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A55 Traffic News

The A55, otherwise known as the North Wales Expressway, stretches for 87 miles from Chester in the east to Holyhead in the west. It’s the region’s busiest route and has been a dual carriageway since the early 2000s. The only part that’s not dual carriageway is the point at which the road crosses the Britannia Bridge over the Menai Strait.

The primary destinations along the A55 include Chester, Conwy and Bangor - the end of the route terminates at the port of Holyhead. 

This route partially follows the alignment of the Roman road from Chester to Caernarfon, but the modern road has undergone many major improvements from the 1930s to the present day. Before these improvements, Holyhead was a remote area and difficult to get to - motorists were required to take on several headlands. However, the dual carriageway improvement works over the years has meant this route is one of the best high-speed roads in the UK.

Access to Anglesey was also made far more straightforward with the establishment of a new crossing when the Britannia Bridge was rebuilt following a fire - and a new expressway from the Menai Strait to Holyhead was built in 2001. 

Interestingly, the Colwyn Bay section of the A55 was built using the same legal orders used to create a motorway, but was never declared as one. This unusual process has created an equally unusual circumstance whereby the National Speed Limit does not apply to this stretch of road. This is due to it not being a public right of way or a motorway.

Due to its location through the beautiful Welsh countryside, the route is one of the more picturesque in the UK.

Worst Junctions on the A55

If you’re planning to travel on this major road, first look up the latest A55 traffic updates to help you avoid congestion, roadworks and accidents. Due to this road being an important connection between Chester and the port of Holyhead, it experiences large volumes of freight traffic. The following junctions are common hotspots:

Britannia Bridge

This has become a bottleneck and there are regular delays when approaching the bridge. Congestion is at its worst during the peak morning commute and at midday when ferry ships dock at Holyhead Port at regular intervals.

Junctions 15 and 16

There are major improvement works project planned for both junction 15 and junction 16 of the A55 to enhance safety. Llanfairfechan Roundabout and Puffin Roundabout, Penmaenmawr are planned to be replaced with grade-separated interchanges to allow free-flowing travel.

Accident Hotspots on the A55

The A55 stretches for 87 miles and is an extremely important route connecting Chester to the port of Holyhead. This means there is always a high volume of traffic using the road daily. Therefore this road experiences a high number of traffic incidents. Always check for A55 traffic news before you travel.

There are accident clusters on the A55 around junction 15 in Llanfairfechan and junction 16, for Penmaenmawr. These junctions are planned to be completely transformed by improvement works set to finish in 2022.

Accidents at junction 19 in Llandudno prompted the Trunk Road Agency to conduct a study on safety work. 

Rhuallt Hill downward stretch, Junction 32A in Halkyn/Pentre Halkyn, junction 35 at Dobshill and the Ewloe Loop are also all known accident hotspots.

Upcoming A55 Major Roadworks

This major road connects Chester to the port of Holyhead so, as you may expect, the A55 is regularly being considered for improvements. There are short-term roadworks regularly being carried out along the route. By using the RAC Route Planner service you can identify and account for potential delays in your journey with travel news from the A55.

Junctions 15 and 16

These planned improvement works will replace the roundabouts at junction 15 and 16 with height separated junctions to improve safety and journey times along the A55. The construction start date is planned for Autumn 2020 and the work is scheduled to finish in Autumn 2022.

3rd Menai Crossing

The works are planned to start in 2020/2021 to be completed by 2022/2023 and the aim of the project is to improve capacity, reliability and journey times. The work also aims to improve safety, network resilience and improve opportunities for non motorised users.

Abergwyngregyn to Tai’r Meibion improvements

Construction works on this section of the A55 is programmed to begin in Spring 2019 for a period of 18 months and will be followed by the start of main works construction in Autumn 2019. Overall completion of the new section of trunk road is set for Spring 2021.