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Saturday 23 June 2012

Success for Cheshire East in £3.5m bid to boost Crewe’s economy and greener transport


Cheshire East Council has successfully bid for £3.5m of Government money to boost transport and economic growth in Crewe while cutting carbon emissions and improving people’s health.

The Local Sustainable Transport Fund (LSTF) money will deliver schemes to enable greener and more cost effective-travel choices for pedestrians, cyclists and public transport users.

The funding is a key component of the ‘All Change for Crewe’ regeneration programme, which aims to unlock the growth potential of Crewe in a low carbon way – making the town a nationally-significant economic powerhouse by 2030.  

The bid concentrates on improving sustainable transport on the economic corridor between the residential areas and employments sites of Crewe.

The complementary package of measures is tailored to local needs and would boost business investment and jobs.

Among the proposed schemes, which aim to promoting walking, cycling and bus travel while reducing private car use, pollution and congestion, are:

● A new high-frequency town shuttle bus service to link residential areas in the north west of the town with employment areas in the south east;

● New shared cycle and pedestrian routes;

● Targeted subsidised bus tickets – eg, for job seekers;

● Wheels 2 Work mopeds and bikes loans to support young people from welfare to work;

● Working with larger employers, health care providers and education institutions to create Business Travel Plans to promote more sustainable travel;

● New up-to-the-minute, real-time local transport information accessible by smartphone and the internet;

● Town-wide publicity campaign promoting sustainable travel and transport.

The target population are commuters, the unemployed and those not in employment, education and training (Neets), linking to wider Government initiatives, such as the promotion of apprenticeship schemes.

The LSTF bid comprises three themes which are key to supporting the sustainable growth of the town:  access to employment, apprenticeships and skills training; access to the railway station; and travel-awareness promotion.

Councillor Peter Groves, Cabinet support member with responsibility for prosperity and economic regeneration, said: “This £3.5m of funding will have immediate and long-lasting effects on the prospects for economic growth and sustainable transport.

“The Government is already committed to help Cheshire East achieve its ambitious economic-growth targets. It is doing this via £6.17m of funding for phase one of the Crewe Rail Exchange Project and Department for Transport (DfT) funding secured to deliver the £27m Crewe Green Link Road South.”

Councillor Rod Menlove, Cabinet member with responsibility for environment, said:  “The LSTF will help transform Crewe’s transport network, boost infrastructure and maximise the benefits of new investment. This will help unlock the enormous growth potential of Crewe in a low-carbon way.

“We look forward to working with the DfT to deliver sustainable growth through the LSTF, which will have immediate impact on growth and employment as well as provide a legacy far beyond.”

The funding will be spent over the next two and half years until March 2015.

The long-term All Change for Crewe vision is for a town which is a nationally-significant economic centre, with a focus on advanced engineering and manufacturing, as well as a much-sought-after place to live, work and visit.

All Change for Crewe:

Crewe’s future growth profile – supported by a strong public/private partnership and by committed Council and wider civic leadership and underpinned by thorough economic analysis – anticipates:

● More than 14,500 new jobs focussed on the Basford strategic employment site and in the town centre by 2031;

● In excess of £230m additional retail and leisure spend;

● A 20 per cent population growth by 2031 – from 83,000 to about 100,000.

We Are Already Delivering in Crewe:

● More than £12m spent on major regeneration projects in the town centre – including investment in public squares, spaces and landmark buildings, eg the Municipal Buildings;

● Almost £150m spent on education facilities – including £70m by MMU at their Crewe Campus and £74 invested in the new South Cheshire College Campus;

● Funding secured from DfT to deliver the £27m Crewe Green Link Road South – unlocking private sector investment and employment delivery for Basford East and West;

● £6.17m Government funding secured to realise phase one of the overhaul of Crewe Rail Station;

● Successful private-sector-led delivery of Crewe Business Park;

● Successful private-sector-led delivery of Grand Junction Retail Park;

● Redevelopment of Tesco edge of centre store into a 60,000sq ft Extra store.


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