THE M56 eastbound will be closed for the third successive night as National Highways work continues on a £85 million upgrade.

The eastbound carriageway will be closed this evening, Sunday at 9pm until 6am tomorrow, Monday, between junctions seven and five.

Entry slip roads on this section of the M56 from Manchester Airport to where the M56 joins the M6 will also be shut.

National Highways is constructing a so-called ‘smart motorway’, which will see an extra lane added on each carriageway and extensive extra technology.

Highway bosses say it will ‘help smooth drivers’ journeys through this four-mile stretch of motorway which carries more than 100,000 vehicles a day.

The roll-out of the new all lane running ‘smart’ motorways was paused by the Government in January last year to allow five years’ worth of safety and economic date to be collected.

However, work on stretches already under construction, such as the M56, is continuing because these stretches are all more than half completed.

Leaving traffic management in place throughout the five-year pause would significantly disrupt drivers.


The scheme was due to be completed by the end of November 2022 but has been delayed into the new year.

When the new ‘smart’ M56 opens, it will have technology in place to detect stopped vehicles, normally within 20 seconds, to give added reassurance to drivers who stop in a live lane, says National Highways.