A54 road near Buxton in Derbyshire
|Maintained by Cheshire County Council|
|Length||41.9 mi (67.4 km)|
|west end|| A51|
J18 → M6 Motorway
|east end|| A53|
The A54 road is a road in England linking Chester in Cheshire with Buxton in Derbyshire. Its route through both urban and steep rural areas presents a challenge to Cheshire County Council in maintaining the safety of the road. Many years ago it was the main East-West Route in Cheshire The importance of the A54 through Middlewich and Winsford was decreased in the 1970s/1980s with the building of the M56 and dualling of the A556 at Northwich. The Section through Winsford carries approximately 30,000 vehicles per day.
Re-routing of the A54 away from the narrow cobbled streets of Congleton town centre was first proposed in 1935. Prior to this, at the point where the A34 now converges with the A54 an unusual 28 ft (8.5 m) lighthouse was erected in 1924 bearing the words "Dangerous hill - change to low gear", backlit at night, to reduce accidents at the sharp bend.
According to a 2007 report by the Road Safety Foundation for the European Road Assessment Programme (EuroRAP), the A54 is one of the most dangerous roads in the UK, second only to the A682 in Lancashire.
Again in 2008 the road was rated as one of the highest-risk roads in Great Britain by EuroRAP, with a risk rating of Medium to High on its most dangerous stretch between Buxton and Congleton. Eighteen fatal or serious-injury accidents occurred on this 24-kilometre (15 mi) stretch of single-carriageway road between 2003 and 2005, 26% of which were accidents at junctions.
The road begins at a roundabout on the A51 near Tarvin, 5 miles (8.0 km) east of Chester it continues on a single carriageway until it reaches Kelsall, where it becomes a 2-mile long dual carriageway on the Kelsall Bypass, this is dual carriageway due to the roads sharp 13% incline into Delamere Forest, the westbound carriageway is subject to a mix of Fixed and Mobile Speed Cameras due to its sharp decline into the Dee Valley. It then becomes single carriageway again when the road reaches a TOTSO junction with the A556 to Manchester & Northwich the road continues for 2 miles to a Junction with the A49 it then continues through Little Budworth and the West Cheshire Hills with Sharp Bends past the Oulton Park Racing Circuit.
The first town is Winsford, where the road is a dual carriageway for 3 miles through the town centre, this is the busiest section with around 30,000 vehicles using it per day. Unusually the suburbs have been bypassed while the main road runs directly along the High Street, Due to its urban environment and Heavy Traffic use it has a short sections where it becomes a 3/4 Lane Dual Carriageway in each direction Between the Dene Drive & Collingham Way Junctions. In Winsford it crosses the River Weaver on a large roundabout having two bridges over the river, The traffic volume then reduces significantly when it meets the A5018 towards Northwich & the A533 North which in turn is used by vehicles going north to the M6 J19 & M56 to Manchester via the A556. It then continues on another Bypass with a crawler lane going Eastbound due to its 200 ft incline, passing Winsford Train Station and Winsford Industrial Estate before it picks up its original Roman Route on Middlewich Road.
It then continues into Cheshire East and Middlewich where it again travels through the Town Centre on the Wheelock Street Bypass, at a Roundabout with Centurion Way it merges with traffic that has continued on the A556 to Northwich and the A530 King Street instead of using the route through Winsford. It then becomes much busier carrying much of the traffic to the M6 J18 from Central Cheshire.
The road then becomes more rural in character as it climbs through the Peak District National Park. The rural nature and high accident record of the A54 from Congleton and Buxton means the road is subject to 50 mph average speed cameras. It reaches a height of 1690 ft becoming the highest A Road in Cheshire and one of the highest in England, it crosses into Derbyshire at a fork with the A537 before carrying on to a junction with the A53 on the edge of Buxton.
List of settlements
The road passes through or immediately adjacent to many towns and villages on its length. Only those with their own Wikipedia article are included here, listed in the order they appear along the road travelling west–east.
- Holmes Chapel