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The M56 motorway, also known as the North Cheshire
Cheshire
motorway, is in Cheshire
Cheshire
and Greater Manchester, England. It runs from Junction 4 of the M60 to Dunkirk, near Chester. With a length of 33.3 miles (53.6 km), it is often busy with long-distance commuter traffic towards North Wales. It serves commuters heading to Manchester, particularly those from the wider Cheshire
Cheshire
area, and gives access to Manchester
Manchester
Airport from the national motorway network.[1] 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[edit] Although the main line of the motorway starts as a continuation of the A5103 Princess Parkway, the M56 begins on Sharston
Sharston
Spur (also known as the Sharston
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)[2]. Current proposals are to upgrade the A556 to a dual carriageway.[3] 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
Broomedge
and High Legh. After meeting the M6 motorway, it passes south of Appleton Thorn. After reaching junction 11, it runs through the outskirts of Runcorn and 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, 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[edit] 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.[4] Construction began in 1968[5] and the motorway opened in stages between 1971 and 1981:[6]

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,[7] but these have not happened.[8] Until 2008 the M56 terminated at a roundabout at the west end. Work started in 2006[9] to grade-separate this junction (and others) to allow free-flowing traffic to North Wales. The project was completed in 2008. Junctions[edit] Data[10] from driver location signs are used to provide distance information.

M56 motorway
M56 motorway
junctions

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

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

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

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

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

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

Manchester
Manchester
City Centre, (M60(N&W)), (M62(W)), (M61) (A5103) J3 ( TOTSO
TOTSO
EB) No access (on-slip only)

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

Motorway
Motorway
ends at Terminals 1 and 3 Roundabout Terminal 2 Cheadle, Wilmslow, Wythenshawe, Moss Nook (B5166), Manchester
Manchester
Business Park Buxton
Buxton
(A6), Congleton, Manchester
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, Macclesfield
Macclesfield
A538 J6 Wilmslow, Hale, Macclesfield, Manchester
Manchester
Airport Freight Terminal A538

Entering Greater Manchester

River Bollin

River Bollin Entering 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, Manchester
Manchester
(N) (M62), Lymm
Lymm
(A50) Lymm
Lymm
Truck Stop J9 Services Preston M6, Liverpool
Liverpool
(M62), Warrington, Lymm
Lymm
(A50) Lymm
Lymm
Truck Stop

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

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

A533 J11A A533

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

Weaver Viaduct

31.9 51.4 Stanlow, Helsby
Helsby
A5117 Chester
Chester
services J14 Services Helsby, Stanlow, Chester
Chester
Zoo A5117 Chester
Chester
services

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

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

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

Ellesmere Port
Ellesmere Port
A5117, Whitchurch (A41) Non-motorway traffic 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[edit] 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; traffic for the nearby Tatton Park
Tatton Park
Flower Show, and the resulting closure to through traffic of the minor road along the southwest edge of Tatton Park
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.[11][12][13][14] Thorley Lane bridge replacement[edit] 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[edit]

Section Capacity AADT (2016)

J1-J2 D2 (65,000)[15] 96,035

J2-J3 69,011

J3-J3A ( Princess Parkway
Princess Parkway
Spur) D3 (97,000)[16] 95,310

J3-J4 D4 (130,000)[17] 164,320

J4-J5 146,415

Airport Spur D2 (65,000)[18] 55,470

J5-J6 D4 (130,000)[19] 131,478

J6-J7/8 D3 (97,000)[20] 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)[21] 43,942

Upgrades[edit] 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 11a at Runcorn
Runcorn
between the existing Junctions 11 and 12 to relieve heavy congestion on this stretch and serve the new Mersey Gateway bridge. Work is due to commence on the new junction in Spring 2020. [22][23] M56 corridor[edit] "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, within easy reach of the M56. The area includes the cities of Manchester
Manchester
and Chester, and commuter towns and villages in rural Cheshire. It also includes Warrington
Warrington
and Runcorn where the chemical and pharmaceutical industries are prominent.[24] See also[edit]

Cheshire
Cheshire
portal

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

References[edit]

^ " Motorway
Motorway
Database » 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. Archived from the original on 17 July 2012. 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. Archived from the original on 21 August 2008. Retrieved 1 January 2012.  ^ CBRD Motorway
Motorway
Database - M56 Timeline ^ "The Motorway
Motorway
Archive - M56 J16 to J14". Iht.org. Archived from the original on 14 October 2008. 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. Archived from the original on 27 August 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
Rural
Roads" (PDF). www.standardsforhighways.co.uk. Retrieved 30 July 2017.  ^ "Traffic Flow Ranges for Use in the Assessment of New Rural
Rural
Roads" (PDF). www.standardsforhighways.co.uk. Retrieved 30 July 2017.  ^ "Traffic Flow Ranges for Use in the Assessment of New Rural
Rural
Roads" (PDF). www.standardsforhighways.co.uk. Retrieved 30 July 2017.  ^ "Traffic Flow Ranges for Use in the Assessment of New Rural
Rural
Roads" (PDF). www.standardsforhighways.co.uk. Retrieved 30 July 2017.  ^ "Traffic Flow Ranges for Use in the Assessment of New Rural
Rural
Roads" (PDF). www.standardsforhighways.co.uk. Retrieved 30 July 2017.  ^ "Traffic Flow Ranges for Use in the Assessment of New Rural
Rural
Roads" (PDF). www.standardsforhighways.co.uk. Retrieved 30 July 2017.  ^ "Traffic Flow Ranges for Use in the Assessment of New Rural
Rural
Roads" (PDF). www.standardsforhighways.co.uk. Retrieved 30 July 2017.  ^ http://www.chesterchronicle.co.uk/news/chester-cheshire-news/building-new-m56-junction-cheshire-13579959 ^ http://roads.highways.gov.uk/projects/m56-new-junction-11a/ ^ "M56 corridor dated 2008-09-17". Property Week article. 19 April 2002. Retrieved 1 January 2012. 

External links[edit] Route map: Google

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Display on Google Maps

Template:Attached KML/M56 motorway KML is from Wikidata

CBRD Motorway
Motorway
Database - M56 The Motorway
Motorway
Archive - M56

v t e

Motorways in the United Kingdom

Great Britain

M1 M2 M3 M4 M5 M6 M6 Toll M8 M9 M11 M18 M20 M23 M25 M26 M27 M32 M40 M42 M45 M48 M49 M50 M53 M54 M55 M56 M57 M58 M60 M61 M62 M65 M66 M67 M69 M73 M74 M77 M80 M90 M180 M181 M271 M275 M602 M606 M621 M876 M898

A1(M) A3(M) A8(M) A38(M) A48(M) A57(M) A58(M) A64(M) A66(M) A74(M) A167(M) A194(M) A308(M) A329(M) A404(M) A601(M) A627(M) A823(M)

Northern Ireland

M1 M2 M3 M5 M12 M22 A8(M)

Former

M10 M41 M63 A18(M) A40(M) A41(M) A102(M) A6144(M)

Unbuilt

M12 M15 M16 M31 M64

Proposed

M4 relief road

Junctions

Almondsbury Catthorpe Gravelly Hill Handy Cross Longbridge Switch Island Thorpe Thurcroft

Related articles

Highways England Preston By-pass Smart motorway

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