Government approves £33.6million funding for A34 improvements

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Motorists travelling along the A34 are set to benefit from a multi-million-pound package of improvements to the A34 corridor in Handforth and Cheadle.

Last year, the Government announced it would invest £33.6 million in the A34 Corridor Improvement Scheme to ease congestion between the A560 and the A555 and enhance walking and cycling accessibility.

The Government has approved the scheme so work can start as soon as possible, which Stockport Council says will generate £76.8 million in direct economic benefits while boosting transport links to Manchester Airport.

The project includes a 5.6km pedestrian and cycle route along the A34 corridor, improve access to the Cheadle Royal Business Park and the Stanley Green as well as improved junction layouts to reduce congestion.

In total, the proposed scheme consists of a series of 13 linked interventions which include improved capacity at key locations across the corridor, a new link road connecting the A34 and Wilmslow Road, approved future housing development and new intelligent transportation system solutions to provide better network management.

The Department for Transport will provide £33.64m towards the project, with Stockport Council contributing £0.56 million. The remaining £6.3 million will be provided by third party developers.

Cllr Mark Roberts, Deputy Leader of Stockport Council and Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Environment, said: "This latest milestone in the project is a vote of confidence in the borough and fantastic news for Stockport.

"This work aims to encourage and support more sustainable forms of transport and more accessible and safer routes while also improving junctions and traffic flow on a road area that has been a challenge for many years.

"We believe this new scheme will help to encourage active travel by encouraging and enabling our residents to make healthier choices when they travel around our borough, as well as for those that need to use a car."

Cllr Grace Baynham, Cabinet Member for Highways, Parks and Leisure Services, added: "The A34 is a vital route in the borough, and this investment will bring a host of benefits to not only the A34 corridor, but Stockport as a whole."

The works will be delivered in phases - the first phases this winter are planned to be around Gatley Road, Wilmslow Road and Broadway and will begin in the New Year.

Roads Minister Guy Opperman said: "We have invested nearly £34 million into improving the A34, easing congestion and improving safety for local drivers while helping to improve connections to grow the economy across Stockport, Greater Manchester and the north west.

"It was great to visit Cheadle today and hear first-hand how our funding will help improve one of Stockport's key roads as we work hard to keep this country moving and back drivers."

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Comments

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

Howard Piltz
Thursday 7th December 2023 at 2:07 pm
Here we go again ! Many learned professionals acknowledge that more tarmac equals more traffic. When will the planners learn ? Failing eyesight means I no longer drive so am spared the aggravations
Derek Ferguson
Thursday 7th December 2023 at 3:07 pm
There does not seem to be much in this proposal that will ease congestion or benefit motorists. All that is worthy of note is a new exit on a junction that used to be a roundabout and will be turned back into a roundabout again and lots of reworking of paths and kerbs for the pedestrians and cyclists. Undoubtedly what it will provide are delays while the "improvements" are being installed. As usual.
Nik Eastwood
Thursday 7th December 2023 at 4:25 pm
great, more roadworks and heavy traffic for a couple of years.
Ryan Dance
Friday 8th December 2023 at 8:05 pm
Great to see investment. Change is hard. Embrace it
Pete Taylor
Thursday 14th December 2023 at 6:57 am
As far as I can see none of this work is in Cheshire East; it is in Stockport.
Whether it will make journeys easier is a matter for debate, given the over a thousand new houses, etc. in the “Handforth Growth Village” (or whatever it is currently called).
Interestingly, yesterday Michael Gove announced that there is actually no need to build anything like the number of new houses that have already been planned.
David Smith
Thursday 14th December 2023 at 9:24 am
Well, without seeing the plans I can only say that the complex junction where the A34 crosses the B5094 Stanley Road should have been built with the A34 as a flyover. This would have made traffic flow more constant and cut down pollution for those not in an EV.
Likewise where the A34 crosses the A560 Gatley Road before reaching the M60 - this should have been made as a flyover to promote constant traffic flow. Not pretty for those homes next to the A34 but what can you expect when you buy a house on a busy main road?
Poor decisions made years ago didn't look ahead to probable issues later. So I don't know what, if any, changes this £33.6m spend will have on improving the situation.
Stopping filling in all the land next to the A34 with houses might help too.
Reducing the speed limit on ALL the A34 to 40 mph would be a good idea to reduce accidents and help move the 'boy racers' with their loud illegal exhausts on to some other place to have their fun.
Also let's have a constant 30mph limit all the way between Wilmslow and Prestbury down the A538 Prestbury Road. Why the regular changes up and down to 30mph?
As an aside regarding the noisy exhausts, the following link is of interest and might help reduce the problem:

https://www.autoexpress.co.uk/consumer-news/361602/uk-firm-fitting-pop-bang-aftermarket-exhausts-fined-landmark-court-case


Anyone with more suggestions?
Pete Taylor
Thursday 14th December 2023 at 2:17 pm
@ David Smith, your comment re Stanley Road is spot on; that was a major blunder which was obvious from day one and subsequent changes to the junction have not improved things.
Gordon Hyslop
Tuesday 19th December 2023 at 3:37 pm
More delays, if it’s anything like the A555 A34 improvements a few years ago the diggers will
move in, lanes reduced in width 100s of cones causing congestion, then they disappear for a couple of years only to return and complete the job Resulting in fantastic new cycle lanes and pavements totally unused, cars sat at traffic lights waiting for non existent pedestrians to cross Major improvements could be made by educating motorists to close gaps in queues instead of crawling along with big gaps to vehicle in front, not to block junctions, to learn zip filtering all these would mean better traffic flow and less pollution

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