Residents urged to have their say on local transport and parking plans

Local Transport image - Crewe

Cheshire East Council has launched public consultations on local transport and parking plans across the borough.

The results of the consultations, which run until January 31st 2021, will inform the future direction of how to improve transport, walking and cycling in our towns. It will also inform proposals, which would be subject to further consultation, regarding changes to parking provision and potential changes to car parking charges in the borough.
The local transport plan consultations are based around the following themes:

● Accessibility for all – considering all travel needs;

● Sustainability – improving walking, cycling and public transport;

● Quality of the public realm – managing traffic to support town centres and the visitor economy;

● Better neighbourhoods – improving amenities where people live; and

● Connectivity – the strategic links needed to access work, education and essential services, such as hospitals.

Councillor Craig Browne, deputy leader of Cheshire East Council, said: "This consultation is an opportunity for us to work together and get the right blend of local transport provision in the right places.

"Alongside these plans, we are also developing town centre vitality plans for our key service centres, helping us to better understand and respond to local needs.

"We must also consider the potential longer-term impacts of Covid-19. This may include using our spaces differently to enable social distancing, more reliance on active travel and public transport, as well as increased home working."

The car parking consultation looks at:

● The role of parking in accessing town centres (current and future);

● The level of parking charges in Cheshire East and scope for harmonisation;

● On-street parking restrictions; and

● Improving parking services.

Councillor Laura Crane, Cheshire East Council cabinet members for highways and waste, said: "The local transport plan sets out a need for greater harmonisation of parking arrangements across Cheshire East, during the period 2020 to 2025.

"The parking consultation, alongside the development of town vitality plans, will engage many stakeholders to ensure we have a broad strategy moving forward, taking into account the economic, environmental and community elements that car parking brings."

To find our more and take part in the consultations visit the council's website

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Comments

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

Julian Barlow
Tuesday 24th November 2020 at 6:54 am
1. Stop having endless consultations.
2. Bring the existing pavements and cycle lanes up to a good state of repair.
3. Regularly sweep the roads and pavements, trim encroaching hedges, cut back overgrown grass, unblock the drains.
4. Give two hours free parking for shoppers.
5. Ticket cars parked dangerously.
Matthew Fowler
Tuesday 24th November 2020 at 7:21 am
@ Julian.....You can't summarise the solution into 5 points!!
There's an entire infrastructure of bureaucracy and committees to feed. To take a decision without accepting any responsibility requires endless reports and reviews...have you not seen the documentary series Yes Minister ?
Plus, while your points are excellent, there really is no time to do any of the things you suggest....Everybody is busy planning, writing, running and reviewing consultations, so no time to implement.
Chris Neill
Tuesday 24th November 2020 at 8:13 am
Spot on Julian.
All very simple , yet obvious solutions which would work, and could be in operation straight away.
Keep on with the survey as some good suggestions might follow ,but come on Council, you could start on Julian's list right now!
Howard Piltz
Tuesday 24th November 2020 at 11:07 am
All these comments above reflect my views entirely. New Councillors were elected at the last local elections but have found themselves utterly powerless to effect the grinding sloathfulness of the established Kremlin and its bureaucracy. Hence I have long called for the re-establishment of a Wilmslow UDC that can be begin with a clean slate and clear, fresh thinking.
Nick Jones
Tuesday 24th November 2020 at 12:24 pm
Concur Julian... How many times !... and now AR Covid how will that impact to bring life into the town.
Toni Fox
Tuesday 24th November 2020 at 1:49 pm
Gentlemen,

1. So am I hearing that you don't want to have any input into any future proposals for Wilmslow and you are happy for Cheshire East Council to make decisions on residents behalf without consultation?

2 & 3. Already doing what is possible within the budget limitations and reduced grant funding from Government. For every £1 of council tax income 68p is spent on social care, 13p on waste management and street cleaning and 5p on Highways and public transport. Further information can be found in the draft Corporate Plan, currently out for public consultation, and the Medium Term Financial Strategy which will follow very soon.

4. Given that currently Government guidance is for essential travel only would this be sending the right message at this point in time? What services would you suggest should be reduced in order to cover the loss of income from providing 2 hours free parking?

5. Partly a police responsibility and partly parking enforcement which is under resourced because of budget constraints and under staffed because no-one wants to take up the vacant posts.

Kind Regards
Councillor Toni Fox
Dean Row ward, Wilmslow
Mark Goldsmith
Tuesday 24th November 2020 at 4:03 pm
I would encourage people to look at the consultation before they comment on the press release.

https://cheshireeast.maps.arcgis.com/apps/MapSeries/index.html?appid=48d6af7045d2495c81a1850a2c8a72c1

They will then see this consultation goes way beyond the Wilmslow Parking Review and gives a detailed summary of all the towns transport issues, needs and opportunities until 2024.

Therefore, it is the joined up thinking on Wilmslow's transport options that many have said was missing. Some of these options are on a road by road basis, but many are on a town wide basis too. These larger schemes will help keep our town viable over the coming years, so it is important we get residents views on them now.

For example, do you want a tram link to Manchester Airport using the existing rail track? Yes, is the likely answer but do you want it more than a regular bus service though? Well, here is your opportunity to say, along with the many other ideas that are also being proposed.

This plan already acknowledges that Wilmslow has a major all-day parking problem, so work on building a new car park is continuing independently of this consultation.


Cllr Mark Goldsmith
Residents of Wilmslow
Cheshire East & Wilmslow Town Council
Chris Neill
Wednesday 25th November 2020 at 11:19 am
Good to read the feedback.
Toni, you are mistaken in your point one , as it has been said that we should have a review, yes, read my comments please.
What is being said here is that it's the everyday,small things which can make a big difference and can be addressed immediately. Please don't be so negative , and maybe work smarter rather than harder. It took about 3 years to paint some yellow lines which the locals were all asking for, simple solution, but so over analysed, complicated,heavy duty reporting to do what was so obvious from the off.
You ask us for ways of saving money to pay for the simple solutions. You should focus on doing that not us. We work , live here, pay the high rates, go to the shops, restaurants, etc., and pay into the system. But what seems so obvious to the residents, doesn't seem so to those who we depend upon to make the place a pleasant place to live.
I am sure, collectively, we can make some cost saving suggestions, but the common theme here is keep it simple and focus on the here and now and how to fix it, not to make a list of reasons why you can't.
Pete Taylor
Wednesday 25th November 2020 at 1:07 pm
I completed the consultation; it’s all common sense and covers pretty much what WE have been asking for.
Toni Fox
Wednesday 25th November 2020 at 3:46 pm
Hello Chris,

Unfortunately it does take time to implement change. Prior to double yellows being put down a Highways survey had to be undertaken, residents had to be consulted, and a Legal Traffic Order had to be put in place. None of this is negotiable and is a requirement to meet legislation.

Unfortunately all Local Authorities are under funded. Croydon for example declared itself insolvent earlier this month after revealing a £67m hole in its budget, said it would in future adopt a bare legal minimum approach focused mainly on providing social care and refuse collection services. They have stated that the bulk of the cuts will fall on the council’s “non-core” services which it is not legally obliged to provide. This will result in the likely closure of some of its 13 libraries and nine children’s centres. Leisure centres, and waste and recycling facilities will also face the axe, while 35 council-owned buildings will be shut or sold.

A BBC data unit investigation has found across the UK:

At least six councils say it is possible they will have to issue an S114 notice if further government support is not forthcoming, effectively declaring themselves bankrupt.

Local authorities in this situation include some of the UK’s largest unitary authorities - Liverpool, Leeds, Wiltshire, Trafford, Tameside and Barnet.

The Medium Term Financial Strategy which will balance Cheshire East Councils budget will be going out for public consultation very soon. Unfortunately if the aforementioned government support is not forthcoming the Council will have no choice other than to make cuts to its current services.

Simple solutions still cost money and if the Council hasn't got it, it can't spend it. I would urge everyone to read the MTFS and submit their comments.

PS. Apologies if I came across as negative, I was aiming for factual!

Kind Regards
Councillor Toni Fox
Dean Row Ward, Wilmslow
Independent - Residents of Wilmslow
Clive Cooksey
Wednesday 25th November 2020 at 6:50 pm
Shut cycle lanes NOW unless they are willing to pay a road tax like us all. No chance of that then is there. And forget the roads, re surface the pavements that are a total mess. Hawthorn Lane is a perfect example.
Kathryn Blackburn
Thursday 26th November 2020 at 4:33 pm
You came across as patronising. Cut your suit according to your cloth A great adage and one to which Croydon Council didn't adhere. Spending £18,000 per hour for 7 years. A good auditor could cut a road through council waste. There used to be a borough treasurer that did just that. Councils have borrowed too much in the good times and still have to make their repayments in the bad. Cheshire East cannot preach way too many skeletons.
Vince Chadwick
Thursday 26th November 2020 at 5:20 pm
Clive Cooksey, road tax was abolished in 1937.

What you (and I with 2 cars, 2 motorcycles, and 4 bicycles in the household) pay today is VED, a tax on the level of pollution your motor vehicle produces.

So cyclists paying zero VED for their human-powered machines seems about right, eh?
Pete Taylor
Thursday 26th November 2020 at 10:11 pm
@ Clive Cooksey; I own five vehicles liable for VED, albeit two of them very old and at at zero rate, I can only drive one at a time. Last week I drove 32 miles. I also own four bicycles, I can only ride one at a time. How much tax would you suggest that I pay?

How many vehicles do you have? From the tone of your post you come across as a Range-Rover man.
Pete Taylor
Thursday 26th November 2020 at 10:15 pm
@ Kathryn Blackburn "You came across as patronising......" etc.

Who are you addressing?
Kathryn Blackburn
Friday 27th November 2020 at 12:48 pm
@Taylor
Always helps to re-read the comment. If it isn't about cycle lanes then it's not to you.
David Smith
Saturday 28th November 2020 at 9:43 pm
Clive Cooksey you have gone bonkers. Or have you posted just to generate more interest in the topic?
I don't know any cyclists who do not own a vehicle and so will be paying a tax to use a vehicle on the roads - unless it is zero-rated.
It doesn't make sense that electric cars do not pay road tax:
https://pod-point.com/guides/driver/road-tax-on-electric-cars
They wear out the roads surfaces as much as a comparable internal combustion-engine car and must comply with traffic lights that have to be maintained, road signs repaired and roads cleaned.
We are all starting to believe that the answer to the problems on our roads is for vehicles to be electrically powered. The solution is to have far fewer vehicles and not DIFFERENT vehicles. This means more cycling/walking. Less car use of all types and a viable public transport system, which ideally is powered by renewable energy [electric]. This should be the trolley bus. Never heard of them?
Well have a look at the link:
http://www.tbus.org.uk/home.htm
...and ask yourself/your councillor/your MP and anyone else WHY WE DON'T HAVE ANY OF THESE? Especially when they are in use all over the world but not here in the UK.

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