Press release

Meet the team behind Cheshire’s new dual carriageway

Computer-generated video reveals how A556 will look

A556 Image
Image of how the A556 will look

Road users, businesses and local residents will be able to find out more about a £192 million project to build a new dual carriageway linking the M56 to the M6 later this week.

The Highways Agency team overseeing the A556 project will be available to answer questions at an event taking place at the Curzon Cinema in Knutsford on Friday 28 and Saturday 29 November.

A short computer-generated video has also been released showing how the new A556 will look when it opens in two years’ time.

The five-mile dual carriageway will see a mile-long section of the existing A556 upgraded from junction 7 of the M56 near Bowdon before breaking away to the west, bypassing the village centres of Bucklow Hill, Mere and Over Tabley. It will then join up with junction 19 of the M6 near Knutsford.

A556 Map

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Work on the scheme began earlier this month, and a temporary 40mph speed limit is currently in place between Bowdon and Bucklow Hill for the safety of both road workers and road users.

Graham Dakin, Senior Project Manager at the Highways Agency, said:

The current route of the A556 is often heavily congested, with over 51,500 vehicles travelling along it on an average weekday. We’re therefore pleased we’ve been able to start work on this vital link road between the M56 and the M6.

Our contractors are currently diverting gas, water and electricity supplies, carrying out ecological surveys and installing fences to allow the main construction work to get underway next year.

We’ll be at the Curzon Cinema in Knutsford for several hours on both Friday and Saturday so we’re encouraging as many people as possible to come along to ask questions and find out more about the scheme.

Just over one in ten vehicles on the current route of the A556 is a heavy goods vehicle, and there have been 98 accidents along the road in a five-year period. The new bypass will take traffic away from local villages where numerous side roads, driveways and field entrances currently connect with the road. Improvements will also be made to the layout of junction 7 of the M56.

The new dual carriageway is expected to open in Winter 2016/17 and work to convert the existing A556 to a local road, including creating a separate track for horse riders, cyclists and pedestrians, will be completed by Summer 2017.

The event at the Curzon Cinema on Toft Road will take place from 1pm until 8pm on Friday 28 November, and from 10am until 4pm on Saturday 29 November. More details are available at http://www.highways.gov.uk/a556improvements

Published 24 November 2014