New Year start for stage two of highways improvement scheme

5 January 2024

Cheshire East Council’s highways teams are about to start stage two of a highways improvement scheme in the north of the borough.

The Handforth scheme will see enhanced provision for cyclists and pedestrians. Funding is from the A555 Manchester Airport Link Road (SEMMMS) scheme, which set aside monies to provide improvements to cycling and walking routes.

Stage one – between Spath Lane and the A555 Manchester Airport Relief Road (pictured), was completed ahead of schedule, in November. Stage two works will see a similar improvement scheme from the B5358 Wilmslow Road roundabout going north to meet the B5094 Stanley Road. 

Work starts on Monday 8 January and will involve widening of the footway for cyclists and pedestrians, resurfacing works, installation of new drainage, kerbing, refreshed road markings and additional traffic calming measures. The footway will be widened to three metres over a 100m-length – that’s 500m of improved road and cycleway when stage one is included. 

There will be a 24-hour road closure to through traffic, but access to businesses will be maintained. All motorists not requiring access will be asked to follow the diversion routes, while provision will be made for cyclists and pedestrians and the emergency services.

Motorists are advised to plan their journey accordingly. The council requests that vehicles are not left parked on the roadside.Cllr Craig Browne 2023 web

Councillor Craig Browne, Cheshire East Council deputy leader and chair of the council’s highways and transport committee, said: “Firstly, I want to thank residents and businesses for their patience and understanding during the construction of stage one of this scheme. I also want to congratulate our highways teams for the fantastic job they have done, and for completing it ahead of schedule.

“And I want to thank residents and businesses affected by stage two for their understanding and co-operation.

“These highway improvement schemes are important to the council and to the growing number of residents that choose to cycle or walk, whether it’s for pleasure, to go shopping or to their place of work.

“While we have been able to fund this scheme from outside the council’s highways budget, the downward pressures on all our council services, including highways, present many challenges going forward but we continue to try to meet the commitments we have made in our 23/24 programme of works and this scheme is one of them.”

Councillor Chris Hilliard, the council’s walking and cycling champion, said: “There is the potential for this cycle and walking route to link up with similar schemes in Cheadle, even further towards Manchester.

“It links retail and industrial employment sites at Stanley Green, also the Seashell Trust, a charity for children with complex learning difficulties and disabilities, which is a big employer in the area. We hope these improvements will help people of Handforth to feel safer and more confident, while this could tempt others to walk or wheel around the village.”