Decision due on £6m bypass to cut traffic jams in Congleton
A DECISION is expected within weeks on whether the Government will help fund a link road to ease years of traffic congestion through a busy town.
Cheshire East Council has bid for more than £6 million in the third round of the Government’s Regional Growth Fund (RGF).
The cash would be used to build the road, which would take cars and lorries away from the centre of Congleton and improve air quality for residents.
The authority has already set aside £200,000 of its own cash to begin studies into how the road would impact on the environment, noise and air quality.
The link road would connect Sandbach Road with Macclesfield Road, passing through countryside to the north of Congleton.
The council’s bid has been shortlisted by ministers and the Government is expected to announce if it has been successful in late autumn.
Council leaders believe they have a strong case for the cash, because their bid shows how the road is essential to supporting the economic, physical and social regeneration of Congleton and wider parts of Cheshire East.
They says the benefits include:
Relieving existing town centre traffic congestion and rerouting HGVs around Congleton;
Opening up new development sites and creating hundreds more jobs;
Improving access to Radnor Park Industrial Estate and Congleton Business Park;
Reduce traffic related pollution.
Councillor Jamie Macrae, the council’s prosperity and economic regeneration portfolio holder, said: “The bid is based on a business case assessment of what the road will bring to the future prospects of Congleton and the wider area, and the employment and environmental benefits. This is a key development which the council is very keen to get moving on.” A link road for Congleton has been talked about for several years, but at least three proposals have been knocked back in the past.
The council has drawn up a timescale which shows how the road could be built and open to traffic in as little as five years, if everything goes to plan.
The bid for money has been welcomed by businesses.
John Beresford, aged 56, who runs Congleton-based taxi company Fareways, said: “Congleton does get very congested and at certain times of the day it is almost impossible to get around the town, so it’s definitely something we need.
“The link road would mean that traffic could bypass the town and that would make a huge difference for everyone.”
Paul Bates, chairman of Congleton’s Business Association, said: “The companies at the two industrial estate have indicated to us that they can’t grow under the present road infrastructure, so it is essential this road goes ahead.”