|Location Map ( geo)|
|To:||Guilden Sutton (SJ431686)|
|Distance:||21 miles (33.8 km)|
|Meets:||M56, A41, A55|
|Former Number(s):||M531, A5032|
|Route outline (key)|
M53 is the Mid-Wirral Motorway between Birkenhead and Chester. The first section from Wallasey to Hooton opened in 1972 but then it became less of Mid-Wirral and more East Wirral to take a different route to what was originally envisaged. It was completed to Hoole, near Chester, in 1982.
The 10.5 miles from J1 Bidston to J5 Hooton was opened on 1 February 1972, along with the Moreton Spur and A554 Leasowe Road Link, by Lord Leverhulme, Lord Lieutenant of Cheshire. It had dual 36 feet carriageways with a 13 foot central reservation and 9 foot 6 inch hard shoulders. Contractor was a Sir Alfred McAlpine and Son Ltd. / Leonard Fairclough Ltd. consortium, tender cost £11.6 million. The opening of the J1 flyover and connections to the Wallasey Docks and new Mersey Tunnel links was delayed until 22 May 1972. Single lane traffic was then allowed on the Bidston viaducts following preliminary £20,000 improvements and strengthening work to the steel box girder bridges. Full opening was expected in August or September 1972.
This left J2 by a flyover junction and had dual 24 foot carriageways.
Details of the intended extension are at Moreton Spur
Ellesmere Port Motorway
At the time of its building it was intended that this would be a spur off the M53 and it was numbered M531 on its opening on 22 December 1975. This is the section from M53 J5 north of Hooton to J6 Stanlow Halt Interchange at Little Stanney.
You will find the history at Ellesmere Port Motorway
The M53 was planned to be extended southwards from the partly constructed Hooton Fork (immediately to the west of M53 J5). The extension first proposed was to bypass Childer Thornton, Little Sutton and Great Sutton and rejoin A41 at Backford Bridge, just to the north of Chester. In the early 1970s it was proposed to be extended further to join Chester Southern Bypass.
Find out more at M53/Unbuilt Southern Extension
The M56 connection
The 1 mile motorway from J10 Stanlow Halt, Little Stanney to J11 Stoak Interchange opened on 18 March 1981 and connected the M53 Mid Wirral Motorway and formerly numbered M531 Ellesmere Port Motorway to the M56 westwards extension opened on the same day.
Onwards to Chester
The Chester Eastern and Southern bypasses were meant to become M53 once they were linked to the motorway network. However, by the time the Eastern bypass opened, that scheme had been watered down and the road didn't become motorway.