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Funding Case Study: Congleton A536 is the strongest ‘Link’

Case Study 19/08/2021

This project benefitted from £52m of Local Growth Funding.

The Congleton Link Road Project Team are pleased to announce that the scheme and other associated works are now complete, except for some final landscaping works which will be undertaken later this year.

We faced the dual challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and two  extremely wet winters, which hindered progress on the scheme. The pandemic affected many of our supply chain partners with many shutting down during the first lockdown last year. We introduced special measures to keep our workforce safe and worked hard to reduce delays to the programme.

Despite these challenges the project was delivered on budget.

The completed scheme which has been named Wolstenholme Elmy Way after Congleton’s famous pioneering educationalist and campaigner for votes for women, Elizabeth Clarke Wolstenholme Elmy, joins the A534 Sandbach Road with the A536 Macclesfield Road and also provides a link to the Radnor Park industrial estate, vastly improving connectivity for the 26 businesses currently based on the trading estate.

The Project Team opened the road to pedestrians and cyclists on Friday 16th April to give the local community the opportunity to explore their newest road over the weekend. The official opening took place on Monday 19th April and was marked by a colourful cavalcade of more than 50 classic cars driven by local enthusiasts along the 5.7 km route, which is the largest infrastructure project to date in Cheshire East Councils history.

The procession of vehicles, which included a ‘Batmobile’, high performance sports cars and vehicles dating from the early part of the last century, was preceded by a small ribbon-cutting ceremony by members of the team from GRAHAM and Cheshire East Council, who were involved in delivering the road.

Since opening to traffic the scheme has reduced congestion in the town and improved journey times for the 28,000 residents of Congleton and surrounding areas. The long term benefits will include improved air quality in the town and bring economic and social regeneration to the area by supporting new residential and business development sites.

"The opening of Wolstenholme Elmy Way is a cause for real celebration and a fine achievement – not only for the council, GRAHAM and road users but, above all, the people of Congleton. Traffic congestion had previously restricted the town’s growth, reduced inward investment and made it a challenge to retain existing businesses. “The council is delighted this significant and complex project has been successfully delivered – and within budget – despite the added challenges of two extremely wet winters and the unprecedented impact of the Covid pandemic.
“Given the size and complexity of the project, the progress made from drawing board to build completion has been astonishing. Everyone involved in this scheme should feel tremendously proud.” Frank Jordan, Cheshire East Council’s Executive Director

Read the full case study here.