The start of the 80-week roadworks project around Leighton Hospital has caused chaos in the area
An ambulance was forced to do a U-turn on its way to a Cheshire hospital after trying to get around closures put in place for an 80-week roadworks scheme. The emergency services vehicle is reported to have attempted to get to Leighton Hospital in Crewe by accessing Pyms Lane via Sunnybank Road.
It is believed the ambulance had taken that route as a result of the current closure on Middlewich Road which has been in place since Monday (May 9) for work on the North West Crewe Package (NWCP). But Pyms Lane, which is owned by Bentley, is not open to the public.
A statement issued by Crewe West representatives Cllrs Connor Naismith and Marilyn Houston read: “We have written to Cheshire East Highways and Balfour Beatty (the NW Crewe package contractors) to raise concerns regarding reports that an ambulance was forced to do a U-turn after attempting to get to Pyms Lane via Sunnybank Road.
“We have asked for access to the hospital via the A530 to be maintained if possible. We have also asked that if this is possible, that this is communicated with the ambulance service, particularly where vehicles are travelling from further afield and may be unaware of the road works.”
Middlewich Road, the main road used to access Leighton Hospital, is currently closed between Pyms Lane and Smithy Lane difficulties for the ambulance service come despite Cheshire East Council stating that the closures would ‘be sequenced to ensure residential, business, and hospital access is maintained’.
The Mid Cheshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust also recently confirmed to CheshireLive that it was continuing to work with the authority to ensure access to the site.
A spokesperson said: “During this time, whilst the roadworks outside Leighton Hospital takes place, the Trust continues to work alongside the council to ensure the safety of our patients comes first and that our staff, patients, visitors and emergency vehicles are able to access Leighton Hospital at all times.”
The current diversion for drivers travelling from the south towards Leighton is: Middlewich Road, Nantwich Bypass, Shavington Bypass, University Way, Sydney Road, Bradfield Road and Flowers Lane.
It is hoped the North West Crewe Package (NWCP) will improve roads and junctions around the Leighton area. As well as easing congestion, the aim is to improve access to Leighton Hospital while bringing ‘opportunities housing developments and for local businesses to expand’.
This includes for the delivery of 1,250 homes in the area off Leighton Road. The two plans, one for 850 houses and another for 400, were approved by Cheshire East Council in 2020.
Further road closures will be announced as the scheme progresses. It is expected that the scheme will take around two years to complete.
The improvements will include: the construction of a new 2.6km single carriageway road; seven new roundabouts; the realignment of Smithy Lane; Flowers Lane junction improvements on A530 Middlewich Road and Minshull New Road; and extension of the Connect 2 walking and cycling route to Leighton Hospital and North West Crewe.
A section of Minshull New Road outside Leighton Academy will also be permanently closed to traffic. This is to create a safer environment for children arriving and departing the school.