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Highways Agency advise commuters to avoid M56

The Highways Agency is asking commuters heading home along the M56 in Cheshire on Tuesday to avoid the area if possible.

The motorway was closed after an accident this morning, and while one lane has reopened, two are closed for recovery and investigation work.

The statement reads:

"Drivers heading towards Chester and North Wales this evening are being advised that the carriageway is unlikely to be fully re-opened before 6pm and should avoid this section of the M56 if possible – seeking alternative routes or delaying their journeys. People used to joining the westbound carriageway at junction 12 should also be aware that this will remain closed too for safety reasons until the repairs are completed and the whole carriageway is re-opened.

Drivers are urged to check traffic conditions before setting out on journeys. The Highways Agency provides live traffic information via its website www.highways.gov.uk/traffic, local and national radio travel bulletins, electronic road signs and mobile platforms, such as the iPhone. Local Twitter services are also available at @HAtraffic_nwest and @HAtraffic_pen9 for transpennine routes.

Providing they can do so safely, road users can also call the Highways Agency Information Line (0300 123 5000) to keep up to date with road conditions."

M56 remains partially closed after fatal crash

Police have confirmed the driver of a lorry that crashed on the M56 this morning has died.

A statement from Cheshire Police said the force and Highways Agency were trying to reopen the motorway: "Lane 3 was re-opened, and emergency services are working to re-open another lane as we approach afternoon rush hour.

"However, police are reminding motorists that there will continue to be delays, while the work to recover the lorry, repair the barriers, and clean the carriageway of fuel spillage continues.

"Police are renewing their appeal to anyone who may have witnessed the collision, and not yet made contact with police, to ring Cheshire Police on the non emergency number 101, quoting incident number 211 of 12/08/2014."

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Diversion around junction 12 of M56

The Highways Agency is advising drivers to avoid the M56 westbound between junctions 12 and 14 after a lorry hit motorway barriers. A large amount of diesel fuel and engine oil has been spilled across the carriageway.

A statement said "An official diversion is in place with drivers being advised to follow the ‘hollow black circle’ symbol from junction 12 taking them back onto the motorway at junction 14 via the southbound A557, westbound A56 (parallel to the motorway) and northbound A5117.

The diversion is not suitable for any vehicles over 14 feet and 6 inches long. If possible, to avoid queuing along the diversion route, drivers are advised to totally avoid the area and seek alternative routes or delay their journeys."

Delays as M56 closed after lorry hits barriers

The M56 is closed westbound near Runcorn at junction 12 after police received a report of a lorry hitting the barrier, and coming off the carriageway.

Motorists are being advised to avoid the area and expect long delays.

Police are appealing for anyone who witnessed the collision to contact Cheshire Police on the non emergency number 101, quoting incident number 211 of 12/08/2014.

Do you know this couple? CCTV image of a man and woman wanted for theft of a bag on a train between Runcorn and Liverpool

CCTV image of couple people want to speak to over theft of a bag Credit: British Transport Police

It's thought the theft of a bag worth about £300 happened around 9pm on Monday, 26 May, as the victim travelled home from London. PC Rick Melling said: “The victim left the train at Runcorn, having travelled from London, but realised, once on the platform, that she had left a bag on the train.

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Work starts on Mersey Gateway - the new bridge connecting Widnes and Runcorn

Breaking the ground - work starts on the Mersey Gateway Credit: Mersey Gateway

Work has started on the £1.75bn Mersey Gateway Project with an official 'ground-breaking' ceremony on the banks of the River Mersey.

In autumn 2017 a new six-lane toll bridge will open over the Mersey between the towns of Runcorn and Widnes - the aim being to relieve the congested and ageing Silver Jubilee Bridge.

There will be a £2 toll for both the new Mersey Gateway Bridge and the Silver Jubilee Bridge.

Fiddlers Ferry power station is backdrop to new bridge Credit: Mersey Gateway

It's hoped the bridge will create 470 full-time jobs.

Halton Council leader Cllr Rob Polhill said: “It’s been decades of trying for a new bridge and we’re now making a start. We always knew this day would come and it’s a historic moment for us.”

Workers at waste plant taken to hospital

Twenty people have been taken to hospital after coming into contact with ash at a waste plant in Runcorn.

At 1pm police received reports of an incident at Keppel Seghers in Runcorn.

Whilst carrying out work on the site a number of workmen have come into contact with a substance, which has caused irritation to the eyes and respiratory problems.

20 people were taken to Warrington Hospital in works vehicles where they are currently being assessed.

Police say it is an isolated incident, it was contained within the site and there are no wider risks to the public.

The Mersey Gateway Project up against 40 schemes

The Mersey Gateway Project to build a new six lane bridge over the Mersey between Runcorn and Widnes is among 40 schemes shortlisted for government-backed funding.

Developers say the bridge would relieve congestion. Credit: The Mersey Gateway Project
The new bridge would be built near the Silver Jubilee Bridge. Credit: The Mersey Gateway Project
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