For those of us who make the journey out of Manchester south comes news that plans for a major upgrade of the A556 between the M6 and the M56 will be put to the public for comments this month.
A 12-week consultation on the proposals for a road scheme to relieve congestion and improve safety along the route, will start on Monday 23 January 2012 and run until Monday 16 April 2012.
A public exhibition, where people will be able to see the plans and speak to the project team, will be held at Cottons Hotel and Spa on Manchester Road in Knutsford on Saturday 28 January from 10am until 5pm, on Tuesday 31 January from 10am until 9pm and on Thursday 9 February from 1pm until 9pm.
As part of the scheme a new 4.7 mile (7.5km) dual carriageway will run between Junction 19 of the M6 near Knutsford in Cheshire and Junction 7 of the M56 near Bowdon in Greater Manchester,taking take traffic away from local villages,bypassing Over Tabley, Mere and Bucklow Hill.
The current route of the A556 is often heavily congested says highways agency, with approximately 51,500 vehicles travelling along it every day. Just over one in every ten vehicles is a heavy goods vehicle, and there have been 118 accidents along the road in a five-year period.
The new dual carriageway will run mainly to the west of the existing A556 and will be built below ground level where possible, minimising the impact on the surrounding area. As well as the two motorway junctions, there will be other junctions along the new route for access to local communities.
The road will rejoin the existing A556 for a short section north of Bucklow Hill, which will be upgraded to modern dual carriageway standards. Improvements will also be made to the layout of Junction 7 of the M56.
The part of the A556 being bypassed by the new dual carriageway will be reduced from two lanes to one lane in each direction to discourage its use by through traffic. The disused lanes will be replaced with grass verges.