M56 to M53 slip road shut after van catches fire - recap

Expect heavy traffic heading for Chester

Traffic camera image showing a van on fire on the M56 to M53 slip road(Image: Highways England)

A van has caught fire on the slip road between the M56 and M53.

Emergency services have closed the link to join the M53 northbound on Wednesday (July 5).

Drivers are warned to expect heavy traffic in the area.

Latest updates below:

Signing off

As the traffic eases, it is time to bring these updates to a close.

Thank you for following this live blog this afternoon, we hope you found them helpful.

M56 slip road reopens

The slip road is now open to traffic again after about three hours.

This should help ease the congestion which has built up but there will still be delays on the M56 around J15.

Rush-hour delays

With the volume of rush-hour traffic heading towards Chester this has added to the problems.

Highways say anyone joining the back of the queue could face an extra 40 minutes onto their journey.

It is hot out there today, not an ideal one to be stuck in a queue.

Road repairs

This traffic camera has proved extremely handy this afternoon.

It now shows the slip road being repaired and made safe before it can be reopened.

Latest traffic

A reminder there is heavy traffic on the M56 past J15.

The slip road off the M56 to join the M53 remains shut but it looks like it may reopen soon.

Congestion has also built up on the A540 Parkgate Road as well as the A5117 due to more cars coming off the motorway at that junction.

Slip road 'to be checked shortly'


The Highways England traffic map says there are currently 15-minute delays on the M56

Have you been affected? If it is safe and legal tweet us @ChesterChron.


Oliver Clay, a reporter at our sister paper the Runcorn and Widnes Weekly News, managed to take these photos of the fire.

They show smoke billowing out above the motorway.

It also illustrates the fantastic emergency services response.

Emergency services at the scene of the van fire on the M56 J15 exit slip for the M53(Image: Staff)

Emergency services at the scene of the van fire on the M56 J15 exit slip for the M53(Image: Staff)

Emergency services at the scene of the van fire on the M56 J15 exit slip for the M53 (Image: Staff)

Recovery team at the scene

Again the traffic camera has updated.

A recovery team is now on the scene to take the van off the slip road.

Stick with it if you are experiencing delays.

Traffic latest

(Image: Google)

This is the latest picture from Google Maps as of 4.30pm.

The congestion at the end of M56 is now stretching back to J15, where the fire happened.

The van is yet to be recovered so the slip road onto the northbound M53 remains closed for now.

This has the potential to cause further delays with rush hour approaching. Avoid the area if you can.

Cheshire Fire statement

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service say they sent out three fire engines to the scene.

A statement said: “Crews, one wearing a breathing apparatus, have extinguished the fire using two hose reel jets.

“Crews are still at the scene emptying the contents of the van.”

Fire 'under control'


A Cheshire Constabulary spokeswoman said no injuries had been reported to them at this early stage.

They confirmed no other vehicles were involved.

The slip road remains shut as the van will need to be recovered.

Highways have revised their estimate to say the road may be open again by 4.30pm.

Updated photo

Here is the latest traffic camera image from the scene.

Emergency services

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service have been called out to assist Highways England at the scene.

Traffic camera images show firefighters putting out the blaze.

Google Maps

(Image: Google)

This is the traffic situation according to Google Maps.

The extra traffic which has been unable to come off the M56 at J15 has created congestion where the motorway slims down to two lanes.

Alternative routes

Not sure where to head to avoid the closure?

To get to Ellesmere Port you will need to continue on the M56 to where it becomes the A494 and come off at the junction with Parkgate Road.

However this is already getting congested with the extra traffic so expect delays.

If you are on the M56 and can plan ahead, come off at J14 at Hapsford. From here you can take the A5117 to meet the M53 at J10.

Van fire

The van fire was first reported just after 3pm today (Wednesday, July 5).

Both lanes of the slip road off the M56 to join the northbound M53 are closed.

This affects drivers heading for Ellesmere Port and the Wirral.

An early Highways England suggests it could be open again by 4.15pm.

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