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Fury as drivers suffer in vain

National Grid shut off the Silk Road in Macclesfield for 10 days - but failed to complete most of the work

Silk Road closure

More traffic misery beckons after electricity bosses admitted they didn’t finish the work, which closed the Silk Road for 10 days.

National Grid shut off the junction between Bollington Road and Hulley Road from August 4-13 to paint and repair electricity pylons.

But work was not completed because of problems elsewhere on the network.

Bosses have apologised – but will have to close the road again later in the year.

The move has infuriated drivers, residents and businesses who claim the road closure, along with other roadworks in the town, created gridlock – despite being specifically arranged for the school summer holidays.

Anna Pacheco, a regional sales manager from Macclesfield, said: “To find out that all that pain and delay was for nothing is awful. And now we have to suffer again. When you are using the road for a purpose roadworks can be detrimental to a business.”

The Silk Road, which was closed in both directions, has since reopened.

Businessman Mike Rance, right, from Make It Macclesfield, said: “I think it’s an absolute nightmare for Macclesfield and people will be extremely angry, not just because of the fact it’s happened but the fact that National Grid clearly knew this for some time and have not told anyone about it.”

Nicki Komorowski, who owns Quality Dry Cleaners at Tytherington Shopping Centre, is devastated having seen her business profits drop by 40 per cent during the closure. She said: “Customers tell me they avoided the area because of the roadworks. The whole shopping area was very quiet. It’s not great that they’ll be doing it all again, but what can I do about it?”

Coun Beverley Dooley, the Mayor of Macclesfield, is furious that repairs weren’t completed in the summer holidays.

She said: “It is obviously disappointing but we have to accept circumstances beyond anyone’s control. Let’s trust the work will be completed quickly once work resumes.”

National Grid’s £8m project will replace 50-year-old overhead power lines that run between Macclesfield and Stockport. A spokesman said repair work in Macclesfield stopped on August 4 to enable an emergency fix to another part of the network and over the following six days engineers only managed some ‘site access works and painting’ before confirming it had to reschedule.

National Grid said once the fault is repaired it will publicise revised plans for the maintenance work.

He added: “We would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused by these necessary changes in our plans and would like to thank local residents and businesses for bearing with us during this essential maintenance work.”

Last week the Express reported traffic build-ups on diversion routes around the Silk Road, especially on Beech Lane in Macclesfield, and Brocklehurst Way and Manchester Road in Tytherington.

One driver claimed that a journey which usually takes five minutes from Tytherington to Macclesfield train station had taken 40 minutes, while another claimed it had taken him 50 minutes to get from AstraZeneca to the Moss estate.

Cheshire East Council - which used the closure to make road improvements and install a pedestrian crossing - said steps will be taken to ensure that future work by National Grid will take place at a time when traffic disruption is minimised.

Drivers are still facing delays on our roads despite the reopening of the Silk Road. These include:

  • Hurdsfield Road will be closed from August 24 to 30 for resurfacing.
  • Adelaide Street at its junction with Hurdsfield Road is expected to be closed until August 18 for an emergency repair by United Utilities (UU).
  • Brook Street has roadworks at two points. There will be a lane closure with its junction of the Silk Road on August 20 for fencing and roadworks at its east end by UU between August 17 and 21.
  • Gunco Lane’s south end is closed until August 25 for utilities works, while the north end will be closed until October 6 for works.
  • Moss Lane will see potential delays for roadworks until August 18.
  • Churchill Way will see delays on August 24 for repairs by UU.
  • Whalley Hayes will see disruption from August 18 to 21 while UU carry out repairs.
  • Cumberland Street from the Oxford Road junction to the Chester Road junction will be closed on August 17 from 9-11pm for works by UU.
  • Chelford Road at Henbury will be closed for roadworks from August 17 to 23.
  • Wellington Road, Bollington, will be closed to UU repairs between August 16 and 18.
  • Clarke Lane in Bollington will also be closed from the junction at Bollington Road to the junction at Mode Hill Farm until August 24.
  • Flash Lane in Bollington will have roadworks on August 20.
  • Hall Lane in Sutton is closed on August 21.

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