The A56 is a road in England which extends between the city of Chester in Cheshire and the village of Broughton in North Yorkshire. The road contains a mixture of single and dual carriageway sections, and traverses environments as diverse as the dense urban sprawl of inner city Manchester and the lightly populated region of rural east Lancashire. The road includes a short section of trunk road between the end of the M66 motorway near Ramsbottom and the M65 motorway west of Burnley.
The road begins as Frodsham Street in the centre of Chester at its junction with Foregate Street A51 and heads north-eastwards out of the city. Just outside the city, the A56 crosses Junction 12 of the M53 motorway, continuing in a north easterly direction. The road passes through the towns and villages of Mickle Trafford, Helsby and Frodsham whilst roughly paralleling the course of the south side of the M56 motorway. After leaving Frodsham, the A56 crosses the M56 at Junction 11 and passes the towns of Runcorn and Warrington, taking up a more easterly direction to again parallel the course of the north side of the motorway.
The road crosses the M6 motorway halfway between Junctions 20 and 21, before passing south of Lymm on its way to its junction with the A556 road at Bowdon. At Bowdon the A56 turns sharply northwards, passing Altrincham and Sale, crossing the M60 Manchester Outer Ring Road at Junction 7 into Stretford.
The A56 continues north-eastwards into inner city Manchester, taking on the additional name of Deansgate, one of Manchester's main shopping streets. At the end of Deansgate, the A56 takes on the name of Victoria Street as it passes Manchester Victoria railway station.