Cheshire East Council has given an update on a scheme to improve walking and cycling links in Crewe and outlined the next steps in its plans.
The Southern Gateway Pedestrian and Cycling Connectivity Scheme will transform the southern part of Crewe town centre and is one of the projects being progressed following the council’s successful £14.1m bid to the government’s Future High Streets Fund.
The scheme will create a new arrival point into the town, with a new pedestrian walkway and cycleway proposed between High Street and the Lifestyle Centre.
As well as connecting Forge Street to High Street, it will extend south to make the existing roundabout that links High Street, Mill Street, Oak Street (A5078) and Vernon Way (A5019) pedestrian and cycle friendly.
Yesterday, the council’s economy and growth committee received an update on the scheme’s progress and approved the next steps needed to push ahead with the project.
It follows a public consultation on the plans, which was held in June.
Councillor Nick Mannion, chair of Cheshire East Council’s economy and growth committee, added: “As well as improving connectivity, this scheme will help to make Crewe more attractive and welcoming and support the council’s ongoing regeneration programme, which aims to encourage more people to visit the town centre and to stay for longer.
“It will also enhance potential development sites, including the Youth Zone project proposed for the Oak Street Car Park site, which is one of the projects being progressed with funding from the council and the government’s Towns Fund.”
A planning application for the scheme is expected to be made in the near future.
Councillor Craig Browne, chair of Cheshire East Council’s highways and transport committee, said: “The council has long-term ambitions to improve pedestrian and cycle links across the borough to encourage an increase in ‘active travel’, however these ambitions will only be realised with a significant enhancement in funding available from the Department for Transport.
“The Southern Gateway Pedestrian and Cycleway Connectivity Scheme absolutely supports our vision and will create a safer, more attractive, and more convenient walking and cycling route.
“Once built, the scheme will provide the most direct walking and cycling route into the town centre from Crewe station.”
The Southern Gateway Pedestrian and Cycling Connectivity Scheme is strongly linked to two further projects being developed by the council – the Nantwich Road Bridge Enhancement Scheme and Mill Street Corridor.
The Nantwich Road Bridge Enhancement Scheme will create more space along the existing Nantwich Road Bridge to provide safer, more convenient, and more attractive pedestrian and cycle links.
While encouraging active travel to and from the station, it will also make it easier for people to find their way between the station and town centre.
The scheme is a key element in supporting the council’s wider HS2 and Crewe hub station programme and is the subject of two recently submitted bids to the Government’s Levelling Up Fund.
Meanwhile, Mill Street Corridor would act as an active travel route connecting the Nantwich Road Bridge and Southern Gateway schemes.
The project is one of 10 in Crewe that has been earmarked to benefit from a £22.9m allocation of funding through the government’s Towns Fund.