Costain for UK A556 road upgrade

By Neill Barston01 September 2014

The UK government has approved a major road upgrade scheme costing up to £212 million (€268 million) to be delivered by Costain on the A556 near Manchester.

Following assessment by the Secretary of State for Transport, the project will be create a new 6.5km dual carriageway linking the M6 junction 19 and M56 junction 7.

The Knutsford to Bowdon route in Greater Manchester comes in response to “severe congestion” identified by the Highways Agency that were first examined in 2003.

As part of the works, there will also be upgrades to both northbound and southbound carriageways of the M6 between Junction 19 and Knutsford services.

It had been considered by the Planning Inspectorate before a final decision by the Secretary of State for Transport was made on August 28.

Once the new route is completed, the existing A556 will be then be declassified as a trunk road and reduced to a single carriageway in each direction.

With precise tendering yet to be finalised, the budget for the revised stretch of road has been forecast between £137 million (€173 million) to a maximum of £212 million (€268 million) to build. Construction is expected to start later this year.

Speaking during the planning phase of the scheme, project manager Richard Stuart said it would provide both economic benefit and relieve a badly-congested area.

He said, “The existing A556 is an extremely busy road which passes directly through the villages of Mere and Bucklow Hill. It is a fairly poor environment for the people who live there and by taking away the road from the existing route it will improve their living conditions as well as the safety and capacity of the A556.”

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