M6 congestion relief scheme approved

Department for Transport has agreed £3.4m of funding to pay for improvements to Junction 17 of the M6 aimed at alleviating congestion between Sandbach and Congleton.

Work will take place in 2014 to convert existing slip road junctions to a roundabout on the Sandbach side and the installation of traffic signals on the Congleton side.

The total investment is part of a £217m nationwide programme to remove bottlenecks and keep traffic moving on motorways and A roads.

Cheshire East's Cabinet member in charge of prosperity and economic regeneration, Cllr Jamie Macrae, said: "This is outstandingly good news for Cheshire East and marks the end of 12 months hard work with the Highways Agency to find an immediate solution to the current congestion at this key motorway junction. It was necessary to create a scheme which not only addressed this problem but avoided costly work that involved the gas line which runs next to the M6.

"The junction at the moment supports the traffic accessing the larger cities served by the M6 as well as traffic using the motorway to access employment in surrounding towns."

A spokesman for the Highways Agency said: "I am sure drivers in this part of Cheshire will share in our delight that the Government has agreed to fund this improvement. We are looking forward to working with Cheshire East Council to deliver this project and will ensure drivers are kept informed of progress before and after roadworks start. We do of course plan all improvement work with the aim of minimising disruption to drivers' journeys during any roadworks."

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