Rain delays opening of airport relief road


The opening of the new £290 million A6 to Manchester Airport Relief Road has been delayed due to heavy rainfall.

The 10km dual carriageway, constructed to improve access across south east Manchester and east Cheshire, was due to open to traffic by autumn 2017, after two and a half years of construction works.

However, a spokesperson from Stockport Council, who are leading this major transport project with its partners Cheshire East Council and Manchester City Council, said

"Contractors Carillion Morgan Sindall joint venture (CMS) are continuing to make progress on the 10km relief road. Since starting work in 2015, contractors have worked hard to develop the road scheme. However, heavy rainfall, localised flooding and poor ground conditions have led to changes to the construction programme being required and more time being needed for certain works. The relief road is now programmed to be opened in spring 2018."

In the meantime the first section of the new A6 to Manchester Airport Relief Road, located in Hazel Grove between Yew Tree Avenue and Norbury Hollow Road, was scheduled to open to traffic this week.

Airport Relief Road, Manchester Airport


Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

Howard Piltz
Sunday 23rd April 2017 at 11:23 am
This must rank as one of the slowest projects I have witnessed. 2.5 years? Balderdash! The bit if the road already open, Handforth to Bramhall has been open for I guess 12-15 years and progress since then has been painfully slow.
Anybody who lives local has seen the SEMMMS hoardings saying openly not Autumn '17 will have realised how far behind construction has been since the signs went up, yet we have been subjected to congestion in Cheadle Hulme for about a year that it has taken to widen the junction with complete inactivity for large periods.
If the project has been managed by the Stockport local authority they should hold their heads in shame!
Mark Goldsmith
Sunday 23rd April 2017 at 12:08 pm
So it rains in Manchester - who'd have known?

A disappointing delay but better late than never.
David Ward
Sunday 23rd April 2017 at 12:12 pm
I notice that the traffic lights near the amazon building are causing traffic hold ups. I wonder if the traffic delay census will say that the new link road has helped traffic flow, ( when it finally opens!)
Nik Eastwood
Sunday 23rd April 2017 at 7:05 pm
it will be worth it when its done

question though, will there be improvements to A555 to the M56 airport spur? I emailed semmms but they said its not part of their project, the current junction is useless.
Pete Taylor
Monday 24th April 2017 at 6:00 am
The improvements to the A34 must be one of the worst ever schemes in terms of execution; instead of completing one section at a time, the whole length was started together meaning no progress for months in some areas. Maximum delay and inconvenience from start to finish.
Brian Tickner
Monday 24th April 2017 at 10:30 am
I would love to see the data upon which the Contractor has based his extension of time claim. Heavy rain, localised flooding & poor ground conditions? It seems to me that planning and management might also be areas which could be questioned. I must assume that this is going to cost a great deal of additional money unless there are clauses in the contract that prevent it. This is intolerable on top of the delays to traffic that the contractor has also been allowed in his traffic management.
Stuart Redgard
Monday 24th April 2017 at 11:44 pm
@Nik Eastwood

I believe that improvements to the A555 intersection with the M56 Link road are part of the "Airport City Enterprise Way" scheme.


John Mills
Tuesday 25th April 2017 at 7:42 am
Hardly surprising. For 2 years we have seen great lengths of inactivity along the who,e route. Maybe more manpower and harder work would have completed the process ahead of, or at least to schedule. Blaming the weather is just unbelievable and sums up the whole process.
Manuel Golding
Tuesday 25th April 2017 at 12:35 pm
And do not forget the five (5) months congestion about to be created around the A538 airport tunnels - from two lanes each way down to one - for lighting upgrade & white painting. Five months of chaos adding to the unecessary congestion with lights on the A538 alongside Airport City as Dave Ward refers.
When LA had its disastrous earthquake in 1994 (I think), the area's roads collapsed. It took the powers that be a matter of weeks to rebuild the road network by putting men, machines & the desire to get the job done. Our road managers live in their own dream world as we see on the A34, the A538 tunnels, the SEMMS road.
Obviously daily inconvenience costs & pollution are of no concern to road management. We know all the excuses, we hear them repeatedly; all they are are excuses for poor management & incompetence.They really need to get their acts together, stop playing at it, get stuck in & complete the jobs in a matter of a few weeks, not months of agony.
Brian Tickner
Wednesday 26th April 2017 at 2:17 pm
Don't forget that the congestion on the A538 is caused by Manchester City Council! Likewise on the A34 look to Stockport MBC as the culprit. Do you think that they really care what inconvenience they cause in Cheshire East?
Steve 'Buck' Taylor
Wednesday 26th April 2017 at 5:28 pm
I have travelled between the Stanley Green area of the so called road widening and traffic flow improvement more than a few times I might be imagining things but I see little or no activity at all. Maybe the contractors have told the workers to slow up so they can milk the system for more cash, as I have not heard of any penalty clauses for not meeting their targets!!!
John Harries
Wednesday 26th April 2017 at 8:10 pm
A local sign change spotted Monday afternoon at the Clay Lane " Road closed until 6th June", that's the 3rd extended completion date that I've noticed. Admittedly these projects are complitcated but it isn't exactly rocket science and god knows how much was spent on the preliminary stages/pre-planning before a single sod was dug!!
It's clear there is no urgency, I just note the pace of change in our little section in Handforth. Nor does there appear to be any continuity - a bit here, a bit there. Groundworks, tree clearance then some bridging, then a bit of cycle way and back to groundworks. A couple of weeks back substantial kerbing and some initial road surfacing, 7 days later along comes a gang and they dig up/remove 60% of the new kerbing!! Earlier this week a lighting specialists team turned up to fit LED lights to the new slip road lamp posts - they managed 3 lamp fittings and then disappeared.
In the US they manage 100's of miles of new highway in a matter of weeks; to be sure unlike our roads their roads are not built to withstand nuclear attack as our's appear to be but let's get real, many UK contractors just get away with financial/contractural murder and it's all to our cost - if it's not the money it's the frustration of road works, travel delays and sheer inconvenience of day to day life that we all have to put up with.
But the real blame lies with our councils who appear to have little idea of the real world, after all it's not their money is it.
It's been said many times on many and varied subjects - local representation needs to be made by local, capable people who care about the community. Jobsworths are killing us, particularly those in the CEC. When you next vote remember, get them out.
Graham Jackson
Thursday 27th April 2017 at 7:32 am
As mentioned by Stuart, the A555/M56 link is being constructed under a different contract, this isn't due for completion until spring 2018. Coincidence?

If this link isn't ready cars will just stream down to the airport and just come to grinding halt as the current junction, allowing vehicles into the airport or onto the motorway, is not fit for purpose.
Lisa Wood
Thursday 27th April 2017 at 9:42 am
As always there will be gridlock getting in and out of Wilmslow. Why would they start a 20 week project on the tunnels when other schemes are yet to be finished. The addition of more businesses at the airport and in Wilmslow make travelling to work a complete nightmare. The only relief is when the school holidays are on!
Brian Tickner
Thursday 27th April 2017 at 12:17 pm
Lisa, I have already pointed out that it is Manchester City Council that you need to complain to!
Barry Stafford
Thursday 27th April 2017 at 12:31 pm
This is the worst ,biggest c...up ,ever operated. The contractors only work 4 1/2 days. You can find 10 or 12 men in Bramhall cafe on Fri am having full English. Then all stops over the weekend. The obvious plan was to continue under the old A34 Handforth ,across 3 mile of fields Styal road and airport.Then many cars could have gone from Woodford to the airport. At best 6 months. Instead the companies/planners disrupted the whole A34,and all links between Poynton,Bramhall, Woodford.Cheadle Hulme.I see this disaster several times a week. Yes,nothing as been done for 12 months.with 30mph.cameras, cones,rubble. With nobody working. Yet expensive machinery sat idol. Now all men and machines are in Styal area, trying to catch up. If anyone knows how we can have a public enquiry. I would assist to report to Ches East and Ministry of Transport. I think Carillion are involved here. Baz
Gordon Hyslop
Saturday 29th April 2017 at 10:28 am
Got to agree with everyone, this is a shambolic managed project They restricted the lanes on the current roads, causing congestion, at the onset of the work, dig up a few trees removed earth and then disappear. They do bits at a time instead of finishing sections and reopening the roads fully! The work at Clay Lane is an example, the poor residents have to endure a diversion for months for work that could have been completed in a few weeks IF they had done it all at once. The slip roads virtually finished months ago at the Bramhall roundabout could have been opened to ease congestion, few weeks ago they were digging the grids up there. I hope that they are subject to penalty clauses but, as SMBC are leaders then no doubt they will be giving them more of our money. Why aren't they working every day for as long as the light holds out, instead of finishing around 4 when I complained about this and they say they have to consider the residents, but then have nighttime closures of the A34.
Ian Cook
Wednesday 10th May 2017 at 4:03 pm
And then they put up Barton Grange road signs a business place that hasn't existed for nearly 10 years!!!!