Transport

£43m scheme to ease congestion at busy M6 junction will start in the spring

By David Prior at

Work on a £43m scheme to upgrade the often congested Knutsford junction of the M6 is to start in the spring.

The junction is the gateway to the M6 for people travelling from Altrincham via the A556 Bowdon to Knutsford bypass, which opened over two years ago.

The government has now approved a programme of work to ease congestion – 65,000 vehicles use the junction each day – and create a better flow of traffic through the junction.

A new bridge will be built over the centre of junction, providing two new dedicated links, one from the M6 northbound to the A556 northbound and the other from the M6 southbound to the A556 southbound.

A visualisation showing M6 traffic going under the new junction

The scheme will also replace traffic signals, add new signs and improve local access for walkers and cyclists using the junction.

The £35.5m contract for the detailed design and construction of the new bridge and other improvements has been awarded to a joint venture between Amey and Sir Robert McAlpine.

A video fly-through of the work:

Highways England project manager Jamie Carruthers said: “Our priority is to deliver this junction improvement safely and minimise any disruption from these and other roadworks in the region and we’ll be providing more details at public information events in the new year.

“We’re now working with colleagues to confirm a start date in the spring.”

A public consultation on the scheme took place in 2016.

A visualisation of the completed junction

Assuming a spring start, the scheme is set to be completed by summer/autumn 2021.

The improvements are part of a wider collection of schemes to improve connections between Cheshire and South Manchester, including the completed Knutsford-Bowdon bypass, the improved B5569 and the M6 junction 16-19 smart motorway.