Schoolchildren added the finishing touches to Crewe Green Roundabout today as Cheshire East Council’s £7m improvement scheme was officially opened.
Construction of the new oval-shaped roundabout began in January this year and is now fully operational, having been completed on schedule.
As well as wider junctions so that traffic can merge from different directions, the new roundabout features shared cycleways and footways and crossing points for cyclists and pedestrians. The roundabout operates without traffic lights.
The improvement works have removed a major traffic pinch-point in the town, while contributing to the enhanced M6-Crewe corridor and injecting a further boost to the local economy ahead of the arrival of HS2.
At an official opening event held today, Cheshire East councillors and guests were joined by schoolchildren from Springfield School as they planted shrubs alongside the Crewe Green Road junction of the roundabout.
Councillor Don Stockton, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for environment, said: “We are thrilled that these improvement works have been completed and are pleased to have received feedback from road users who have reported significantly improved journey times.
“The new roundabout helps to ensure that Crewe has the right infrastructure in place as we push ahead with ambitious plans to transform Crewe and become HS2 ready.
“I would like to thank residents and road users for their patience and understanding while this scheme was undertaken, and thank the project team for their efforts to ensure disruption was kept to a minimum.”
Funding for the roundabout scheme has come from developer contributions and a £3.3m grant through the Local Growth Fund (LGF), contributed by the Cheshire and Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP).
It is part of a package of projects that the CWLEP is contributing to in and around Crewe to help support the economy and drive growth and productivity.
Pete Waterman, chair of the CWLEP’s transport body said: “This is one of 12 transport schemes the LEP is supporting in the region with £58.4m of LGF grant funding.
“For many people in the region, transport is a key issue and as the town prepares itself for the arrival of HS2, the Crewe Green Roundabout improvements are very important to enable businesses to reach markets and access skills and talent, while allowing our residents to reach jobs, education, shops and services.”
Jake Berry, Minister for the Northern Powerhouse and Local Growth, said: “It is great to see the successful completion of these remodelling works, thanks to a £3.3m contribution from the Local Growth Fund.
“Tackling a significant transport bottleneck, this project will enable further growth at key employment sites whilst strengthening Crewe’s valuable contribution to the whole of the Northern Powerhouse region.”
The roundabout works were carried out by Balfour Beatty on behalf of Cheshire East Council under the Scape National Civil Engineering and Infrastructure framework.
During the project, which created seven new jobs for local people, the team delivered educational activities to more than 1,500 young people, supported community events and raised funds for various charities.
Paul Weaver, Balfour Beatty managing director west delivery unit, said: “We are proud to have worked in partnership with Cheshire East Council to deliver the Crewe Green Roundabout.
“This is a local scheme with local benefits – including that 93 per cent of our project budget was spent with local businesses, reiterating Balfour Beatty’s commitment to returning value to local economies wherever we work.”
Victoria Brambini, managing director at Scape Procure, added: “It is great to see Balfour Beatty finish work on the new Crewe Green Roundabout. Creating social value is an integral part of our frameworks so it is very encouraging to see that throughout the project, employment opportunities were created alongside engagement with young people in the local area.”
The council has invested considerably in securing investment in highways schemes in Crewe, including the £26.5m Crewe Green Link Road (David Whitby Way), £7m Basford Spine Road (Jack Mills Way) and improvements to the A500 at Junction 16. In addition, funding has been obtained to work up proposals for the ‘dualing’ of the A500 between Crewe and the M6, estimated to cost £57m.
Last month, work began on the £11m Sydney Road Bridge improvement scheme, which has largely been financed through the Department for Transport and CWLEP with a £5.8m grant from the Local Growth Fund.