The builders of HS2 have published plans which aim to radically improve capacity at Junction 6 of the M56 to support future growth and development aspirations around the proposed new HS2/Norther Powerhouse Rail station at Manchester Airport.
The proposals, developed in conjunction with National Highways, suggest relocating Junction 6 of the motorway to the southwest and sequencing the works within HS2’s construction programme. The idea is to reduce the long-term impacts for local communities and road users should the works be carried out at a later date.
HS2 says the revised plans would improve access to the new combined HS2 and NPR station, and could also help to reduce congestion on the local road network. It adds that the proposed change reflects the ongoing design and engagement work that HS2 Ltd undertakes during the hybrid Bill process. The High Speed Rail (Crewe – Manchester) Bill was submitted to parliament in January last year and seeks the legislative powers to build and operate the northern extension of Britain’s new zero carbon railway, which is forecast to open between 2035 and 2040.
Initial concepts for the new junction would see the M56 realigned to the south and Junction 6 converted to a roundabout junction, with the HS2 railway line running in a shallow tunnel underneath. Link roads would connect the new junction to the existing local road network.
The proposals would also see the existing roundabouts at Junction 6 converted to signal-controlled junctions, and a direct link provided to the combined HS2/NPR station with a flyover crossing Hale Road and running parallel to the M56. To improve the local road network, the Runger Lane/Avro Way junction would also be upgraded to a signal-controlled operation.
(Picture – HS2)