£500,000 for new cycle and walking route in Wilmslow

A family out cycling

Cheshire East Council has been awarded £500,000 for a new cycling and walking link through Wilmslow which will connect key economic sites and improve access to the Manchester Airport Enterprise Zone.

The project will include upgrading the pedestrian and cycle links between Wilmslow station and the Royal London site to support the delivery of 1500 new jobs. Additionally it will provide of an off road route along the A538 corridor between Wilmslow and key employment sites including Waters and the Manchester Airport Enterprise Zone; and provide an improved direct route from key residential areas to key employment locations including Alderley Park, Waters and Manchester Airport Enterprise Zone.

Cheshire and Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership was awarded £5 million as part of Local Growth Fund (LGF) to fund projects as part of the sub-region's Active Travel Investment Strategy. Local authorities were invited to submit bids, which were received for 8 schemes totalling around £7.5 million.

Following assessment of the bids and discussions with authorities on the scalability of some of the schemes to maximise the outcomes within the available budget, it was decided that the Wilmslow Strategic Cycle and Walking Route be awarded £500,000, rather than the £850,000 bid for.

The distribution of funding distribution will be confirmed by the Cheshire and Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership Board in May.

The other scheme in Cheshire East to benefit from the Local Growth Fund is the Northwest Crewe Cycling and Walking Link which has been allocated £1.1m.

Councillor Don Stockton, Cheshire East Council Cabinet member for environment, said: "This is fantastic news. This £1.6m Local Growth Fund allocation will help the council continue to deliver more-sustainable transport solutions and facilities to help deliver jobs, growth and healthier communities.

"Crucially, these link schemes will improve access and connectivity to thousands of homes and help in the delivery of more than 3,000 new jobs at key employment sites identified in the Cheshire East Local Plan – as well as providing key, 'greener' infrastructure to enhance people's lives.

"Work will be conducted over the coming year to plan and design these schemes for both Wilmslow and Crewe, which will include consultation with stakeholders and the local communities to help shape and inform the projects."

The two cycle and walking schemes are due to be completed by spring 2021.

Cheshire East Council, Cycling


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

Steve 'Buck' Taylor
Wednesday 18th April 2018 at 12:47 pm
Good to see some money spent on healthy pursuits. Let's hope this money earmarked for this project is spent on it and not in paying off some other council official who has came up short in doing the jobs that they were employed for!!! The £500,000 being spent at each stage it should be published so that we can see where and what it is being spent on.
Gary Chaplin
Wednesday 18th April 2018 at 3:39 pm
Great move to promote healthy activities/transportation. Hopefully £500,000 will pay for more than a little bit of coloured paint on existing roads.

....just a little surprised to see it's not due for completion until Spring 2021. How long does a bike path take to build?
Russell Young
Wednesday 18th April 2018 at 3:52 pm
I'd rather see improvements to bus services that ALL can benefit from.
That money could have gone some way in reversing the some of the recent cuts. Instead it's spent on 'on trend' white elephant schemes.
Jon Williams
Wednesday 18th April 2018 at 4:15 pm
Great news, but more cycle paths are needed to get our children to school.
Carol Chadwick
Wednesday 18th April 2018 at 5:24 pm
The A538 already has what must be one of the most expensive cycle tracks in the country. It's a pity that cyclists seem to prefer to remain on the road making it impossible for cars to pass.
Richard Nolan
Wednesday 18th April 2018 at 5:59 pm
What A Load Of Utter Nonsense.What The Pensioners need now is Transport to
The Big Shopping Area's, by 2021 most of These People will be in no position to walk,
never mind ride a Bike .Please Bring Back A Respectable Bus Service too the shop's Now.
Ian Moffitt
Wednesday 18th April 2018 at 6:46 pm
Can't see why this has received such negative comments as this is really good news in terms of getting people out of cars, reducing congestion and getting people fit.

I'm sure people would start cycling more if the cycle paths provided proper separation from
traffic, didn't suddenly end and were maintained. Filling in the pot holes would help as well but that's another topic :-)
John Featherstone
Wednesday 18th April 2018 at 6:47 pm
totally agree with Richard above already to much spent on cyclists on the roads NO ROAD FUND LICENCE, NO INSURANCE, NO MOT, and more rights on our roads than the people who pay the money out for them ive just mentioned, bus service is a better idea ??? rant over
Gina Thompson
Wednesday 18th April 2018 at 7:00 pm
Bearing in mind that Jones builders gave CEC £10,000 in 2015 to improve the drainage and build a path between the new houses on Adlington rd and Summerfields swings which hasn’t yet happened. I will be amazed if this is completed by 2021.
Terry Roeves
Wednesday 18th April 2018 at 8:51 pm
Gina - last week’s heavy rain made the Browns Lane field impassible. Drainage has failed since Adlington Road new housing estate has been built.
No chance that a path will be used unless normal footwear can be worn. Another example of CEC not interested in Wilmslow.
Pete Taylor
Thursday 19th April 2018 at 6:59 am
There already is an off-road cycling link to Manchester Airport Enterprise Zone (Chinese City) from Lindow Common, the final section (in Manchester, not Cheshire East) is presently being realigned to the new road layout by the Romper.

The off-road route to Waters is already in place.

The current speculative outline Planning Application by Royal London already includes the walking and cycling route to their site (to be constructed at their expense)- bear in mind they are leaving the site next year and the expectation of local residents is that whichever developer purchases it, they will cover it entirely with housing, not with more empty offices.

1500 new jobs? As Cllr Stockton has never responded to any questions from residents on this website, perhaps Lisa could ask him directly to explain how this exciting figure was arrived at and where exactly the half a million pounds of our Council Tax is going, given the above?
Paul Hampton
Thursday 19th April 2018 at 7:37 am
Excellent news, but why the long wait?

Looking at some of the negative comments, I’d prescribe a nice long bike ride. You’ll feel so much happier ;-)
Gary Chaplin
Thursday 19th April 2018 at 7:58 am
@Carol Chadwick....If you've ever been down that path, you will see it is littered with debris, broken glass and rubbish. Not conducive to riding a bike without punctures.
Gary Chaplin
Thursday 19th April 2018 at 8:01 am
@John Featherstone. I'm a cyclist. I pay two lots of Road Fund Licence. My bike, like my cars, needs no MOT, and all bikes and cars have insurance.

Not sure where the claim that too much is spent on cyclists comes from? From what I see, nothing is spent. But if you have such vitriol towards cyclists, taking them off the road onto a cycle lane is surely a good thing for your blood pressure? Or you could try riding a bike...?
Mark Russell
Thursday 19th April 2018 at 8:40 am
i am a cyclist and a car owner. What an utter waste of money. Not only are our roads falling apart daily, (they should be the priority) what about even more traffic chaos caused by another vanity project for the council. Lets get the basics right before creating more traffic nightmares for us all while building this nonsense. @garychaplain, are these magical new routes going to clean themselves, no course they are not, so again more miles of cycle lane not used. Total and utter waste of money.
David Nelson
Thursday 19th April 2018 at 8:41 am
Two things:. I'm delighted that cycling is being recognised by the council, and that improvement of cycle routes is to go ahead.
However the routes must be maintained in good order to assure cyclists that it is safe and secure to use, with no chance of rubbish, potholes, shingle or shale impacting on their use.
Finally cyclists must be sanctioned in some way if there is a cycle track but they choose not to use it.
Think that might be at least three things!
Vince Chadwick
Thursday 19th April 2018 at 3:19 pm
John Feartherstone - Road Fund Licence ceased in 1955. What (some) road users pay now is VED (Vehicle Excise Duty). It is a tax based on vehicle emissions, hence even some cars are exempt, never mind bicycles.

As it happens I have a car and two motorcycles all of which I pay VED on despite the fact the motorcycles never leave the garage from November to February (April this year, due the late bad weather) and my wife also has a car and pays VED. So we pay plenty of VED, thank you.

There's a reason cyclists sometimes don't use cycle paths. Gary Chaplin cites one (above), another is that they are often quite useless, especially the 'painted on the road' ones which simply end where they are most needed (junctions and roundabouts).

Cyclists are, of course, legally entitled to use the roads and in law enjoy the same rights, regardless of the presence or absence of a cycleway.

We need more cycleways like those proposed, but we also need them to be maintained in a usable condition, not covered in the detritus thrown there by the tyres (and sometimes the occupants) of passing motor vehicles.
Peter Bradley
Thursday 19th April 2018 at 8:10 pm
Most of the budget allocated for this project will be spent on “fact finding” and consultants,

Most of these routes are already in place , all that is needed a tidy up and a some minor improvements

This money should be spent on sorting out the terrible condition of our roads ; if our roads are not correctly rehabilitated there condition will simply deteriorate future

Wilmslow ratepayers money has been used to ensure that the roads around Chester and Crewe have been properly repaired and made fit fit purpose

The first priority of the council is to get our roads into a proper state of repair , not pay for a whole range of “hangers on” and overpaid consultants on what is a simple project
Graham Steel
Thursday 19th April 2018 at 9:03 pm
It is exciting news and I would love to be able to give the main road a miss as I cycle through Wilmslow to work. However, there is a simpler way of making cycling more attractive - enforce the speed limit, which is widely ignored on the A538. Apart from the dangers caused by speeding, it is very difficult to pull out of junctions and onto the main road when the majority of motorists are putting their foot down to catch up or keep up with the vehicle in front.
Carol Chadwick
Friday 20th April 2018 at 6:44 am
Gary Chaplin - I am sure that not all bikes have insurance. Cyclenation say that if a cyclist and a car are involved in a collision then the cyclist usually comes off worse so it is up to them to decide if they need insurance. That is no help to the motorist if their car is damaged and no help to the pedestrian that is injured. Perhaps you are assuming that everyone is covered by their house insurance, or indeed has house insurance. It would be interesting to know how easy or successful these claims against house insurance would be. The way bikes speed along country lanes without bells to warn pedestrians is quite alarming. Cyclists would do well to remember that when they are approaching pedestrians from behind those pedestrians cannot hear the bike coming, they may easily step sidewards to avoid something on the path (perhaps all this broken glass we hear so much about).
James MacDonald
Friday 20th April 2018 at 12:08 pm

Have you ridden a bicycle recently? In the last year? In the last five years?

From Department of Transport 2016
- Road deaths 1,792 (816 drivers, 448 pedestrians, 319 motorcyclists, 102 cyclists, 107 other)
- Only 5% deaths on motorways, 51% outside cities
- Serious injuries 24,101
- Cyclist involved in a death of someone else, once every two years

Most deaths, serious injuries are caused by drivers. Driving too fast, not paying attention, etc.

You talk of speeding along a country lane? These are typically 50mph limits, how many cyclists do you think are travelling faster than 50mph? How many faster than 30mph? The laws on speeding only apply to motorised vehicles anyway, if you don't like that, appeal to your local MP to change the law. Cyclists do not have to have a bell either. Not that a bell would make that much difference to the above anyway.

I cycle over 100kms every week and the biggest danger I come across are pedestrians. Many walk out without looking, sometimes because they are staring at their mobile phones. On every single journey I have to slam on the brakes or take evasive action to avoid one of these lemmings. When I grew up, we were taught the green cross code. Stop, look left and look right before crossing and whilst crossing. This is rarely observed nowadays. Not only do they put their own life in danger, they also put other users in danger.

A number of vehicles (electric) are also silent and cannot be heard. Assuming the pedestrian isn't wearing over the ear headphones either. If a pedestrian steps sideways to avoid something and enters the road or cycle lane, without looking, then frankly, they have a low IQ.

Of course, you would know of all this as you are a regular cyclist...

I know that you won't understand any of the above, and it is pointless explaining this to you, which is the real issue, the cyclist hater.

Instead of sounding like a miserable cyclist hater, get on a bike, cycle around our towns, and then report back on your experience.
Pete Taylor
Friday 20th April 2018 at 3:36 pm
James- well said.

Rgds, Pete.
Life Member,
Manchester Wheelers Club.
Carol Chadwick
Friday 20th April 2018 at 9:31 pm
Well wasn't that a vicious response. I am not a cycle hater, I may not ride a bike but my daughter does regularly. I still think that cyclists should have insurance and they may not have to have a bell but it would help both pedestrians and themselves if they did.
John Leonard
Saturday 21st April 2018 at 12:28 pm
Can't add much to what James MacDonald said.
I have been riding and racing bikes for 50 or more years and find it frightening/terrifying the attitude of some motorists towards me even when just riding along on my own. People who don't ride bikes just don't realise how vulnarable cyclists are when confronted by their steel chariots. Never ridden a bike, but of course they have the wisdom to shout aggressive instructions at cyclists with years of experience of trying to stay alive on the roads... Most drivers ARE respectful and patient, so why dose the odd one put cyclists in mortal danger - I can often tell just by the aggressive engine noise as they approach from behind - you know they will overtake you when there isn't room, come too close and put you in danger. And, those cycle lanes that are part of the footpath - useless - but again if you don't ride a bike you may not understand that.
Gary Chaplin
Saturday 21st April 2018 at 12:44 pm
@Mark Russell - of course not. If they are going to be built, they need to be away from the road so they are not filled with road debris and/or get a scarab down them every couple of weeks.
Gary Chaplin
Saturday 21st April 2018 at 12:47 pm
@Carol....there are more uninsured cars on the road than there are bikes in total (1.3m uninsured drivers, c1 million bikes used once a month or more), your initial statement is wide of the mark!

But compulsory insurance is merely 3rd party, I agree there should be some provision, but it would be I'm possible to implement, and given your subsequent point(s), nothing like as relevant.

3rd party fault on behalf of the cyclist would be a criminal matter, insurance or otherwise. If I injure someone, or damage something, I am liable - I chose to a) ride carefully, and b) underwrite that risk by having insurance.
Brian Fox
Saturday 21st April 2018 at 5:04 pm
Great news. I only hope these are designed to help cyclists rather than tick a box.

90% of cycling "facilities" around here are both inconvenient and positively dangerous to cyclists.
Russell Young
Monday 23rd April 2018 at 10:54 am
As a pedestrian and bus user, I have plenty of time (without distraction) to observe cyclists and how they conduct themselves on the road and too frequently of footpaths and pavement areas..
They present a huge danger to all those around them and it really is time that some enforcement of the law is directed towards them.
Because it's currently 'on trend' and the cycling lobby have quite successfully managed a 'victim' status, any authority is frightened to take them on.
Whilst I wouldn't advocate any sort of road tax, it's getting to a stage where at the very least full insurance is made compulsory and that it reflects the danger they are to themselves and others, which would bring them closer into line with other road users, bringing the 'equality on the road they seem to so desperately crave.
James MacDonald
Monday 23rd April 2018 at 11:45 am
Based on your 'logic' then insurance and new legislation should also be compulsory for all pedestrians given that many put others in danger for reasons already described. Should children on bicycles have insurance? What about skateboards and scooters used by children and some adults, where do you want to draw the line?

As already discussed, the government estimate 1.3 million motorists are illegally driving around without insurance, probably without VED, and potentially with no MOT or valid driving licence. Drivers kill and seriously injure more than any other road user by a country mile. How do you think that is working out the for the families of the deceased? How did insurance or lack of protect them from death?

I have spoken to some cyclists that cycle on pavements, and quite often the 'excuse' I am given (mostly by the fairer sex) is that they are to scared to use the road. I have some empathy as it is dangerous (you would know this if you cycled regularly), but they will not overcome that fear without getting on to the road.

Back to the original post, more money to protect pedestrians and cyclists is clearly a good thing, but as per Brian's comment it must be designed well. Ideally they should use a working group of local active pedestrians and cyclists to help advise.
Pete Taylor
Monday 23rd April 2018 at 4:25 pm
@ Russell Young; do you have a view on the shared pavements around the Fulshaw Cross (King's Arms) roundabout? These have been in place for some years now and are absolutely stupid and could be very dangerous if adhered to. At one point pedestrians have less than the width of a baby-buggy, whist cyclists get about four times as much, whilst at other points the cycle-lane dumps riders directly into the traffic coming off the roundabout at a point where it would be next to impossible to look over one's shoulder and maintain control of the bike.

imho there is only one solution: Twenty's Plenty- this is very widespread in Scotland (and even Manchester!) is there really any need to drive over twenty thro' Wilmslow? How much time would be "lost" in driving, at twenty instead of thirty, from, say, the Styal Road junction to Fulshaw Cross? Two minutes, maybe three? What about getting up three minutes earlier?
Russell Young
Tuesday 24th April 2018 at 7:38 am
Shared spaces are indeed very dangerous. The concept in the warped mind of a councillor is that its great, as they've seen it on some euro jolly, but that assumes all using it know what to do when it comes to right of way, but here they don't and there lies the problem - uncertainty for all concerned, and that's the issue. Fixed/clearly marked boundaries are much safer, but not so 'on trend'.

As for this 20mph business, again all very nice, but where's the enforcement ?. So it's completely ignored.
Robert Taylor
Tuesday 24th April 2018 at 1:51 pm
This is good news and I hope that the eventual design improves upon the poorly designed offerings (particularly junction priorities, width of the track and anti-car parking measures) which are commonplace and cause cycle users to go back onto the road or avoid.

Most of the anti-cycle comments above are ill-founded:- road funding comes from income tax paid into central government. many UK citizens do not own cars yet many many hundreds of miles of motorways in this country have been built which only cater for motor vehicle owners.