The M56 is a motorway, also known as the North Cheshire motorway, in Cheshire and Greater Manchester, England. It runs from Junction 4 of the M60 to Dunkirk, Cheshire and is 35 miles (56 km) in length. The motorway is often busy with long-distance commuter traffic towards North Wales as well as providing access to Manchester Airport from the national motorway network.
The road now heads south to the west of Wythenshawe and Manchester Airport until it reaches junction 6, where it turns west. It then runs to the south of Hale, going down to three lanes. It passes junctions 7 and 8 which are part of the same complex. Junction 8 was planned to be used by the proposed A556(M)). The current proposals are to upgrade the A556 to a dual carrigeway. Traffic for the southbound M6 leaves here and this junction can suffer from congestion. The motorway then enters a more rural setting, continuing between Broomedge and High Legh.
After meeting the M6 motorway it passes south of Appleton Thorn. After reaching junction 11, it runs through the outskirts of Runcorn and Frodsham. Between junctions 12 and 14, and the missing junction 13, it runs parallel to the River Mersey and Manchester Ship Canal. After meeting the M53 motorway, the road finally returns to two lanes, it proceeds between Chester to the south and Ellesmere Port to its termination at a roundabout at Dunkirk, Cheshire.
Proposals did exist for an extension into North Wales across the proposed Dee Barrage , but these have not happened.
|Eastbound exits||Junction||Westbound exits|
| Stockport M60|
|M60, J4|| Start of motorway|
|Didsbury A34||J1||No access|
|No access||J2||Wythenshawe, Altrincham A560 (M60)|
|Altrincham, Wythenshawe, Wythenshawe Hospital, Cheadle A560||J3a|| Start of motorway|
(Princess Parkway spur)
| Altrincham, Congleton, Wythenshawe A5103|
Manchester Ring Road (M60)
|Manchester Airport||J5||Manchester Airport|
|Hale, Wilmslow, Macclesfield A538||J6||Wilmslow, Hale, Macclesfield A538|
|Altrincham A56||J7|| Northwich A556 |
|Preston, Birmingham, Leeds (M62) M6||J9||Preston, Liverpool (M62) M6|
|Warrington, Northwich A49||J10||Northwich, Warrington A49|
|Runcorn (E), Warrington A56||J11||Preston Brook, Daresbury A56|
|Runcorn, Widnes, Northwich A557||J12||Frodsham, Runcorn, Widnes A557|
|Stanlow Refinery, Helsby A5117|| J14|
|Stanlow Refinery, Helsby A5117|
|No access||J15||Ellesmere Port, Birkenhead, Chester, Wrexham M53|
|Start of Motorway||J16||North Wales, Queensferry A5117|
|North Wales, Queensferry A5117||Road continues as A5117 towards North Wales|
The M56 Corridor is a term used by estate agents and social geographers to describe what is considered to be a relatively affluent area of north west England, within easy reach of the M56. The area includes the cities of Manchester and Chester, together with commuter towns and villages in rural Cheshire. It also includes Warrington and St Helens where the chemical and pharmaceutical industries are prominent.