Green light for revised scheme to boost cycling and walking in Pownall Park

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Cheshire East Council has given the green light for a trial 'active travel' scheme in Wilmslow, after the initial proposal put forward has been revised.

The scheme will see a 20mph zone, along with traffic calming measures, introduced in the Pownall Park area, to make it safer for cycling and walking.

Initially the Council proposed to close the road, except for cyclists, near the junction of Broad Walk and Carrwood Road, as a temporary measure but this proved controversial.

Councillor Mark Goldsmith confirmed the revised scheme is just being finalised and will go out to public consultation in the next few days.

He said ""The new proposal keeps the 20mph zone but does not involve any road closures. Rather than completely block the road, it will make the school time rat-run a less attractive option. However, it will mean that when the road is quieter at other times of the day, the residents will still be able to use it to access the centre of Wilmslow.".

Eight schemes are being put in place in seven Cheshire East towns on an experimental basis, as a first phase which is designed to improve walking and cycling and improve access to our town centres, areas for employment and schools.

The move followed recent submissions by town and parish councils and local members of more than 500 local ideas as to what measures may work in their towns and villages.

In total three of the initial ideas put forward have been revised, in response to feedback from communities, and a ninth scheme, in Knutsford, has been withdrawn.

Councillor Laura Crane, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for highways and waste, said: "These initial projects are experimental and will be subject to ongoing feedback and discussions with our communities and stakeholders. That is why we sought the views of local residents and councillors and have responded to what they said.

"This engagement will enable us to monitor and refine these measures before anything is considered to be made permanent – so we get schemes that are right for each community.

"These are exciting projects and part of steps taken by this council to encourage more people to get active and cycle and walk more. But they have to be right for each specific location.

"We will continue to work with town and parish councils to develop additional schemes. Our aim is to deliver active travel projects that are right for each town and developed in partnership with each local area and local members."

The first eight active travel schemes, totalling investment of £155,000, are at:

● Crewe town centre – improved access for cycles;

● Coronation Street, Crewe, near Sir William Stanier School – 20mph zone and other traffic calming measures to create a low traffic neighbourhood;

● Congleton town centre – improved access for cycles;

● Macclesfield town centre – improved access for cycles;

● Ivy Road, Macclesfield – traffic calming measures to reduce the volume and speed of through traffic;

● Hawthorn Lane, Wilmslow – 20mph zone and associated traffic calming measures;

● Old Middlewich Road, Sandbach – 20mph zone and parking suspension to provide a dedicated cycle lane;

● Lodge Road, Alsager – through traffic restricted in one direction to create more road space for cyclists and pedestrians.

Measures will also help to reserve capacity on public transport for those who really need it and should help to reduce congestion on some routes to schools. Further schemes will be developed in later phases, following pledged government funding of up to £619,000.

Cllr Crane added: "We know people's travel behaviour has changed during the lockdown and we are determined to lock in the benefits of more people walking and cycling to make our town centres safer, healthier and more welcoming to shoppers and visitors.

"We know ditching the car and taking up daily walking or cycling is good for your health, and good for the environment. Creating a safer environment in our towns will hopefully encourage more people out of their cars and to be more active, for those residents who are able to do so.

"Being successful, with more people walking and cycling as a result of these measures, may attract additional funding from government and we welcome feedback, both positive and negative, on the measures being trialled."

To view details of the active travel measures in place and give feedback, visit:https://cheshireeastactivetravel.commonplace.is/

Tags:
Pownall Park
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Comments

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

Mark Russell
Monday 7th September 2020 at 8:43 am
Do these people not understand they represent us, not their mates. The public have quiet clearly said we don’t want this. It’s a stupid scheme that only a few tree huggers want. All it will do is cause more congestion, which will produce more greenhouse gases. Where is the joined up thinking??
Howard Piltz
Monday 7th September 2020 at 10:13 am
This is just one isolated plan, but a small part of a whole raft of objectives that need to be worked-up to deal with Wilmslow’s traffic issues. Wilmslow Town Council needs to start an URGENT consultation on going forward. (CEC is too remote and mired in red-tape to undertake the job
Florence Collier
Monday 7th September 2020 at 10:17 am
@Mark, what's wrong with this now? Are you intent on putting lives at risk? 20mph is a welcome step in the right direction.

People do want it: read the ACTUAL feedback - many were happy with the 20mph proposal. And more will want it once they've had the chance to see the benefits play out.
Pippa Jones
Monday 7th September 2020 at 10:24 am
It would be great to see everyone get behind this scheme which is designed to make it pleasanter and safer for people to walk. There is no evidence that 20 mph speed limits increase greenhouse gas emissions (see a useful summary at http://www.20splenty.org/do_emission_increase) but what they do very effectively is to reduce the damage that cars do when they hit people. Ask parents why they won't let their children walk or cycle to school and they say it is because of the road danger. So let's all work together to make our roads safer, calmer, quieter and less polluted for the good of everyone. Wouldn't all drivers be pleased to see the school run congestion a thing of the past? And wouldn't most children prefer to travel independently to school in the way that most of us oldies were able to do when we were young?
Nick Jones
Monday 7th September 2020 at 5:04 pm
At least there is consultation... and can i suggest it is meaningful consultation and not ignored as evidenced by the previous administration...but IMHO there are far more pressing issues AR Covid, that need addressing now to get life back into our town including addressing the parking problem which appears kicked in the long grass again...
Rick Andrews
Tuesday 8th September 2020 at 5:14 pm
This is good news. The council has responded to feedback and retained the part of the scheme which was supported whilst changing the part (the closure) which was not. 20mph makes sense to me. I am sure all Pownall Park residents would agree on that as a safety improvement. Changing from 30mph to 20 will Only add around 30 seconds to the journey time to Bank Square from Kings Road via Hawthorn Lane as Hawthorn Lane remains at the 30 mph limit.
Kathryn Blackburn
Wednesday 9th September 2020 at 3:25 pm
Yes no objection to 20mph. But kids cycling to school - those days are long gone surely ? Can't text (though some would try) whilst cycling AND the little darlings might get wet - perish the thought.
John Featherstone
Wednesday 9th September 2020 at 4:05 pm
i agree with mark russell
Mark Russell
Wednesday 9th September 2020 at 4:11 pm
Florence. I couldn’t care less about the speed limit. I’m talking about blocking off a highway because of Covid. How would 20moh create congestion? Do keep up.
Pippa Jones
Wednesday 9th September 2020 at 4:46 pm
Kids can't cycle to school any more? I think many young people would like to do so if they and their parents thought the roads were safe enough and I doubt that getting wet if it rains would put them off. 20 mph speed limits will definitely make the roads safer but we won't stop polluting the air (which is causing asthma and smaller lungs in children as well as cancer, strokes and heart attacks in later life...and making it more difficult to recover from lung infections like Covid) unless we have fewer cars on the roads. It would be great to see more positive comments on this thread about how we can make the roads safer and reduce vehicle traffic and pollution which we absolutely have to do. It's important young people engage in the conversation too, as this is their future and their lives. There are some great examples on line of how low traffic neighbourhoods in many villages, towns and cities are making a difference to people's lives and even increasing trade along roads that used to be congested with no where to park. It would be a shame if Wilmslow remained a dinosaur town because we couldn't bring ourselves to make some simple changes for the sake of the whole community.
Christine McClory
Wednesday 9th September 2020 at 6:23 pm
There are only 2 problems that I can see with this proposal.
1. Traffic calming measures.
If you had ever been in an ambulance with an old lady with a broken bone, you would instantly remove all “sleeping policemen” from all roads.
Put speed cameras in, or a real policeman with a speed gun.
2. The pavements need to be evened out. Walking would be easier for the elderly, those with walkers, those in wheelchairs and, actually, all of us.
Oh..... and cut back all over hanging branches and over bushy hedges... give us our pavements back, please.
Pete Taylor
Wednesday 9th September 2020 at 6:29 pm
@ Mark Russell; are you the Mark Russell who is Managing Director at Northern Powerhouse Transport Ltd.?
Kathryn Blackburn
Wednesday 9th September 2020 at 6:36 pm
Where did you holiday before Covid Pippa ? Sick of being preached at by the woke brigade.
Robert Taylor
Thursday 10th September 2020 at 7:39 am
What a shame that a key part of the scheme which would take this area to towards being a filtered neighbourhood has been taken out.
Robert Taylor
Thursday 10th September 2020 at 7:48 am
@Kathryn Blackburn - how is someone's holiday destination relevant to a transport scheme. I agree with Pippa - let's get behind this project.
Matthew Fowler
Thursday 10th September 2020 at 10:22 am
Great that the key part of the scheme that would have closed Hawthorn Lane and pushed huge amounts of traffic through the Water Lane lights has been taken out...phew
Mark Russell
Thursday 10th September 2020 at 11:36 am
@pete Taylor. Dunno who he is I work at fed ex.
Robert Taylor
Thursday 10th September 2020 at 1:00 pm
@Matthew Fowler - in filtering schemes this is not the case, traffic does not react like that - unless you can share any traffic modelling data and transport planning research papers with us which confirms otherwise.
So blocking out x-number of vehicles travelling along road-A does not equate to the same x-number of vehicles diverted onto road-B.

Let's say the filter went in during the trial, traffic may divert along Altrincham Road for a period of time but if conditions then get so bad either the area is avoided (by going elsewhere), the journey is made by another mode (walk, cycle, bus), the journey is made at a different time or combined with another journey or the journey does not get made at all. This traffic evaporation is described in Goodwin 1998 with many examples if you are interested in having a read around.

Removing the filter is likely to maintain similar motor vehicle traffic levels through this residential area with a small deduction accounting for those motor drivers who just might be put off by the 20mph limit.
Matthew Fowler
Thursday 10th September 2020 at 3:16 pm
Introducing 20mph is great.
Closing Hawthorn Lane would be bad.
Just my local view. I don’t have time to read reports from 1998.....too busy at work and spending too much time commuting on congested roads.....
Brian Fox
Thursday 10th September 2020 at 8:56 pm
20mph for Pownall Park is great - and there will shortly be an opportunity to bring in a Borough wide 20mph limit for residential roads in the whole of Cheshire East.

Sign the petition here

https://www.change.org/p/cheshire-east-20-s-plenty-for-cheshire-east

But the rat run through remains, and prevents this joining sensibly to the town centre. Hawthorn Lane is not an appropriate through road, and if Pownall Park were built today, it would never be allowed.
Kathryn Blackburn
Friday 11th September 2020 at 9:11 am
20 mph for the whole of Cheshire East ? FGS. And you cannot relate where you take your holidays with pollution. Let Google be your friend.
Brian Fox
Friday 11th September 2020 at 10:08 am
Kathryn, 20mph limits for residential areas are common throughout both the uk and Europe. You have nothing to fear.

Benefits include lower accident rates, better health, less pollution and a better all round environment. Let Google be your friend!

Wilmslow is a perfect town for active transport, being compact and flat, save for the infrastructure encouraging people into cars and discouraging walking and cycling.
Kathryn Blackburn
Friday 11th September 2020 at 12:50 pm
You don't read the papers do you ? Councils are already being inundated with demands from residents to cancel the street closures and 20mph speed limit. Far from negating pollution they are encouraging it and causing traffic chaos.
Instead of thinking about a few sorry woke souls ( under 900 signatures in 3 months on the petition) think about the economy stupid.
John Gibbons
Friday 11th September 2020 at 4:46 pm
Kathryn. I read the papers and have no idea what you’re talking about.
Yes, let’s reduce speed on residential roads and make them safer.
As you’re having trouble understanding, the clue is in the name, residential.
Kathryn Blackburn
Saturday 12th September 2020 at 8:28 am
@ John Gibbons. Clearly you have trouble taking in what you do read then.
My comment above read that I have no problem with 20 mph within Pownall
residential area. What I do have a problem with is a Cheshire East wide 20mph adoption and road closures as advocated by some above.

You have also missed then that Mayor Khan yesterday cancelled the entire project within his realm because of resident and motorist uproar at the traffic chaos and increase in pollution residential road closures have caused within London boroughs. Similarly Mayor Andy Burnham has had to do a sharpish about turn in Manchester.

Do keep up or pipe down.
Kathleen Morris
Saturday 12th September 2020 at 12:49 pm
I agree with Christine. The pavements are an absolute disgrace - a real danger to pedestrians. if you want to make walking safer, deal with the longstanding problem before thinking up new schemes which ignore the facts. It is genuinely dangerous to walk along Hawthorn Lane/Broad Walk in poor weather or when there are thick layers of fallen leaves, or when it is dark. I suspect those proposing these schemes don often actually walk anywhere.
Beatrice Turler
Saturday 12th September 2020 at 8:12 pm
Hallelujah. The closure would have been bad news. 20mph is good - as long as it's enforced! I've lost count of the number of times I've been overtaken while going down Broad Walk at 30mph.
Jonathan Follows
Sunday 13th September 2020 at 3:11 pm
I don't believe that, with the conspicuous exception of London Bridge, 20mph limits are ever enforced. They simply act as a trigger to some drivers to drive more slowly than they otherwise would have done.

I'm sorry that the more radical proposals are not going to be implemented, especially if done as a trial measure. I know that they would have inconvenienced a number of people, but without seeking to try something more radical we preserve the dominance of the car over other road users which I see as out of balance everywhere, not just in Wilmslow.
Simon Worthington
Thursday 17th September 2020 at 8:51 am
Banning heavy goods vehicles from Wilmslow and Handforth other than for access would be a good start. Save lives!!! How many road deaths in Pownall Park EVER? To my knowledge that other death trap Chapel Lane suffered it's last road death many years ago when an elderly lady stepped in front of a BICYCLE.
When Pete's mob were allowed to turn Wilmsow into commuter hell by building (hopefully no longer needed offices on car parks) achitectural monstrosities the end of yet another pleasant small town began.
The reason people drive their little darlings to school is to keep them safe from all the others doing just the same!!!
Mark Russell
Thursday 17th September 2020 at 10:47 am
Jacob Rees Mogg has stood up four times in the commons this morning saying “local councils need to stop their victimisation of motorists”. Looks like these schemes won’t be around long!!
Vince Chadwick
Thursday 17th September 2020 at 4:32 pm
Oh, Mark Russell, I don't think so.

That says an awful lot more about Jacob Rees Mogg and his ilk than it does about the viability of local traffic schemes which are designed to give equal status to all road users rather than continued domination by motorists.
Mark Russell
Thursday 17th September 2020 at 8:54 pm
The last time I looked Rees mogg and his ilk run the country. So I’m pretty sure they will get what they want. Plus we have a conservative mp who will be more than happy to toe the line.

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