A SHORT bypass could be built to ease congestion off the M56 towards Northwich.

The road, estimated at a cost of around £7.5 million, would take drivers from junction 10 of the motorway around Lower Stretton from Tarporley Road, before rejoining Northwich Road nearer to Antrobus.

Warrington Borough Council has examined options to alleviate traffic woes in the area following concerns from Warrington South MP Faisal Rashid, Stretton Parish Council, councillors and residents.

The council confirmed assessment work for its options is ‘nearing completion’, with another option including widening the road, where currently chicanes are in place forcing traffic into one lane close to the motorway roundabout.

A spokesman said: “In response to concerns raised by local ward councillors, Stretton Parish Council, residents and Faisal Rashid MP about the impact of traffic and in particular heavy goods vehicles travelling through Lower Stretton on the A559 Northwich Road, there has been an examination of what highway options are available to alleviate this.

“This has included what improvements could be made to the A559 Northwich Road itself.

“Additionally, an alternative option which has been examined is the option of constructing a short bypass of Lower Stretton, which would connect the A559 Northwich Road with the A49 Tarporley Road to the south of Junction 10 on the M56.

“This would remove through traffic from the A559 Northwich Road through Lower Stretton.

“Assessment work for these options is nearing completion and the outcomes will be communicated to ward councillors, Stretton Parish Council, Faisal Rashid MP and residents in the near future.”

Labour’s Mr Rashid says it is ‘clear that action is needed’ in Lower Stretton.

He said: “I understand that several options have been considered for the A559 Northwich Road. Options relating to the removal of HGVs on this road have already been discounted due to the strong opposition they would receive from neighbouring local authorities, as the road is a main access road to the M56 for Cheshire West.

“Two of the remaining options involve the widening of the carriage way at a cost of around £300,000 and a bypass option, which was the most expensive at a cost of around £7.6 million.

“If the Government provides the necessary funding for a bypass, I would be supportive of this option, and I would of course back the council’s bid to Government for this much-needed infrastructure improvement.”

“However, if the funding cannot be found from alternative sources, it would be at the discretion of WBC to find the best cost benefit solution to address the issues at hand. I sympathise with my constituents who are affected by the disruption caused by HGV traffic on this route and I hope that a long-term solution can be found as soon as possible.”

A CWAC spokesman said that the route is thought to sit within WBC boundaries.

Tatton MP Esther McVey said: “I was interested to hear about the discussion in relation to a proposed bypass. I look forward to getting more information about the proposal and the detail on how it will affect my constituents. I will listen to the local residents and their views and will support them accordingly”.