Government awards funding to develop A34 improvement proposal

Grant awarded so Transport for North and Stockport Council can begin to develop outline business case for major project

A raft of proposals for the A34, including a plan to create a designated cycleway along the length of road in Stockport, have been given a boost after the Government awarded the council a grant to help to develop a business case for the project.

On Tuesday, February 11, the A34 Cheadle Improvement Plan Phase 1 scheme was approved to progress to the next stage of development under the Transport for the North-led £700m National Roads Fund programme.

To help the scheme progress to the next stage, the Department of Transport will now make a contribution of £320,000 to the council towards the costs of developing an outline business case for the project.

The A34 corridor in Stockport, from the junction with the M60 to the A555, has been identified as a key bottleneck. The proposed plan will increase capacity at key locations to unlock growth potential and will improve sustainable access.

Scheme proposals include:

• A 5.6km cycle route along the A34 corridor including a segregated cycle track and controlled crossings with connections to the wider Greater Manchester Cycle Bee network;
• Highway works to support the Stanley Green Industrial area by improving a key access junction;
• Highway work to support Cheadle Royal Business Park by reducing congestion on the roundabout and improving cycle, foot and bus access;
• Replacement of an existing subway at Kingsway School to ensure DDA compliance and to allow cycling;
• CCTV and VMS enhancement.

Cllr David Meller, Cabinet Member for Economy and Regeneration at Stockport Borough Council, added: “The A34 is an incredibly important road for Cheadle, Stockport and its residents as a whole.

“It's great news that the proposal has been awarded funding to create a business case to make this project a reality. I'm pleased the government has recognised the potential around the scheme and are supporting the council's work on this.

“We believe this new scheme, which includes enhancing and improving the borough’s cycling and walking links, will help to encourage active travel and ensure journey times are improved.

“In other words, this scheme is much more than just focussing on cars: its aim is to encourage and support more sustainable forms of transport.”

Peter Molyneux, Major Roads Director at Transport for the North, said: “We’re delighted that this scheme is being funded for the next stage of development, and look forward to continuing our work with Stockport Council to bring it to reality.

“Enhancing the A34 will have a significant improvement on journey times and capacity, benefiting people and goods moving around Stockport and further afield. The clear focus on active travel provision is of particular importance and will help to create a sustainable road network that is fit for future needs.”