Second stage of Handforth highways improvement scheme finishes ahead of schedule

Cheshire East Council has completed the second phase of the Handforth road improvement scheme to deliver enhanced provision for cyclists and pedestrians.

Phase Two, which began on 8 January, was completed two and a half weeks ahead of schedule in four weeks.

The works, which have taken place on the B5358 from the Wilmslow Road roundabout to Stanley Road, include wider footways, new drainage, kerbing, road markings and additional traffic calming measures.

The highways project is a continuation of Phase One between Spath Lane and the A555 Manchester Airport Relief Road.

Funding for both schemes is from the A555 Manchester Airport Link Road (SEMMMS) scheme, which set aside monies to provide improvements to cycling and walking routes to promote active travel provision in the north of the borough.

Councillor Craig Browne, Cheshire East Council deputy leader and chair of the council's highways and transport committee, said: "I congratulate our highways service on delivering both these schemes in such a timely manner, and with minimal disruption.

"I recognise the road closures involved have caused some inconvenience to residents and businesses and I extend my thanks for their patience and co-operation. I hope that people will agree that this has been a worthwhile investment, making walking and cycling safe on what is a busy road."

Councillor Chris Hilliard, the council's walking and cycling champion, said: "The council is committed to active travel, allowing residents to walk and cycle in safety. These two schemes will be of great benefit to our residents in this part of the borough and, hopefully, will encourage more people to walk or cycle and leave the car at home for those short journeys in their local community."



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

Carol Rotherham
Monday 19th February 2024 at 4:46 pm
The roads around all of Handforth and Wilmslow are full of potholes yet this scheme which we did not need has taken preference to all needed repairs.
Wilmslow we pay more council tax than when I lived in a bigger house in Stockport. We now pay for green bins, which again Stockport do not pay for.
There really does need someone in housekeeping in Cheshire Council to balance the books and to get essential main roads and pavements upto scratch.
Jean Berman
Tuesday 20th February 2024 at 5:09 pm
I totally agree with Carol. Our roads in Wilmslow and Handforth are absolutley disgraceful. The money would have been better spent in the repairing of the pot holes .It’s costing drivers a lot of money in damage to our cars and tyres . I haven’t seen one cyclist use these lanes yet and to add insult to us car drivers that pay a tax to use our roads the cyclists don’t pay a penny towards the upkeep of our roads.

I think it’s about time that the cyclists pay towards a road fund licence and also pay to cover themselves and the car drivers with an insurance cover.
Simon Rodrigues
Tuesday 20th February 2024 at 6:04 pm
Finished… Ha ha ha sounds right for Cheshire East half a job and run.
Mark Goldsmith
Wednesday 21st February 2024 at 10:50 am
The money for this work comes from the new A555 road project, which central government and various south Manchester councils funded. The cycle lanes were part of the new road plans to reduce its overall impact, so there is a legal obligation for it to be undertaken. Therefore, it is not Cheshire East’s money to spend as residents wish.

With regards to council tax rates with Stockport, they are currently:

Stockport Council Band A £1,428.26 Band D £2,142.20
Cheshire East Council Band A £1,138.26 Band D £1,707.39

Therefore, people in Stockport pay upwards of £290 a year extra for their “free” green bin.

Finally, central government gets around £40 billion pounds a year in motoring taxes but only gives councils £1.1 billion to maintain them. It then expects local councils to pay the difference. This lack of funding has meant local UK roads have deteriorated for decades.

The government has now finally promised additional road funding from the money it will save by scrapping HS2b. This money is most welcome but it won't arrive for another two years and payments will be spread over 11 years. Therefore, it is not going to be a quick fix. However, it will finally mean the quality of our roads will stop getting worse and will start improving.


Cllr Mark Goldsmith
Residents of Wilmslow
Alan Brough
Wednesday 21st February 2024 at 10:54 am
@ Jean Bearman,

Currently, Vehicle Excise Duty is a tax paid by drivers of mechanically propelled vehicles to keep and/or use their vehicle on UK roads legally. It is based on the age of the vehicle and the emissions produced by the vehicle.

Most of us who ride bicycles also drive cars and therefore pay VED. But bicycles in themselves don't emit damaging gases or cause much degradation of road surfaces.

Arguably, cyclists will make a positive contribution to the environment and The Exchequer either by causing less damage to our roads and Ozone Layer or by virtue of the fact that the obvious health benefits (physical and mental) will result in less draw on NHS resources.
Vince Chadwick
Thursday 22nd February 2024 at 1:58 pm
Jean Berman

Further to Alan Brough's post, road tax was abolished as long ago as 1936. Yet as your post shows, the myth continues that motorists pay for the roads through 'road tax' and those that don't pay 'road tax' are getting a free ride (pardon the pun) at the expense of those that do.

Alan explains that 'road tax' was replaced by VED, a tax on emissions that goes into the central taxation 'pot', and is not a tax ring-fenced to pay for building or maintaining roads.

So who does pay for our roads? The answer is - all taxpayers do. Roads are built and maintained out of general taxation. So cyclists, motorists, and even those who do not own a vehicle of any type pay for our roads. They do not 'belong' to motorists, and cyclists have exactly the same right to use them as do motorists. However, if you ride a bicycle you will know that some motorists have have not hauled that on board yet.
Simon Worthington
Thursday 29th February 2024 at 1:31 pm
All those lovely new pavements will be great for parking on of a Friday!!!

Add Your Comment

Share what you think of this story. In order to post a comment click here to sign in or register to become a member (it's free and will only take one minute).