The advice from the Highways Agency follows a serious road traffic collision along the M56 near its interchange with the M53. The incident happened at 2.30pm when a lorry crossed from the westbound carriageway into the eastbound carriageway – colliding with the central reservation barrier and overturning.
The accident happened between Junction 14 and 15 and the westbound carriageway is totally shut from Junction 14. There is no eastbound access from Junction 16 and access from the M53 onto the M56 is also currently closed.
The Highways Agency is advising drivers that the route is likely to closed for several hours for recovery and barrier repairs.
A diversion is in place between Junction 14 and 16 in both directions. Westbound drivers leaving at Junction 14 are being asked to follow the solid triangle to Junction 16: eastbound drivers are being taken off at Junction 16 and should follow the hollow square to Junction 14. Both diversion routes use the A5117 north of the M56.
Drivers are being advised to check traffic conditions in the area before setting out as there is likely to be congestion on routes around the incident.
The Highways Agency provides live traffic information via its website www.highways.gov.uk, local and national radio travel bulletins, electronic road signs and mobile platforms, such as the iPhone. Live traffic information is also provided through Twitter – with @HAtraffic_nwest and @HAtraffic_pen9 serving North West routes.
Providing they can do so safely, road users can also call the Highways Agency Information Line (0300 123 5000) to keep up to date with road conditions.
Notes to Editors
1. The Highways Agency is an executive agency of the Department for Transport. We manage, maintain and improve England’s motorways and other strategic roads on behalf of the Secretary of State.
2. The Highways Agency Traffic Officer Service was first introduced in the West Midlands in April 2004 to help keep drivers on the move. It was subsequently launched in the North West and North East (including Yorkshire and the Humber) in 2005.
3. Maintenance and improvement projects: We plan maintenance and improvement projects carefully to allow road works to be completed safely, in a cost effective way while keeping disruption to road users to a minimum. We do as much work as possible overnight and when roads are less busy in order to keep more lanes open for road users at peak travel times. Drivers are advised to check their route for road works and allow extra time for their journeys where needed. We have a variety of journey planning tools that road users can use to check travel conditions on the roads we manage, and we will do all we can to keep road users informed.
4.Real-time traffic information for England’s motorways and other strategic roads is available:
- From the web at www.highways.gov.uk/traffic or www.highways.gov.uk/mobile if using a phone or mobile device.
Before using any mobile, find a safe place to park. Never stop on the hard shoulder of a motorway except in an emergency. Make sure it’s safe and legal before you call.
- By phone from the Highways Agency's Information Line on 0300 123 5000 (Calls to 0300 numbers will cost no more than 5p per minute from a standard BT residential landline. Call charges from other landlines and mobile networks may vary, but will be no more than a standard geographic call and will be included in all inclusive minutes and discount schemes).
- Before using any mobile find a safe place to park. Never stop on the hard shoulder of a motorway except in an emergency. Make sure it's safe and legal before you call.
- From Twitter on one of eight separate feeds with live traffic information for each region. For information on roads in the North West follow us at @HAtraffic_nwest @HAtraffic_pen9 (for Transpennine routes). For the full index visit www.highways.gov.uk/twitter.
5. Receive our national and regional press releases by RSS and get the latest headlines straight to your desktop the moment we publish them to our website. Choose to receive a national press feed or one of our regionalised feeds - go to www.highways.gov.uk/rssnews for more information.