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Council gets the green light to upgrade urban cycle and walking route

Cheshire East Council has received the green light to carry out major improvements to an urban cycle and walking route in the borough, creating a more user-friendly and safer journey.

Sustrans, the UK walking and cycling charity, has confirmed to the council that funding is now in place for the project, in Macclesfield. It involves significant improvements to the Middlewood Way cycle and walking route in the Black Lane and Hurdsfield Road area of the town, part of the National Cycle Network route 55. 

These will include widening of footways for cyclists and pedestrians on Black Lane, carriageway realignment on Hurdsfield Road, improvements to crossings in both roads, refreshed road markings, draining works and better signage.  

The existing crossing for pedestrians and cyclists at the exit from the Tesco store and filling station will be upgraded, as will the existing toucan crossing on Hurdsfield Road at its junction with Black Lane.The scheme will increase accessibility and enhance northern and southern connections with the Middlewood Way. It also takes in the existing route parallel to old Hurdsfield Road to the south. 

The bulk of the funding to deliver this £700,000 project is coming from the Department for Transport via Sustrans with Cheshire East Council also making a £50,000 contribution. This project is part funded by the UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

The improvement works are due to start on 27 March and will continue until June. 

Councillor Craig Browne, chair of Cheshire East Council’s highways and transport committee, said: “This scheme will deliver big improvements to a key walking and cycling route to and from Macclesfield town centre and its railway station. 

“We carried out a public consultation at the beginning of 2021 and our highways service has delivered various options which are intended to address many of the comments we received.

“This is a heavy traffic area of the town and the safety of all road and footway users are our priority. All necessary measures will be taken to ensure safety while the works go ahead. The scheme is a complicated one to deliver and we hope that Sustrans and Active Travel England will see this as a further demonstration of our commitment to active travel in the borough, helping us to secure further funding in future.”  

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