the M6 and M56 later this month.

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A556 improvements

Highways England is hosting a final public information event on Sunday 20 November. Drivers and local residents will be provided with an update of the scheme and details regarding the opening of the dual carriageway at the end of March. The exhibition is being held at the construction site office just off the A56 Lymm Road, near Bowdon roundabout, between 10am and 2pm. Anyone interested in the project is invited to drop in for a chat.

New layout at the A556
The new roundabout arrangements and M56 link roads at Bowdon

The public information event follows a successful first public ‘Welly Walk’ of the route at the end of last month, when some 700 people raised more than £3,000 for a locally-based charity by walking the whole 4 miles of the new route from junction 19 of the M6.

Charity walk
Welly walkers get the lowdown on construction of the new Green bridge (south of the A50 at Mere)

Highways England project manager Paul Hampson said:

Over the summer we’ve made significant progress so there’s a lot for us to talk about - including plans for opening the new road in March and the new link road arrangements with the M56 which will be up and running even sooner – certainly by the end of the year.

We had some really positive feedback from last month’s ‘Welly Walk’ and we know people are looking forward to the road opening in spring.

Progress made on the new route over the last few weeks includes:

  • earthworks completed, drainage installed and carriageway foundations finished along 90 percent of the route
  • 1.5 miles of concrete central reservation barrier installed
  • partial opening of the new link road arrangements around junction 7 of the M56 and 2 Bowdon roundabouts – one of which is new
  • progress on a number of environmental measures including landscaping, planting in ponds and extensive tree planting to begin this month
  • completion of 6 of the 7 bridge structures – including the underpass. Work on the Green Bridge near Mere is well underway and the realigned A50, Bentleyhurst Lane and Millington Lane roads are already running over new bridges

Anyone looking for road works information (such as overnight carriageway closures) for individual schemes should now visit www.trafficengland.com. A dedicated web page for this project is available.

Construction of the new A556 link road, between the M56 and the M6, started in November 2014 and is due for completion in March. 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. Meanwhile, work on a £7m motorway to motorway project to connect junction 21a of the M6 and junction 10 of the M62 near Warrington will start on Saturday 19 November with an overnight closure of the hard shoulders along the northbound and southbound slip roads onto the eastbound M62 at Croft Interchange.

And following the consultation on the design options for the Knutsford M6 Junction 19 project, which ended on 23 September, we are now evaluating the responses before going back out to the public to consult on options next year. Construction is expected to start before the end of March 2020. The project aims to improve safety and journey time reliability for all road users and increase connectivity between local areas by adding capacity at the roundabout and on the approach roads. The plans will also improve access for walkers, cyclists and horse riders.

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 15 November 2016