The Three Alternative Routes from Bucklow Hill To Altrincham

The Swan Bucklow Hill

There has been a 1000% increase in traffic through Rostherne, Mere, Ashley, High Legh and Agden because there is no direct route from The Swan Hotel directly into Altrincham. Most people believed that there would have been a road linking the two locations but now that the roadworks are finished all has become apparent. One local Bucklow Hill resident who didn’t want to be named said.

“It’s ridiculous! It used to take me less than five minutes to get into Altrincham and that was with all the traffic at Lymm roundabout! I now have to drive all the way up the new B5569 to the junction with the A50 which is always blocked with really heavy traffic. If there is a queue on the new road because of a crash on the M6 or something then heaven help me!

All I want to do is to toddle into Altrincham and it now takes me 15 minutes on a good day or up to 45 minutes when the road is blocked! To add insult to injury when you try and go down the old road it’s some time before it says ‘No access to A556/Bowdon Roundabout – turn around'”

The Swan Bucklow Hill
The Swan Bucklow Hill

It’s even worse for the residents of the Crescent Rd estate on Chapel Lane. They are being encouraged to drive down towards the Swan, turn right and up the B5569 to the A50, then travel down the new road in the direction of Altrincham.

Crescent Road Estate Bucklow Hill
Crescent Road Estate Bucklow Hill

The new road has been amazing for the residents of Mere with a huge reduction in traffic with the loss of the accompanying noise but one resident Alan Spiggott is fuming.

“So now I’ve got to go all the way up Mereside Road and turn right on to the A50 which isn’t easy at the best of times. Then if it’s blocked I can be sitting there for 20  minutes. One time there was a crash on the M6 or something and my car was in the queue for nearly an hour! I was only nipping into Hale – I just didn’t think! It’s bloody stupid.”

Thankfully there are alternative routes using the back roads but this has lead to a 1000% increase in village road traffic in the area since the new road was finished.

The Three Alternative Routes To Altrincham From Bucklow Hill

  1. Through Rostherne and Ashley

There is a route from The Swan Hotel if you travel down the narrow Ciceley Mill Lane through Rostherne. You drive at 20 through the village so that is why it takes 14 minutes (as opposed to 5 using the old route). You also have to be careful of killer tractors who come flying down the road very quickly. You turn left at Tatton gates, down the Tatton mile. Left at The Greyhound and down Ashley Rd in to Hale. There are often hoards of lycra clad men on bikes who ride three abreast so those tend to slow the journey time as well.

Note that if you are feeling charitable then you could give the Rostherne residents a break, you could go up Mereside Rd and turn left at Ashley Rd opposite Clamhunger Lane and the now defunct VIP cars. That would circumvent the village all together and you would go the whole way alongside Tatton Park.

The Swan Hotel To Hale - Route Via Rostherne
The Swan Hotel To Hale – Route Via Rostherne

2. Through Agden from Chapel Lane

This route takes you up past the Crescent Road Estate and over the new A556. You then carry on until you get to Back Lane. There is a sign here saying that there is ‘No Through Route’ but this is a lie and you can turn right here. I don’t know whether it is illegal to send people down a road that says this but as it isn’t true I can’t see what the problem is. You then turn right at Boothbank Lane past the Children’s Adventure Farm (CAFT) and under the M56 motorway. Then follow Reddy Lane in to Little Bollington. You will come out at Lymm Road/A56 so turn right to Bowdon Roundabout.

Back Lane Route To Altrincham
Back Lane Route To Altrincham


The Swan To Altrincham Via Bollington
The Swan To Altrincham Via Bollington

Whilst this again is a small country road with single track lanes involved particularly when you go past CAFT – it is a viable alternative to being stuck at the junction with the A50. Although it says 16 minutes on the map above it really takes about 12.

3. Quickest Route Using Millington Lane

There is a quicker route and that involves going down the old road as you would if you were going to Altrincham. Go over the roundabout – the one where a natural link on to the A556 would have avoided all this country driving! and carry on. Then take a left over the A556 down Millington Lane. This is quicker as it cuts out Chapel Lane and Back Lane and joins at Raddy Lane past CAFT, so you still have to take it dead slow – and under the M56. This lands you just right of the Old Stamford Pub on the Lymm road and about a mile from the roundabout: see below

The Swan To Altrincham - Quickest Route

This is actually only a slight diversion from the old route but again country roads are involved so the utmost care must be taken navigating them. Again it says 16 minutes on the map below but try it and it’s way under 10 – I think they added a lot on for when you are in Altrincham.

For goodness sake DO NOT try and continue on down the old A556 because you will end up in Rostherne! A route could be crated this way and there is in fact a narrow bridge off Cherry Tree Lane>Tom Lane>Yarwoodheath Lane but you will just get to a gate on the Bowdon Roundabout which is very frustrating – as you will just have to turn around because it is locked. One day maybe someone will see fit to upgrade those lanes and open the gate who knows?

We have asked Highways England for a comment on the lack of a quick road so will update this post once we have learned more.

Update from Highways England: 6/10/2017 10.27

This from Highways England – it appears that the residents of Millington opposed a straightforward link which would have directed all the traffic away from the country roads!

“To reassure you junction strategy was fully thought through and discussed at the Public Examination into the scheme which was held in 2014. Consideration was given at that time to a northbound on slip at Millington as suggested in one of the submissions. There was however resistance to this from a local representative group. The final decision from the Planning Inspector, taking into account all the submissions made, was the layout that has now been constructed. All the information from the Public Examination is online and can be found at with some relevant information starting at para 5.51.
Highways England cannot deviate from the route that as laid out with the DCO as that is the official planning document.”

Hale & Altrincham Life©


  1. They need to sort out the other end of the new A556, onto the M6 roundabout, as well. If there is a problem on the M6 and traffic coming off is greater than usual the whole roundabout grinds to a halt. As there are no lights controlling the flow from the A556 onto the roundabout the traffic already on the roundabout blocks off the exit from the A556 meaning nothing moves. I’ve occasionally sat on the A556 for 30 – 60 minutes to do the last few miles. You would have thought that a simple computer model of traffic flow would have spotted this flaw in the road layout

  2. We live in the Millington area and did not vote to have this road let alone have the traffic diverted along our narrow lanes we still get cyclists in packs riding along our lanes we rarely see horse riders only the bravest of them will dare to ride out walkers and locals exercising their dogs risk being hit and injured we have to tolerate a constant steam commercial vehicles ,courier vans and speeding motorists even had articulated lorries jammed in the lanes under our trees all travelling down these narrow lanes when we complain to the highways agency they send our complaints to Costain who reply with platitudes and excuses if we ask drivers to slow down they react with four letter words and threats this was supposed to be an improvement for who ? the residents of Mere? yes, they have a private road the remainder of us risk injury each time we leave our homes we chose to live in a rural environment which is now ruined there were viable alternatives to this “By pass” but no one including Cheshire East Council would listen what is going to happen when it snows and the lanes are covered in ice there will inevitably be a serious accident its only a matter of time
    This is totally illogical road network a child could have planned the road better anyone can see that the sensible route would ave been to utilise the route of the A556 to take all so called local traffic as when we arrive at the Millington Lane junction one can actually see the Bowdon roundabout but cannot drive directly to it one is forced to travel on a circuitous route along very narrow and partly one track lanes ,undersatandably motorists become angry and speed down these lanes yet the road planners chose to ignore common sense appeals from residents and farmers so now we have to live with this fiasco and out taxes have paid for it in the years to come the truth will dawn this was another politicians project and now we have HS2 another white elephant charging our way !

    • Hi Howard

      Perhaps the last line of this email from Chris Burrows at Costain may provide some hope?

      Thank you for your response.

      I understand that some people may not have realised that it is necessary to access the A556 from the A50 to travel to Altrincham but the vast majority were aware.

      There have been five separate Public Information Exhibitions held relating to the scheme and the question has been regularly covered at those as well as numerous public and Parish council meetings.

      There was a large consultation exercise held before the application was made for the Development Consent Order and as described previously there was then a Public Examination held under the auspices of the Planning Inspectorate. The website referenced in the original reply has numerous publicly available documents that cover not just the A556 route but a multitude of other factors which includes traffic levels on side roads. Numerous interested parties made representations to the hearing including representative bodies such as Parish Councils who are entitled to represent their constituents views. As is often the case not all can be accommodated as these views may conflict. The Inspectors function would be to take all these into account before making a final decision as to the road. There is also the principle of a minimum amount of land take so no approval to compulsory purchase land would be made if it were not deemed necessary to do so. On reading the documents you will see that land owners did not wish their land to be purchased for road building purposes and made relevant representations to the Inspector.

      It is accepted that initially there may have been confusion as to the route to take to get to Altrincham for those familiar with the “old” route” and who were not aware of the new road layout in particular those travelling from Knutsford . That is not now the case and it is quite untrue to say that “ People who drive down the old A556 only find out at the exit roundabout that they cannot access Bowdon roundabout”. The destination Altrincham, features on numerous signs both permeant and temporary in the area with correct signposting to the A50 access. If you have a particular area you believe lacks signage please let us know and we will investigate it.

      The comments on your Facebook page are noted and provide a range of views in addition to those you quote.

      It is not possible to simply build a new access road. To do so would require design, funding being available and then a further planning process and compulsory purchase of land. The planning process has already been followed and the Inspector decided against such a link road having heard representations from a wide range of interested parties as already described.

      I appreciate that this does not accord with your personal views or a number of others on your Facebook page, but even from comments on there not all are in favour of your suggestion.

      The other issue we face relates to out of date satellite navigation systems. We have worked with suppliers where possible and provided all necessary data, this includes to TomTom, the AA and Ordnance Survey. This does however rely on motorists to update their systems and also to follow relevant signage.

      The junction at Mere will be completed in early November when the final layout of the scheme will then be in place. We will be able to assess after that time whether there are still ongoing issues on local roads. Should this be the case Cheshire East Council has a sum of money from the scheme budget with which to take action to mitigate these effects.

      I hope that this makes the position clear



  3. so much for the sum of money that it has not been spent on anything to alleviate the road problems which continue to deteriorate and as for sat nav what a joke, more collisions and destruction of the walls verges and fences and they call this an improvement scheme the traffic now bottlenecks at the m56 junction instead

  4. Another whitewash Costain? This so called Cheshire East council support fund has , just like the road run to nothing we have a couple of ineffective signposts that probably cost £250 in total which has done nothing to alleviate the increasing traffic problems we have more traffic including builder vans tree surgeon vans courier vans and speeding motorists that ever and now we have more development applications in with CEC plans submitted by two further non resident organisations who have little concern for the environment but are nevertheless very influential to certain groups who all seek more development at Both ends of Millington Lane thus adding further to the pollution ,traffic chaos and environmental destruction of this our area and area tat was until recently relatively unknown and unspoiled and you people talk of protecting the environment ?


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