£5m B road opens as A556 bypass legacy

Five million pound work to upgrade the former A556 in Cheshire has been completed.

Highways England has converted the old A556 Chester Road - which has been replaced by the £192 million Knutsford to Bowdon bypass - into the B5569, a new 5.4km B road which will now be operated by Cheshire East Council.

It includes a dedicated route for pedestrians, cyclists and horseriders.

Highways England project manager Paul Hampson said: “This is a significant milestone for the Knutsford to Bowdon project – a result of our determination to deliver a lasting legacy for local people following the completion of the new dual carriageway in March.”

Su Russell, Chairlady of CycleKnutsford, said she was delighted the group had been invited to the opening of what she described as a ‘landmark’ designated cycleway - the first in Cheshire - and hoped it would lead the way to further cycling initiatives in the county.

She said, “Highways England and its main contractor Costain have kept CycleKnutsford informed throughout the process and taken into consideration cyclists and the environment generally at every possible opportunity.

“CycleKnutsford members can't wait to get out on their bikes and explore the new safe segregated cycleway.”

Since the new A556 opened to drivers in March, work to convert the old road has included:
•    Turning the old northbound 2 lane carriageway into a dedicated, segregated green route for pedestrians, cyclists and horses riders – 4 metres wide and separated from the new B road by a wide border planted with a wild flower mix.
•    Converting the old 2 lane southbound carriageway into a new B road with as single lane in each direction
•    Installing brand new drainage along the new route as well as totally resurfacing the re-arranged layout
•    Providing totally new junction layouts at Bucklow Hill/Chapel Lane and Mere junctions giving priority to the A5034 and A50 traffic. 
•    Installing a signalised Pegasus crossing – specifically designed to assist horse riders - at the junction between the green route and the A50 at Mere.

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