THE option of a new motorway junction between Knutsford and Holmes Chapel is set to be explored, if the proposed realignment of HS2 goes ahead as planned.

The latest route for phase 2b of the rail project would dissect Winsford and Middlewich, heading up towards Pickmere and encroaching on the current A556 road at Rudheath.

In a response to the recent HS2 consultation, Cheshire West and Chester Council said it was exploring options to either create a new M6 junction near Lower Peover or a new A556 bypass connecting Rudheath and Plumley.

The CWAC Highways team’s response said: “Detailed discussions are needed to ensure clarity of understanding of HS2 Ltd’s impact and proposals for all highways, public rights of way and cycle paths that are or may be affected by the proposed route.

“The A556 is a principle route, connecting both Northwich and Winsford areas to the motorway network.

“The proposed rail route has been moved to within close proximity of the A556 and appears to require realignment of the A556, with clarification on this required.

“Further issues to be discussed include the option of a direct link from A556 at Rudheath to a new M6 motorway junction in the vicinity of Lower Peover, or a new A556 bypass to be built from Rudheath to connect back to the A556 in the vicinity of Plumley Moor Road, Plumley.”

The response adds that connectivity between the A556, the A530 King Street and potential employment land is the council’s priority, with the area set to be operating over capacity and new development moves forward.

The new link would provide congestion relief at pinch points such as the A556 junction with Gadbrook Road and the roundabout connecting it to King Street.

The revised route, the council says, adds uncertainty when planning for the future.

CWAC added that it would require HS2 Ltd to ‘commit to provide funding’ to address issues, and that ‘solutions must be in place before any HS2 construction work commences’.