dualling - A500 single carriageway, pic by Google street view

Costs for the project to upgrade the A500 between Crewe and the M6 to a dual carriageway have soared by £10 million, writes Stephen Topping.

But Cheshire East Council believes it will not have to pay the difference.

Cheshire East Council has confirmed the scheme to improve the A500 between the Meremoor Moss roundabout and junction 16 of the M6 will now cost £68.7 million – up from its last estimate of £58.5 million.

It comes after a defect was found in an embankment on the existing road, while the council has also been informed it will need to move major infrastructure belonging to the National Grid.

But the Government has changed the rules on funding for major road projects, meaning a larger proportion of the cost can be covered by the Department for Transport, and CEC is confident that will cover the rise in project costs.

Andrew Ross, director of infrastructure and highways, told a scrutiny meeting on Monday: “The costs of the scheme have risen from what was previously identified in the council’s [budget].

“Those are for two reasons that when the project was previously reported were unknown.

“We had received information from the National Grid which was misleading, in so far as we were led to believe that we didn’t need to move some major utility infrastructure, but subsequently we have been told we are having to do so.

“The other was around an embankment that had not been built properly by the previous highways authority, which was Highways Agency, and we are going to have to rectify that.

“But with the change in the proportion, we are actually keeping the local contribution pretty much the same, and we have resubmitted the business case to Government based on the same level of local contributions.”

The rule change means 85% of the project’s cost can be covered by Government, rather than 80% which was previously the case.

That means the Government can now contribute £58.4 million towards the total cost, while CEC had already budgeted for up to £11.4 million of its own money to be spent on the scheme.

CEC agreed to push ahead with plans to improve the A500 two years ago.

It secured planning permission for the road last December and appointed Balfour Beatty as the contractor for the project a month later.

The council has begun negotiations with the main landowner, the Duchy of Lancaster, and it is hoped work will begin by the end of next year ahead of a 27-month construction period.

Cllr Peter Groves, Conservative member for Nantwich South and Stapeley, said: “Crewe and Nantwich councillors are waiting for the day when all the way through the A500 is dual carriageway.

“It would be very beneficial to us for many different reasons.”

Cabinet members will vote next month on whether to prepare compulsory purchase orders for land required for both the £58 million bypass and the A500 project.

(pic by Google Street View)

One Comment

  1. David Rushbrooke says:

    As I understand it, after the Atkinson review on local transport , further development of the Basford East Warehouses can’t go ahead until the J16 to Meremoss section of the A500 is dualled as the sheer volume of Road Haulage traffic caused by the 24/7, 364 days per year deliveries and collections from the joint Basford sites would cause gridlock over a wide area. Personally I think the Companies who wish to occupy theses sites should pay towards the infrastructure costs : These warehouses will provide few real jobs and considerably increase air ,noise and light pollution for the residents of Gresty and and Shavington with no demonstrable benefit

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

By using this form you agree with the storage and handling of your data by this website, to learn more please read our privacy policy.


Captcha * Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.