Opening date for Manchester Airport Relief Road announced


The new A6 to Manchester Airport Relief Road will be open to traffic from Monday 15th October following a final inspection today (Friday, 5th October).

Stretching from Hazel Grove in the east to Manchester Airport in the west, the relief road includes 11 new and upgraded junctions, 11 bridges including four railway crossings and a shared cycle and pedestrian path that runs parallel to the road for its whole length.

Over the coming days the finishing touches to the road will be completed as it gets set to welcome traffic for the first time, providing a new road link for residents and business as they travel around Stockport, Manchester and east Cheshire.

Residents are being given a chance to explore the road for themselves on Sunday, 7th October, before it opens. There will be a day of free events for all ages including cycle obstacle courses, British Cycling's "Let's Ride", a classic car parade and much more is planned giving everyone a chance to get involved as well as get an up-close look at the work that's been taking place.

The events will be held between 11am and 3pm, but before the day kicks off in earnest a 5km wheelchair race and run will be taking place from 9:30am.

Anyone coming along will be able to access the road on foot or bike at any of the junctions or footpath entrances with most of the events taking place in the main festival village which will be on the section of the relief road just off Macclesfield Road, SK7 6DT.

For anyone travelling by car a free regular shuttle bus will be running throughout the day from the Hazel Grove Park & Ride and visitors are being encouraged to use this to help keep the local roads clear.

Councillor Kate Butler, Cabinet Member for Economy and Regeneration at Stockport Council said: "I'm delighted to be able to announce the opening date for the A6 to Manchester Airport Relief Road, which is going to make it even easier for people to travel in and around our region. This has been one of the largest and most complex local authority road schemes on site in the UK over recent years and we've really appreciated all of the help, patience and support given by residents during the construction work – we know it has been hard at times.

"We do hope that you can join us at the community day on Sunday and take the chance to come and explore the road for yourself – something that won't be possible once vehicles are on it!"

Full details about Sunday's events are available on the SEMMMS website.

Manchester Airport Relief Road


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

Richard Slater
Friday 5th October 2018 at 5:17 pm
There'll be a flurry of planning applications going in for houses now.
Howard Piltz
Friday 5th October 2018 at 5:32 pm
Is there likely to be a formal enquiry as to why this job has taken so long? Why the junction of the A34/A555 has had huge sections coned-off for years with very little apparently happening. This has been a night-mare for motorists who deserve an answer, no obfuscation, no blaming Carrilion, just, please the truth.
Ian Cook
Saturday 6th October 2018 at 7:59 am
“Use the park and ride to keep the roads clear”

Isn’t this a bit stable door, horse, bolt???
Terry Roeves
Saturday 6th October 2018 at 9:16 am
The Stockport bypass won’t make an iota of difference to our parking crisis.
We of course live in hope that A34 traffic flow improves, but why should it?
Gordon Hyslop
Sunday 7th October 2018 at 9:21 am
Final inspection 5th October open 15th October so we have to wait 10 days after the final inspection. Presumably there will be a final -final inspection? This road is more than 1 year overdue it’s missed 4 completion targets, millions of hours have been spent by motorists in queues caused by this project yet they are now celebrating it by having a “fun day” I glad that Councillor Kate Butler is “delighted” are you Councillor Kate Butler going to give a proper explanation of the reasons for the delays and not the excuses? The whole project has been a shambles from start to finish, badly planned and under resourced, it’s been a blight on the area causing traffic chaos with lanes restricted for no reason, work left partly completed for months on end. The Styal to airport section could have been fully opened weeks ago but, no let’s have traffic jams so that when it is opened everyone will say what a great improvement the new road is. Councillor Kate Butler If you are responsible for this project you should resign
Jon Williams
Sunday 7th October 2018 at 10:23 am
I think some are being a bit ott on this, after all the main was Carillion plc who went into compulsory liquidation on 15 January 2018, the most drastic procedure in UK insolvency law, with liabilities of almost £7 billion.
Brian Tickner
Sunday 7th October 2018 at 11:53 am
I disagree, Jon Williams, as a retired private sector ex Highway/Bridge Engineer I have posted here previously that I believe that Stockport Council have presided over one of the worst performing contractors that I recall. Their supervision of the Contact has been woeful and the Contractor, whatever thay are called, has performed abysmally causing appalling delays to local road users for far too long.

I would love to know what the final outturn cost of this Contract is compared to the price it was let at.
Gordon Hyslop
Sunday 7th October 2018 at 12:22 pm
Mr Jon Williams There was little affect of the contractor going bust as they were only joint contractors The project was already seriously delayed. It will be interesting to see how much the cost of the delays have cost the tax payer.
John Clegg
Sunday 7th October 2018 at 8:10 pm
Blimey, Howard Piltz, you're pretty unforgiving. It wasn't just Carillion. There was rain, too - most of which wasn't planned and catered for.

It's pointless holding an enquiry. I mean, why would anyone want to investigate why it has taken 4 years to re-model 2 roundabouts plus the approach roads? That the works have added at least 20 mins each way to several thousand drivers every single workday -much, MUCH more, when there has been the odd closure or other similar restriction - only works out at 3 hours or more per car per week for several thousand drivers is small beer when compared to the millions of cost savings for the contractors if they actually got on with it, and comlpeted it with some sense of urgency. When I brought this to the attention of our local caring MP and SEMMMS, the only reasoning and justification they claimed was "health and safety".

Remember that in the same period, someone has magically over-seen a whole new bridge over the Mersey near Runcorn.

Anyway, over the last 4 years, what we've witnessed is an extension of Manchester City Council's hatred of all cars, such that roadworks - and as many as possible - are instituted to frustrate car drivers. Ir's very much stick and no carrot. Public transport is a joke:we're lucky that Wilmslow is on a mainline or we'd have poor rail connections; only a few short years ago there were several 'buses each hour between Macclesfield and Manchester. Nowadays, any time after late afternoon, Macclesfield is cut off by 'bus.

Anyway, what do I kinow? I'm no expert, having only experienced the foul-up first hand on an almost daily basis.
Stuart Redgard
Monday 8th October 2018 at 4:51 pm
Poor old car drivers (Of which I am one); and tax payers (of which I am one).

Roads of this nature are built because we the tax payer want to use our cars to drive on them.

So my honest opinion is that if you use any kind of motorised vehicle for any purpose whatsoever, them you have some responsibility for the blame. Let's all go back to travelling by horse drawn cart or just walking.....

Enough said!
Ian Parkinson
Monday 8th October 2018 at 8:50 pm
Just open the road for gods sake.
John Harries
Monday 8th October 2018 at 9:23 pm
Come on Stuart Redgard...
The A6 to Manchester Airport Relief Road was a joint venture capital project and 'the Customer' i.e. Stockport MBC who had the lead responsibility, have an oversight duty of care.
Anything relevant that could be said has been said. There has been plenty of negative stuff written about the project over the past 4 or so years but customer and contractor alike must bear equal responsibility for an utter shambles. It's more or less over and done with now** and I for one would rather not waste more public money on trying to pin the tail on the donkey (which has likely bolted anyway - if, that is, donkeys do bolt).
CEC are involved and could/should have blown a whistle at some point but didn't (if they did I certainly didn't hear it) and it's a further example of their utter uselessness - so kick'em out next May.
** Installation of a new Tiger crossing is still underway on the north side at the Handforth Road/A555 overpass bridge. It's over two weeks from when work started and we were mislead into thinking it would take 5-7 days. More road closures are imminent (now 6 days away from the whole project being officially open) yet last Thursday a group of 8 (yes, eight) people in full high vis gear (at least one being from Cheshire East Highways - it was emblazoned all over rthe back of his jacket) spent almost half a morning in what appeared to be 'reviewing' the design/layout of said crossing!! These were not workers, they were managers and/or engineers, there were however two workers on the opposite side of the road getting on with that part of the a ratio of 4:1 which seems to sum up the whole thing - one lady commented on here about the same crossing something of the order "why does it take so long and a full road closure to paint a few lines across a road"!!
John Clegg
Tuesday 9th October 2018 at 4:10 pm
Stuart Redgard, you have a point.
But when central govt let local authorities allow 'bus services to whither and die, then what recourse do people have?
It's all this pretending that...
1. transport is not a service, and a profit can be made by an enterprising, intrested party. Just like the railways;
2. car drivers - and no-one else - are to blame.
3. short-term-ism is ace. (Look! We won't be in power soon, so it'll be Someone Else's Problem).
Nik Eastwood
Wednesday 10th October 2018 at 4:26 pm
well its obviously poor that the scheme is behind schedule for completion, but I am sure the road will be good when it comes online, I go between handforth and the M56 quite a lot so it will be useful to me, save using stanneylands rd, styal rd.

they will hopefully start on the poynton bypass soon to tie in with it
Peter Croome
Wednesday 10th October 2018 at 4:48 pm
Four years to complete a road - why a day of celebration?
The Mersey Tunnel opened in 1934, it took under nine years to build, my parents and grandparents were amongst the 80,000 who walked through the section to Birkenhead - now that was an engineering feat.
John Fallows
Wednesday 10th October 2018 at 6:13 pm
I get that the road will open ... but it's not the road itself that's been causing most of the holdups? It's the ancillary work on slip roads, roundabouts, road widening etc near B&Q etc. So will all that work be completed in the same timescale ... or will we still be stuck with single lane running etc. on the A34 for a further period.
Bob Bracegirdle
Wednesday 10th October 2018 at 7:11 pm
Hi ho. Delayed by unexpected rain. Who’d have thought it would rain in north west England?

Once it is open what happens at Jacksons Lane traffic lights as we are all caught with back up at the ring road lights? How are the drivers on the link road going to react to unexpected traffic lights on what looks like a motorway? What fun!

And of course it will attract MORE CARS, not public transport. Goody.
Alan Brough
Wednesday 10th October 2018 at 8:40 pm
Peter Croome makes a very good point. Why celebrate failure?

The road should have opened nearly twelve months ago and (in the meantime) we have been subjected to appalling delays and transport disruption.

Those responsible should be made to walk the length of the road in sackcloth and ashes and think themselves lucky that their heads aren't mounted on spikes along the way.......sorry but after years of sitting in traffic queues on the A34, I've had too much time to plot vengeance!
Richard Bullock
Monday 15th October 2018 at 10:35 am
The road ended up opening last night.
John Clegg
Monday 15th October 2018 at 3:21 pm
I notice that there are still lane restrictions on the A34 causing the customary delays between the Dean Row and Stanley Green roundabouts. I've just e-mailed the SEMMMS team to ask when that stretch will return to optimum running.
Janet A Taylor
Monday 15th October 2018 at 4:26 pm
Well said Alan !
Jon Newell
Monday 15th October 2018 at 9:42 pm
Were we all ridiculously naive?
When they said they were opening the road, I thought they meant the works were finished.
They are but only on those stretches that go on an east/west axis.
The A34 is as bad as - if not worse than - it has been throughout the whole project.
Does anyone know when the A34, including the roundabouts at the junction with the new road and with Stanley Road- are to be finished?
That may be something to celebrate - at least for those of us who need to use the A34.
Martin Kitchin
Monday 15th October 2018 at 10:25 pm
Yes Jon, in fact if anything the A34 definitely is worse than ever.

Today it took a full 17 minutes to get from Summerfields Village on the A34 to the Dean Coppice roundabout.

In fact it was so bad we turned back home abandoned the errands, and put Pointless on.

But do Cheshire East care ?

No probably not.

Sometimes we feel as if it's our fault for having an SK9 postcode and as for living on or near Summerfields Village . . .forget it.
Alan Brough
Tuesday 16th October 2018 at 8:28 am
I'm sure the situation will improve when they start work on The Handforth Garden Village.
Geoff Ferguson
Wednesday 17th October 2018 at 1:05 pm
The A555 may be open but the works are not complete, still cones everywhere work incomplete on the A34 bypass, took me just as long to get home from work last night as it has done for the last two years, which is half an hour longer than it should.
As Alan says just wait till they start on the "garden village", we will need a bypass for the bypass.
Everyone involved in this project should be ashamed of themselves