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Thursday, 19 September, 2002, 20:20 GMT 21:20 UK
New 150m motorway proposed
A new 150m motorway could be built to ease traffic congestion on the M56 and M6 near Manchester.

The Highways Agency said it would ease traffic flow on the A556 dual carriageway which struggles to cope with the volume of traffic at busy times.

The controversial plans have been revived after first being proposed more than a decade ago and will be considered by the North West Regional Assembly on Friday.

But they have provoked opposition from residents living near the proposed new A556M in Cheshire.

The A556
The Highways Agency wants to ease traffic pressure on the A556

The Highways Agency said the new motorway was its "preferred option".

It would be built parallel to the A556 through green belt land.

But Laurie Burton, of the Motorway Action Planning Group, which represents local residents, said he believed the new road was the wrong solution.

He said it would take up more green belt land than the alternative option - remodelling junction 20 of the M6 near Warrington, Cheshire.

Currently drivers from the M56 can only join the M6 going northbound at that junction.

But a Highways Agency spokesman said the new motorway would have less environmental impact.

Planning permission granted

He added: "The new motorway would be in a cutting which means it would have less visual impact and would reduce noise levels.

"It is also the less costly scheme and would have less impact on land than widening the M6 all the way up to junction 20."

The scheme is part of an umbrella project to widen the M6 to four lanes from the Midlands to the North West - one of the busiest sections of road in Europe.


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19 Sep 02 | England
11 Sep 02 | Politics
29 Nov 01 | Politics
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