M6 Roadworks Update
Local drivers in Knutsford have been warned to expect more travel chaos over the coming months as the Highways Agency have announced that major improvements of the roundabout at junction 19 of the M6 are about to take place.
Initial planning and consultation for the scheme happened last year, but it was only on June 30th that the final plans were revealed to the general public for the first time.
Consultation with local drivers over the options available for the scheme had resulted in an overwhelming 75% choosing Option A – a scheme in which a new bridge will be placed across the middle of the existing roundabout. This would occur where the A556 meets the M6.
It is estimated the work will cost around £50 million and is penciled in to begin in at some point between March 2019 and March 2020.
The only other idea put forward was Option B, which involved new traffic signals and wider lanes on the existing roundabout, which would have potentially increased capacity for vehicles.
The construction work will occur in the middle of the roundabout and straddle the existing carriageways on the M6. It is hoped that this then link up the roads between the M6 Northound and the A556 and going forward, on the southbound routes too.
The scheme will offer wider lanes and traffic lights to the roundabout that is already in-situ, and improve local access routes for anyone on foot, bicycle or horse, making it universally acceptable, rather than just for motorists, as option B would have been.
Speaking on behalf of the Highways Agency, Project Manager Irene Ofei said “We are delighted to announce the scheme we are taking forward is the one which was the overwhelming choice of people taking part in last year’s consultation”.
She added that: “We feel this option will deliver most and lasting benefits in terms of improving journey reliability and safety and increasing capacity”
She also stated: “The new link roads across the middle of the roundabout will take a lot of traffic away from other parts of the roundabout, reducing congestion for everyone”.
Whilst the initial work will mean an increase in travel congestion and longer delays expected for commuters, it is hoped that in the long run this will decrease and make the area less prone to hold ups.
The general advice from Government agencies is to make sure you leave plenty of time for your journey and expect delays whilst the work is being undertaken.
For more information on the initial consultation and plans, you can read the following link from the Government’s Highways Agency here: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/m6-junction-19-improvement-scheme-options