PLANS are shaping up to improve road safety on one of Middlewich’s busiest roads – with a roundabout set to be redesigned.

Residents have long been up in arms about speeding traffic along Warmingham Lane and safety concerns at the Bellway roundabout.

The road is often used for traffic between Middlewich and Crewe – and it is only set to get busier in the next few years, with hundreds of new homes being built along Warmingham Lane.

Now, Middlewich councillors have met with highways officers at Cheshire East Council to discuss how safety can be improved.

Following that meeting, Cllr Carol Bulman told Middlewich Town Council on Tuesday: “Whenever we went out to residents we got a whole range of views – from the elderly, from the young, people pushing plans – so we knew the scope of the problems.

Cllr Carol Bulman, Labour

Cllr Carol Bulman, Labour

“But you felt they were all working in their own particular areas and then towards the end [of the meeting] they had much more of an overview.

“It made me feel much more hopeful that they would be able to work together and we might actually be able to tap into these other funding streams and we would get some progress at last.

“It won’t be quick but at least there might be a roadmap so we know where we are going.”

The biggest breakthrough concerns the Bellway roundabout, at the junction with Sycamore Drive and Wallenge Road.

Residents spent months raising concerns about near misses at the roundabout during Middlewich Town Council’s open forum, and in December a formal complaint was lodged by the council.

At Tuesday’s town council meeting, chairman Cllr Mike Hunter confirmed that an independent body has carried out an audit on the roundabout and found a ‘deflection problem’.

On one side of the roundabout it is an almost straight road, meaning that people can speed through it.

The auditor has recommended this issue is rectified, so designers are now looking at how to solve the issue, and plans will be presented to Cheshire East Council.

Cllr Hunter added: “The safety audit has been done, they have found the problem, it’s having another design and this all has to come back to us.

Cllr Mike Hunter

Cllr Mike Hunter

“It doesn’t come out of the taxpayer’s purse, it comes out of Bellway’s purse. There is no strain on the taxpayer here – even the independent assessment is paid for by Bellway.”

Last year, residents formed the Warmingham Lane Community Speed Watch, checking for motorists who exceed the 30mph limit on the road.

Cllr Hunter told town councillors that the next step to improve road safety is a design for traffic calming measures – including a refuge island in Cross Lane and a pedestrian crossing at Chadwick Road, where youngsters cross to catch the bus to Holmes Chapel Comprehensive School.

Once a design is complete, CEC will look for funding sources to cover the costs, and Cllr Hunter suggested this could look to use cash from the Government’s active travel fund – which is designed to make safer walking and cycling routes.

He added: “We currently have £50,000 towards the traffic calming scheme which is a drop in the ocean and will not cover a quarter of Warmingham Lane.

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“This isn’t going to be quick because we’ve got to get the design up and running and then we can start looking at the funding streams. But it has started and that is the best bit of news we have got.”

Councillors are also hoping to improve road safety along Nantwich Road, particularly involving lorries, and this is due to be discussed at a future CEC highways meeting.