New A556 dual carriageway to open on Monday (but not before another weekend of closures)

By David Prior at

Cheshire’s brand new A556 dual carriageway is set to open for the first time on Monday as work on the £192million Knutsford to Bowdon dual carriageway is completed.

The day will bring to an end a project that has been over a decade in planning – a public consultation on the proposed road was held as long ago as 2007.

Work was finally given the green light by the then Highways Agency in November 2014 and work has been ongoing since then, with considerable disruption for local motorists.

This weekend will however mark the penultimate such disruption, with a 56-hour weekend closure running from 9pm tomorrow night (March 3rd) until 5am on Monday morning (March 6th).

The M56 junctions 7 and 8, M6 junction 19 and the existing A556 will all be closed for the weekend.

The closure will allow the old road to be finally sealed off to through traffic and for the motorway junctions to be tied into the new dual carriageway.

How the Bowdon roundabout looked in 2014

How the Bowdon roundabout looked in 2014

Motorway users will be diverted to alternative junctions to leave or join the M6 or M56:

• Drivers on the northbound M6 heading for Manchester and Manchester Airport will need to stay on the M6, join the westbound M56 at Lymm Interchange (M6 junction 20) and then join the eastbound M56 at junction 10 (Stretton)

• Drivers on the westbound M56 heading away from Manchester and wanting to join the southbound M6 will also need to travel to junction 10 at Stretton – joining the eastbound M56 from there to travel back to Lymm Interchange and access the southbound M6

Over the weekend, only the northbound exit slip at junction 19 of the M6 will remain partially open – allowing drivers to access the southbound, local authority section, of the A556 towards Northwich.

How the Bowdon roundabout looks now

How the Bowdon roundabout looks now

The new road and the motorway junctions will be closed for finishing works during the project’s third and final full weekend of closures, between 9pm on Friday 10 March and 5am on Monday 13 March.

Construction of the new A556 link road is part of a £15 billion government investment in motorways and major A roads by 2021 which is being delivered by Highways England as part of the Northern Powerhouse initiative.