The M56 is set to be affected by closures this weekend and next weekend as its transformation into a smart motorway approaches its completion.

The westbound carriageway will close between Manchester Airport and Bowdon overnight on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Initially, National Highways intended for the closures to last all day on Saturday as well, but this has since been changed.

Then, next weekend, the westbound carriageway will close in the same area and the eastbound carriageway will close between Lymm and Manchester Airport. This is for the whole weekend with no breaks.

Messenger Newspapers: The westbound diversion. Picture: National HighwaysThe westbound diversion. Picture: National Highways

According to National Highways, work during the closures includes the addition of a concrete barrier to the central reservation and the installation of technology to alert the control centre to breakdowns and incidents, as well as a low-noise road surface and several areas to stop in emergencies.

All work is set to be completed before the end of the year.

Messenger Newspapers: The eastbound diversion. Picture: National HighwaysThe eastbound diversion. Picture: National Highways

At the start of 2022, the transformation of motorways into smart motorways was paused by the government to allow for five years' of safety figures to be collected.

It came after safety concerns arose from fatal incidents where broken-down cars were hit from behind due to the lack of a hard shoulder, which will also be the case on the M56 due to the conversion of the hard shoulder on both carriageways into an additional lane.

The work on the M56 continued as it was more than half complete, and leaving the current traffic management measures in place for five years was not sustainable.

Over this weekend and next weekend, a diversion will run on the M6, M62 and M60.

Drivers are advised to check for traffic before setting off on a trip.

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This article was written by Jack Tooth. Jack is the reporter for The Messenger and covers anything and everything from within the Metropolitan Borough of Trafford.

To contact him, email or follow @JTRTooth on Twitter.