Mersey Gateway Project

New interchange planned for M56

Rachael Tinniswood

Direct access to the proposed new £450m Mersey River crossing could be provided through a new interchange on the M56 in Cheshire.

The plan, which would be built between the existing junctions at Clifton Interchange and Preston Brook, is currently under discussion following a public consultation exercise in Runcorn and Widnes.

Fears that Runcorn's expressway route would be overwhelmed by extra traffic led to the suggested scheme.

Halton council's current favoured plans would see the new high-level bridge linked with the expressway, which in turn would lead to the motorway a mile away. But if this new scheme is approved, a new junction, 11A, could be introduced on the M56 near Preston Brook.

The option is being discussed with the Government's Highways Agency. A further announcement will be made by the end of 2007.

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