Expect delays for 10 weeks as major works commence in Handforth

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The Council is to carry out highway improvements at two key locations in Handforth, starting next week.

Cheshire East Highways will upgrade traffic signals, install new crossing facilities, carry out resurfacing work and create a new roundabout – with all the work taking place over a 10 to 11 week period, beginning on Monday, 29th January.

The work will be carried out at the junction of Station Road and Wilmslow Road and will also include the widening of footways, after which work will continue at the junction of Welland Road and Dean Road/Station Road, where a new roundabout is to be installed together with a crossing point, resurfacing, lining and patching.

The work is funded through the A6 Manchester Airport Relief Road scheme, linking the A6 at Hazel Grove, Stockport, to the airport.

Councillor Don Stockton, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for environment, said: "These important works will help to discourage additional through-traffic on key routes in Handforth at the same time as improving pedestrian facilities.

"It will benefit local residents, motorists and businesses as well as visitors to Handforth. The work will ensure that traffic control systems and infrastructure are brought up to date.

"I would like to thank our residents in advance for their patience and urge them to allow extra time for their journeys, while this localised work is taking place."

Temporary signals will be in place for the duration of the works and road closures will take place on three separate Sundays (April 1st, 8th and 15th) on Station Road and Dean Road. This will enable highways teams to carry out carriageway and patching operations safety, while access to properties and emergency vehicles will be maintained at all times.

Signed diversion routes will be in place during periods of road closures.

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Comments

Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

Alan Brough
Wednesday 24th January 2018 at 12:26 pm
Is there some sort of master plan to prevent people from leaving Wilmslow?

At the moment the A34 bypass is blocked pretty much solid at peak times because of the over-running SEMMs work. The A538 Altrincham Road is also stationary at peak times due to the over-running "Airport City" works and now Cheshire East Council (in their infinite stupidity) plan to close Wilmslow Road, Handforth for ten weeks.

Is joined-up thinking too much to ask for?
Pete Taylor
Wednesday 24th January 2018 at 12:32 pm
Surely, Don Stockton, this work can wait until the SEMMS/A34 work is complete?
Richard Bullock
Wednesday 24th January 2018 at 1:35 pm
I'm guessing a decision was made months ago to schedule it to start now, back when the SEMMMS A555 scheme was meant to be complete by Autumn 2017.

Now that the A555/A34 construction has over-run it make sense that the rest of the remedial works like this one should be pushed back too. There's no need to delay both routes surely?
Toni Fox
Wednesday 24th January 2018 at 2:51 pm
All,

It was a condition of the approval of the planning application for the SEMMMS scheme that all mitigation measures have to be implemented prior to its opening.

The reason for this is that the traffic assessments undertaken (base date of 2009) and submitted with the planning application predicted a significant increase in traffic in Handforth and Disley when SEMMMS opens.

Following my request for an update this is the latest information I received from Strategic Highways at Cheshire East Council:

"The key transport strategy for the Handforth / Wilmslow area will be the SEMMMS (South East Manchester Multi Modal Study) refresh. This work is ongoing and is now well progressed. We will shortly be holding a two stage consultation on the SEMMMS strategy. The plan, (roughly – dates yet to be firmed up) – looks something like this:

1. Issues and Options consultation – mid Feb for 4 weeks. This will ask very broad questions about priorities – i.e.: large road schemes, more public transport, cycling vs walking vs bus, etc., etc.
2. Draft Transport Priorities – May…for 8 – 12 weeks. This will have regard of the first consultation, but also feed in the modelling work that has been done and will seek to prioritises schemes. The delay to this has been to have as much information as possible as the likely Greater Manchester Growth (GMSF) and how that could impact on our cross boundary communities.

In terms of your direct question about a new wide traffic survey, the new road scheme (A6 MARR) has to undertake an extensive post opening traffic surveys, including key sites in Handforth and Wilmslow. Until this road opens and traffic patterns have settled down, we need to rely on the projections from the traffic model, updated to include new and proposed development sites."

Councillor Toni Fox - Independent
Dean Row Ward - Cheshire East Council
Simon Worthington
Wednesday 24th January 2018 at 4:07 pm
I saw the signs for this latest fiasco yesterday and promptly checked my calendar to find it is not 1st April. So the surveys done in 2009 are still the ones on which the modelling is done.
The new by-pass will result in an increase in traffic in Handforth. Not half as much as several thousand houses will!!

"These important works will help to discourage additional through-traffic on key routes in Handforth at the same time as improving pedestrian facilities.

"It will benefit local residents, motorists and businesses as well as visitors to Handforth. The work will ensure that traffic control systems and infrastructure are brought up to date.

You couldn't make it up.
Pete Taylor
Wednesday 24th January 2018 at 4:10 pm
Thanks, Toni.

Don Stockton; no need to answer.
Barry Stafford
Wednesday 24th January 2018 at 4:15 pm
All very well Don Stockton, but who knew Carillion were going bust???? This Handforth project is ludicrous!! Because no work is happening along Handforth Dean/Stanley green.Yet we have cones and 30mph along the dual carriageway.This as caused chaos and long delays for 2 years.The Semms road was due to finish Aug 2017. Then I was assured by the Dept of Transport .It would be Spring 2018. Then the main contractor goes bust. Has anyone seen any tarmac, or landscaping on this new road.The whole area as been a total nightmare. with Styal Rd closed for 12 weeks. airport rd and the tunnels under the runway closed. airport T3/T1 roundabout closed.On top of all this chaos, you want to close the old A34..Then we have the new garden village to crop up in the plans.Talk about 'You couldn't organise a ......... in a brewery!! Baz.
Clive Cooksey
Wednesday 24th January 2018 at 7:13 pm
You really cannot make this up. The ONLY fairly useable road gets the blue sky thinkers screw up. Who the heck picks these people. They really want their bumps feeling. Get the worlds worse road "improvements"on the A34 finished first before thinking about anything. As for a roundabout. Whats all that about. Are they fans of zeebedee & doodle? They sure act like it, you bunch of headbangers.
Robert Bracegirdle
Wednesday 24th January 2018 at 7:22 pm
Who knew Carillion were going bust? Well, Private Eye for one.
John Harries
Wednesday 24th January 2018 at 7:33 pm
There is some method in their madness. The Station Road scheme was due to commence before Christmas, about the same time 'they' started digging up Styal Road - the powers that be decided to delay it so the Styal Road electricity upgrade could be completed and free-up again that cross route to the airport!!
There is absolutely no reason why the Station Road project couldn't be left until the SEMMMS Relief road is commissioned but the biggest impact on Handforth traffic is going to come from the 250 home development off Sagars Road/Meriton Road, the 'Garden Village' development with contribution from the Stanneylands site so let's not kid ourselves.
It's unfortunate that Carillion has collapsed because that offers a whole new bagful of excuses for further delays (and driving/'not driving' misery) to the SEMMMS project.
I've had the opportunity to observe just a small section of work that is going on in Handforth - it's a shambles. There appears to be no formal planning of works, stuff seems to happen only when some specific sub-contractor or other is available and the project proceeds piecemeal. Supervision/site management is great for H&S - tape, cones, signs, barriers, 'welfare' etc. but if we address one of the current buzz words to the project - efficiency - then we have a complete explanation as to the real reason why the scheme is way behind - god knows how much money could be saved - but I guess successful bids allow for the shameful wasteage contractors are happy to live with - at the end of the day it's all at the expense of the hard pressed taxpayer. I've never seen so many workers spending endless hours either peering into big holes full of water (as though they are considering solutions to how on earth they can prevent the formation of unexpected, unwanted ponds...) or leaning on safety barriers with mobile 'phones to their hard hatted, balaclavered ear engaged in technical discussions with some far off construction engineer or consultant (or maybe, just maybe, talking to their favourite bookie more like).
....and here's an example. At some point in the last 12 months an unplanned attenuator tank was suddenly 'required'. It's a bl...y great hole in the middle of the carriageway - 100M long, 5M wide and 3.5M deep - you can calculate the volume in whatever units you prefer to use but it's BIG. It was however a late addition to the required works - a surprise after the 10 year wait and all the forethought - it just came out of the woodwork so to speak, and there's another one a few miles away in the Poynton direction!!
Initial excavation work started in the early summer. It's been flooded out many times and I guess it's a bit more than 45% complete (that is just the tank, not the carriageway or services over/around it). Basically a reinforced concrete rectangular hole in the ground with an interceptor drain each end to connect into the carriageway rainwater system (the drains). Stop/start work, broken down capital equipment, interrupted by days of inactivity due to flooding that for some reason couldn't be managed with pumps to keep the area constantly drained. A hole in the ground isn't rocket science but it was clearly beyond the ken of these people.
Christine McClory
Wednesday 24th January 2018 at 8:05 pm
And the holes in all of our roads???? Could we possibly get at least one road in Wilmslow without a pothole?
Rob Park
Wednesday 24th January 2018 at 8:08 pm
Surely there are penalties associated with failure to meet the building schedule. Therefore couldn’t the original conditions of the approval can be renegotiated. Or are there incentives for the council to ‘bank’ the penalties at the expense of those who have no alternative but to endure grid-locked Wilmslow. Please reconsider the schedule to mitigate the congestion and basic need for access. Or at the very least give a full explaination as to why councils cannot reschedule without delaying the opening of the relief road.
is this a case of the tail wagging the dog
Pete Taylor
Wednesday 24th January 2018 at 9:59 pm
Perhaps Don Stockton really should answer?

Here are his contact details:
http://bit.ly/2DuHuZ5

Presumably a couple of folks reading this actually voted for him? Are you pleased with his track record?
He represents us all, as Cabinet Member for Environment- are we happy with his track record?
Pete Taylor
Wednesday 24th January 2018 at 10:14 pm
For those who do not know; the previous trading name of Carillion was Tarmac. Somewhat ironic, some might say.
However, I for one, applaud CEC for letting the potholes develop of their own accord, and at no expense to us tax-payers too! Just imagine how much more it would have cost us to install similarly-effective traffic-calming measures: humps, chicanes and sleeping policemen. Well done to the Cllr until recently in charge of pot-holes... and currently suspended under police investigation, if I'm not mistaken.
Fergus Mckendrick
Thursday 25th January 2018 at 7:50 am
Given the gridlock that the residents of Wilmslow have had to endure over the last 6 months, it is only fair that these scheduled road works are postponed until all the overrunning SEMMS works on the A34 are completed. Cheshire East Council needs to listen to the voters in Wilmslow.
Richard Bullock
Thursday 25th January 2018 at 1:17 pm
Barry Stafford: "Has anyone seen any tarmac, or landscaping on this new road"

Yes, there's tarmac down from the Airport to Handforth - and near Brookside Garden Centre. Some bits are further behind though.
Derek Ferguson
Thursday 25th January 2018 at 3:37 pm
It is about time this work was done. There has been a desperate need for a pedestrian crossing at this junction for a while now. Better lane markings to stop two lanes being "created" when there isn't enough space would be good too.
Pete Taylor
Thursday 25th January 2018 at 11:59 pm
Richard Bullock
Friday 26th January 2018 at 11:51 am
No doubt Lisa will post a separate article on this soon: but the SEMMMS project team have just announced that the existing A555 from the A34 to Handforth westbound will have to close from 12th Feb for 17 weeks for urgent drainage repairs.

This would then suggest that the new Airport Link Road won't be completely open until at least mid-June - but it might also mean more delays in Handforth during the construction works announced in this article.
John Harries
Wednesday 31st January 2018 at 6:01 pm
Richard (Bullock) - "....would then suggest that the new Airport Link Road won't be completely open until at least mid-June - but it might also mean more delays in Handforth during the construction works announced in this article."
Most of it will not be open by mid June - and if rains much more it might not be open in 2018!
There is no '...might also mean more delays in Handforth...' Last Monday a set of temporary lights were set up at the junction of Bolshaw Road and Handforth Road - no sign of any works, just the lights!! It was chaos into/out of Handforth all Monday and Tuesday until the lights were shut down (not removed, just turned off and slightly moved to the side of the carriageway). Some sort of work is on the way (probably Stockport Borough) so avoid Handforth anyway.
17 weeks emergency work on the A555/A34 whatever is already going on will more or less isolate Handforth for 8-9 weeks

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