Highways England (HE) says plans for a £50m (US$69.7m) investment in one of Cheshire’s busiest motorway roundabouts will take a step forward next month when detailed proposals for the M6 Junction 19 improvement project are presented at two public exhibitions.
The UK government first announced the M6 improvement scheme in December 2014 as part of its Road Investment Strategy (RIS). This busy junction is in need of improvement to meet the expected increase in traffic coming from the M6 smart motorway scheme and the A556 improvement scheme, both currently underway. Once all works are completed, there will be better access for road users to the M56 and Manchester Airport.
The changes to this key junction are vital for reducing congestion in the future, improving safety and journey time reliability for all road users, and increasing connectivity between local areas. The plans will also improve access for walkers, cyclists and horse riders.
As part of the M6 J19 Project, HE proposes to:
• Add a two-way link across the junction to allow better connection between the M6 and A556, including a new bridge spanning the M6 motorway within the roundabout;
• Renew traffic signals on the roundabout and its approach roads;
• Add new traffic signals for the Tabley Hill Lane/Pickmere Lane Junction;
• Widen lanes on the existing roundabout to increase capacity, including the bridges over the M6;
• Add new signage, including gantry signs;
• Improve local access for walkers, cyclists and horse riders using the junction.
HE revealed in June last year that three quarters of drivers had backed the idea of a new bridge across the middle of the roundabout, where the M6 meets the A556 at Knutsford. The new bridge through the roundabout and over the M6 will provide dedicated link roads between the northbound M6 and the new northbound A556 Knutsford to Bowdon dual carriageway, as well as the southbound M6 onto the southbound, local, A556 road toward Northwich.
The agency has now refined the idea and, next month, road users and residents will get a chance to view the proposals before statutory processes begin later this year, paving the way for a start to construction.
“These information events are a great way for members of the public to view our updated plans and come to talk to us about this scheme,” said HE’s project manager, Jamie Carruthers. “We are keen to present the plans to the public again before we get the statutory processes underway and look to start by March 2020.”