Cheshire East Council is to press ahead with two key walking and cycling routes – to encourage people to leave their cars on the drive and get healthier.
One route will be created in the Leighton area of Crewe – the other in Wilmslow.
The council is responding to calls for safer cycle routes, which also offer a pleasant environment for pedestrians.
Both schemes form part of the council’s policy to promote active travel, reducing car dependency and our carbon footprint.
In Crewe, the A530 scheme will support the north west Crewe housing package and will improve walking and cycling links to the Bentley campus, Leighton Hospital and Leighton Academy.
In Wilmslow, the new scheme will link the railway station with the town centre, Wilmslow High School, the Royal London campus and Alderley Park. Here, construction could begin as early as the autumn.
Councillor Laura Crane, Cheshire East Council’s cabinet member for highways and waste, said: “Our ambition is to improve walking and cycling facilities across the borough by investing in high-quality infrastructure to provide safe and attractive routes connecting local amenities and places of work.
“Our 2017 cycling strategy sets a target to double the number of people cycling at least once per week by 2027.
“If there is one upside from the pandemic, it is that more people have taken up cycling, either to commute to work or for leisure.”
Council deputy leader Councillor Craig Browne said: “As a council we recognise that traffic congestion and parking provision are significant issues in Wilmslow. One of the ways in which we are seeking to address both is by managing demand for car journeys.
“Where possible, we want to encourage residents and businesses to choose alternative modes of travel and this scheme is one of the ways in which we can make it safer for them to do that.”
The consultation on the proposed Wilmslow walking and cycling route scheme is open until 24 July. To take part visit the council’s website.
The council has set a budget of £2.8m and has £1.6m in grant funding confirmed from Cheshire and Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership. Developer contributions and funding from the council will be required to meet the balance.
Discussions are taking place with some landowners and the council is hopeful of acquiring all the land required without the need to compulsorily purchase. A community consultation is ongoing for the Wilmslow scheme, while the A530 scheme in Crewe has already received positive feedback from a consultation carried out in 2019.
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