A fly-past by a 1950 military aircraft, and a parade of veteran cars, tractors and motorbikes crowned the completion of Poynton Relief Road, Cheshire East’s latest major road scheme.
Right on cue, an Avro-Anson former reconnaissance plane circled above as the Mayor of Cheshire East, Councillor David Marren, prepared to cut the ribbon to mark the completion of the £53m Poynton relief road, named after the celebrated wartime aircraft designer Roy Chadwick.
Roy Chadwick Way, linking Adlington, in Poynton, and the A555 Manchester Airport relief road, in Stockport, will relieve Poynton village of the heavy traffic residents have tolerated over several decades, and improve access to Macclesfield and the north of the borough.
The 3.5km road, built by GRAHAM, crosses the former Avro aircraft manufacturing site at Woodford in Stockport and is named after the man who designed the famous Lancaster bomber.
A large gathering of walkers and cyclists mingled with VIP guests for the ribbon-cutting ceremony on 3 March, the highlight of which was the fly-past by the twin-engined Anson plane, flown specially for the event, from the Shropshire Aero Club, Sleap, Shropshire and organised by the Avro Heritage Museum, in Woodford.
Chadwick, sadly died during a test flight at Woodford Aerodrome, along with three crew. A memorial board, unveiled last November, stands beside the new road near the site of the crash.
Carol Wilson, daughter of the co-pilot David Wilson, who died in the accident, was among the guests.
She said afterwards: “My father was a very experienced wartime pilot flying Lancasters, amongst other planes, and spent some time in 617 squadron. He was awarded the DSO and the DFC and Bar. It is good to know that Roy Chadwick is commemorated in the naming of a road in his honour. Also, that those who died with him in the crash of 1947, including my father, are also remembered on the memorial plaque.”
Relatives of the Chadwick family were unable to attend Friday’s event but sent a ‘thank you’ message.
Roy Chadwick’s granddaughter, Delphine Stevens, said: “Roy Chadwick was very proud of his Chadwick family roots in north-west England and the region’s position in the world of aviation. We send our very best wishes and congratulations on this special occasion and important new road for the community.”
Councillor Craig Browne, Cheshire East Council deputy leader and chair of the council’s highways and transport committee, said: “For many years, the people of Poynton have tolerated a constant flow of heavy traffic through their village and this scheme, connecting with the recently completed Manchester Airport relief road is designed to remove that headache, improve air quality in the village and deliver an all-round better quality of life for the village and wider area.
“The Poynton relief road, or Roy Chadwick Way, as we should now refer to it, is the latest in our programme of major road schemes which have helped to improve connectivity across the borough, open-up new employment and housing development sites and move heavy traffic away from the homes of our residents, improving their quality of life.
“This road carries a 3.5-metre-wide cycling and footway along its length. This council is fully committed to a policy of active travel, and this is a further example of that commitment.”
Clare Hayward, chair of Cheshire and Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “This is a splendid example of partnership working between Cheshire East Council, the Cheshire and Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership, Stockport Council and the contractors, Graham, with support from the government’s growth deal.
“By improving connectivity in this way, this area will become even more attractive to businesses and investors, while improving the lives of local residents. It will help us to take another step towards our unrelenting ambition to make Cheshire and Warrington the healthiest, most sustainable, inclusive and growing economy in the country.”
Alastair Lewis, Contracts Director for GRAHAM, said: “We’re delighted to have completed the new Poynton relief road and very excited to see it open to the public in March. The scheme has been a fantastic collaboration between our highways team, Cheshire East Council and many other stakeholders and I’d like to thank everyone involved for their hard work throughout the programme.”
The new road includes two overbridges for walkers, cyclists and farm traffic. Funding for the project has come from Cheshire East Council (£21m), Cheshire and Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership growth deal (£5.6m), and the Department for Transport (£16.4m), with the balance to be met by developer contributions.
The new Poynton relief road opened to traffic on Monday 6 March at 10am.