Alderley Edge Bypass opens after 90-year plan
A £52m bypass to take traffic away from two Cheshire villages was opening on Friday - about 90 years after the idea was first mooted.
The three-mile route (4.8km), which was built within 22 months, is designed to take about 26,000 vehicles a day away from Alderley Edge and Nether Alderley.
Highways officials have said it will also bring improvements in road safety, traffic delays and pollution.
Chancellor - and Tatton MP - George Osborne was opening the road.
The long-awaited bypass runs to the west of Alderley Edge, starting at Harden Park roundabout and rejoining the existing A34 to the south of Nether Alderley.
It was scheduled to open in summer 2011 but has been completed well-ahead of schedule, Cheshire East Council said.
As well as removing traffic from the congested villages, the road will improve access to Manchester Airport, the M6 and the M60.
Councillor Jamie Macrae, member for prosperity, said: "The opening of the bypass is a momentous occasion for the people of Alderley Edge and Nether Alderley.
"Given that the project was first mooted in the 1920s, local residents have been waiting for an extremely long time and I am delighted to see their patience finally being rewarded.
"When the council came into being we identified the bypass as a priority as part of our commitment to grow and develop a sustainable Cheshire East, building upon the excellent preparation carried out by our predecessor authority, Cheshire County Council.
"The bypass will restore tranquillity to these historic villages and provide a convenient route for the thousands of commuters who pass this way every day."
The Department for Transport paid for most of the project - £48.4m - with the remainder provided by the council.
Last month hundreds of people were allowed to walk the route for a charity walk.