M 5 6 Fire: How to get home during the closures


A huge blaze has caused widespread disruption to the areas surrounding the M56 after a tanker caught fire, closing the M56 between Juntion 12 and 15.

Here’s what’s happening that is likely to effect your journey home.

Google map traffic
Google map traffic

As you can see from the above there is severe traffic around the area with surrounding roads also experiencing congestion.

  • M56 between J12 and J15 is closed in both directions.
  • M53 between J11 and J12 is experiencing severe delays in both directions.
  • The North Wales Expressway/A55 has heavy congestion (marked bright red on the map) also in both directions.
  • The A56 Chester Road between Helsby and Sutton Weaver (Howey Lane/Carriage Drive and Fountain Lane) is also experiencing large amounts of traffic towards Frodsham – this is due to a lorry avoiding the M56 hitting a low bridge and blocking the road.
  • A5117 towards the M53 roundabout is experiencing mid-to-high levels of traffic (marked orange and red on the map)
  • A51 is also experiencing mid-to-high levels of congestion.

Mersey tunnels

The knock-on effect of the M56 issues has resulted in severe congestion in the Wallasey tunnel. So far Merseytravel has advised passengers to take extra time when travelling through the tunnel to cope with heavy congestion.

The Birkenhead tunnel is experiencing a medium level of traffic (marked by orange on the map) – and Merseytravel are advising people to use this one instead.

Rail links

Cheshire Police have said that the Liverpool to Runcorn Arriva Trains Wales and Northern Line services which run between Elton and Helsby are affected.

Northern Rail have said: “A problem near the railway near Helsby is causing delays of up to 20 minutes to trains between Warrington Bank Quay and Chester / Ellesmere Port. Disruption is expected to continue until approximately 19:00.”


Stagecoach have confirmed that the X8 Chester to Liverpool service is experiencing severe delays due to traffic on the M53.