A WOMAN has died after being hit by a car on the A56.

The woman, in her 40s, who died at the scene, was hit by a Volkswagen Polo driving on the northbound carriageway near Edenfield at around 11.35pm on Saturday.

The bypass was closed in both directions from junction one of the M66 and the Tesco roundabout in Rawtenstall.

An eyewitness said they could see a person was giving the woman first aid at the roadside and lots of people had stopped to help.

The road was reopened at around 5.30am on Sunday.

A police spokesman said enquiries were underway to trace the woman’s identity.

Julie Wilkinson, who lives near Crawshawbooth and was in a taxi with her son and husband, on their way home from a family party in Ramsbottom, saw the aftermath of the incident.

She said: “The taxi was on the slip road coming onto the A56 at Stubbins when we saw it.

“From the slip road we could see lots of people in the road.

“One car was at an angle and there were other cars stopped everywhere.

“At first I thought it had been two cars that had crashed into each other.

“The taxi slowed right down and I saw some belongings in the road.

“As the taxi went past we could see one person in the road receiving first aid from a member of the public.

“There were no emergency services there at this point.

“It was absolutely awful.

“My son said it looked as if the person did not have any shoes on.

“It’s not clear what had happened.”

A motorway police spokesman said a motorist, not connected to the incident, was found driving along the bypass in the wrong direction.

The spokesman said: “The driver was arrested for a positive breath test after driving through the closed A56, the scene of a serious road traffic collision and for driving in the wrong direction."

The A56 bypass connects Rawtenstall, Edenfield and Ramsbottom to the M66, which leads into Bury and other areas of Greater Manchester.

Sgt Adam Dawson, said: “Sadly this collision has resulted in a woman losing her life and I would appeal to anyone who witnessed the collision or who has any information which could assist to contact us.”

Anyone with information should call 101 quoting log number 1656 of Saturday, September 8.