DETAILS about plans for a £62 million upgrade to turn the M56 into a smart motorway between Hale and Altrincham can learn more later this week.

The first of two events will be held at the Marriott Hotel, Manchester Airport, Hale Road, Hale Barns, (WA15 8XW), on Friday, from 2pm to 8pm.

The second event will be held at St Peter’s Assembly Rooms, 136 Cecil Road, Hale, (WA15 9NU), on Saturday from 10am to 3pm.

Work to convert the hard shoulder, on this stretch, into an extra running lane in both directions and provide intensive technology to improve traffic flows between junction 6 and junction 8, will get underway next year with the smart motorway opening in spring 2020.

The events are being staged to help people find out more about all kinds of aspects of the scheme including details of next year’s construction phase and how the system will operate once it has opened.

Visitors to the events will also get a chance to meet some of the people in the team responsible for planning and delivering the investment.

Highways England project manager Clare Bond said: “These information events will be an excellent opportunity for anyone with an interest in the project to come and talk to us, have a look at the plans, discuss what we are planning in terms of traffic management and find out a bit more about how a smart motorway will operate.

“Smart motorways are designed to improve journey times and make journeys more reliable and less frustrating ­— and this is an important investment to tackle congestion along one of the most important sections of the M56 helping to provide a link between the M6 and Manchester Airport and the city itself.”

Anyone unable to attend an event can get further information ­— and sign up for regular updates ­— at a dedicated webpage for the project at