Council plan to create M6 corridor by widening A500
(Photo: Dave Thompson/PA Wire)
A scheme to widen the A500 link road from the M6 motorway towards Crewe has taken a further step forward.
It follows a decision by Cheshire East Council to press ahead with funding for a business case and formal planning.
The preferred option is to extend the road on land to the south rather than the north, increasing traffic flow and paving the way for HS2 construction traffic and increased vehicle use from new housing schemes and commercial growth.
A scheme to widen the road to the south is considered to be far more environmentally friendly and saves a popular ecological site known as ‘the duckaries.’
It would also mean less disruption to power, gas and other underground services and would avoid any impact on the recently-developed ‘pinch-point’ improvement scheme to the north.
Widening to the south is the preferred option of three widening schemes considered as part of the consultations which have taken place with stakeholders, including landowners, tenants, parish councils and Highways England.
Councillor David Brown, cabinet member for highways and infrastructure, said: “This is a scheme we need to press ahead with as we expect to see the arrival of construction traffic for the proposed HS2 hub station by 2021.
“This is a key infrastructure project that is essential to support Local Plan-led housing and employment growth around Crewe.”
Dualling the A500 would meet a long standing ambition for Cheshire East and stakeholders. It represents a key component of the council’s economic strategy and unlocks development sites for future housing and infrastructure’ as outlined in the Local Plan and in the vision for the Constellation Partnership.
The Constellation Partnership involves seven local authorities and two local enterprise partnerships – in Staffordshire and Cheshire – which is working together to maximise the benefits arising from investment in high speed rail in the region.
The council will now move forward with the development of a business case for the £57m A500 scheme and with the further work necessary to submit a formal planning application.