New Year start for next stage of Handforth highways improvement scheme

Handforth Highway Scheme Stage 1

Cheshire East Council's highways teams are about to start stage two of a highways improvement scheme in Handforth to enhanced provision for cyclists and pedestrians.

Funding is from the A555 Manchester Airport Link Road (SEMMMS) scheme, which set aside monies to provide improvements to cycling and walking routes.

Stage one – between Spath Lane and the A555 Manchester Airport Relief Road - was completed ahead of schedule, in November. Stage two works will see a similar scheme from the B5358 Wilmslow Road roundabout going north to meet the B5094 Stanley Road.

Work starts on Monday 8 January and will involve widening of the footway for cyclists and pedestrians, resurfacing works, installation of new drainage, kerbing, refreshed road markings and additional traffic calming measures. The footway will be widened to three metres over a 100m-length- providing 500m of improved road and cycleway including stage one.

There will be a 24-hour road closure to through traffic, but access to businesses will be maintained. All motorists not requiring access will be asked to follow the diversion routes, while provision will be made for cyclists and pedestrians and the emergency services.

The council requests that vehicles are not left parked on the roadside.

Councillor Craig Browne, Cheshire East Council deputy leader and chair of the council's highways and transport committee, said: "Firstly, I want to thank residents and businesses for their patience and understanding during the construction of stage one of this scheme. I also want to congratulate our highways teams for the fantastic job they have done, and for completing it ahead of schedule.

"And I want to thank residents and businesses affected by stage two for their understanding and co-operation.

"These highway improvement schemes are important to the council and to the growing number of residents that choose to cycle or walk, whether it's for pleasure, to go shopping or to their place of work.

"While we have been able to fund this scheme from outside the council's highways budget, the downward pressures on all our council services, including highways, present many challenges going forward but we continue to try to meet the commitments we have made in our 23/24 programme of works and this scheme is one of them."

Councillor Chris Hilliard, the council's walking and cycling champion, said: "There is the potential for this cycle and walking route to link up with similar schemes in Cheadle, even further towards Manchester.

"It links retail and industrial employment sites at Stanley Green, also the Seashell Trust, a charity for children with complex learning difficulties and disabilities, which is a big employer in the area. We hope these improvements will help people of Handforth to feel safer and more confident, while this could tempt others to walk or wheel around the village."

Photo: Stage 1 of the Handforth scheme completed ahead of schedule in November.



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

Hilary Peel
Wednesday 10th January 2024 at 3:51 pm
Lovely new tarmac on the widened pavement from Handforth to the A555 roundabout. I travel this route several times a day and have seen one cyclist on it since it opened. Avoiding the potholes in the road is a work of art. Shame they didn't use some of the tarmac to fill them in.
The funding came from SEMMS but maybe they should sort out the flooding issue on the A555.
I am a walker and would willingly use public transport rather than my car if we had a more frequent service through the village.
Jean Berman
Thursday 11th January 2024 at 8:02 am
More and more waste of money. Since the alterations in Handforth I have been through several times and still the cyclists are on the road surely this money could go to better use. ?
Jon Williams
Thursday 11th January 2024 at 11:06 am
Of course cyclist are on the road Jean, they can do, we don't live in a police state yet, but the new improvement scheme could save lives and make it safer for all
Laurie Atterbury
Thursday 11th January 2024 at 2:18 pm
When are they going to finish the A555 and install the mooring posts?
Michael Widger
Thursday 11th January 2024 at 4:35 pm
Cheshire East needs to employ a Dutch highways engineer to learn how to design cycling infrastructure before it implements any more disasters. The Handforth scheme has succeeded in making things worse for cyclists, pedestrians and motorists - quite some achievement. The shared pavement sets up dangerous conflicts between pedestrians and cyclists, cyclists do not have priority at the side roads, and the main carriageway has been narrowed as a result. The bus stop design also goes against all the guidelines.

As a cyclist I therefore continue to use the main carriageway, and now have impatient motorists stuck behind me. All that was required was the former painted lane to be converted to a protected lane with plastic wands or armadillo kerbs - see Manchester Oxford Rd. and Wilmslow Rd. for details. I see work has just started on the next disaster on the other side of the A555.

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