Crewe’s economic transformation got a major boost today (21 December 2015) as the Transport Secretary opened a £26.5 million highway that will improve journeys and support jobs.
The 1.1 km dual-carriageway will provide a valuable link between the A500 Hough-Shavington bypass and the A5020 Weston Road making it quicker to travel around Crewe and unlocking job opportunities in Basford, south of the city.
The link road will be named David Whitby Way, commemorating the local man who was a co-driver of the Glasgow to London mail train that was hijacked in the Great Train Robbery in 1963.
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said:
This route will bring quicker, easier journeys around Crewe and shows our commitment to improving the UK’s transport infrastructure. Our investment will unlock Crewe’s ambitious plans to create jobs and play a key role in the Northern Powerhouse.
I’m also pleased to see the road named after a Crewe man who embodied the vital role transport workers play in our daily life.
The opening of the route is the latest boost for the ‘All change for Crewe’ strategy, which aims to transform the city into a national economic hub by 2030 with improved transport links and a large highly skilled workforce.
It will unlock nearly 100 hectares of potential development land in the Basford area for housing and businesses – roughly 140 times the size of the football pitch at Crewe’s Alexandra Stadium.
The highway took 15 months to build – including a major 54-hour operation over the Easter bank holiday to install a railway bridge to carry the Crewe to Derby rail line over the road.
The scheme received £15.6 million from the Department for Transport, with the rest of the cost met by Cheshire East Council and local developers.