Planning has been approved for the new ‘MA6NITUDE’ industrial site at Midpoint 18 in Middlewich, despite warnings from councillors about worsening congestion.
Residents and councillors in Middlewich have voiced concerns regarding congestion and air quality after the expansion of Midpoint 18 business park was given the green light, despite there still being no guarantee of the Middlewich Eastern bypass being built.
Traffic congestion in Middlewich is a big problem and a much debated issue. Middlewich sits just west of Junction 18 of the M6, making it a major diversion point when accidents, frequently, occur.
The total cost of the project currently stands at £56.9 million, £46.8 million of which has be secured through Government. It is hoped the project will be completed by 2021, opening up hundreds of acres of new economic land and creating thousands of jobs, some however doubt the progress of the project and criticise Cheshire East Council’s efforts.
In response to the ‘MA6NITUDE‘ development being approved Middlewich Town Council Candidate and Community Campaigner David Williams said: “We have been let down by Middlewich First again. Failing to object to development with absolutely no guarantee of the bypass being built. In fact money from this development can be diverted into other projects. Time for change, we can’t go on like this.”
The 70 acre expansion of ‘MA6NITUDE’ is to be built along the proposed route of the Middlewich Eastern Bypass, Something Middlewich Labour Councillor Jonathon Parry believes defeats the object of a bypass: “The problem it creates is that it turns the bypass into an industrial estate. If there are too many junctions a bypass ceases to be a bypass because traffic cannot flow freely.
“This will only be if they have to revert to the original route though. The new proposed route so far has no developments planned, but I am certain there will be if that route gets approved and receives planning permission.”
The new bypass route would see traffic diverted around Middlewich from the Salt Cellar Roundabout on Holmes Chapel Road, from the M6. Traffic would then be taken east, crossing Cledford Lane, continuing South and joining Booth Lane past the British Salt works.
This would ease heavy traffic off the narrow roads of Middlewich town centre, roads which struggle to take the constant flow of heavy goods vehicles coming straight off the M6.
One of the worst affected areas of Middlewich is Nantwich Road, where a very low aqueduct stretches over the narrow road. Residents on this street have to deal with numerous HGVs trying to get down the road everyday, then turning in the road damaging people property.
The image above shows damage caused by a lorry reversing into Julie McKay’s wall. I spoke to Julie last year about the issue; “I think it’s just one of those things, the road isn’t designed very well, the signs aren’t in the right places. I don’t know what the answer is, i don’t see why with some of these drivers they can’t start fining them.”
Congestion in Middlewich is a serious issue and one that residents vent about daily on the Middlewich Community Group.
One resident called the traffic “an absolute joke” and said “Something needs to be done before there is a serious collision”.
More information on the plans for the Middlewich Eastern Bypass can be found on the Cheshire East Website.