WORK is now under way on a multi-million-pound scheme to improve the A500 near Crewe.

The £11.2m joint scheme between Cheshire East Council and the Highways Agency will see the installation of traffic signals on Junction 16 and the widening of the A500 to two lanes approaching the junction.

Funding for this joint scheme has been received from the Department for Transport’s (DfT) ‘pinch point’ programme and the project will be managed by the Highways Agency under agreement with the council.

The Junction 16 scheme will help ease traffic congestion to the proposed Basford East and West development sites.

These are strategic employment sites that are a key part in the council’s vision to help create up to 12,500 jobs over the next two decades as part of the ambitious ‘All Change for Crewe’ programme.

Clr Michael Jones, leader of Cheshire East Council, said: “This is fantastic news for Crewe and for Cheshire East as a whole. Getting this key scheme under way is yet another massive boost for future job creation and the economic regeneration of Crewe and beyond.

“The project is the culmination of years of hard work and lobbying by the council and is the latest in a series of successful road bids for this authority, which aims to put residents first and deliver better connectivity and jobs-led, plan-led growth for the people of Cheshire East.”

The A500 scheme will see a 600 metre-long widening of the A500 on the approach to the M6 at junction 16 on the Crewe side.

This will create an additional full-length lane along that stretch of the A500, which will then taper into a shorter third lane.

The scheme is due for completion by Christmas.