M56 new junction 11a

Proposals for a new junction to link the M56 to the A533 at Runcorn, creating an improved link to the new Mersey Gateway bridge from the south.

Region:  North West
Start date:  Summer 2020
Cost:  £40 million - £100 million
Status:  PLANNED
Type:  Major Scheme
End date:  Summer 2022

Progress report

We're currently reviewing options for the M56 new junction 11a scheme. We're also working with the Department for Transport and Halton Borough Council to identify areas of further improvement for drivers while continuing to offer value for money. A proposal we're looking at is to replace the A533 Expressway Bridge, ensuring it's future proof for years to come.

For further information, please refer to the following reports and consultation materials which can be accessed on the consultation page.

You can view the reports and all the consultation material on the consultation page.

What's next?

We're carrying out drainage surveys and site investigations to allow us to design the scheme in more detail.


Date Event
Dec 2014 Scheme announced in the Road Investment Strategy
January 2017 Public consultation on the options for the new junction 11a
August 2017 Preferred route announcement
Winter 2017 to autumn 2018 Various ground investigation surveys
2019 to 2020 Review of options and bridge proposal

Why we need this scheme

The M56 provides an important link between Liverpool, Manchester and north Wales, and provides access to enterprise zones and major development sites. The Mersey Gateway Bridge - a £2 billion investment with economic, transport and social benefits, including 4,640 new jobs, reduction in journey times of up to 10 minutes and improvements to public transport facilities - extends this area of access to sites north of the River Mersey and the Manchester ship canal.

While the Mersey Gateway would relieve the congested and ageing Silver Jubilee Bridge at Halton as well as the M6 and M56, it's creating greater pressure on junction 12 of the M56 and on the links between junctions 11 and 12, and junctions 12 and 14. Currently used by around 90,000 vehicles each day, the area is in need of improvements to meet the expected increase in traffic coming from local roads.

The scheme was first announced in the government’s Road Investment Strategy to help relieve stress and pressure on the existing junctions and as an appropriate piece of infrastructure required to support the Mersey Gateway. The new junction 11a will play a role in realising the benefits of the Mersey Gateway scheme, provide an improved link from the south and support economic growth by reducing times from locations to the south east of the scheme area to destinations north of the River Mersey, such as John Lennon Airport.

The new junction would also provide improved access to the M56 from areas including Murdishaw, Brookvale and facilities such as Halton General Hospital and Whitehouse Industrial Estate, reducing journey times for residents from these areas as well as making the road network more resilient in the event of congestion at junction 12.


The changes are vital for reducing congestion in the future and improving both safety and journey times for all road users as well as increasing connectivity between local areas. The plans will also improve access for walkers and cyclists to the A56. These works will provide an improved link to the new Mersey Gateway Bridge and as part of the Road Investment Strategy, we aim to:

  • tackle congestion problems on the M56 and relieve pressure on junction 12
  • support jobs and economic growth in the wider area
  • improve road safety in turn reducing the number of collisions
  • minimise any negative impact on the environment such as air quality and noise pollution
  • provide a world-class strategic network

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Project timeline

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