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Cheshire County Council
County Hall
Chester, Cheshire
24 Hour Tel: 0845 11 333 11

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Trunk Roads Homepage

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What are Trunk Roads? | What has happened in Cheshire? | Contact the Area Highways Team

What are Trunk Roads?

Under the Trunk Roads Act 1936, about 30 of the main roads in Great Britain were made Trunk Roads. This meant that the then Minister of Transport took direct control, as the Highway Authority, over the most important through roads in the Country (some 4,459 miles of road). Over the intervening years many more miles of existing road have been 'trunked' and many lengths of new Trunk Roads have been built. Virtually all Motorways are Trunk Roads. The length of the Trunk Road network (as of February 2003) in England is 5,830 miles (9,380 km).

In July 1998 the Government published its White Paper on the Future of Transport: A New Deal for Transport - Better for Everyone, which proposed the de-trunking of about 40% of the Trunk Road network, leaving a core network of the most strategic roads under the control of the Highways Agency - part of what is now the Department for Transport.

What has happened in Cheshire?

The Government's Highways Agency is responsible for Motorways and Trunk Roads, including bridges. However, excluding Motorways, most of these roads and bridges in Cheshire became the County Council's responsibility in 2002 (see below). Most of the maintenance work (e.g. new white lines, resurfacing, street lighting maintenance) is done by the County Council's main Term Maintenance Contractor, Nuttall.

On 1 April 2002, the following roads were de-trunked and became County A roads:

  • A41 (Shropshire boundary to A51 at Chester)
  • A49 (Shropshire boundary to Warrington boundary, south of M56)
  • A51/A500 (A41 at Chester to A500 Manor House roundabout, Nantwich)
  • A54/A556 (A51 at Tarvin to M6 Junction 19)

On 1 July 2002, the following roads were de-trunked and became County A roads:

  • A6 (Derbyshire boundary to Stockport boundary)
  • A523 (Staffordshire boundary to Stockport boundary)

Changes we have made:

  • the timings at Pelican crossings have been changed to give more priority to pedestrians; and
  • the signing at the A55/A51 junction, to direct M6 south traffic via the M56, rather than A51/A500 (this will have had only a marginal effect on the traffic using the A51/A500, but every little helps!)

Contact us

We wrote to all MEPs, MPs, County and District Councillors and Parish Councils about the changes from April and July 2002 and who to contact now. Essentially, all initial contacts should still be made to our Area Highways Teams, although they may need to pass some issues to the Engineering Service's head office at Backford Hall.

Engineering Service 01244 603551

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