The A555 road is currently a short route in Greater Manchester, United Kingdom, but straddling the border with Cheshire. It is officially known as the "Manchester Airport Eastern Link", but has been described as a "road to nowhere" and a "white elephant", as in its current state it does not extend to the airport. Construction to complete the road began in February 2015.
The A555 was built in the early 1990s, completed in November 1995, originally part of a then-abandoned scheme to connect various destinations in South Manchester (in particular Stockport, Hazel Grove and Poynton) to Manchester Airport. It was also intended as a relief road, to ease congestion in the villages. The original plan, which dated from the 1940s, was to build a bypass connecting Bredbury and Hazel Grove, and from Hazel Grove to Woodford, bypassing Poynton. The road would then run from Woodford to Handforth, as it does now, and then on to the airport. However, only the middle section, which crosses the A34 Handforth bypass (built at the same time) was completed, due to money shortage.
The route currently runs from the border of Woodford and Bramhall at a junction with the A5102, heading westward for approximately 2 miles before it reaches the A34 Handforth bypass, which is accessed by a grade separated junction. Close to this is Handforth Dean, a retail outlet consisting of Tesco Extra and Marks & Spencer. The route ends at a double headed roundabout with the B5358, on the border of Handforth and Heald Green, approximately three miles from the airport.
In November 2008, money was pledged by transport secretary Geoff Hoon to extend the route to Hazel Grove, and complete the link to the airport. However, following the change in government at the 2010 general election, the plans were placed on hold once more. However, in November 2011, the government finally approved plans to complete the link, as part of a major programme of infrastructure investment. The A6 to Manchester Airport Relief Road, which completes the route between Hazel Grove and the Airport using the A555, gained its final approval in March 2015 and is now under construction, and was due for completion and opening in spring 2018, but endlessly persistent heavy rain over December 2017 to February 2018 and the collapse of Carillion has forced the opening date to be postponed to late summer 2018.
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