Pilsworth Road in Heywood reopens after work is completed to widen the road

Date published: 31 March 2024

Work to extend the link road, which connects junction 19 of the M62 to the South Heywood Distribution Park, has been completed this week.

The new link road, which opened in November 2022, created direct access from the M62 to key employment sites in the area for the first time.

The extension has seen the widening and resurfacing of a 650 metre stretch of Pilsworth Road down to its junction with Moss Hall Road.

The existing footpath on the north side has been reconstructed and widened and a new three metre shared walking and cycling footway has been created on the south side for the first time.

The project builds on the creation of the junction 19 link road, named Queen Elizabeth Way, which attracted over £20m of external funding and will create 135,000 square metres of employment space, 1,000 new homes and primary school as a first phase of the Northern Gateway project.

The new extension will further improve access into the Northern Gateway, which has the potential to create 1.2m square metres of new employment space.

The link road is also estimated to have re-routed almost 50,000 HGV journeys out of Heywood town centre and Hopwood village since its opening almost 18 months ago.

In addition, it included the creation of new cycling and walking routes, alongside new, safer pedestrian crossings at the junction 19 roundabout.

Reflecting on the benefits of the new link road and its extension, Glyn Hawkins, transport manager at QuickShift Transport, based at Heywood Distribution Park said: “Since the link road opened, its saved our drivers having to go the long way, which involved travelling via Simister Island on the M66. It’s trimmed about five miles off each journey, ultimately saving fuel, which is especially good for our trucks and the environment.

“The new link road is also doing a great job relieving traffic from Heywood town centre and saving lots of extra miles for vehicles using the distribution park.

“Now the new cycle lanes have opened, we are hoping to introduce cycle to work schemes for our staff.”

The widening project, which was delivered by Greater Manchester based George Cox and Sons, has included the construction of a new junction which gives direct access into a potential new employment site opposite the Heywood Distribution Centre. Better drainage and lighting have also been introduced all along the route as part of the project.

In addition, the new cycle lane will connect to an existing cycle lane, creating one continuous lane from junction 19 of the M62 to junction 3 of the M66.

Councillor Shah Wazir, cabinet member for highways at Rochdale Borough Council, said: “The link road was a game changing development, which will unlock huge opportunities in this vitally important part of our borough. I’m delighted to see this extension now complete, because it will help us build on these benefits and create even more. This will be particularly important as we move forward with the Atom Valley project, which will create opportunities for thousands of highly skilled, well paid jobs across Rochdale, Bury and Oldham.”

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