|Manchester Airport Eastern Link Road|
|From:||Manchester Airport (SJ818856)|
|To:||Hazel Grove (SJ933859)|
|Distance:||8 miles (12.9 km)|
|Meets:||M56, B5166, B5358, A34, A5102, A5149, A523, A6|
|Route outline (key)|
It was constructed in two stages; the initial section opened in 1995 as part of the construction of the Wilmslow and Handforth bypass, with stubs at the Handforth end with the intention of continuing the route to Manchester Airport. This was the situation until 2018, when the road was extended to the east and west. The 2018 extensions were built to a lower standard than was originally proposed, with at-grade signal controlled junctions and a narrower carriageway, resulting in a lower speed limit being applied than the original grade separated central section.
Manchester Airport Link Road (Western Section)
The western section will start at the unfinished grade separated junction with the B5358, passing under the existing bridge where west facing slip roads will be constructed. There will be a signalised crossroads with Styal Road, above the railway before continuing west to link into Ringway Road, which itself has already been dualled in preparation for the link and will assume the A555 number on completion. As of April 2016, very little work has happened on this side compared to the eastern section.
Central SectionB5358 at Handforth. It runs for 2 and a half miles to its former terminus at a junction with the A5102 at Woodford. Near the western end, there is a grade separated junction with the A34 Wilmslow and Handforth bypass. The route section is a national speed limit D2 for its entire length.
Manchester Airport Link Road (Eastern Section)
The western section will start at Woodford Road Junction which is being converted to a grade separated junction as part of the work with only west facing sliproads. It is understood that no junction was planned here at all in the 1990s version of the plan. The route will continue east to a large singalised roundabout at Chester Road Junction which will link to the A5149, this junction allows space for the future A523 Poynton bypass. Crossing the Stockport - Stoke railway the A555 will pass under Woodford Road without interchanging before meeting the A523 at Macclesfield Road Junction to the south of Hazel Grove. The final stretch will pass under the Stockport - Buxton line and former A6 before meeting a realigned A6 at Simpsons Corner.
The bridge under the Stockport - Buxton rail line was slid into place over the Easter period in March 2016.
This section opened in October 2018.
The current incarnation of the A555 appeared in 1995 when this short stretch of road opened. The plan was to build a dual carriageway from the end of the M56 Manchester Airport spur east to the A34 (where the Wilmslow bypass was about to be built), continuing east to bypass Poynton (and the busy A523 trunk road), and on to the A6 at High Lane south of Stockport where it would continue north as the Stockport bypass (as the A6(M)). This road was seen as vital to traffic management in South Manchester/North Cheshire, and would have relieved the M60 and the local roads around Wilmslow/Cheadle which carried a lot of airport traffic coming from the south and east.
The 1995 section was built as a part of the planned Stockport North-South Bypass and Manchester Airport Link Road. This route was originally part of the planned Manchester Outer Ring Road until the 1970s, at which point the M63 Stockport East-West Bypass was preferred for the main orbital route.
In late 2014 work started as part of the South East Manchester Multi Modal Strategy (SEMMMS) to extend the route to the Airport in the west and A6 in the east. This was completed in 2018.
As part of SEMMS continuation of the route from the the A6 at Simpsons Corner is planned, to bypass Hazel Grove and Stockport. It is unknown whether this route will be an extension of the A555 or a realignment of the A6.
- Pathetic Motorways: Manchester Outer Ring Road (Southern Section)
- South East Manchester Multi Modal Strategy
- The Review: Mixed reaction to A6MARR (22.11.2018)