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The UK government has approved £33.6 million in funding for Stockport Council to enable a package of critical improvements to the A34 corridor between Cheadle and Handforth.
The investment in the A34 Corridor Improvement Scheme was first announced last year to ease local congestion and enhance walking and cycling accessibility along the route. Following the approval of Stockport Council’s business case for the work, funding will be released to enable work to begin as soon as possible.
The improvements are estimated to generate around £76.8 million in direct economic benefits.
The project will also boost transport links to Manchester Airport and create new opportunities for clean, active travel for Stockport residents and businesses through the construction of a segregated pedestrian and cycle route running along the A34 corridor. These improvements will also improve access to the Cheadle Royal Business Park, the Stanley Green business area and include a new pedestrian subway for pupils and staff at Kingsway School.
The council will also try to minimise the amount of carbon used during the construction process and improve biodiversity by planting new trees and improving habitats along the route.
Cllr Mark Roberts, Deputy Leader of Stockport Council and Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Environment, said:
“This latest milestone in the project is a vote of confidence in the borough and fantastic news for Stockport.
“This work aims to encourage and support more sustainable forms of transport and more accessible and safer routes while also improving junctions and traffic flow on a road area that has been a challenge for many years.
“We believe this new scheme will help to encourage active travel by encouraging and enabling our residents to make healthier choices when they travel around our borough, as well as for those that need to use a car.”
Cllr Grace Baynham, Cabinet Member for Highways, Parks and Leisure Services, added:
“The A34 is a vital route in the borough, and this investment will bring a host of benefits to not only the A34 corridor, but Stockport as a whole.”
The works will be delivered in phases, planned and co-ordinated to minimise disruption as much as possible. The first phases this Winter are planned to be around Gatley Road, Wilmslow Road and Broadway and will begin later this month.
Roads Minister Guy Opperman said:
“We have invested nearly £34 million into improving the A34, easing congestion and improving safety for local drivers while helping to improve connections to grow the economy across Stockport, Greater Manchester and the north west.
“It was great to visit Cheadle today and hear first-hand how our funding will help improve one of Stockport’s key roads as we work hard to keep this country moving and back drivers.”
Pictured L-R: Roads Minister, Guy Opperman; Cllr Grace Baynham, Stockport Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways, Parks and Leisure Services; and Cllr Mark Roberts, Stockport Council’s Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Environment.