School pleas for help over serious safety issue


Representatives from a local primary school attended Wilmslow Town Council's meeting last night as a "last resort", having spent nearly a year asking Cheshire East Council for help to resolve their safety concerns.

Governor Marie Griffiths and Headteacher Darren Morgan of Lindow Primary School addressed the meeting to formally draw the councillors attention to a serious road safety issue that is effecting their school, in the hope that they might at last get some action which they have been asking for for nearly a year.

Marie Griffiths said "We want to make two main points. Firstly, there is a very serious potential risk of an accident on a daily basis to children and parentswho walk up and down Upcast Lane. Secondly, how shocked we have been at the level of apathy from those in authority and with responsibility for this issue."

Lindow Primary School is located down the end of a small country road which is a dead end. Traffic has to drive down the lane and return the same way and, despite it being the main way to reach the school, it does not have a pavement - instead there is a white line that separates children and vehicles.

The school has expanded over the last 5 years and now has over 200 pupils. It also has Wilmslow's only Hearing Impaired Resource Centre and is able to cater for children with very complex needs.

Marie continued "Our expansion has led to increasing issues of safety due to an increase in traffic and pedestrians down Upcast Lane in the mornings and evenings which leads to an unsafe environment for children to get to school every day.

"Concerns are regularly expressed by parents that the chance of an accident occurring is increasing.

"We have put into place a number of initiatives to reduce the amount of traffic down Upcast Lane. Many parents support these initiatives and park elsewhere and walk, but we can only do so much as a school, and now need support and action from Cheshire East Council to make further changes."

The main priorities for Lindow Primary School are appropriate gritting and hedge trimming as well as a speed limit and signage review. In the longer term the school would like to see a pavement extension and pedestrian crossing on Knutsford Road.

Marie added "We have asked Cheshire East Highways Team to help and advise us on what is appropriate. Our requests have been ignored and at worst rudely refused, blaming a lack of money."

Marie Griffiths first emailed councillors Gary Barton and Wesley Fitzgerald on this issue on 9th December 2013. She said "Although Councillor Barton was initially helpful, there has been no meaningful intervention since February. For nearly a year we have been going round in circles emailing and being ignored by everyone involved and having doors firmly shut when we asked for advice from CE Highways."

Marie finished by saying ""In conclusion, we are here because we do not know what else to do. We feel terribly let down by our councillors and the Highways Department.

"Are we going to have to wait for a serious accident involving a child before anyone will engage with us. We have had many near misses, the next one will not be so fortunate, and then it will be far too late. Please help us get action on this serious safety issues for our children."

Cllr Martin Watkins, Chairman of Wilmslow Town Council, responded "I have some good news for you and some bad news. I will start with the bad news. All the items you are talking about are within the province of Cheshire East Council they are not within the responsibility of this council.That's the bad news.

"The good news is that I'm quite happy to take your concerns because we have in the past had a road safety Local Area Partnership, particularly when we were looking at Morley Green Road and the speed limit which was down there. It took a long time to get improvements but we did get some improvements.

"The Local Area Partnership has lapsed but it is being being replaced and I'm very happy to take your comments and bring it to that committee in the future."

He added "We will take it on board. My experience says it will not be solved over night but we will try and progress it properly."

Cheshire East Council, Lindow Primary School, Wilmslow Town Council


Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

Elaine Napier
Tuesday 21st October 2014 at 1:19 pm
I've reported a seriously fractured concrete lamppost in Lime Grove, Macclesfield, four times now. Two Tweets, a phone call and an email. The lamppost is immediately outside the home of a seriously disabled man, and just down the road from the entrance to The King's Prep School.

The lamppost is cracked and broken at the top, although the light seems to remain on all the time.

Time to fix the damage before someone is seriously hurt.
Neil Stelling
Tuesday 21st October 2014 at 3:39 pm
Don't know much about this issue, but outside Wilmslow High School is an accident waiting to happen every day from 3pm...
Idiots stop their cars on the bypass roundabout because there's a queue of cars already waiting at the school. Sometimes people stay in the middle, and cars coming along the bypass at 70mph have to thread between them.
Why aren't police there every day ticketing these motorists ? If there's a queue into the school, then you Must NOT stop on the roundabout - instead go round and find somehere else to wait...
Samantha Roberts
Tuesday 21st October 2014 at 7:14 pm
I walk my three children to Lindow school and the pre school they are 6,4 and 2. I have had to stop them scootering in or going on bikes as it is to busy. The crossing over Knutsford Road is very very dangerous. Last year my daughter was very nearly knocked down as she misheard what I said as she was wearing a hat, luckily the cad had time to brake. This needs urgent attention and we need action fast or we will have a preventable accident on our hands.We need a lollipop person and a pavement and a proper review of the road.
Samantha Bailey
Tuesday 21st October 2014 at 8:05 pm
As a mother of three young children attending Lindow Primary School, I would like to invite a member of Cheshire East Council to walk down Upcast Lane with me and my children at 8:50 and 3:30. I would be curious as to how the Council could justify taking no action once a representative had experienced this situation first hand. The safety measures aren't inadequate they're essentially non-existent, and whilst the majority of parents drive sensibly, there simply isn't the provision for a safe walking route. I'm aware of 2 occasions recently when a child has been caught by a wing mirror walking on the lane; the safety of children must surely be a priority when allocating budgets?
Aidan Killoran
Tuesday 21st October 2014 at 8:12 pm
You should see how they park on Altrincham Rd in Styal the mothers (and a couple of Fathers) drive at excessive speed for the road as its always full of parked cars even on the sections which have the School NO PARKING usually the ones that are always in a rush but find time to chat at the school gate.They even park on the corners of the car park entrance so that NO ONE on the pavement can pass by, they have to step out into the road with children and buggies. Speed and terrible parking is the order of the day around here.
Jo Breakell
Tuesday 21st October 2014 at 8:36 pm
As a resident of Upcast Lane, a mum of a child at Lindow and a school Governor, I can only reiterate what others are saying. Each morning we have to navigate safely down the road to school. Drivers have no choice but to pass dangerously close to pedestrians, I have had to push myself and my daughter in to the hedge before to stop a car touching us. The situation is even worse in winter, when due to the camber in the road cars slide on the ice towards the pavement and the section of road where only a white line determines the seperation of road and pavement! I know how hard Marie Griffiths has worked to make changes and how frustrating it has been in getting our voice heard. We do not want a situation where the council spring into action after the worse has happened!
Oliver Romain
Tuesday 21st October 2014 at 8:37 pm
Lindow deserves a pavement, but lets also see some action on parents who ignore the rules of the road during the school run. Gorsey Bank also has a number of frequent offenders who ignore parking restrictions. Tickets need to be issued for all offences around schools - no excuses.
Terry Roeves
Tuesday 21st October 2014 at 9:58 pm
Like Adlington Road, pavements, lighting, heavy rush hour traffic are all ignored by CEC in favour of Jones Homes/Wilson Homes building 200+ houses. WTC didn't want it, Wilmslow Trust didn't want it and, from memory 450 Residents didn't want it either.
Wilmslow Park North onto Adlington Road is challenging at the best of times, but again CEC won't do anything and our Cllr lives far away, like the CEC planning committee.
WTC have some good people, but their ability to even change a light bulb is severely limited. I really feel sorry for them. There must be more powers and necessary money that can be devolved, rather than left in the hands of strangers.
So, better safety for Lindow? Most unlikely from past experience. May 2015 elections should help Wilmslow, if we vote in leaders and not followers.
Jill Shaw
Tuesday 21st October 2014 at 10:18 pm
I walk to school each morning with my 6 and 3 year old boys. My 3 year old is pushed down the lane in a buggy as it's simply too dangerous to allow him to walk or scooter. Cars fight for position on the lane and so parents with children are pushed to the side or so called pavement which involves a thorny hedge and overgrown nettles. We've had many a scrape and sting on the way into school, the alternative is to walk in the road and risk life and limb.
Abbie Jackson
Tuesday 21st October 2014 at 10:45 pm
It is vitally important that something is done very soon about the traffic situation on Upcast Lane at the beginning and end of the school day. As a mother of 4 children, at both Lindow school and Pre school, the walk to school can be a hazardous experience. The volume of traffic on the road becomes very dangerous for those walking to school, as there is no pavement and cars cross the "white line" which stands for the pavement! There is usually no other option other than those who are walking have to wait in driveways until it is safe to carry on. The situation is worse on icy winter days when the road is slippery and on wet days when more people drive down the lane. Something needs to be done before an accident occurs.
Gary Barton
Wednesday 22nd October 2014 at 7:16 am
I share Lindow School's frustration with a lack of action on this issue. CEC Highways have repeatedly failed to even meet with Governors and staff from Lindow despite a number of requests both from myself and directly from the School. I am pleased that Mrs Griffiths has taken my advice and also brought this matter before WTC ; school parking and safety is a problem across the borough and nationally. The more attention the issue receives, the more likely it is that Highways will take action.

Upcast Lane is a particular challenge as it is an unusually narrow access road for a school. This makes installing a 'proper' pavement difficult without making the road too narrow for cars to pass each other. I have seen the school at dropping off time in the mornings and at picking up times in the evenings. A creative solution is required.
Sarah Wilson
Wednesday 22nd October 2014 at 7:32 am
I speak as a mother at Lindow Primary School. I have three children with the eldest having only just left to move on to high school. I have therefore spent the past 8 years walking to and from school every day with my children. Whilst the number of children attending the school has significantly increased I feel that the safety of walking down Upcast Lane has always been a serious problem. With the lane being the only road to and from the school cars are having to drive down turn at the bottom and squeeze their way back up the lane on to oncoming traffic. This leaves no where for pedestrians to walk. I can honestly say that this is the most dangerous part of my walk to school with my children and we are frequently forced to lean into the hedge in order to allow cars to get past. I would like to see a path all the way down and some plan to encourage only residents, staff at the school and taxi/buses to use the road. I also feel a pedestrian crossing is without doubt essential on the crossing of Knutsford Road in order to get to Upcast lane. Please act now before we have a terrible and preventable accident.
Fred Rayers
Wednesday 22nd October 2014 at 7:50 am
I raised issues about the safety to pedestrians (especially school children) of the area around the Mobberley Road / Morley Green Road junction in Morley Green in May this year (by letter - very detailed and also copied to Gary Barton). Sent a further chasing letter in July but no response what so ever from anyone.
Anna Coleman
Wednesday 22nd October 2014 at 8:02 am
I’d like to add my voice to safety fears for both children and adults on Upcast Lane. I am Auntie to 2 children who have recently attended / currently attend Lindow Primary and on the times I’ve done the school run (walking, not by car) I’ve found it quite a scary experience! Cars, kids and adults all in close proximity – all in a hurry – and no pavement. Wing mirrors are head height for smaller kids and come within cms of pedestrians. In bad weather the road is slippery (leaves, ice, water) and it would only take a gust of wind to blow a child into the path of a car. Surely appropriate gritting and hedge trimming wouldn’t cost that much as a starting point? Why is it so difficult to get councils to act on such important issues? I also suggest a visit by councillors (CEC and WTC) to see the daily dangers before it is too late. Well done Lindow Governors and Mr Morgan for keeping the issue alive.
Kate Bennett
Wednesday 22nd October 2014 at 9:23 am
Perhaps the solution would be to ask parents NOT to drive down Upcast Lane to pick up their children from Lindow School? Although this might annoy local residents as their roads would be more congested with parked cars. Might I suggest that maybe more people could even .......walk!
Simon Worthington
Wednesday 22nd October 2014 at 9:29 am
The site and access of and to Lindow school may have been appropriate 50 years ago but not today. The stark truth is "one has to drive one's children to school to keep them safe from all the other people who drive their children to school".
There is, perhaps, a case for some primary children to be driven close to school but the amount of traffic at the High School at tipping out time (just after lunch) is dangerous. As asked above where are our boys in blue who are so concerned with road safety?
For those working in Wilmslow centre check out Grove Avenue morning or afternoon. Road rules are suspended!
Marie Griffiths
Wednesday 22nd October 2014 at 10:02 am
I would like to thank all the parents, staff and governors who have voiced support for this serious issue both on here, to the school, and to me personally. We, as a school community try very hard to minimise the risk to our children on their walk to school. Those that need to drive, generally do so with great care, Those that walk, scooter and cycle try to be mindful that Upcast Lane is still a road and needs to be shared with cars and other vehicles. However, we as individuals can only do so much to minimise accident risk, we need proper action from CEC on the issues I have raised above that we can't influence, such as gritting, hedge trimming, speed limits, pavements and crossings. We need our council to support us in reducing the risk to children, not put up barriers. Yes, some of these solutions may be costly, but having an appropriate road gritted policy, cutting hedges and reviewing the speed limit isn't going to cost very much, and would be a first great step in the right direction! I'm disappointed in the Councillors who have been aware of this issue for a long time. Just because something is not easy to fix, shouldn't mean that it gets ignored, not when it involves the safety of our children. We will certainly keep up to speed with any future developments on this issue.
Austin Breakell
Wednesday 22nd October 2014 at 11:46 am
As a resident of Upcast Lane and parent with a child at Lindow I find the lack of action by the relevant bodies wholly unacceptable. Comments that they are “very happy to take our comments and bring it to that committee in the future" show a general level of apathy to ensure the safety of the community they represent.

I echo others that the relevant bodies should take more positive steps and as a priority experience the situation first hand.

On a related note plans are currently being considered to increase traffic flow on Upcast Lane via a significant development on the adjacent green belt that will utilise Upcast Lane as access – frighteningly the proposal currently suggests that the lane has significant spare capacity for traffic.
Paul Wilson
Wednesday 22nd October 2014 at 1:34 pm
As a Father of 3 children who have attended the excellent Lindow Primary School over the last 8 years, ( 2 still attending and 1 now at the High School) like Marie I have seen the School grow considerably over this time and Upcast Lane has got busier and busier and more dangerous to walk up and down at School drop off and pick up during this period.

As a lot of the parents and Upcast Lane residents have already commented, something needs to be done now by the Council before someone is seriously hurt or even killed. The safety provision made down this road is simply unacceptable, totally disgusting and needs resolving immediately.

With regards to the Knutsford Road death crossing by the local corner shop, that a large majority of Lindow School Kids and residents have to undertake everyday, it is beyond belief that a simple Lollipop Lady, Pelican or Zebra Crossing hasn't been installed over these modern Health and Safety conscious times. There is one further up Knutsford Road for Ashdeane Kids and residents but not for Lindow, why is that ? This road is so dangerous for anyone to cross, due to the speed drivers hurtle down it on a daily basis and an accident is just waiting to happen.

On both these issues URGENT ACTION is required before someone is tragically hurt.

Well done Marie for campaigning tirelessly on both these issues and lets hope someone from the Council finally listens !
Terry Roeves
Wednesday 22nd October 2014 at 4:32 pm
Cllr Gary Barton has failed to get anything done. He admits it. Perhaps a Residents of Wilmslow councillor will deal with it better. This is not about party politics, but Cllr Barton has not dealt with this to the satisfaction of the community.
Cllr Phil Enstone RoW, is making excellent progress in Dean Row ward on behalf of the community that he represents. So, seems to me that an RoW Cllr for this ward may have a far better chance with CEC Highways than Cllr Barton.
Finally what is our MP doing about it?
Gary Barton
Wednesday 22nd October 2014 at 7:26 pm
@Fred Rayers - Yes I am aware that you wrote to me regarding the Mobberley Road / Morley Green Road junction in Morley Green. Action is being taken on this matter. If you would like to call me to talk about the matter please call me on 52 44 55 or email .

@Paul Wilson - I agree that there should be a crossing on Knutsford Road - both in Wilmslow and in Chorley near both ends of Upcast Lane.
Kelly Caulkett
Wednesday 22nd October 2014 at 7:58 pm
I am fortunate that I live close enough to be able to walk my two children to Lindow school every day. However the walk has many hazards along the way - the first is crossing Knutsford Road at the top of Upcast Lane. It is a very dangerous place to cross with two young children as motorists drive very fast and often there are cars stopped on the pavement outside the shop restricting the view of traffic. Therefore a pelican crossing and double yellow lines would make crossing this busy road far safer.
Upcast Lane is a very narrow road which makes for a dangerous environment when cars are driving in both directions at the same time as families walking to/from school - cars often have to mount the 'pavement' or breach the white pedestrian line forcing parents and children into the hedges/resident's driveways to allow cars to pass. There is even less room on the road when the hedges have not been trimmed back. Increased traffic also poses a great risk to those children who enjoy cycling/scootering to school.
l feel that while a suitable solution is found some urgent traffic calming measures need to be introduced before the hazardous winter weather hits us. I would suggest some or all of the following ideas should be considered; a speed limit of 5mph at peak times, a built up kerb, speed humps, a barrier to replace the white pedestrian line, allowing access to the school car park from both sides of Knutsford Road. Perhaps a 'Park & Walk' scheme could be promoted to families that are not close enough to walk all the way to school.
Something needs to be done urgently to avoid the accident waiting to happen.
Richard Bullock
Wednesday 22nd October 2014 at 11:54 pm
Surely the fundamental problem here is that Upcast Lane is 3.7m (less than 12.5 ft) wide from the white line to the hedge, and roughly 4.5m wide (just under 15ft) hedge to hedge, and a bit wider at driveway entrances.

Yes, there should be a pavement to the school, but at these widths, you will just get cars mounting the pavement to pass each other - or squeezing past each other with wingmirrors overhanging the pavement - the average car is now about 1.85m (over 6 ft) wide. I doubt the situation would be that much safer.

The council could offer to replace Lindow Cricket Club's boundary hedge with a much slimmer fence, which might give an extra few cm, but wouldn't change things fundamentally. So I would suspect that an engineering solution is required here. Most engineering solutions are not going to be quick - as somewhere it may require compulsory puchase orders etc. E.g. if you were going to widen Upcast Lane, you'd need to either purchase land of the cricket club, or people's front gardens.

What you could do is potentially try and make the traffic one-way along the narrowest part. That would give you room for a pavement, and at over 3.5m wide the remaining traffic lane would be about as wide as a standard lane on a motorway - plenty of room for cars to be well separated from pedestrians and there would be no conflicting two-way traffic movements.

There'a couple of ways the council / school could achieve this:
* Open up the gap between the two halves of Upcast Lane and make the whole road one-way only - perhaps with a legal "no motor vehicles" order except for access - to prohibit through traffic. The gap is still legally an adopted highway - so the council are already responsible for maintaining that bit.

If that's not acceptable then what about the following:

* A pavement gets built along one side of Upcast Lane
* A passing place gets built in the gap in the houses on the north side of Upcast Lane opposite the cricket club pavilion - roughly at the point where the current pavement stops and where the road currently narrows.
* 2 school representatives control school traffic coming in each direction at the start and end of the day - so that traffic is one way only on the narrower bit next to the cricket club - and
traffic to pass.
* East of the drop-off zone it's still narrow, but wide enough for 2 cars to pass - and there's a pavement.
Stuart Redgard
Thursday 23rd October 2014 at 2:22 am
As Cheshire East Council don't seem to either have the will or money to address this issue can I suggest that the parents, Governors and staff all contact the Rt Hon George Osborne to see what he can do as constituency MP.

His constituency office contact details can be found at

I have found that emailing him via the contact form is the most efficient way of getting a response.

Surely he is already aware of the issue as he only visited the school back in May of this year.
Kirsteen Peel
Thursday 23rd October 2014 at 10:06 am
I'm a resident of an adjacent road and I totally agree that walking along Upcast Lane at school drop off/pick up time is a nightmare - I don't have children at the school but I do often walk with a dog down the lane.

However, I do feel the need to point out that virtually all this traffic is parents going to/from the school. Surely the school needs to start by educating parents?

This is not a dig at Lindow parents, it seems to be the same at virtually every school - thoughtless, selfish driving and parking largely because everyone is in a hurry and it will end in a tragedy, whether at Lindow or another school in the local area.
Pete Taylor
Thursday 23rd October 2014 at 1:59 pm
I have just received confirmation from the Clerk of Wilmslow Town Council that Lindow school is actually in the Parish of Chorley, not in the Parish of Wilmslow; so presumably WTC Cllrs are unable to actually "do" anything?
Marie Griffiths
Thursday 23rd October 2014 at 2:38 pm
It's great to see so much discussion on here about this important issue between Parents, Neighbours and Wilmslow Residents. There have been a few questions as to what the school has done to help reduce this risk. As I told WTC on Monday night we have put into place quite a few initiatives over the years. We have had a working group at the school that I chair. It is made up of Parents who drive, walk and cycle, Staff, an Upcast Lane resident and Governors. We have on many occasions over the years carried out 'walk to school initiatives', parent questionnaires, many messages and reminders to drivers to drive slowly and pedestrians be aware of traffic and stay in control of their children. Many parents who drive, do park away from Upcast Lane on adjacent roads and walk down Upcast Lane. We are aware however that that may be just moving the problem away from school to another area. We certainly want to maintain good relations in the local community and so this is something we monitor. Other parents park in local carparks and St Johns Church have made their carpark available to us. We have had poster comptitions, the Police and the Fire Brigade in school and around at drop off and pick up times. All of these things have had some limited success, as there will always need to be vehicles that drive up and down Upcast Lane. Staff and residents, visitor to the school and homes on the lane, regular deliveries to school and houses, and yes, parents too. We have many children who attend school who do not live in walking distance to school, and quite few that come by taxi. We will still continue to encourage good and careful driving and responsible walking, this will not stop, however we need CEC to recognise the serious road safety problem caused by the uniqueness of the issues of Upcast Lane and the close vacinity of Knutsford Road with no safe crossing. We need them to ensure that gritting is carried out appropriately on a narrow road when many children walk where there are no pavements. We need hedges to be regularly trimmed so that children can walk inside the white line, not in the road, and we need CEC to begin a sensible dialogue about future long term improvements.
Marie Griffiths
Thursday 23rd October 2014 at 2:53 pm
That's an Interesting point Pete, but looking at the ward boundary map on the WTC website, I note that virtually all of Upcast Lan to the school is within the boundary, and the lane is the issue here. I hope WTC will support our efforts as the majority of the children and family this issue effects, live within the WTC boundary also.
Pete Taylor
Thursday 23rd October 2014 at 4:16 pm
Marie, why not get Chorley Parish Council on the case as well?



Copied from CEC website.
Marie Griffiths
Thursday 23rd October 2014 at 4:31 pm
Thank You Pete. Yes, I think we will have a chat to them too! Maybe we can get both WTC and Chorley on board and that can only be helpful. I appreciate the info you have supplied.
Manuel Golding
Friday 24th October 2014 at 11:15 am
I also understand that WTC's RoW councillor, Philip Enstone, who is also another school's governor, has offered some very helpful suggestions and advice to the Head.
Vince Chadwick
Monday 27th October 2014 at 9:18 pm
This takes me back many years to when my children attended Lindow. We held a meeting at the school to try to get a central refuge on Knutsford Road, and the highways engineer was adamant that there was insufficient road width for that. Notwithstanding his view, we got the refuge.

I can't see an easy answer to the Upcast Lane problem, though continued and regular emphasis on careful driving to Lindow parents by the school can only help. However, perhaps it's time to install a light-controlled pedestrian crossing where the Knutsford road refuge is, similar to the one enjoyed by Ashdene pupils and parents further down Knutsford road.
Fred Rayers
Sunday 9th November 2014 at 8:52 am
Further to the subject of the Mobberley Road / Morley Green Road junction in Morley Green.

I spoke to Gary Barton and he was confused over which junction I met (he thought it was the Mobberley Road/A538 junction which is being adjusted as part of the path / Crossing for Waters Corporation - So he knows of nothing being looked at around the Mobberley Road / Morley Green Road junction.

So no action - other than another near miss on the junction this morning.
Gary Barton
Tuesday 11th November 2014 at 4:40 pm
@Fred Rayers: I have now asked Highways to look at the junction with a view to improving visibility and reducing speed at the approach from Morley Green Road. Highways will also review the speed limit on Mobberley Road/Burleyhurst Lane. In particular, I have asked them to look at pushing back the change from 30 mph to/from 40 mph further outside the village centre.