Press release

Major roads investment in the north west

£800 million for 9 new road schemes in the north west of England will create an estimated 600 construction jobs.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government


An ambitious £15 billion plan to triple levels of spending by the end of the decade to increase the capacity and condition of England’s roads, was announced to Parliament today (1 December 2014) by Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin and Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander.

The north west of England will benefit from 9 new schemes worth around £800 million, creating an estimated 600 construction jobs.

Patrick McLoughlin said:

Today I am setting out the biggest, boldest and most far-reaching roads programme for decades. It will dramatically improve the network and unlock Britain’s economic potential.

Roads are key to our nation’s prosperity. For too long they have suffered from under-investment.

This government has a long term plan to secure the country’s future and this £15 billion roads programme is demonstration of that. It will directly benefit hardworking families across the north west.

This is the biggest investment in roads in a generation and will transform infrastructure in the north west including the trans-Pennine route which includes the A66 and A69.

A radical overhaul began in 2010 with the following major improvements in the area:

  • smart motorway miles in the Manchester area are being increased to include the M60, between junctions 24 and 4, the M62 between the M60 and the M6, and the adjoining stretch of the M6 itself from the M62 to Wigan
  • the M56 is being widened from the A556 to the M60 to 4 lanes, and with an improved junction 19 linking it to the M6

Chair of the Cabinet Infrastructure Committee and Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander, said:

World class infrastructure is vital if we are to build a stronger economy, but it matters in other ways too. It invigorates communities and gives people more opportunities to get on in life. This is why I have ensured that this government has prioritised funding roads, and railways, at a high level for future generations.

For decades our roads have suffered from under investment, so I’m particularly delighted to be able to announce this expansive range of new road schemes today. Investment on this scale is only possible because we have taken the difficult decisions needed to control our public finances and stuck to our recovery plan which is now delivering strong growth and record numbers of jobs.

These projects, like the scheme on the A57, will help unleash the economic potential of both the regions they serve and of the overall economy.

Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, said:

I promised when I was in the north west that we would address this area’s economic needs for the future.

Our Long term-economic plan means today we can invest an £800 million into the north west’s infrastructure to improve, repair and expand our roads. This is all about investing in the northern powerhouse we are seeking to build.

Our plans will transform some of the country’s most important strategic routes, and ambitious projects like the M62 and A628 trans-Pennine improvements and major upgrade to the A585, as well as spending on important local infrastructure will boost productivity and help the local economy of the north west.

For years our roads have been neglected. Now that this government is fixing the economy, we can afford to invest properly in our roads – unlocking jobs and local growth by creating a road network that is fit for the 21st century.

The smart motorway system involves an extra lane to manage the flow of traffic and improve motorway safety.

Spending during the next parliament on the local and national roads network across the north west will be boosted further by maintenance funding worth £1.4 billion.

Highlights of today’s announcement are:

  • investing £170 million on the A57, A628 and A628 trans-Pennine route, including a bypass for the village of Mottram - in addition, we will begin a study into the feasibility of building a trans-Pennine tunnel to address the strategic gap between Sheffield and Manchester, and would transform capacity and reduce congestion whilst still preserving the tranquillity of the Peak District
  • funding to upgrade the A5036 Princess Way, which links Liverpool’s ports to the motorway network - this was a key ask of the Liverpool City deal, providing support to the Atlantic Gateway development and helping to strengthen Liverpool’s status as an important global port
  • funding is being provided to upgrade the M53 to a smart motorway which will help to ease journeys into Birkenhead and support new housing and office space at the Wirral Waters development
  • further investment on the southern access to Manchester, joining up previously announced schemes to provide better access to the city and to Manchester Airport
  • a strategic study to examine the case for dualling the A66 and A69, will further improve trans-Pennine capacity and connections in the north of England
  • a further strategic study to look at long-term options for capacity around the north and west of Manchester to make sure the M60 does not become a barrier to the further growth of the city

Detail of the north west of England road schemes

North west of England road investment infographics and images.

Scheme name Scheme description Announced
M60 junction 8 to M62 junction 20: smart motorway M60: junction 8 to M62 junction 20: upgrading to smart motorway between J8 and J18 on the M60, plus smart motorways with all lane running on the M62 from junctions 18 to 20 2010
A556 Knutsford to Bowdon A556: Knutsford: replacement of the A556 between the M56 and the M6 with grade separated dual carriageway, including a bypass around Mere, improving a road that serves as the main southern access to Manchester 2010
M6 junctions 21A to 26 M6: junction 21a (M62 Croft interchange) to junction 26 (Wigan): upgrading to smart motorway including hard shoulder running; this links to the smart motorway scheme on the M62 junctions 10 to 12 to the east 2013
M62 junctions 10 to 12 M62: junction 10 (M6 Croft interchange) and junction 12 (M60 Winton interchange): upgrading to smart motorway including hard shoulder running; this links with the M60 smart motorway schemes to the east and M6 schemes to the west 2013
M60 junctions 24 to 27 and J1 to 4 M60: junction 24 (M67 Denton interchange) to junction 27 (A560) and junction 1 (Stockport) to junction 4 (M56): upgrading the south eastern quadrant of the M60 to smart motorway including hard shoulder running on the contiguous section from junction 24 to junction 4 2013
M56 junctions 6 to 8 M56: junction 6 (Manchester Airport) to junction 8 (A556): upgrading to smart motorway including hard shoulder running; together with improvements to the A556, M6 junction 19 and M6 smart motorway this forms part of a comprehensive upgrade to Manchester's southern access 2013
M6 junctions 16 to 19 M6: junction 16 (A500) to junction 19 (A556): upgrading to smart motorway including hard shoulder running; along with other improvements to the M6 and M1 this forms the top end of the 'smart spine' linking London and the north west 2013
A585 Windy Harbour to Skippool A585: Windy Harbour to Skippool: new bypass of 2 congested junctions on the A585(T) at Fleetwood north of the M55; this will reduce the impact of traffic on 2 villages and remove a major bottleneck on the main road to Fleetwood Autumn Statement 2014
M62 junctions 20 to 25 Smart motorways across the Pennines, from Rochdale to Brighouse. Links 2 existing smart motorway sections to create a continuous smart route from Manchester to Leeds. Autumn Statement 2014
A5036 Princess Way - access to Port of Liverpool A5036: Princess Way: comprehensive upgrade to improve access to the Port of Liverpool to much better access along the A5036 link; this is a central element of the Liverpool local growth deal Autumn Statement 2014
Mottram Moor link road Mottram Moor: a new link road from the M67 to a new junction at the A57(T) at Mottram Moor Autumn Statement 2014
A57(T) to A57 link road A57(T) to A57 link road: a new single carriageway link, bypassing the existing A628/A57, and the A57 Woolley Lane/Hadfield Road junctions Autumn Statement 2014
M6 junction 22 upgrade M6 junction 22: upgrading the M6 junction 22 by providing additional capacity Autumn Statement 2014
M53 junctions 5 to 11 M53: J5 (A41) to junction 11 (M56 Stoak interchange): upgrading to smart motorway including hard shoulder running Autumn Statement 2014
M56 new junction 11A M56: new junction 11a: provision of a new junction to serve Runcorn: this will provide a new link to the Mersey Gateway Bridge Autumn Statement 2014
M6 junction 19 improvements M6: improved junction with the A556, to take account of traffic from the improved A556 and from the new smart motorway from junction 19 to Stoke. Autumn Statement 2014
M55 junction 2 Addition of the 'missing' junction 2 to the M55, to connect to the Lancashire CC-delivered Preston Western Distributor Road. 2013
M60 Simister Island interchange Improvement to the Simister Island interchange between the M62, M60 and M66 to the north east of Manchester. Introduces more free-flowing movements to substantially improve 1 of the busiest junctions in the north west Autumn Statement 2014
Northern trans-Pennine study Study of the case for dualling the A69 and/or A66 to create a new strategic link across the Pennines in northern England. Autumn Statement 2014
Trans-Pennine tunnel study Study of the viability of a tunnel under the Pennines to link Manchester and Sheffield. Autumn Statement 2014
Manchester north-west quadrant study Study of how to improve all modes of transport to the north and west of Manchester to ensure the road network can continue to support the city’s growth. Autumn Statement 2014

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Published 1 December 2014