Highways England has announced that upgrade work on the M56 motorway in Greater Manchester and Cheshire will begin by the end of this month.

A four-mile stretch of the motorway from Junction 6 at Hale to Junction 8 at Bowdon will be improved as part of the plan.

This stretch is part of the corridor between Manchester, Manchester Airport and the Midlands. It carries around 100,000 vehicles a day.

The upgrade work is expected to entail an investment of £85m.

The motorway upgrade project will see the addition of a new running lane on both sides of the westbound and eastbound carriageways.

Highways England project manager Clare Bond said: “The start of the main construction work is a significant milestone for this project, which will ease congestion and make journeys more reliable once it opens to drivers in 2022.

“This is one of the busiest sections of motorway in the North West but using the contraflow system during construction will allow us to keep all the motorway lanes open during the day with occasional overnight lane and carriageway closures.”

Highways England expects to open the upgraded road section to the public by spring 2022.

In addition to addressing the issue of traffic congestion, the upgrade is expected to support future homes and jobs in the area, including the Airport City project bordering the motorway.

In addition, the project is expected to complement other major improvements along with the important Midland to Manchester corridor.

This August, Highways England unveiled details for a £27.4bn ($35.9bn) investment in the UK’s strategic road network.

Projects worth £14bn ($18.3bn) aim to improve the quality, capacity and safety of the country’s motorways and major A roads.

Approximately £11bn ($14.4bn) will be invested towards repairing and replacing the network of roads.