Change in speed limit proposed for main road into Wilmslow


The speed limit on one of the main routes into Wilmslow looks set to be reduced to 30mph in an effort to improve road safety.

The speed limit on a stretch of Altrincham Road was reduced temporarily from 40mph to 30mph in October 2012, for safety reasons whilst a new site access was constructed for the Waters Corporation's headquarters and the road realigned in the area. However, following requests from local residents, Wilmslow Town Council wrote to Cheshire East Council early last year requesting that the temporary 30 zone be made permanent on the A538.

A spokesperson for Cheshire East Council said: "This change in the speed limit is part of our ongoing work across the Borough to improve road safety for all users.

"The speed limit is currently being advertised in accordance with Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984. This requires the Council to advertise a proposal for a minimum of three weeks. In this case, all comments of objection or support have to be submitted to the Council by August 6.

"Should we receive no objections to the scheme, we will aim to have the existing signs removed and the order implemented to revert the road to 30mph before the end of August.

"The speed limit is being changed due to the introduction of the cycleway/footway which, in effect, has 'urbanised' this section of road.

"In order to reduce the risk to all road users (cyclists, pedestrians and motorists) it has been necessary to reduce the speed limit between Mobberley Road and slightly North of Nansmoss Lane."

Cllr Martin Watkins, Chairman of Wilmslow Town Council said "Wilmslow Town Council has campaigned for a permanent reduction in the speed limit on Altrincham Road for some time. The road in this area is arguably the most dangerous in the Wilmslow district. Increased traffic flows to and from the Waters site along with the proposed development at Brymour Kennels together with access to the nearby planning fields means many more vehicles and pedestrians are using this road.

"The permanent reduction of the speed limit to 30 mph sends a clear message: drive carefully, drive safely and arrive alive."

As you can see from the photo above, work has recently started to create a cycle and footpath from Waters headquarters into the town centre which is being funded by 106 money, along with the installation of a crossing.

Section 106 agreements are negotiated between developers and the Council and the money can used to help fund affordable housing, parks, roads, paths etc.

Any representations or objections with respect to the proposal must be made in writing to the Interim Head of Legal and Monitoring Officer, Cheshire East Borough Council, Westfields, Middlewich Road, Sandbach, Cheshire, CW11 1HZ by no later than 5pm, 6th August 2014. Please state the grounds upon which any representation or objection is made.

Altrincham Road


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

Barry Buxton
Tuesday 29th July 2014 at 3:06 pm
Why stop at 30 mph, let's go back to the 1865 act (the "Red Flag Act") which required all automobiles to travel at a maximum of 4 mph in the country and 2 mph in towns (as well as requiring a man carrying a red flag to walk in front of some road vehicles) - then we can all feel that safety is assured.
Andrew Backhouse
Tuesday 29th July 2014 at 3:12 pm
This seems like a good idea. Really glad that at last they are putting in a footpath and cycle way in to Wilmslow from Waters - how were they allowed to open without it? There have been people walking to work at Waters on the road which is not fun, and as a cyclist, it's always good when a cycle path arrives even if it is better to have the road at 30mph and wide enough for cars and bikes.
Marilyn and Brian Connolly
Tuesday 29th July 2014 at 3:26 pm
Creating the new cycleway/footpath along this road is a great idea - except that where there facility already exists the majority of cyclists do not use it. Almost every time we drive along this section, we come across individual cyclists or, more commonly, groups cycling together two-abreast along the most dangerous parts of the road. A couple of weeks ago we even passed cyclists riding along the road through the airport tunnels, which to say the least, is the height of stupidity. God forbid that there should be an accident involving cyclists using the road - whose fault would it be ? Not the cyclist, I am sure! If all this money is to be spent, then something should be done to enforce the use of the cycleway before someone gets killed.
Vince Chadwick
Tuesday 29th July 2014 at 4:05 pm
If cyclists are not using cycle paths there must be a reason. Quite often it's because cycle paths are strewn with detritus making cycling on them difficult, perhaps dangerous, and with a high risk of punctures (cycle tyres are of course far less tough than car tyres).

Has the poster above checked the state of the cycle path tunnels under the airport runways? Are they fit for use or covered in broken glass etc? Why would any cyclist otherwise choose to ride in the poorly-lit road tunnels?
Birgitta Hoffmann
Tuesday 29th July 2014 at 4:08 pm
As somebody who has to cross the road regularly to catch the bus to Altrincham, or to get shopping from the little Coop, or just to cycle, the 30mph speed limit is a great idea. It will be interesting to see, if the local drivers feel moved to stick to it, though.
Marilyn and Brian Connolly
Tuesday 29th July 2014 at 4:35 pm
Yes Vince those cycling tunnels are fit to cycle through. My husband regularly uses the cycling tunnels on both sides of the airport tunnels and has never had a puncture - he has never seen so much as one piece of glass. Neither are they poorly lit - they are in fact better lit than the roadway.
David Pearce
Tuesday 29th July 2014 at 5:28 pm
A most sensible & welcome improvement enabling necessary safe access on A538 from Wilmslow to Waters site for pedestrians/cyclists. When this is work is completed it will however then leave the remaining, dicing with death zone, for pedestrians & cyclists along the section of the A538 after the new roundabout exit for the Waters site. This will be a narrow & busy chicane & pavementless section of road which then quickly widens out again into a cyclist/pedestrian ‘sunny uplands’ section thereafter. Hopefully this missing link will be completed sometime soon. Perhaps also the 88 Connect bus route could also accommodate some flexibility in re routing of services along this stretch of the A538.
Chris Boothman
Tuesday 29th July 2014 at 6:01 pm
I welcome a permanent reduction to 30 MPH on the road from north of Nansmoss Road to Wilmslow town. I originally campaigned for the reduction to 30 MPH from Kings Rd to Mobberley Road junctions following a number of accidents in front of the Boddington Arms. I would say though that people do still overtake me when I am doing 30 MPH on Altrincham Road, so it may also need Police action to enforce. I am pleased to hear that some additional cycle way will be added near Waters, but will it ever be joined up properly?. The provision of suitable cycle ways is presently sporadic to say the least. After Waters will the council continue the track to Nansmoss Road junction, because there is no point in encouraging people to head to Waters if your destination is further north, ie the airport. Is this cycle track just for Waters employees?
I agree that cycling in the tunnels and on the fast sections of the A538 is very dangerous, but the "so called cycle ways" are poor and unfit for purpose in various sections between Wilmslow and the airport. In places too narrow for passing, overgrown, poor track condition and insufficient clear division between pedestrians and cyclists. I hope that the council takes it seriously and makes a proper job of this rather than just a token gesture near Waters.
Derek Ferguson
Tuesday 29th July 2014 at 6:38 pm
Am I the only one who sees the irony in doing something environmentally friendly like encouraging cycling but tearing down hedgerows to do so?
As someone who regularly tries to get to Handforth from the M56 in the evenings using this route, I look forward to being able to travel at 30mph. 3mph is more usual.
Fred Rayers
Tuesday 29th July 2014 at 7:14 pm
A change in the speed limit will help drivers from Morley Green turning right out of Mobberley Road to get into Wilmslow and is to be welcomed. It does however seem inconsistent that Mobberley Road still has a 40 limit whilst Morley Green Road and now Wilmslow Road has a 30 limit - it is at least as dangerous as the others.

The public bus is regularly used by children and older people in Morley Green who have no other option for transport, and hence rerouting the bus to benefit Waters employees should not even be considered.
Richard Minton
Tuesday 29th July 2014 at 7:21 pm
The 30 limit was shifted from the vicinity of Gorsey Road the down near Mobberley road relatively recently, all well and good , because people couldn't negotiate the bend at the top of Kings road and parking themselves it the Chestnut trees near the pub.

So because these clowns cant get round the corner the council feels obliged to shunt the limit down to 30 [nanny state prevails.]

However , because this actually isn't an appropriate speed limit, one finds people are
disregarding it. So we have a situation where cars incoming from the Altrincham direction
used to slow down just before the school [Gorsey Bank] where our children were /are,
now they don’t.
So the result is the exact opposite to that which was the desired, and extending the 30 limit
has in essence , diluted its effect.

If pedestrians need to cross say near the petrol station , put in a Toucan crossing or some such.

As for Waters a cycle path it should have been put in before it opened and their carpark should be available for football children's parents to park in at the weekend instead of being locked up empty , whilst people are forced to park on the main road.

Also the new cycle way needs to be , right off road , so I hope it is, and safe to use.

Which brings me to my next point , who is that twonk cyclist often wearing red [50 ish], who in a morning at just before 7;00 am cycles through the car tunnels under the runways , and then up the
hill on the road , when there is a good off road cycle path right there.
This joker not only puts himself at risk ,but also unsuspecting cars and motorbikes using the
Brian Jackson
Tuesday 29th July 2014 at 7:30 pm
Do you really think that drivers will honour this 30mph limit ? I very much doubt so. I count about 15 cars out of 20 doing more than 30 only between Texaco and the first junction towards Waters where limit changes to 40. I count all these cars while waiting to turn right towards Wilmslow town centre.
Gary Doyle
Tuesday 29th July 2014 at 8:16 pm
How about speed camera's to enforce this? I am not a big fan of speed camera's in general but they do serve a purpose in the right location and the police can't enforce this new limit on a 24 x 7 basis

As a regular user of Altrincham Road I have lost count of the number of times cars and lorries accelerate to way above 40mph when leaving the town as if they are on a racetrack. Also, the number of lorries hurtling in to town and slamming the brakes on just as they reach the fire station.
James MacDonald
Tuesday 29th July 2014 at 8:56 pm
The response from Marilyn is typical of a driver that has rarely if ever ridden a bicycle in modern times on roads and clearly does not understand the highway code. There is no law that states a cyclist must use a cycle lane. As pointed out, quite often they are dangerous, full of gravel, holes, debris, manhole covers, parked cars, etc. Personally, I will use them if I consider them safe but if not then I won't. Safety first. When you are not shielded by a metal box full of safety features then you think of this much more!

I agree with Brian that the speed limit won't make much difference. You just have to watch the speed of vehicles on Knutsford Road and Alderley Road to see a significant number completely ignore the speeds there.
Vince Chadwick
Tuesday 29th July 2014 at 9:18 pm
Chris Boothman wrote:
“I agree that cycling in the tunnels and on the fast sections of the A538 is very dangerous, but the "so called cycle ways" are poor and unfit for purpose in various sections between Wilmslow and the airport. In places too narrow for passing, overgrown, poor track condition and insufficient clear division between pedestrians and cyclists. “

This is what I was alluding to in my earlier post about why cyclists sometimes use the road instead of the cycle path. Elsewhere in Wilmslow (e.g. Kings Arms roundabout) cycle lanes just stop and command 'cyclists dismount' and become pedestrians. If I wanted to be a pedestrian I'd have left my bike at home, so I take my rightful place on the road there (where, it must be remembered, I am legally entitled to be).
Dave Cash
Wednesday 30th July 2014 at 1:24 am
If cyclists are not required to use cycle lanes, why install them? They generally reduce the width of the existing carriageway for motorists or compete with pedestrians for footpath space.
A 2ft corrider adjacent to the carriageway edge is a dangerous place for cyclists, motorists & pedestrians due to debris, drain covers and standing water.
Cyclists are entitled to use the carriageway by virtue that they were originally classed as carriages and not 'horseless carriages. Also classifying them as 'non-mechanically propelled'is somewhat dubious IMO
If the '20 is plenty' campaign is adopted across Wilmslow or CEC generally, motorists will be legally restricted to 20 mph. yet cyclists will be exempt from RTA penalty.
Cyclists should be required to pass a practical cycle proficiency test and pass a theory test relating to Highway Code sections relating to cyclists.
A cyclist should face prosecution for causing injury to another road user, esp pedestrians.
Just my opinion, however unpalatable.
Simon Worthington
Wednesday 30th July 2014 at 8:22 am
Why was the Waters eyesore allowed to open without them and not us paying for the appropriate foot/cycle paths? The 30mph is unfortunately necessary due to the volume of traffic and the general incompetence of the drivers. Where cycle paths exist is should be compulsory to use them - not arrogantly cause delays to long strings of traffic. I have seen a couple of these types on this road.
Alexander George
Wednesday 30th July 2014 at 9:36 am
As a cyclist & a motorist having riden & driven that road, I agree that a bike lane for that part of the road has been needed for a very long time given that it is a narrow road and cyclists using it can hold up traffic. Dangerous for them and frustrating for motorists.
But a 30 mph limit on that road would not seem appropriate or logical to motorists because it's not a urban road with schools, pavements, driveways and parked cars, and will most likely not be adhered to. I wonder if we will see a speed camera there soon after?
On a connected note. Who's cockamamie idea was it to install a HIGHLY distracting flashing sign reminding motorists of a 30 limit just before a notorious accident bend and junction when drivers should be focused on negotiating the bend and looking ahead for traffic that might be looking to turn right, across their path? Could be grounds for a case if there ever was another accident there?
Vince Chadwick
Wednesday 30th July 2014 at 9:46 am
Simon Worthington posted:

"Where cycle paths exist is should be compulsory to use them"

Even though they may not be fit for use, Simon?
Meryl Spencer
Wednesday 30th July 2014 at 6:31 pm
Why oh why do cyclists think they are so special? Most are a complete nuisance! Every weekend we are subjected to 'pods' of them riding two abreast on local roads. The Waters development is good for Wilmslow, they have provided plenty of parking, just how many people walk along the road there? So often a perfectly good road is narrowed for a cycle lane that they don't use so don't put one there!!!
Mark Goldsmith
Wednesday 30th July 2014 at 8:11 pm
Given the large number of pot holes, shouldn't we fill these in before spending money on more cycle lanes that are rarely used.

The roads were built for cars and paid for by car drivers, so is it really too much to ask that their 24/7 needs are given priority over weekend hobby cyclists demands?
Vince Chadwick
Wednesday 30th July 2014 at 8:27 pm
In what way is the Waters development good for Wilmslow? It brought no jobs; it was relocation exercise for Waters, not a new business site. All it has brought is a big ugly building in the countryside and lots more traffic!
Jon Williams
Thursday 31st July 2014 at 8:36 am
To Mark Goldsmith and all the other anti cyclist:
All tax payers pay for roads, not just motorists. Those who pay income tax and those who pay council tax are the ones who pay for roads, and that’s not just motorists. And anybody who buys anything in Britain also helps to pay for roads because VAT also contributes to the national coffers. Businesses which pay business rates also contribute into the national coffers. And that’s where the money for roads comes from: the consolidated fund, the treasury’s pot of cash that pays for everything. No taxation in the UK is ring-fenced i.e raised by one set of users, and spent on that set of users. But what about ‘road tax’? Clearly, the name says it all, you might think, it’s a tax that pays for roads! Sorry, no, ‘road tax’ doesn’t actually exist. It was abolished in 1937, along with the ‘road fund licence’. It’s now car tax, a UK tax on tailpipe CO2 emissions above 100gm per km*. It’s not now, and never has been, a fee to use roads.
Jamie Ross
Thursday 31st July 2014 at 10:41 am
What on earth will reducing the speed limit do? There are no police to enforce it! I think its fair to say that cars are doing more than 40mph now so if your going to reduce have to enforce it better. And a couple of coppers sat in a panda car once a month is NOT enforcing it! The waters roundabout was a stupid plan too....from The tunnel to Wilmslow there is a blind bend on approach to the many times does an accident need to happen when rush hour comes and cars are unaware of the line of traffic waiting and a collision happens? Need to cut the hedges back and make it more visible.
Rick Andrews
Friday 1st August 2014 at 4:46 pm
Wow, "Roads were built for Cars", I think they were originally built for people and horse drawn vehicles.
Mark Russell
Wednesday 6th August 2014 at 8:57 am
Yawn, when will people get there facts right before sounding off on this website. They are entitled to cycle 2 abreast. For the simple reason if there are 10 riders all riding in a line its harder to overtake than if they are riding 2 a breast. Simple maths. P.S im a cyclist and a car driver before you all start. (i pay road tax too)