Northwich gets £3.4m traffic pinch point grant

A £3.4m grant from the government’s “pinch point” fund has been won by Cheshire West and Chester Council for vital improvements to Northwich town centre roads.

The grant, with a further £1.4m from CWaC, will pay for major changes to the Leicester Street / Chester Way roundabout and making the town’s gyratory system permanent.

The schemes are designed to help Northwich cope with the predicted increase in traffic generated by the Barons Quay, Memorial Court and Hayhurst Quay developments which will create around 1,300 jobs.

The pinch point fund was established by the government to try and solve traffic problems which could prevent important projects.

Councillor Herbert Manley, Executive Member for Prosperity, said: “This is great news for the successful development of Northwich. The improvements will help ameliorate future traffic congestion which could damage the flow of inward investment for the continuing regeneration of Northwich and the jobs and prosperity that will bring.

“I know the gyratory system has been controversial but once people have the chance to see it work with the proper signage and road markings, together with the Leicester Street roundabout improvements, it will be clearer why it is needed to cope with the increased traffic generated by several major town centre schemes.”

Councillor Lynn Riley, Executive Member for Community and Environment, said: “The successful bid shows the government recognises what a valuable contribution a new vibrant Northwich will make to the region’s economy. Improving the flow of traffic underpins the shared ambition to make strategic investments in the Town to improve the job opportunities and quality of life for everyone in the Northwich area.”

An estimated £3.4m will be spent creating a new Leicester Street roundabout, which is the junction of five roads, using signalling and an urban traffic management control system. Work is expected to last from October 2014 to June 2015.

Work on making the £1.4m one-way gyratory permanent is expected to be completed by November 2014 and involves alteration to five signal junctions and incorporates two swing bridges, remodelling junctions and signals controlled by an urban traffic management system.

The improvements will also help Northwich roads cope with additional traffic generated by almost 3,000 new homes expected to be built over several years in the Winnington and Wincham urban villages, Middlewich Road and the Lostock triangle.

The £80m Barons Quay project will create shops, restaurants, hotel and multi screen cinema; £13.7m Memorial Court includes a swimming pool and other leisure facilities; and work is already underway on Hayhurst Quay where a new Waitrose store is being constructed.