North West Highways

Middlewich the big winner as DfT announces funding

The £58m Middlewich Eastern Bypass is to go ahead as one of two major projects confirmed yesterday by Transport Secretary Chris Grayling. A further £345.3m was committed to 76 smaller projects across the country, 10 of them in the North West.

The bypass will enable access to the strategic employment site next to the M6. Cheshire East Council said its development will support the development of 1,160 houses and between 2,150 and 6,500 new jobs. Leader Rachel Bailey said: “The residents of Middlewich have been waiting for more than 20 years for a bypass which will relieve traffic congestion and open up major development opportunities in the town. The council is now in a position to proceed with a project that is a critical part of an overall transport plan for Middlewich and which we anticipate will be completed by spring 2021.”

The regional schemes that were approved are:

  • Whitehaven North Shore Access, Cumbria, £1.67m, junction improvement to unlock housing sites
  • Fabric Borders Blackburn, Blackburn with Darwen, £2m, improving public access routes into Blackburn town centre
  • A556 junction upgrade, Cheshire West & Chester, £2.09m, upgrade of access into Gadbrook Business Park
  • A554 Tower Road ‘civilised street’ scheme in Birkenhead, Wirral, £2.1m, public realm improvements
  • Omega Highway junction improvement, Warrington, £3.36m, widening of two junctions
  • A59 Liverpool City Gateway, Liverpool, £2.97m, improvements including upgraded crossings, resurfacing and bus priority
  • A560 Cheadle corridor, Stockport, £3.62m, improvements near Bird Hall Lane employment area at M60 junction 2
  • Warrington East phase three, Warrington, £4m, upgrade of the eastern gateway into Warrington and Birchwood enterprise zone
  • M55 Heyhouses link road, Lancashire, £5m, road link at Peel Hill and Heyhouses area of St Annes, opening up development sites
  • North West Crewe Access, Cheshire East, £5m, capacity enhancements from A530 into Crewe and development area to access sites for housing

The lead authority on the Wirral and Liverpool schemes was the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, while Greater Manchester Combined Authority is working with Stockport Council on the Cheadle scheme.

Funding for all these schemes is being provided from the National Productivity Investment Fund and the Large Local Majors fund.

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