Drivers in Cheshire will benefit from improved journeys as Highways England reaches a major milestone in the delivery of the new A556 Knutsford to Bowdon link road. This weekend the free-flow arrangements with the M56 will open for the first time.
As part of the £192 million project to build the new dual carriageway between junction 19 of the M6 and junction 7 of the M56, Highways England has remodelled slip roads at Yarwood Heath and Bowdon roundabouts.
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.
Overnight working this weekend will mean that by Monday morning, for the first time, drivers leaving the northbound A556 will enjoy direct access onto the eastbound M56 and motorists leaving the westbound M56 will get direct access onto the southbound A556. This will benefit drivers who had to previously negotiate traffic lights and or Bowdon roundabout. The roundabout will now solely be used by drivers joining or leaving the local road network.
This weekend’s work will also mark the re-opening of the M56 eastbound exit slip road at junction 7 after a 5-month closure - with drivers sent onto the new Bowdon roundabout for access to the southbound A556 or local road network, including the A56 local roads for Bowdon and Altrincham.
All the new arrangements will be tied-in to the new A556 dual carriageway ahead of its opening in the spring.
Highways England project manager Paul Hampson said:
This is a wonderful early Christmas present for people using the A556. When the new road is completed these new link road arrangements will play a crucial part in providing drivers with quicker and more reliable journeys between the 2 motorways.
Drivers should also ask them to approach the new arrangements with extra care – over the weekend they’ll be faced with new arrangements for leaving and joining the A556, local roads and the M56.
The remodelling of slip road arrangements between the existing A556 and junction 7 of the M56 has involved pairing the existing Bowdon roundabout with a new, smaller roundabout which opened in September. The 2 roundabouts are linked by a new bridge – with the new link roads between the A556 and M56 travelling under this.
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.
Members of the public should contact the Highways England customer contact centre on 0300 123 5000.
Journalists should contact the Highways England press office on 0844 693 1448 and use the menu to speak to the most appropriate press officer.