Sydney Road Bridge Improvement


The Victorian bridge on Sydney Road in Crewe provides one of the few points at which the West Coast Mainline (rail) can be crossed in Crewe.

The bridge was last strengthened in the late 1950s when traffic levels were considerably lower than they are today. The parapets of the existing bridge do not comply with current standards and the one- way working creates a “pinch point”, resulting in delays and traffic congestion.

Birds eye view of the existing bridge with Tiny Tots nursery to the left of the image

Air pollution and noise is increased due to the queuing traffic and the signals contribute to delays on this key route to Leighton Hospital. The narrow footpath over the bridge does not encourage sustainable travel and pedestrian safety is less than optimal.

Objectives of the scheme

The scheme is needed to increase capacity at this “pinch point” by replacing the existing single-lane structure with a new, wider structure capable of carrying two-way traffic, the scheme also provides:

  • improved facilities for pedestrians and cyclists
  • improved air quality in the vicinity of the bridge
  • improved safety for all road users

Scheme benefits

The benefits of the scheme are:

Artists impression of the completed scheme looking Northwest bound, towards the bridge,  from the new pedestrian crossing

  • provision of two-way traffic flow on the bridge and therefore improving capacity
  • improvements with respect to access and safety for pedestrians and cyclists
  • providing connections to other recently improved facilities
  • unlocking’ northern Crewe and promoting economic growth
  • reduction in traffic congestion and air pollution
  • reduction in delays to emergency vehicles travelling to and from Leighton Hospital and other key destinations served by the route
  • improvements to the resilience of the wider Crewe traffic management systems
  • the new, wider structure will provide a lower long term maintenance risk, resulting in a reduced impact on traffic flow during the life of the structure

What has been happening

  • Advanced preparation work for the scheme started April 2018
  • Strengthening  and support works for the new bridge – started May 2018
  • A temporary scaffold foot bridge installed for pedestrians from November 2018
  • Sydney Road bridge closed from 29 October 2018
  • Lime Tree Avenue closed to through traffic from 29 October
  • Temporary diversion of utility services through the bridge from end of October to end of November
  • Rail possessions to allow removal and replacement of the bridge all weekends in February 2019
  • Removal of crane  - end of February

What is happening from mid May 2019

  • Sydney Road widening
  • Completing installation of controlled and uncontrolled pedestrian crossing,
  • Resurfacing to tie-ins
  • New street lighting, road signs and road markings
  • Safety auditing
  • Sydney Road and Lime Tree Avenue opening to through traffic – End of June 2019

Diversion route

Sydney Road Bridge will be closed and a diversion route (PDF, 672KB) will operate from 29 October until the end of June 2019. The route is Sydney Road, A534 Crewe Green Road, Crewe Road, A532 Macon Way, Manchester Bridge, Earle St, A5019 Vernon Way, A5078 Dunwoody Way, A532 West Street, A530 Middlewich Road, B5076 Flowers Lane/ Bradfield Road, Remer Street, Sydney Road.

Lime Tree Avenue will also be closed from 29 October. The closure point is just south of the site compound. The diversion route joins, and then follows, the Sydney Road diversion.  

The decision to close Lime Tree Avenue is in response to complaints received about the diverted traffic during the upgrade to Manchester Road Bridge in 2016. During those works Queen Street and Lime Tree Avenue were not part of the official diversion route.

However, a considerable number of motorists used the narrow residential roads as a cut through, causing a significant amount of disruption to the residents living there. Our proposals currently have local community and Ward Councillor support but we will review the effectiveness of the closure of Lime Tree Avenue once there has been time for travel patterns to adapt to the diversion.

Northern Powerhouse and Growth Deals logosCheshire and Warrington local enterprise partnership