Plans for new Wilmslow walking and cycling scheme

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Cheshire East Council is planning to create a new walking and cycling scheme connecting Wilmslow rail station and the town centre to Wilmslow High School, The Royal London Campus and further south to Alderley Park.

The programme for planned for construction to take place during Autumn 2020.

A report has been prepared for the Cabinet meeting on July 7th seeking approval for the delivery of the Wilmslow Strategic Walking and Cycling Scheme (along with the A530 scheme in Crewe) through the Highway Service Contract, authorise the Director of Highways and Infrastructure, in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Strategic Transport and the Portfolio Holder for Highways & Waste, to take all necessary actions to implement the above two schemes.

Additionally the Cabinet is being requested to approve the preparation of a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) in respect of land required to deliver the A530 Scheme, where such land cannot be acquired by agreement. Should a

The report states "The schemes will improve travel for everyday journeys as part of the recovery from Covid-19, complementing a wider programme of recovery measures in Crewe and Wilmslow."

The approved budget for the Schemes is £2.8m. The Cheshire and Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership have allocated £1.6m of Local Growth Funding (LGF) to these schemes. The remaining funds comprise of a local contribution from Cheshire East Council and third-party developer sources.

Community consultation for the Wilmslow scheme is planned in July 2020 with the town council, parish councils, local residents and businesses as well as walking and cycling community groups.

The report states "This feedback will shape the scheme design and engagement will continue as the scheme progresses."

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Comments

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

Mark Goldsmith
Tuesday 30th June 2020 at 11:56 am
For more information on this, including a leaflet that gives more detail on the proposals plus how you can comment can be found at:

https://www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/highways_and_roads/roadworks/major-projects/wilmslow-proposed-walking-and-cycling-route.aspx

This is also just the south Wilmslow part of the scheme. A separate proposal that links Wilmslow to Handforth will be published in the next few weeks.


Cllr Mark Goldsmith
Wilmslow West & Chorley, CEC & WTC
Brian Fox
Tuesday 30th June 2020 at 8:00 pm
It's great to see cycling and walking supported. During lockdown, many of us have been out and about on foot and by bike and we have enjoyed a reduction in the amount of traffic on the roads. This feels like a good opportunity to rethink the way we travel especially on short journeys and to make the roads safer for everyone.

One major change, which is advocated by public health experts as a way of reducing accidents and road deaths is a 20 mph speed limit on residential roads. Many areas of the UK have already successfully gone “20’s plenty” and Cheshire East’s Walking and Cycling Commisioner, Suzie Akers-Smith, is taking this proposal to a full council meeting in July.

Transition Wilmslow are organising a virtual meeting on Monday 6th July at 7pm to explain the rationale and proposals. This will give you the opportunity to hear Rod King, founder of 20s plenty, and Suzie Akers-Smith and an opportunity for Q&A.

For joining link please email and learn more at http://www.20splenty.org/
Vince Chadwick
Tuesday 30th June 2020 at 9:32 pm
It'd be nice if there was a map that was large enough scale to see this proposal in detail. The one on the Cheshire East site https://www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/highways_and_roads/roadworks/major-projects/wilmslow-proposed-walking-and-cycling-route.aspx
shows no more than the one on this site.

I'd expect to be able to click on the CE site one for a bigger / more detailed image as any commercial site would offer. But no chance of that from CE.
Mark Goldsmith
Wednesday 1st July 2020 at 9:36 am
Vince

As I mentioned above, this detail is contained in the leaflet on the web page you mention. You just need to click on the section that says
“Wilmslow proposed walking and cycling route leaflet” and it will show you the detail you want.

I’m not sure if this direct link to it will work but here it is:

https://www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/pdf/highways/wilmslow-proposed-walking-and-cycling-route/wilmslow-walking-and-cycling-leaflet.pdf
Wayne Jaffe
Wednesday 1st July 2020 at 9:44 am
Looks good! I would be very interested in seeing the northern section from Wilmslow to Handforth too.
Vince Chadwick
Wednesday 1st July 2020 at 11:04 am
Thanks mark. The direct link worked fine.
Pete Taylor
Wednesday 1st July 2020 at 12:50 pm
Great initiative!

I am assuming that the shared pedestrian/cycle route on the West side of Alderley Rd would be two-way; that being the case, it will have to be wider than the current verge/pavement and iirc, some lamp-posts will need to be moved.

There have already been at least two flurries of marking-out of underground services with coloured paints along there; is that connected with the cycle path?
Barry Buxton
Wednesday 1st July 2020 at 3:52 pm
Brian Fox: Why does CEC need a "Commisioner" to deal with walking and cycling? Why not go for reducing the speed limit to 10 or even 5 mph and have someone walk in front of cars waving a red flag too?
Mark Goldsmith
Wednesday 1st July 2020 at 4:35 pm
Pete

As the leaflet says about this section "In places, the carriageway would be reduced in width so the new wider pedestrian and cycle facility can be accommodated".

So yes, the road will be narrowed and the path widened to accommodate cyclists and pedestrians.

The contractor for this project has not yet been appointed, so I doubt it is them marking out the pavement. It's probably a utility company instead.
Jon Armstrong
Wednesday 1st July 2020 at 5:02 pm
"Why does CEC need a "Commisioner" to deal with walking and cycling?"

I imagine for the simple reason things tend not to get done unless you make someone responsible for them.

"Why not go for reducing the speed limit to 10 or even 5 mph and have someone walk in front of cars waving a red flag too?"

Because it's a reductive argument and adds absolutely nothing to a constructive conversation about how we can actually to improve this world and build for a better future. No one is suggesting it. But as usual at the slightest suggestion things could change, we get people coming out tilting at windmills.
Robert Taylor
Wednesday 1st July 2020 at 5:19 pm
@Barry Buxton. With respect, this is a question you should do your own research on and form conclusions on the importance of active travel for yourself.
Graeme Rayner
Wednesday 1st July 2020 at 6:24 pm
Decisions on walking and cycling should take into account usage during periods of inclement weather. It’s fine to plan these schemes in summer but who is going to use these facilities during the other 49 weeks if the year? Please please please monitor the non-use of the cycle way on Dean Row Road before making any decisions
Robert Taylor
Wednesday 1st July 2020 at 10:12 pm
Hi Graeme Rayner, most people who use cycles or walk as a mode of transport (i.e. utility journies rather than as a leisure pursuit) cycle every day. It might also surprise you that there are some people who cycle or walk because they sold their cars or never owned one.

The main aim of schemes like this are to reallocate road space in favour of active travel; for too long the amount of cars on the road, caused by six decades of pandering to the wants and desires of motor car users, has put people off cycling. It's a case of build it they will come, encouraging good travel habits for people who might otherwise have avoided biking because of the perceived safety issues caused by their being too many motor vehicles on the roads.

This scheme is great because it will link large employment sites (Alderley Park - several thousand workers) to Wilmslow town centre via the existing shared use cycle path.
Pete Taylor
Wednesday 1st July 2020 at 10:45 pm
@ Mark Goldsmith; thanks for your prompt reply: the paint-marking folks have colour-coded elec/water/gas/foul and clean water services. So; I'm suspecting not a "single authority" was involved.
Can you share any information on the site investigations ongoing on the (currently) agricultural, formerly Green Belt fields, to the West of Alderley Rd? I've been in touch with United Utilities, CEC Highways (Ringway Jacobs, plc) and the Environment Agency regarding the repeated flooding of the Royal London "Campus", Alderley Road and also to the Environment Agency (recently) over the past three (or more?) years. I've been batted from pillar to post.

The decision taken by the previous CEC administration to remove this agricultural land from Green Belt, in their desperate rush to push through their flawed Local Plan, is reprehensible. I understand that formal Police investigations are still ongoing. I hope that those involved in that voting... on our behalf...can sleep easily in their beds.
Brian Fox
Thursday 2nd July 2020 at 12:07 pm
Barry (and anyone else interested in 20mph speed limits or the role of the cycling and Walking champion),

The meeting we have organised gives you a great opportunity to learn more and to ask these questions direct to Suzie Akers-Smith. It would be great to have you along.

Monday 6th July 7pm.

Email for a joining link
Graeme Rayner
Friday 3rd July 2020 at 7:25 am
@Robert Taylor - the Dean Row Rd cycle way was provided at great expenses around 20 years ago yet is rarely used. The growing number of cyclists instead choose to ride on the main carriageway alongside the cycle way (often two abreast) causing vehicles to cross the white lines to pass. It defies logic.
Dan Barnes
Saturday 4th July 2020 at 1:26 pm
I suspect some of reasons people don't use the Dean Row Road cycle way are because it's poorly designed, planned and laid out plus it's neglected in many places. Summerfields end the path paint markings have worn out and cycling around the roundabout is longer than using the road. All along Dean Row Road there are numerous end of cycle lane signs. The Browns lane entrance signs say cyclists dismount plus cycling around the junction is longer. The new Heathfield Farm development entrance says end of cycle lane when new residential developments should include cycling infrastructure. Along the path adjacent to the Heathfield Farm development there is overgrown vegetation taking space which hasn't been cleared.

Cyclists probably just give up and use the road. I hope the cycling commissioner will take a look at improving things for this route as well as a joined up approach to cycling and walking routes rather than them being a second thought at the side of road.
Graeme Rayner
Saturday 4th July 2020 at 11:39 pm
@Dan Barnes - So what we are agreed on here is that there is no point in throwing good money after bad on these schemes if cyclists are “choosy” in their decisions on whether or not they want to use the facility.
Vince Chadwick
Sunday 5th July 2020 at 9:41 am
Graeme Rayner - NO, what was being said was if cycle lanes were fit for purpose cyclists would use them. Cycle lanes which end with a sign 'Cyclists Dismount' just at the point they would useful for traffic segregation are not inviting use. If cyclists wanted to be pedestrians they'd have left their bikes at home. Cyclists have the same access rights to the roads as do motor vehicles and asking cyclists to get off their bikes every few hundred yards will induce cyclists to stick with their rights and remain on the road.

Cycle lanes which are not maintained and are full of dangerous pot holes (the road surface tends to deteriorate at the edges and pot holes can be lethal to a cyclist) and puncture-inducing detritus thrown there by the wheels of motor vehicles will similarly be avoided. Have you tried using them yourself?

Constructing cycles lanes with a bit of white paint does not address the needs of cyclists. It is just a cheap box-ticking exercise. Countries like Denmark and Holland show how it should be done.
Graeme Rayner
Sunday 5th July 2020 at 3:39 pm
Vince Chadwick - you are missing the point. I am strongly in favour in physically separating cyclists and motorists on our roads in order to help all road users stay safe. If we continue to narrow the main carriageways to provide for cycle lanes then cyclists must use them. Otherwise all we are doing is funnelling motor vehicles and cyclists into a narrower space and compromising safety for all. If cycle lanes are provided at the expense of road width it is reasonable to expect cyclists to be prohibited from using the adjacent road space.
Vince Chadwick
Sunday 5th July 2020 at 6:13 pm
Graeme Rider - No, you are introducing another, and different, point. The removal of cyclists' right to ride on the road if a cycle lane is offered. That's confirmation bias of the fallacy that roads are for cars, not bicycles, and as that is not the case it is never going going to happen.
Jon Williams
Sunday 5th July 2020 at 7:08 pm
Graeme: That would need an "Act of Parliament" to change the law and that's not going to happen.
Graeme Rayner
Tuesday 7th July 2020 at 10:36 am
So what you are saying is that it is all about cyclists “rights” and not safety concerns?
Vince Chadwick
Tuesday 7th July 2020 at 11:13 am
It's interesting that you appear to see 'cyclists' rights' and 'safety concerns' as alternatives.

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