‘Game-changing’ Heywood link road opens 

The opening of a new 2.2km motorway link road connecting junction 19 of the M62 motorway with Pilsworth Road in Heywood is set to being huge benefits for logistics operators in the area. 

The Mayor of Rochdale and Leader of Rochdale Borough Council were among those attending the official opening of the new A6184 which opened to the public on November 3rd. 

It has been hailed as a catalyst for the local economy as the increased connectivity makes the area more attractive to new investment and supports existing employment. 

The new route means vehicles will no longer have to divert to the M66 motorway via smaller local roads, reducing journey lengths by tens of thousands of miles every year.

Over a 60-year period this equates to £156million combined savings from reduced journeys and £25million less in operating costs

For Heywood town centre this will remove up to 35,770 heavy goods vehicle (HGV) journeys every year and reduce carbon emissions by immediately reducing journeys by 267,000 hours a year.

The road is the first completed element of the 316-acre South Heywood Masterplan which is being brought forward by Russells, the regional property and construction group.

It supports development of more than 1.45million sq ft of new employment space at Russells’ new 120-acre logistics and manufacturing site HPARK which is located off the new link road. This is set to be launched in the new year and has the potential to create up to 2,800 new jobs.

It also unlocks the opportunity for 1,000 new homes, a new local centre with a primary school, park, retail and sport facilities. Russell Homes, Bellway and Anwyl are all progressing residential sites and construction of the first homes in the new West Hopwood community has recently commenced. 

The Russells team has been working on the masterplan for more than a decade, bringing together the land, funding, public and private sector partnerships needed to deliver the programme over a 20-year period.

Gareth Russell, joint managing director, said: “The opening of the link road is a milestone for everyone involved in the delivery of this transformative economic regeneration scheme, and is testament to what partnership working can achieve. It is the key to unlocking the economic potential of South Heywood, making the location more accessible and attractive for business to invest and bring new jobs to the area, and will help reduce carbon emissions in the borough by immediately removing hundreds of thousands of hours of travel, something which will benefit residents and businesses alike.” 

Russells Director Daniel Kershaw added: “To see the link road finally operational after 12 years of working on the project is extremely rewarding. Russells and Rochdale Borough Council have worked together on this as a collaboration. The public private partnership has enabled us to deliver something that is genuinely beneficial for the local area, not just for the future development that we are bringing forward but for the existing businesses, this is transformational. Thank you to colleagues, the council, Rochdale Development Agency, and council members for their support and the vision that they had for backing this for the last decade. It is genuinely game-changing for this area. Congratulations to all involved.”

Rochdale Borough Council has applied to name the new road Queen Elizabeth II Way in honour of the late head of state. It was built with over £20m private and public sector funding and is also expected to benefit local residents and other businesses with shorter journeys times and reduced travel costs.

Councillor Daniel Meredithcabinet member for highways and housing for Rochdale Borough Council, said: “The opening of the new link road gives an opportunity to alleviate congestion and reduce journeys by creating a more efficient route. It should lead to vehicles no longer relying on the town centre to navigate their journeys, creating a better environment for residents as the local roads become much less busy.” 

Councillor John Blundell, Rochdale’s cabinet member for economy and regeneration for the council, said: “We can now realise the development of new business space and create new jobs while at the same time giving existing businesses the opportunity to reinvest instead of wasting money on high transport costs. This will foster business competitiveness and growth and unlock new economic opportunities.”

Bruce Parker, National Highways’ Head of Planning and Development in the North West, said: “We’re delighted to celebrate the opening of the new link. It will support improved journeys to and from the M62 and is already unlocking the potential for new businesses, hundreds of extra jobs and more homes in the vicinity of the motorway.

“The project is a great example of the partnership working National Highways has been supporting right across the North West from our Growth and Housing Fund and we’ve made a significant, £1.5 million contribution to the construction costs of this new link road.”

Councillor Andrew Western, Greater Manchester Combined Authority’s lead for regeneration, said: “Connectivity is absolutely central to our plans for inclusive and sustainable growth. The new road will be an important part of the infrastructure supporting Atom Valley, driving forward innovation and advanced manufacturing in Greater Manchester.”

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