ALTERNATIVE designs for Crewe Station have been proposed as a solution to the Nantwich Road traffic congestion problems.

The proposals, drawn up by retired Crewe and Nantwich Borough Council chief technical officer Peter Barnard, have been put forward as a third option to the Crewe Rail Gateway Project and the recent plan by Network Rail to move the station to Basford Hall sidings, half-a-mile away from the present site.

Mr Barnard, a traffic engineer prior to his tenure at the borough council, said he was moved to put together the plans after seeing the blueprints for the Gateway Project, which include a new landmark station building, a 1,100-space multi-storey car park and two new concourses.

Mr Barnard, of the Old Orchard, Church Minshull, said his alternative would cost a fraction of the £38m budgeted for the Gateway Project, which he claimed would not remedy the heavy congestion outside the station on Nantwich Road.

He believes by making use of Network Rail land in Lockitt Street close to the station, elevated concourses could be built to provide access to the station without needing to build a multi-storey car park.

Mr Barnard said: 'Mill Street and Lockitt Street have land specifically ear-marked for highway improvements, and costs would be kept low as there would be no need to acquire new land, because Network Rail own the land on Lockitt Street.'

Under Mr Barnard's plans, taxi, bus and pedestrian access would be available at both the current Nantwich Road entrance and at Lockitt Street.

'The problem with putting a multi-storey car park directly next to the station is that traffic will still have to use Nantwich Road to get there, which could actually increase congestion,' he said.

'Under my plan, utilising the land off Mill Street and Lockitt Street would solve that problem.'

Cheshire County Council transport co-ordinator Mike Ross said the county welcomed all suggestions, but that Mr Barnard's plans would not fully solve Nantwich Road's traffic problems, and that travelator bridges would not be the sole solution.

'There would be quite significant cost implications to his scheme,' he said. n What's your verdict on the plans? We welcome your views.

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