A RADICAL 25-year plan to move the M53 and transform Ellesmere Port town centre has been unveiled by Cheshire West and Chester Council leader Mike Jones.
Four decades after the route was driven through the town as a bypass and to improve access to Vauxhall’s Ellesmere Port plant, the Tory chief wants to reconnect the town to the historic waterfront, business areas and Peel’s Waterfront development.
Cllr Jones accepts the project, on which his officials have already started work, could be 25 years away but said if you don’t allow that time and start now it will never happen’.
Speaking about his agenda for the future of the town, he told the Pioneer: “In the 70s they put the motorway through Ellesmere Port and in doing so they rammed it through areas such as the Stanney and Westminster estates.
“One of the problems of the Westminster estate now is that it is surrounded by the motorway and the railways and there is one entrance in and one exit out, causing isolation and noise for the residents.
“I have put forward the idea that rather than increase the motorway from two lanes to three, why don’t we move it to the west side of Ellesmere Port between the Queensferry road and Hooton.
“This will reconnect Ellesmere Port with the businesses and the waterways as it was historically in its most prosperous years.
“There would be a motorway connection to Junction 8 from the north for the businesses and to Junction 10 from the south to support Cheshire Oaks.
“This potentially supports the developments that Peel are proposing and ensures the housing would be part of Ellesmere Port if Peel goes ahead with their Waterfront project.
“I hope this would ensure people walk down the high street, which in turn improves trading and is likely to improve the quality of the retail along the street.”
Cllr Jones added:“We are doing this well before we need to to test the ideas as part of the local development framework which will include the concept of moving the motorway.
“It is a very ambitious plan, it might take 25 years to happen but if you don’t allow that time and start now it will never happen.
“It is about being ambitious for Ellesmere Port by transformational change and improving the quality of life for all our residents in the town.”