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The Info List - M56 Motorway



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The M56 MOTORWAY, also known as the NORTH CHESHIRE MOTORWAY, is in Cheshire
Cheshire
and Greater Manchester
Greater Manchester
, England. It runs from Junction 4 of the M60 to Dunkirk, near Chester
Chester
. With a length of 33.3 miles (53.6 km), it is often busy with long-distance commuter traffic towards North Wales
North Wales
. It serves commuters heading to Manchester, particularly those from the wider Cheshire
Cheshire
area, and gives access to Manchester Airport from the national motorway network.

The road forms part of the unsigned Euroroute E22 .

CONTENTS

* 1 Route * 2 History

* 3 Junctions

* 3.1 Junction 7 slip closures * 3.2 Thorley Lane bridge replacement

* 4 Traffic counts * 5 Upgrades * 6 M56 corridor * 7 See also * 8 References * 9 External links

ROUTE

Although the main line of the motorway starts as a continuation of the A5103 Princess Parkway , the M56 begins on Sharston Spur (also known as the Sharston Bypass) where it detaches from the M60 motorway . After passing through junctions 1 and 2, the spur joins the main line at junction 3, increasing from two lanes to four to accommodate Manchester
Manchester
Airport traffic.

The road then heads south to the west of Wythenshawe
Wythenshawe
and Manchester Airport until it reaches junction 6, where it turns west. It runs to the south of Hale , reducing to three lanes. It passes junctions 7 and 8 which are part of the same complex. Junction 8 was planned to be used by the proposed A556(M) . Current proposals are to upgrade the A556 to a dual carriageway. Traffic for the southbound M6 leaves here and so the junction can suffer from congestion. The motorway then enters a more rural setting between Broomedge and High Legh
High Legh
.

After meeting the M6 motorway
M6 motorway
, it passes south of Appleton Thorn . After reaching junction 11, it runs through the outskirts of Runcorn and Frodsham
Frodsham
. Between junctions 12 and 14, and the missing junction 13, it runs parallel to the River Mersey
River Mersey
and the Manchester
Manchester
Ship Canal . After meeting the M53 motorway
M53 motorway
, the road finally returns to two lanes, it proceeds between Chester
Chester
to the south and Ellesmere Port
Ellesmere Port
to its termination at Dunkirk, Cheshire, where it becomes the A494 .

Traffic for North Wales
North Wales
can take either the M53 or the A494 to reach the A55 .

The motorway services on the M56 are Chester
Chester
(Run by Roadchef ) and Lymm
Lymm
(Run by Moto , also accessible from M6 )

HISTORY

The first proposal for a road along this route was agreed in 1958 and it entered the Trunk Road
Trunk Road
Programme for 1967/1968. Construction began in 1968 and the motorway opened in stages between 1971 and 1981:

* Junctions 1 to 3 opened in 1971. * Junctions 3 to 7 opened in 1972. * Junctions 7 to 9 opened in 1974. * Junctions 9 to 11 opened in 1975. * Junctions 11 to 14 opened in 1971. * Junctions 14 to 16 opened in 1981.

Proposals existed for an extension into North Wales
North Wales
across the proposed Dee Barrage, but these have not happened.

Until 2008 the M56 terminated at a roundabout at the west end. Work started in 2006 to grade-separate this junction (and others) to allow free-flowing traffic to North Wales. The project was completed in 2008.

JUNCTIONS

Data from driver location signs are used to provide distance information.

M56 MOTORWAY JUNCTIONS

mile km Eastbound exits (B Carriageway) Junction Westbound exits (A Carriageway)

Motorway
Motorway
merges onto M60 continuing towards Stockport
Stockport
M60 J4 Start of motorway ( Sharston Spur)

Manchester
Manchester
City Centre, Didsbury
Didsbury
A34 J1 No access (on-slip only)

No access (on-slip only) J2 Altrincham
Altrincham
, Wythenshawe
Wythenshawe
A560 , Liverpool
Liverpool
(M62) , Bolton
Bolton
(M61) (M60)

End of motorway Road continues as A5103 towards Manchester
Manchester
J3A Sharston , Altrincham
Altrincham
, Baguley
Baguley
A560

Altrincham
Altrincham
, Wythenshawe
Wythenshawe
, Wythenshawe
Wythenshawe
, Cheadle A560 Start of motorway ( Princess Parkway Spur)

Manchester
Manchester
City Centre, (M60(N background:#0079C1">(M62(W)) , (M61) (A5103) J3 ( TOTSO
TOTSO
EB) No access (on-slip only)

7.2 11.6 No access (on-slip only) J4 Wythenshawe
Wythenshawe

Motorway
Motorway
ends at Terminals 1 and 3 Roundabout TERMINAL 2 Cheadle , Wilmslow
Wilmslow
, Wythenshawe
Wythenshawe
, Moss Nook (B5166) , Manchester Business Park BUXTON (A6 ), CONGLETON , MANCHESTER (A34 ) A555 TERMINAL 1, TERMINAL 3 Start of motorway (Airport Spur)

Terminal 2

No access (on-slip only)

7.8 12.6 Manchester
Manchester
J5 Manchester
Manchester
, QUARRY BANK MILL

8.9 14.3 Hale , Wilmslow
Wilmslow
, Macclesfield
Macclesfield
A538 J6 Wilmslow
Wilmslow
, Hale , Macclesfield
Macclesfield
, MANCHESTER AIRPORT FREIGHT TERMINAL A538

Entering Greater Manchester
Greater Manchester

River Bollin
River Bollin

River Bollin
River Bollin
Entering Cheshire
Cheshire

12.4 19.9 Northwich
Northwich
A556 , Altrincham
Altrincham
A56 J7 Birmingham
Birmingham
(M6(S)) , Northwich
Northwich
A556 ,

Lymm
Lymm
A56

No access J8 No access (on-slip only)

17.6 28.3 Preston , Birmingham
Birmingham
M6 , Leeds
Leeds
, Manchester
Manchester
(N) (M62) , Lymm
Lymm
(A50) Lymm
Lymm
Truck Stop J9 Services Preston M6 , Liverpool
Liverpool
(M62) , Warrington
Warrington
, Lymm
Lymm
(A50) Lymm
Lymm
Truck Stop

20.8 33.4 Warrington
Warrington
, Northwich
Northwich
A49 J10 Northwich
Northwich
, Warrington
Warrington
A49

23.8 38.3 Runcorn
Runcorn
(East), Warrington
Warrington
A56 J11 Preston Brook
Preston Brook
, Daresbury A56

A533 J11A A533

26.8 43.1 Liverpool
Liverpool
, Runcorn
Runcorn
, Widnes
Widnes
A557 J12 Liverpool
Liverpool
, Frodsham
Frodsham
, Runcorn
Runcorn
, Widnes
Widnes
A557

Weaver Viaduct

31.9 51.4 Stanlow , Helsby
Helsby
A5117 Chester
Chester
services J14 Services Helsby
Helsby
, Stanlow , CHESTER ZOO A5117 Chester
Chester
services

34.5 55.6 No access (on-slip only) J15 Chester
Chester
, Wrexham
Wrexham
M53

No access (on-slip only) Ellesmere Port
Ellesmere Port
, Birkenhead
Birkenhead
M53

Start of motorway J16 End of motorway Road continues as A494 towards North Wales
North Wales

Ellesmere Port
Ellesmere Port
A5117 , Whitchurch (A41) Non-motorway traffic Hoylake
Hoylake
, Chester
Chester
A540 , Birkenhead
Birkenhead
(A550)

1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

* Incomplete access * Unopened

}

JUNCTION 7 SLIP CLOSURES

At junction 7 in July 2009, the slip road letting traffic come in southbound along the M56 and turn onto the A556 southbound was closed while the bridge where it crosses the M56 (the BOWDON VIEW BRIDGE), which for many years had had a weight restriction, was worked on; traffic intending to use it had to carry on to junction 10 and there turn round, or go through the centre of Altrincham
Altrincham
; traffic for the nearby Tatton Park Flower Show
Tatton Park Flower Show
, and the resulting closure to through traffic of the minor road along the southwest edge of Tatton Park from Ashley, Cheshire
Cheshire
to Mere, Cheshire
Cheshire
(which would otherwise have acted as a bypass for people living in the area), added to the resulting congestion.

In October and November 2010, the bridge was demolished and replaced.

THORLEY LANE BRIDGE REPLACEMENT

On Saturday 28 February and Sunday 1 March 2015, the new concrete girders of the Thorley Lane bridge a little north of Manchester Airport were put in. (The old bridge was demolished because it was found to be cracking.) The M56 was closed over that weekend for this. This caused much traffic congestion from M56 traffic diverted through Altrincham
Altrincham
and Wythenshawe
Wythenshawe
and along Styal Road and Kingsway, starting on Thursday 26 March because of work putting cones on the carriageway.

TRAFFIC COUNTS

SECTION CAPACITY AADT (2016)

J1-J2 D2 (65,000) 96,035

J2-J3 69,011

J3-J3A ( Princess Parkway Spur) D3 (97,000) 95,310

J3-J4 D4 (130,000) 164,320

J4-J5 146,415

Airport Spur D2 (65,000) 55,470

J5-J6 D4 (130,000) 131,478

J6-J7/8 D3 (97,000) 109,830

J7/8-J9 83,512

J9-J10 118,553

J10-J11 125,832

J11-J12 100,518

J12-J14 120,243

J14-J15 109,465

J15-J16 D2 (65,000) 43,942

UPGRADES

The Government announced in August 2015 that the motorway would be upgraded to a smart motorway as part of the Northern Powerhouse strategy.

There will also be a new junction between the existing Junctions 11 and 12 to relieve heavy congestion on this stretch and serve the new Mersey Gateway
Mersey Gateway
bridge.

M56 CORRIDOR

"The M56 corridor" is a term used by estate agents and social geographers to describe what is considered to be a relatively affluent area of North West England
North West England
, within easy reach of the M56. The area includes the cities of Manchester
Manchester
and Chester
Chester
, and commuter towns and villages in rural Cheshire. It also includes Warrington
Warrington
and St Helens where the chemical and pharmaceutical industries are prominent.

SEE ALSO

* Cheshire
Cheshire
portal

* List of motorways in the United Kingdom
List of motorways in the United Kingdom
* A56 road
A56 road
* Chester
Chester
to Manchester
Manchester
Line

REFERENCES

* ^ " Motorway
Motorway
Database ยป M56". CBRD. Retrieved 1 January 2012. * ^ Steven Jukes. "Pathetic Motorways - A556(M)". Pathetic.org.uk. Retrieved 1 January 2012. * ^ "Highways Agency Press Release". Highways.gov.uk. Retrieved 1 January 2012. * ^ "The Motorway
Motorway
Archive - M56 Scheme Introduction". Iht.org. Archived from the original on 13 May 2008. Retrieved 1 January 2012. * ^ "The Motorway
Motorway
Archive - M56 Dates Page". Iht.org. Retrieved 1 January 2012. * ^ CBRD Motorway
Motorway
Database - M56 Timeline * ^ "The Motorway
Motorway
Archive - M56 J16 to J14". Iht.org. Retrieved 1 January 2012. * ^ Department of the Official Report (Hansard), House of Commons, Westminster. "House of Commons Hansard Debates for 23 July 1993 - Column 403". Publications.parliament.uk. Retrieved 1 January 2012. CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link ) * ^ "Highways Agency - A5117 / A550 Deeside Park Junctions Improvement". Highways.gov.uk. Archived from the original on 5 February 2012. Retrieved 1 January 2012. * ^ Driver Location Signs, Highway Agency Area 10 (map) - Highway Authority, 2009 * ^ "Bridge repair work on M56 extended to three weekends". BBC News. 18 October 2010. Retrieved 18 October 2010. * ^ "M56 Bowdon View Bridge successfully demolished". Fidgetwith.com. 18 October 2010. Retrieved 1 January 2012. * ^ "M56 Junction 7 Bowdon View Bridge Replacement and Junction Improvement". Highways.gov.uk. 4 July 2011. Retrieved 1 January 2012. * ^ "M56 bridge repair works continue near Bowdon". BBC News. 23 October 2010. * ^ "Traffic Flow Ranges for Use in the Assessment of New Rural Roads" (PDF). www.standardsforhighways.co.uk. Retrieved 30 July 2017. * ^ "Traffic Flow Ranges for Use in the Assessment of New Rural Roads" (PDF). www.standardsforhighways.co.uk. Retrieved 30 July 2017. * ^ "Traffic Flow Ranges for Use in the Assessment of New Rural Roads" (PDF). www.standardsforhighways.co.uk. Retrieved 30 July 2017. * ^ "Traffic Flow Ranges for Use in the Assessment of New Rural Roads" (PDF). www.standardsforhighways.co.uk. Retrieved 30 July 2017. * ^ "Traffic Flow Ranges for Use in the Assessment of New Rural Roads" (PDF). www.standardsforhighways.co.uk. Retrieved 30 July 2017. * ^ "Traffic Flow Ranges for Use in the Assessment of New Rural Roads" (PDF). www.standardsforhighways.co.uk. Retrieved 30 July 2017. * ^ "Traffic Flow Ranges for Use in the Assessment of New Rural Roads" (PDF). www.standardsforhighways.co.uk. Retrieved 30 July 2017. * ^ http://www.chesterchronicle.co.uk/news/chester-cheshire-news/m56-smart-motorway-hapsford-runcorn-9833410 * ^ https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/427339/the-northern-powerhouse-tagged.pdf * ^ "M56 corridor dated 2008-09-17". Property Week article. 19 April 2002. Retrieved 1 January 2012.

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