I routinely use the M56 when attending engagements around my constituency. With my local office located just off Junction 11 at Sci-Tech Daresbury I have first-hand experience of the challenges facing drivers along this motorway and indeed on the surrounding road network. In particular, I have serious concerns about safety between Junctions 12 - 14 – it is long, flat and with very little technology or electronic signposting alerting drivers to potential hazards ahead. Also, as a predominantly east-west motorway, the setting sun can have knock on safety implications, making it extremely difficult for drivers to see. This is especially true during autumn and winter when the sun is lower in the sky. In the last 12 – 18 months there have been a number of incidents, sadly some extremely serious, which have had a devastating effect on the local community.
In October I held a multi agency meeting with senior representatives of Highways England, Cheshire Police, Mersey Gateway, Halton Borough Council and Cheshire West and Chester Council to discuss safety issues and indeed those of traffic management. I have said before, and I re-emphasise now, that I would welcome and support initiatives from these agencies to introduce measures to improve safety on this carriageway in their forward works programme. I have made it known that I will lobby for “Smart Motorway” technology, with electronic signposting along this stretch of the M56 to help ensure driver safety. The M56, like the new Mersey Gateway bridge, is integral to the Northern Powerhouse and I am committed to securing the best possible infrastructure facilities for the area.