Long delays expected during 5 months of work at airport tunnels


Motorists can expect to face long delays on the A538 for five months as roadworks take place at the runway tunnels.

New energy efficient, low maintenance and controllable lighting will be installed in the four tunnels and the walls will be repainted. In order to carry out these works the tunnels will need to be closed and temporarily capacity will be reduced to a single lane in each direction so traffic will share the same tunnels.

The restrictions will commence on Wednesday 3rd May when the 30 mph speed restriction will be extended from the logistics site works through the tunnels.

Traffic exiting Mill Lane will be too close to the works area and so will not be allowed to turn right towards Wilmslow. All traffic will be diverted towards Hale Barns and traffic heading to Wilmslow directed to use the roundabout under Junction 6 of the M56.

Between 10pm on Friday 5th 5am on Saturday 6th May the tunnels will be closed to traffic travelling from Hale Barns towards Wilmslow whilst contra-flow arrangements are established. A diversion route will be in place. From on Saturday 6th May traffic in both directions will share the two tunnels that currently carry traffic from Hale Barns to Wilmslow.

At the end of June there will be another nighttime closure for traffic traveling from Wilmslow to Hale Barns and then through July and September traffic in both directions will share the two tunnels that currently carry traffic from Wilmslow to Hale Barns.

In September there will be a final night time closure to return traffic follows to their correct tunnels. The dates of these June/August closures will be confirmed as works progress.

Additionally there will be ten days of closures for each of the tunnels that carry pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders. During these closures a road crossing will be placed to allow users to cross the A538 and allow travellers in both directions to share the tunnels. The dates of these closures will be confirmed as works progress.

Updates will be provided as these works progress.

A538, Manchester Airport


Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

Debbie Cross
Tuesday 18th April 2017 at 4:32 pm
Five months seems an awfully long time to complete these works! Yet more delays getting to and from work! And can anyone explain the reason for decimating the lovely trees and shrubs along that stretch of road to give us all such wonderful views of a car park?? Madness!
Vince Chadwick
Tuesday 18th April 2017 at 7:38 pm
Like Debbie, I wonder why the airport has removed the roadside trees to expose their unsightly new car parks to our view, ruining the rural feel of this road. Is it a form of 'territorial assertion'?

Regarding the work on the tunnels, apart from night time closures why will this work cause 'long delays'? There will be two way single file traffic through one of the two tunnels albeit with a 30mph speed restriction, while the other is closed for the work to be done. The road approaching the tunnels, from both Altrincham and Wilmslow, is two way single file, and from Altrincham currently has a 30mph speed restriction.

Since the tunnel closure will not cause road capacity to be less than that of the roads either side of the tunnels, why shouldn't traffic flow normally?