Cheshire East Council has been awarded £1.6m to boost greener transport and connectivity in the borough.
The Local Growth Fund money, from Cheshire and Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership, earmarks £1.1m for one sustainable transport scheme covering north west Crewe and £500,000 for another in Wilmslow.
The council has hailed the funding for these 'exciting' schemes -- the North West Crewe Cycling and Walking Link and the Wilmslow Strategic Cycle and Walking Route -- as 'fantastic news' for the borough.
It is the biggest tranche of funding for such projects that the council has received in recent years and will contribute to achieving the vision set out in the council's cycling strategy for 'more people to cycle safely, more often and with confidence for everyday and leisure journeys'.
The North West Crewe Cycling and Walking Link will deliver a strategic cycling and walking route into the heart of the north west Crewe development area, providing connectivity from Crewe and Nantwich to 1,600 new jobs and 1,750 new homes, the Bentley strategic employment site (which currently employs 4,500 staff), Leighton Hospital and existing residential areas.
The project includes extending the Connect2 shared pedestrian/cycle pathway from the A530/A532 roundabout northwards along the A530.The route links into the Bentley site and runs parallel to the alignment of the Leighton Spine Road and link road. It ends by linking to Leighton Hospital and providing key routes into existing residential areas in north west Crewe.
The Wilmslow Strategic Cycle and Walking Route will deliver a high-quality strategic cycling and walking link through Wilmslow to 'plug' existing gaps. It will create a coherent route connecting key economic development sites in the Cheshire East science corridor, and improve access from residential areas to employment sites including Alderley Park, Waters and the Manchester Airport Enterprise Zone.
Councillor Don Stockton, Cheshire East Council Cabinet member for environment, said: "This is fantastic news. This £1.6m Local Growth Fund allocation will help the council continue to deliver more-sustainable transport solutions and facilities to help deliver jobs, growth and healthier communities.
"Crucially, these link schemes will improve access and connectivity to thousands of homes and help in the delivery of more than 3,000 new jobs at key employment sites identified in the Cheshire East Local Plan -- as well as providing key, 'greener' infrastructure to enhance people's lives.
"Work will be conducted over the coming year to plan and design these schemes for both Wilmslow and Crewe, which will include consultation with stakeholders and the local communities to help shape and inform the projects."
The two cycle and walking schemes are due to be completed by spring 2021. These create a model that the council aspires to replicate across the borough, particularly as work continues on the local transport plan.
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