Puffin crossing and one-way system proposed to improve safety

Following concerns over the safety of children attending nearby schools, the Council is proposing to install a new Puffin crossing on Knutsford Road.

Having conducted a survey of the current uncontrolled crossing point on Knutsford Road, close to the junctions with Church Road, Upcast Lane and Gravel Lane, Cheshire East Highways have identified a need for a signal controlled crossing for pedestrians.

Additionally, changes to the current layout of the road system in the area are proposed to ensure safe movement for both pedestrians and motorists.

These include the introduction of a one way system on Church Road from the entrance off Knutsford Road to the junction with St Johns Road. This is required due to reduced visibility for motorists once the crossing has been built.

The Council is also proposing to relocate the bus stop lay-by that is currently located on Knutsford Road. This will be moved to Gravel Lane to make way for the new Puffin crossing.

Councillors Rod Menlove, Ellie Brooks and Gary Barton have issued the following statement regarding the proposed changes.

"Child safety is paramount and the central refuge in the road at the crossing point is inadequate. The proposal for consultation is a light controlled pedestrian crossing similar to the one further up Knutsford Road.

"It must be stressed that this is an informal consultation to seek responses from local residents. These will be considered and influence any decision to progress or not to a formal (Traffic Regulation Order) stage.

"Earlier this year CE councillors met with Lindow Primary PTA and Management, at their request, for them to highlight their concerns over the dangers of this crossing. Clearly pupil safety is paramount so the current proposals were developed and the options of action or no action put to parents. The response was low but the preference was for action with a pedestrian crossing and the consequent one-way system.

"The road layout at the crossing point together with house frontages being in private ownership, leaves one option only for the position of a crossing. Entry from Knutsford Rd in to Church Street is maintained. However Highway regulations dictate that you cannot turn onto a pedestrian crossing so exit is not possible - hence a one-way system would have to follow.

"We do understand that this will be inconvenient but we share the view of Lindow Primary that the balance must be weighted towards safety. The solution of a pelican crossing will also help to slow the speed of traffic in general."

As these proposals will have an effect on the road network, local residents are requested to email their comments to Cheshire East Council by Monday, 29th August, including your name and address.

Please share your views on the proposed changes via the comment box below.

Tags:
Knutsford Road
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Comments

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

David Nelson
Wednesday 24th August 2016 at 3:19 pm
And not before time. A double whammy too, hopefully stopping all parking on the convenience store corner which is dangerous for all road users, except those who think they can park where they want. For once I'm impressed with Cheshire East.
Vince Chadwick
Wednesday 24th August 2016 at 3:40 pm
Can we have our bus shelter (Knutsford road, opposite Londis) back please? It was demolished (presumably by an errant driver) early this year, and since then we've been getting soaked waiting for the ever-late 88 bus. I emailed the council about this soon after we lost the shelter only to be told of these plans.

But that was months ago! Subsequent emails requesting a progress report have gone unanswered. Because there was nothing to report, perhaps? Even now the council is apparently only at consultation stage! What's been going on for the last many months?

Meanwhile it continues to rain and the 88 continues to be late. Why could not the council, knowing these things in the public sector move at glacial rates, have replaced the shelter as soon as it was destroyed, with a view to moving it if these proposals ever come to fruition?

At this rate we'll all have moved on from buses to personal jet packs by the time we get somewhere to wait without getting wet!
Gary Barton
Wednesday 24th August 2016 at 3:55 pm
It is a difficult situation as a ward councillor - the safety concerns are clear, but I also understand why residents on Church Road would not want to lose access directly onto Knutsford Road. Councillors and councils are often said to take no action unless there is a serious accident. It has taken a fair bit of work to secure funding for this project; but having been contacted by Lindow School and local parents and knowing the area well (I live off Moor Lane) Ellie, Rod and I felt that we wanted action to be taken before there is an accident. I hope that all local residents and parents of children at Lindow will contact Cheshire East and let us know their thoughts.
Sarah Paterson
Wednesday 24th August 2016 at 4:38 pm
Of course child safety is paramount but this seems a sledge hammer to crack a nut. Deliveries to the corner shop will be very difficult and the hairdressers on Gravel Lane will lose all parking including disabled.
Why can they not have a zebra crossing with a crossing patrol at school times and speed warning beacons on the approach?
Tracy Aston
Wednesday 24th August 2016 at 5:38 pm
Knutsford Road itself needs more traffic calming as there are many who do not observe the 30mph limit which in itself would improve child safety. I am unsure why the crossing cannot be positioned further down Knutsford Road away from Church Road? Surely this would provide a safe place to cross but not change the road access and avoid forcing increased traffic down Welton Drive impacting on the safety of the children that live on this and all of the adjoining roads. Good idea Sarah to have a crossing patrol, it would be useful at school times as this is the main safety issue linked with the increased level of traffic now going down Upcast Lane.
Jackie Pass
Thursday 25th August 2016 at 9:12 am
I was interested to read Gary's comment that they "wanted to take action before there is an accident". It seems that this approach applies to the South of the town and not the North, where Cheshire East ignored and have continued to ignore safety dangers re Adlington Road and the footpath - which by the way there was a fatal crash, but we were told that because it was more than 5 years ago it didn't count. Reducing the speed limit has done nothing to stop speeding traffic, and the dangers of the bend.
Fred Rayers
Thursday 25th August 2016 at 10:03 am
Also the Mobberley Road/Morley Green Road junction in Morley Green, the problems of which have been raised to the council and councillors but completely ignored and where there continue to be frequent near misses.
Roger Bagguley
Thursday 25th August 2016 at 3:20 pm
Without doubt we must always address safety issues for young people attending our schools and crossing Knutsford Road at Davenport Green does present risks, not only for them, but for all. The problem at Davenport Green presents a challenge that may well be unique. This is a small village scene that should continue to be maintained as such. Local businesses are a feature and need to be supported, not put at risk of closure due to current traffic regulations that may well be inappropriate here. There is a need for the buses to stop on the green, for cars to park for a limited time whilst visiting the shops and for all people to cross Knutsford Road safely. There is a need to resolve the problems caused by parked vehicles in adjoining roads. I am unsure moving the lay by and bus stop into Gravel Lane will work due to lack of space and that a one way system is necessary other than to satisfy regulations. The problem of mixing delivery vehicles and parked cars in Church Road up to St John's Road may well be eased slightly but then the problem moves into the rest of Church Road, into Links Road and Welton Drive.

The first move, and done quickly re safety, is to calm the traffic travelling along Knutsford Road through Davenport Green. Time is needed to create the best solution for all who live here and around, and all who cross Knutsford Road in order to access the local businesses or the school, etc. Parents of children attending Lindow School over many years have campaigned for a safe crossing. Do accident figures at this point indicate an urgent need for a Puffin Crossing? Why is it we cannot turn left on to a crossing here when it works well elsewhere in Wilmslow? Seemedly regulations will not help solve the problems that exist at Davenport Green. What is required is some creative planning, some thinking out of the box. Perhaps a pilot project that may well inform future planning and future regulations to be applied in similar situations.
David Jefferay
Saturday 27th August 2016 at 8:25 pm
I think the proposal is ill-conceived. 

It does nothing to slow traffic down and the crossing is now nearer to the bend than the island currently is so there's a greater risk of someone being hit by a car traveling at speed (which I know they do because I live on Knutsford road). The SID at the end of Ravenswood is facing the wrong way and has made no difference to speeding anyway.

I believe that the cars that currently park outside the hairdressers will move (when those parking spaces are removed) to either Welton or Church, both of which already have parked cars on both sides and will now be asked to take more as well as increased traffic flow (including delivery vans/ wagons for the shops) due to the one way system. 

Also, people currently park at the junction (Knutsford road and church road) to 'just nip into the shop' - they shouldn't but they do. Nothing will change except they'll now be on a pedestrian crossing which is even more dangerous. Furthermore, I'm willing to bet that you'll get people reversing onto Knutsford road to avoid going round the one way system.

Moving the bus stop around the corner onto gravel lane is lunacy. When the bus stops, traffic will back around the corner onto Knutsford road. Why would you move the bus stop from a very safe layby to an on-road position just around a corner?

Another concern I have is the effect it will have on the village store. I know the shop doesn't make a lot of money as it stands and it will certainly be adversely affected by the proposal. It may sound melodramatic but the crossing may well be the straw that broke the camel's back. I've lived in that area most of my life and the shop really is the hub of the community; all that's left (except the church) since the newsagents, post office, butchers and greengrocers went! It would be a massive loss to the community who rely on it.

The above reservations aside, being honest, I don't believe there are enough children living in the Lindow catchment on that side of the road (there's only Knutsford road, Welton, church, links and St. John's on that side) to justify the cost of the changes (guessing it will be significant) and it won't address the real logistical and safety issues that Lindow school has which are on Upcast Lane.

I understand that a lot of work has gone into getting the proposal to this stage but, in my opinion, it's the wrong solution.  I can't believe CEC highways don't have other more cost effective and less disruptive options. 
Simon Worthington
Sunday 28th August 2016 at 8:46 am
Given the huge expansion coming our way surely the answer is to turn Lindow school into residential and build a new school catering for 21st century needs in the vicinity. No profit in schools so that won't happen.
I thought all the little darlings were driven to school these days anyway.
Keith Chapman
Sunday 28th August 2016 at 8:48 am
I spent some time yesterday talking to local residents, and it is fair to say opinion is divided.

Those living in Church Road are hopeful that the introduction of a one way system will reduce parking down the road by Knutsford Road residents. Those living in Links Road and Welton Drive are concerned about increased traffic as they become part of the new one way system. Those living on Knutsford Road are in favour of anything which will introduce traffic calming.

The general opinion is that the majority of children attending Lindow Primary School are dropped off and picked up by car, and those who travel on foot are accompanied by an adult. There is naturally a desire on the part of all residents to ensure safe crossing for children accessing the school.

The most serious negative impact of the proposed scheme is likely to be felt by the Village Store. Passing customers currently stop on Knutsford Road, and will be prevented from doing so in future by the proposed crossing restrictions. These customers tend not to be local, and many are working temporarily in the area. They mainly purchase snacks and drinks. This trade represents a significant part of the turnover. The shop itself is an important part of the community, as well as representing the owner's livelihood.

Other disadvantages of the proposed changes include:
1) The introduction of a one way system down Church Road, Links Road and Welton Drive. Delivery lorries servicing the shop will be forced down this route.
2) Reduced parking for local businesses
3) The relocation of the bus stop to a narrow section of Gravel Lane.

I believe safety concerns for the children crossing the road can be met by alternative measures which would not damage the Village Store, or have these serious downsides.

Instead of installing a Puffin crossing so close to the shop and to Church Road, the existing island crossing could become a Zebra crossing (in the same location) with, if deemed necessary, a School Crossing Patrol Officer (Lollipop Man/Lady) at key times. More prominent school approach signs could be installed, along with a limited 20 mph zone which would deter speeding motorists and help calm traffic on Knutsford Road.

I will propose these points when I attend the Wilmslow Town Council Meeting scheduled for next Tuesday evening. Wilmslow Town Council has no direct powers in this matter, but we are being consulted by Cheshire East.
KEITH CHAPMAN
Wilmslow Town Councillor (Wilmslow East Ward).
David Jefferay
Sunday 28th August 2016 at 12:32 pm
I've just noticed that the parking spaces are still there on Gravel Lane (they're very faint on the copy I was looking at). I had assumed that they had been removed because of the issues that will arise from having bus stops on both sides as well as parked cars on a short stretch of road close to a junction.
Pete Taylor
Sunday 28th August 2016 at 8:48 pm
CEC Councillors would do well to read up on the very extensive Twenty's Plenty schemes which have been introduced over the last few years in Scotland.
France too has really effective traffic-calming measures in towns and villages- even those last-minute speeders in black Range-Rovers and Cayennes would only crash thro' their calming measures once!
Dave Cash
Monday 29th August 2016 at 1:32 am
Where can the CEC proposals be viewed in detail? The map attached to this article is unintelligible, even at 400x zoom.
Is making the last day for comments a Bank Holiday the way CEC attempts to avoid local electorate feedback?
Moving the Davenport Green Knutsford to Alt service bus stop just round the corner to Gravel La could cause traffic problems at that end of Gravel La 4x/hr currently. It suggests no Highways planner left their desks to do a site inspection.
Londis may be a popular business, but I would suggest it & other Davenport Green businesses attract more 'customers' than Lindow Primary.
IMO Knutsford Rd does not qualify for '20' zone status and no school is located on it.
Keith, according to published info, the next WTC meeting is Mon 19th Sept, not Tues 30th Aug. Take the night off.
Roger Bagguley
Monday 29th August 2016 at 8:20 am
Some really good survey work done here by our local councillors. I have spent a significant amount of time surveying this scene, talking with residents and councillors too. The WTC councillors have it right. What is being proposed is not the best solution. Pete Taylor makes an important observation too. Traffic calming works well in other European Countries and in other parts of the UK too. So why not at Davenport Green? A safe crossing is required not only for pupils attending Lindow School but for all who share this space. Safety in turning out of Church Road into Knutsford Road does need to be addressed. The parking problem in Church Road, Links Road and Welton Drive is a separate issue but does need addressing too. Moving the bus stop and lay by into Gravel Lane will create new problems. There simply is not enough room. Thus, the crossing has to be where the bollards are now. Church Road, with parking addressed, does not have to be one way. The bus stop and lay by is required to be where it is now. The needs of all will be served by calming the traffic moving along Knutsford Road through Davenport Green. The Law is that drivers must give way to pedestrians either waiting to cross or are crossing a Zebra Crossing. Adherence to this law is very much more possible when traffic is moving slowly.

Safety all round with everyone happy and value for money seems to me to be a far better deal than what is so far being proposed.
David Jefferay
Monday 29th August 2016 at 9:08 am
Dave Cash, an additional planning committee meeting has been called for Tuesday evening to discuss this an one other item (parking on Chapel Lane).
Agenda and a clearer plan is on the Wtc website.
Graham Hurd
Monday 29th August 2016 at 9:18 am
The Village Store has served the local community for the past 25 years in its present convenience store format and for many years before that as a corner shop.
My partner Kate and I have invested our savings and put our home at risk to secure the loans required to buy the business and freehold premises. We have devoted the last 14 years of our lives in serving this community and enjoyed doing so.
These proposals have been drawn up to spend a very significant amount of our rates and taxpayers money without any direct consultation with ourselves or indeed any of the other businesses in the area.
Kate is 70 and I am 69 years old and we had hoped to be able to retire soon and sell the business to new owners who could refurbish the store and continue to provide local convenience to this community. However these proposals have now put a blight on our business and it will now be impossible to proceed without knowing what the outcome will be and how it will affect our business, if there is still a business to sell.
We have already pruned our operating costs to the bare minimum in response to the downturn in business following the economic recession and new competition from supermarket express stores and online shopping services. If these proposals go ahead it is likely that sales will fall further because we will lose all of our passing trade from commuters and local tradesmen who will not be able to stop anywhere in Knutsford Road and will be deterred from turning into Church Road because of the protracted exit route via Links Road and Welton Drive. It will also be extremely difficult for our suppliers who deliver in 12 ton lorries with rear tail-lifts and often in the case of Londis deliveries in a 15 ton articulated lorry.
It remains to be seen whether we would be able to sustain our business if this happens and it is likely that we would have to close the store and face significant financial losses when we would have to sell our home to clear the outstanding loans on the business and freehold premises.
Having said that our concerns are that the proposals will not actually solve the problems being experienced of congestion in Upcast Lane and speeding southbound traffic on Knutsford Road.

The thought process appears to be:
We need a signal controlled crossing on Knutsford Road as a safe crossing point to encourage more local parents to walk with their children to school which will reduce the congestion in Upcast Lane.
We cannot convert the existing crossing point to a signal controlled crossing because of highways guidelines say it is too close to the exit from Green Villa Park Road.
We could within the highways guidelines site a signal controlled crossing directly opposite the Village Store but only if we move the bus-stop and lay-by and make Church Road a one-way system.
OK, we will do that.
There seems to have very little thought as to the consequences of this action and no thought at all about what to do about the speeding southbound traffic which will run into standing traffic possibly backing up to the blind bend just beyond the junction with Gravel Lane when the signal controlled crossing is in use.
There are no proposals to restrict the speed or to calm this traffic or to improve the advanced signage indicating the presence of a school ahead.
There also appears to be no thought at all about the impact of these proposals will have on the businesses in the area and the residents on Church Road, St Johns Road, Links Road and Welton Drive who will be faced with increased congestion and travel time to join Knutsford Road.
Kate and I are as concerned as everyone about safety in the area and particularly for the school children but feel that we cannot be held responsible and have our business and livelihood jeopardised for the actions of the people who persist in driving at speed in the area or for the people who park irresponsibly.
We would urge that good sense should prevail and what money that is available should be addressed to resolve the root cause of this problem to reduce the speed of vehicles in the area and if necessary to penalise those who do not heed these measures, and only then if this does not improve the situation to consider the radical measures being proposed which will have a severe and disproportionate impact on the local businesses and wider residential area.
Lisa Reeves
Monday 29th August 2016 at 9:35 am
Thanks David, I wasn't aware of tomorrow's additional planning meeting to discuss this application. It starts at 6pm at Wilmslow Parish Hall. The agenda is now in the events calendar http://www.wilmslow.co.uk/events/.
Here is a link to the map showing the proposed one way system and the new location for the bus top. http://bit.ly/2bLaEs4
Pete Taylor
Tuesday 30th August 2016 at 10:26 am
@ Dave Cash, imho you are out of date, there is no requirement for a school to be on a road to "qualify" for a 20mph limit. Manchester introduced blanket 20mph limits on 1800 roads recently. CEC has 20mph limits already, e.g. Prestbury village; no school there.