Driv­ers braced for road­works chaos

Macclesfield Express - - FRONT PAGE - RHI­AN­NON MC­DOWALL

DRIV­ERS are brac­ing them­selves for 10 days of mis­ery with a key sec­tion of the Silk Road set to close.

Na­tional Grid say they are be­ing forced to shut off part of the road in or­der to paint and carry out re­pair work to elec­tric­ity py­lons along the route.

Huge traf­fic dis­rup­tion was caused by the clo­sure of part of the road in 2010 when sim­i­lar work was car­ried out, but man­agers say that they hope to keep min­i­mum to a dis­rup­tion to a min­i­mum this time around.

Coun­cil­lor Nick Man­nion said res­i­dents should pre­pare them­selves for ‘pain’ with in­evitable traf­fic prob­lems en­su­ing.

Coun Man­nion, who works at Tesco on Hi­bel Road, said: “It’s go­ing to be a night­mare. It’s in­evi- ta­ble that there will be con­ges­tion be­cause of the al­ready high level of traf­fic, and it’s go­ing to cause great in­con­ve­nience, es­pe­cially for those liv­ing on the di­ver­sion route.”

The Silk Road will be com­pletely closed from the round­about at Bolling­ton Road to the round­about at Hul­ley Road, with driv­ers redi­rected along Manch­ester Road and Lon­don Road.

Coun Man­nion added that Hi­bel Road round­about, which has al­ready been iden­ti­fied by the coun­cil as a ‘pol­lu­tion hotspot’ due to the high vol­ume of traf­fic, will also be af­fected.

He said: “The level of con­ges­tion at Hi­bel Road is so bad it’s breach­ing the max­i­mum air pol­lu­tion limit due to the stop start traf­fic, so this di­ver­sion is not go­ing to help the sit­u­a­tion.”

But Coun­cil­lor Man­nion con­ceded that the work must be done. He said: “Peo­ple are go­ing to moan and groan but it has to be done if we want a re­li­able elec­tric­ity sup­ply.

“They are do­ing it in the sum­mer when the vol­ume of traf­fic is lighter and they are giv­ing peo­ple plenty of no­tice to ar­range al­ter­na­tive routes or trans­port.”

The by­pass will be closed from Fri­day, Au­gust 4, to Sun­day, Au­gust 13.

The work is part of a £8m project to re­place 50-year-old over­head power lines that run be­tween Mac­cles­field and Bred­bury, in Stock­port.

Ryan Hatcher, Na­tional Grid project man­ager said: “Peo­ple may re­call that we worked on this over­head power line around six years ago when we re­fur­bished one side of the line.

“We usu­ally try and do both sides as part of the same project but this line is a lit­tle dif­fer­ent. Each side runs at a dif­fer­ent volt­age and splits off to con­nect to a dif­fer­ent part of the grid, mean­ing we couldn’t do both sides to­gether with­out turn­ing off the elec­tric­ity sup­ply.

“We have planned care­fully to min­imise dis­rup­tion dur­ing this essen­tial main­te­nance work that will keep power flow­ing un­in­ter­rupted along this line, help­ing keep the lights on in Cheshire and be­yond.”

A spokesper­son for Cheshire East Coun­cil said: “In or­der to help keep road clo­sures or dis­rup­tion to a min­i­mum, Cheshire East Coun­cil’s high­ways team and Ansa en­vi­ron­men­tal ser­vices work­ers will use the op­por­tu­nity pro­vided by the Na­tional Grid clo­sure to carry out a num­ber of main­te­nance ac­tiv­i­ties, while the road is al­ready closed. We thank road users in ad­vance for their un­der­stand­ing and we con­tinue to work with util­ity com­pa­nies and other partners to keep any road dis­rup­tions to a min­i­mum.”

Cheshire po­lice dog Bon­nie

Traf­fic jams in Mac­cles­field due to the clo­sure of the Silk Road in 2010

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