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The new Millennium bench in situ

In January's icy weather, both ‘Millennium’ benches on the A34 opposite Astbury village green were damaged — one beyond repair — and the telephone box lost a pane of glass.

The phone box's lost glass had already been replaced and the less-damaged bench repaired (by E Beech Joinery) and on Tuesday the replacement for the second bench (by Brown's Furniture).  These two local companies have made excellent work of restoring the benches to their former glory.

Cheshire East Highways have informed us of a couple of temporary road closures:

  • Dodds Lane is currently closed to through traffic between its junctions with Peel Lane and Mow Lane for surface patching.  Work is expected to finish today (9 August); meanwhile, the suggested diversion is via Peel Lane and Mow Lane, which is a bit awkward, as...
  • Peel Lane is currently closed to through traffic between its junctions with Dodds Lane and Mow Lane for surface patching.  Work is expected to finish today (9 August); meanwhile, the suggested diversion is via Moss Road, Canal Road, Bunts Lane, Canal Street, Albert Place, High Street, Market Street, Mountbatten Way, Rood Hill, Clayton Bypass, Clayton-by-pass Roundabout, West Road Roundabout, West Road, Newcastle Road Roundabout, Newcastle Road, The Village
  • Childs Lane will be closed to through traffic on 23 October 2018 between its junction with Brownlow Heath Lane to outside Brownlow Farm for tree cutting works by Scottish Power.  The suggested diversion is via Wallhill Lane, Sandbach Road, Padgbury Lane, Newcastle Road, Childs Lane

In recent weeks Cheshire Police has experienced high periods of demand on the 101 service which means that people have been waiting longer than normal during peak times.

This is a national issue that many other forces are also experiencing but fortunately the picture has improved in Cheshire.

There were a number of reasons behind the increase in demand including the unexpected and prolonged hot weather, repeat calls and the public’s understanding about when to ring 101.

A lot of the demand is being driven by the public requesting information or asking for help with issues that the police do not actually deal with such as noise nuisance, dog fouling and fly tipping and these can be addressed by other agencies — including local authorities and housing associations.

It is important for people to know that when they do need to speak to the police about a non-emergency issue there are better ways of getting in touch without having to pick up the phone.

Although the situation has improved we would like to highlight the range of options that are available which may provide a quicker and more efficient service than calling 101 — see our new Contacting Cheshire Police web page.

If you haven’t read the printed newsletter yet, please check out the online version on our newsletters page.  This includes a four page supplement from Astbury St Mary’s School reviewing their eventful year.

Cheshire East Highways have notified us of the following roadworks in our parishes. Currently in progress:

  • Yew Tree Lane will remain closed until 23 July to allow United Utilities to fix a water leak around 200m from Roe Park Lodge
  • The roadworks (controlled by lights) on the A34 Newcastle Road to repair Dairy Brook Bridge are scheduled to complete on 27 July (but the lights had gone on the afternoon of 20 July, with a crew apparently removing the last bollards)

Planned to start soon:

  • On 23 July, BT will be repairing overhead equipment outside Meadow Bank on Dodds Lane.  Access will be controlled by lights
  • From 30 July to 1 August, BT will be laying cables on the A34 Newcastle Road and in New Road. The works will start at the two roads’ junction for about 2km NE along Newcastle Road and about 200m along New Road.  Access will be controlled by lights
  • From 30 July to 3 August, Cheshire East Highways will be working on the footpath (slurry sealing) along the A34 Newcastle Road between Astbury Garage and Fol Hollow. Access will be controlled by lights

On 16 July 2018, Cheshire East Council appointed civil engineering company Graham Construction to deliver the Congleton Link Road scheme – which could begin construction later this year.

The 5.5km (3.5-mile) road will unlock key sites for housing and employment and provide a major economic boost to Congleton, relieving traffic congestion in the town centre and improving east-west connectivity.

The appointment of leading contractor Graham Construction follows a competitive tendering process involving several bidders.

The scheme links the A536 Macclesfield Road to the north with the A534 Sandbach Road to the west, significantly improving travel between Macclesfield, Congleton and the M6.

Councillor Don Stockton, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for environment, said: “I am pleased to be able to announce that the council has appointed Graham Construction to build the Congleton Link Road.

“Graham Construction is a well-known, highly-reputable firm with an enviable track record in delivering prestige projects in the area of civil engineering and road building.

“The Congleton Link Road represents another major highways scheme in the ongoing programme of infrastructure development across the borough. This will help to unlock and support further economic growth, new investment and jobs and business opportunities for the area.”

Leo Martin, managing director of Graham Construction (civil engineering), said: “This strategically important scheme will bring long-term benefits to the Congleton community.

“This is a real coup for us and we are relishing the prospect of working with Cheshire East Council on this important project that will bring economic and social regeneration to the town and the Congleton area.

“We appreciate that traffic has been a considerable challenge in the town and the link road will serve to vastly reduce congestion.”

Philip Cox, chief executive of the Cheshire and Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “This scheme will support the development of more than 2,400 homes and 20 hectares (50 acres) of employment land to the north of Congleton with the potential to generate 3,000 jobs by 2035 and £13m per year into the local economy.”

Two road bridge crossings and two underpasses will be built as part of the scheme, which will feature comprehensive environmental mitigation and conservation measures to protect great crested newts, bats, other wildlife and ancient woodland.

The council is now awaiting news on final funding approval from the Department for Transport. The new road is due to open to traffic in late 2020

Cheshire East Highways have given us expected completion dates for two current roadworks in the parishes:

  • Cheshire East Highways should have completed the repairs to the bridge over the Daisy Brook on the A34 Newcastle Road by 27 July 2018
  • United Utilities should have fixed the water leak on Yew Tree Lane by 16 July 2018