WORK will begin soon on a £673,000 scheme to improve a two-mile stretch of the A559 in Hartford for drivers, pedestrians, bus users and cyclists.
Funded and supervised by Cheshire West and Chester Council (CWaC), the scheme starts on May 18 and is expected to last 14 weeks.
It includes the building of a short slip road joining the A559 Chester Road and Bradburns Lane. The works will be undertaken by A E Yates Limited.
The scheme follows an extensive analysis of possible ideas by consultants to reduce vehicle congestion and provide better facilities for pedestrians and cyclists at the same time – issues that had been raised by the parish council and residents.
The slip road for traffic turning left towards Northwich will allow the signal timings to be changed to give more green signal time to Chester Road, with the aim of providing more pedestrian crossing facilities at the junction as well as reducing vehicle queues.
And the purpose of the whole project includes dealing with the extra traffic that will be generated by the Winnington Urban Village development and Northwich Vision programme.
Improvements also include:
New pedestrian and cyclist facilities at the Bradburns Lane and The Green junctions
More pedestrian refuges to help people cross the road and to encourage a reduction in traffic speed
Footway widening at points where narrowness causes problems for pedestrians, particularly for wheelchairs and pushchairs
New dropped kerbs with improvements for visually impaired people at side roads to help pedestrians, particularly for wheelchairs and pushchairs
Improvements to bus stops by providing new shelters;
Kerb re-alignment at some side road junctions to increase road safety by slowing down traffic and to help pedestrians
Road safety improvements to the junction layout of School Lane and The Green.
CWaC’s executive member for environment, Neil Ritchie said: “This is a chance to improve the environment and quality of life on Chester Road and around Hartford Church and the shops.
“Any loss of landscape needs to be very carefully considered.
“At the Bradburns Lane junction the new slip road is essential to free up green traffic light time to create extra time for controlled pedestrian crossings at this point.
“It will also ease some of the traffic congestion which has affected this area for many years and which is set to increase in the future.”
“Our tree specialists say that the two large trees in this grassed area can be preserved and new trees will be planted nearby to replace the two smaller ones which will make way for the slip road.
“The environment around the church and shops will be more user friendly for both pedestrians and cyclists and we are exploring ways of further enhancing the links for cyclists with the new Riversdale Bridge project in Northwich.”