Drivers have hit out at the impact roadworks are having on Macclesfield, saying the town has been left gridlocked.
Motorists are in the middle of ten days of chaos on the roads after a key section of the Silk Road was closed for pylons to be painted, at the same time as road repairs were scheduled for neighbouring routes.
Roadworks on Moss Lane and Gunco Lane have added to motorists’ frustrations.
Traffic build-ups are reported to be worst 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.
Mayor of Macclesfield, Councillor Beverley Dooley, said the impact of simultaneous roadworks around the town had created a ‘nightmare’.
She said: “Macclesfield is a commuter town, any road works create chaos. Unfortunately at the moment there is a lot, more than I have ever known. It’s just a nightmare getting in and out of Macclesfield at the moment, especially during rush hour.”
National Grid shut off part of the Silk Road from Bollington Road to Hulley Road on August 4 in both directions in order to paint and repair electricity pylons along the route, with the work not expected to be finished until Sunday.
As well as the Silk Road closure, Clarke Lane in Bollington is shut until August 24, and there are roadworks at the junction of Spring Gardens and Beech Lane, Tytherington, until Friday (August 11).
Nicki Komorowski, 56, who owns Quality Dry Cleaners at Tytherington Shopping Centre, said she had seen a 40 per cent drop in trade because of the traffic.
She added: “You just see a queue of lorries all day. It has been really, really quiet. Other businesses have complained of the same problems. It’s ridiculous.”
Taxi driver Iain Andrew Middlebrook said road closures on Gunco Lane and Moss Lane had ‘strangled’ the town, while carer Wendy Buccieri said the roadworks cause ‘havoc’ trying to get to clients.
Facebook user Naomi Whalley complained it took her almost an hour to drive half a mile from Tytherington Club to the Cock and Pheasant in Bollington.
Twitter user Elizabeth Kellett said the move had turned the roads in Macclesfield into a ‘car park’.
Cheshire East Council said it was working with utility companies and other partners to keep any road disruptions to a minimum.
National Grid’s £8m project will replace 50-year-old overhead power lines that run between Macclesfield and Stockport.
A spokesman said: “We recognise that the closure of the Silk Road can cause some disruption to travel and we apologise for this.
“However, there is no way that we can complete this essential work safely without the closure.”
A freephone number 0800 8199 071 has been for enquiries or you can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here’s what Facebook users had to say on the road closure.
Anna Pacheco, who works near the Silk Road, said: “It’s been a nightmare. It’s not so much just the Silk Road but closing other routes at the same time. Perhaps the closures should have been staggered or planned with a little more thought.”
Taxi driver Iain Middlebrook said: “Yes people were made aware in advance but still shouldn’t take nearly an hour to get from the football ground to Dog and Partridge in Bollington. I can’t plan to leave earlier. I’m a taxi driver so have to go where bookings are from and to.”
Rachel Carney said: “I’ve decided not to open my business over the period covered by the roadworks as I realised it would be such a headache. Running courses for people who can’t get to the venue.”
There were plenty of tales of long journeys.
Dave Robinson said: “I understand there is the work there to be carried out, however, having just spent an hour and forty minutes on the Silk Road taking my mother back to her nursing home (from Tytherington) I can’t help feeling there could have been a hell lot more thought given to the phasing of the work. To start work at the bottom of Buxton Road while the diversion necessary for the Silk Road electrical work to be completed is just sheer lunacy.”
Stephen Walker said: “Took me 50 minutes to get from work, AstraZeneca to the Moss. Absolute joke.”
Tanya Bailey said: “What makes it worse is when you get sat navs directing HGVs up some of the narrow lanes causing obstructions to traffic in both directions or lorry drivers not knowing the local roads and getting stuck.”
Alex Hall said: “Took my husband 40 mins to get from Tytherington to train station (normally 5 mins) and he missed train to London and had to buy another (more expensive) ticket.”
Hannah Dawson said: “We got stuck on the roundabout near big Tesco! Was an absolute JOKE, total gridlock.”
Jay Corbett said: “The point isn’t that the work needs to be done the point is that people are complaining. It’s bringing Macc to a standstill.”
Others saw past the delays and saw the benefit. Marty Hill said: “Unfortunately this work has to be carried out at some point. At least some thought has gone into it and doing it during school holidays when traffic is slightly reduced. People would be quick to moan if this work wasn’t done and it led to constant power supply issues.”