M56 to close for weekend in September as project to upgrade the motorway finishes up in Cheshire

A section of the M56 will be closed for an entire weekend in September as a project to upgrade the motorway finishes up.
Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

National Highways has been adding an extra lane and technology on the M56 between junctions 6 (Hale) and 8 (Bowdon).

The agency said this will “help smooth drivers’ journeys through a section of the network carrying up to 100,000 vehicles a day.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

As part of a key phase of work, the motorway will be totally closed from 9pm on Friday (September 9) to 6am on Monday (September 12).

Where will the closure be?

The eastbound carriageway will be closed from junction 9 at Lymm interchange with the M6 to junction 5 for Manchester Airport.

The westbound carriageway will be closed from junction 5 to junction 8 at Bowdon.

“Clearly-signed diversions will be in place,” a spokesman for National Highways said.

A section of the M56 will be closed for an entire weekend in September (Credit: David Dixon)A section of the M56 will be closed for an entire weekend in September (Credit: David Dixon)
A section of the M56 will be closed for an entire weekend in September (Credit: David Dixon)
Read More
M6 to close overnight to allow two bridges damaged by vehicle strikes to be repa...

Will the closure affect access to Manchester Airport?

National Highways said they have worked closely with Manchester Airport throughout the project and access to the airport will be maintained – via the westbound M56 at junction 5 – throughout next month’s weekend closure.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Holidaymakers with overnight flights and heading to the airport from places like the West Midlands, north Cheshire and North Wales will be able to use a motorway diversion from junction 9 of the M56 at Lymm or a local diversion from junction 7 at Altrincham.

During the weekend closure, access to Manchester Airport at junction 5 will be maintained via the westbound M56.

A westbound diversion will operate using the M60, M62 and M6.

Drivers from the Midlands and North Wales planning to use the eastbound M56 to head to the airport or Manchester city centre will need to use the M6, M62 and M60 diversion instead.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Drivers are also being advised the westbound carriageway will be closed at times - between junction 5 and junction 7 - during the preceding weekend from 9pm on September 2 to 6am on September 4 and again from 9pm on September 4 to 6am on September 5.

Access to the airport at junction 5 will be open at all times but a good motorway diversion away from the westbound M56 will be in place for other drivers.

What work will be carried out during the closure?

Work during the closure will include:

- installation of manhole covers ahead of surfacing work

- continuing installation of stopped vehicle detection (SVD) on westbound and eastbound carriageways

- completion of concrete central safety barrier

- re-surfacing sections of the carriageways

- resurfacing the slip roads at junction 6

- restoring traffic counting safety ‘loops’ in the carriageway

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

- painting emergency areas orange so they are visible to drivers

- installing new lighting columns in the central reservation

- removal of temporary safety barrier and other traffic management measures

What have National Highways said about the closure?

“The four-mile section of motorway between junction 6 at Hale and junction 8 at Bowdon is part of the important corridor between Manchester and Manchester Airport and the Midlands,” a spokesman said.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“As well as installing technology to help provide smoother journeys, National Highways is converting the hard shoulders to add an extra running lane to both the westbound and eastbound carriageways.

“A new central reservation concrete safety barrier, low noise surfacing, four emergency areas – providing a place to stop in the event of breakdowns or other emergencies – and technology to alert the control centre to breakdowns and incidents will also be installed.

“The project is likely to be fully-completed before the end of the year – allowing the newly-upgraded stretch of motorway to operate beyond 60mph to the maximum 70mph after systems testing.”

They added: “The roll-out of new all lane running (ALR) smart motorways was paused by the government in January to allow five years’ worth of safety and economic data to be collected.

“However, work on stretches already under construction – such as the M56 – is continuing because these stretches were all more than half completed and leaving traffic management in place throughout the five-year pause would significantly disrupt drivers.”

More information about the M56 motorway upgrade is available HERE.