A6 Manchester Airport Relief Road

Sweco’s award winning work on landscaping this new stretch of busy road will improve the journey and transport infrastructure for millions in the North West of England, making travel safer from rural areas to the region’s towns and cities, as well as protecting wildlife and the environment.


Sweco worked with all the disciplines involved on this BIM level 2 compliant scheme, that will eventually equate to large savings for the contractor team and client, by ironing out problems at the design stage.

The team used their extensive modelling capabilities to create a forward thinking design approach in collaboration with all disciplines involved. The BIM process enabled the team to achieve solutions by being able to recognise issues e.g. clash detection and resolve them, before problems ever arose during construction.
Sweco was awarded the prestigious BIM project of the year 2015 for the A6 road project.



The A6 Manchester Airport Relief Road will provide 10 km of new 2-lane dual carriageway, incorporating 7 new, and 4 improved junctions, 4 railway crossings and a parallel shared cycle/pedestrian path.

The road will provide much needed connectivity for key strategic routes into the North West and to Manchester Airport, including traffic from the A6, A523 and A34. These routes are heavily used for business, leisure, travel and freight.

The road network in this area has been dangerously choked for years as people struggle to get in and out of urban areas on narrow roads, through local towns, where there is often gridlock, and bicycles and pedestrians compete with heavy goods lorries.


Working with AECOM, Sweco’s landscape team have produced the detail design for the 10km, A6 Manchester Airport Relief Road. The team worked on the landscape detail design throughout the scheme. This required close coordination with Sweco’s ecology and environment team, to resolve the mitigation design and licences for a number of protected species.

They also worked closely and collaboratively with the highways engineers to tackle change events and complicated design issues that arose throughout the process.