£588,000 boost for cycling and walking schemes

Active Travel 2 - small

Cheshire East Council is to develop new schemes to promote cycling and walking in the borough after being awarded £588,000 by the government.

The grant, which follows a successful bid by the council for a second phase of active travel funding from the Department for Transport, could see new schemes introduced on Manchester Road between Wilmslow and Handforth and London Road, between Alderley Edge and Wilmslow.

The money will be used to encourage walking and cycling to boost health, as well as improve routes to schools and workplaces and access to our town centres.

The latest announcement follows £155,000 of first-phase funding, in August, which saw the development of eight emergency active travel schemes across seven Cheshire East towns.

The latest phase of schemes will be subject to public consultation in the new year, before being finalised and implemented. Unlike the first-phase emergency temporary schemes, it is intended that these new schemes will be permanent.

Councillor Laura Crane, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for highways and waste, said: "This is excellent news for local residents and their communities as 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 for walking and cycling in our towns will hopefully encourage more people out of their cars and to be more active.

"Recent surveys found that, across England, 65 per cent of people supported reallocating road space to walking and cycling in their local area and nearly eight out of 10 people support measures to reduce road traffic in their neighbourhood.

"This new funding will enable the council to consult before progressing more schemes to boost active travel infrastructure for our residents and make our towns and communities safer for cyclists and pedestrians.

"We are grateful too that, learning from the experience of the first phase, government has placed greater emphasis on community engagement and support than on speed of delivery. We welcome the scope for public consultation before schemes are implemented."

Among the schemes being considered for the next phase are:

● Manchester Road between Wilmslow and Handforth;

● Vernon Way, Mill Street and Nantwich Road, Crewe;

● Black Lane, Manchester Road and Sunderland Street, Macclesfield;

● High Street, Sandbach;

● West Street and Mill Street, Congleton;

● Various streets on the Knutsford Revolution cycle route;

● London Road, between Alderley Edge and Wilmslow; and

● St Ann's Road, Middlewich.

Cllr Crane added: "These are exciting projects and part of several steps being taken by this council to encourage more people to get active. We will continue to work with town and parish councils to shape the schemes that go forward for consultation. 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.

"There has never been a better time to walk or cycle, especially for shorter journeys as part of our daily activity, and this really helps greener habits to take root – to reduce congestion, improve air quality and help tackle climate change.

"We know that many people's travel behaviour has had to change during the Covid-19 lockdowns and we are determined to respond in a positive way to ensure more people can walk and cycle, to make our town centres safer, healthier and more welcoming to shoppers, residents and visitors.

"But these schemes have to be right for each specific location – which is why the public consultation and feedback is so important."

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



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

David Smith
Sunday 29th November 2020 at 11:20 am
Well, on the face of it this is a nudge in the right direction but just nowhere, anywhere near enough money for what needs to be done. What is going to happen is that money will be spent ‘tinkering’ with walking/cycling issues that will be just not good enough to make cycling/walking a safe and viable proposition. As an example AGAIN! I have posted this several time already so will all councillors respond with a 100% safe solution to a DANGEROUS situation that exists within our community. It is this:
The proposed ‘new’ cycle rote between Handforth and Wilmslow along Manchester Road is a massively overdue and welcome change because this 40mph road is the only route for cyclists coming to town from this side of Wilmslow. Many of them are schoolchildren who at the moment have to weave dangerously in and out of the cars parked in their advisory cycle lane. Incidentally, if you walk from Manchester Road, past Styal Road and down the hill towards town you will eventually be unable to walk on the RHS because there is no pavement as you approach the river Bollin. This means that ALL pedestrians [with pushchairs too] must use the LHS footpath which near the driveway into the waterworks before the Bollin bridge is just about wide enough to take 2 people side-by-side providing the hedge hasn’t grown over onto the footpath and lessened the width. So everyone using the footpath into Wilmslow does so with the constant danger of vehicles, some of which are HGV’s, passing by within INCHES at speeds sometimes in excess of the 30mph limit because they have not yet fully slowed down from the previous 40mph limit by Styal Road. As parking on footpaths is tolerated in Wilmslow there is nothing to stop a vehicle parking on the pavement here and reducing the width to such an extent that the only route for a pushchair [= mother and baby going to town, perhaps in the rain all the way from Handforth] to pass by is to enter the road. I have photographic evidence of a vehicle parked ON the pavement and blocking passage approaching the Bollin bridge, just over the road from the parking spaces reserved for Pareto Law that operates out of the offices next to the church. This stretch of road from Handforth needs an immediate speed limit reduction to 30mph. The stretch after Styal road needs to be 20mph [with speed camera] as the pavement infrastructure just does not make safe mixing of road vehicles with pedestrians/cyclists. This stretch of road should have been widened over 30 years ago to provide a wider pavement.
Other considerations:
•Cliff Road should be pedestrianized to allow SAFER access to Wilmslow for pedestrians/cyclists coming from the Lacy Green area and possibly Handforth too via a route down Stanneylands Road and into Lacey Green Road.
•Road vehicles must be separated from cyclists and pedestrians by creating routes that are not used by vehicles. It is the mixing of the two that is the problem. Where mixing occurs in residential areas a 20mph maximum speed limit should apply. The ultimate road system for all towns and not just Wilmslow would be only to allow residential roads for access to the premises in there and not for entry just to come out the other end [rat-runs]. Certainly NO all-day parking for free. The notion that paying a vehicle tax [or not in the case of zero rated vehicles, see: https://pod-point.com/guides/driver/road-tax-on-electric-cars.] smacks too much of I’ll do what I want on the roads and take/leave my car wherever I want even though it inconveniences others. There would then be designated roads to allow traffic to transition through town on their way to other areas - Handforth, Styal, Macclesfield, Alderley Edge, Altrincham and Knutsford. Any other traffic coming to town if not visiting residents or certain premises must go to one of the various public car parks and pay to stay. This would when combined with 20mph limits on the restricted roads make them safer and gradually more attractive to cyclists.
•Why is it that all these new housing estates being plonked in our locality do not have any dedicated [for sole use] cycling and pedestrian routes to anywhere else - the only means of getting about is by car. Having an electric car might make the owner feel a sense of one-up-man ship and saving the environment but it does nothing to make our roads safer This will be achieved when we have fewer vehicles on the roads and keep them isolated from the vulnerable cyclists and pedestrians. Incidentally electric cars are more dangerous because they are so SILENT. You cannot hear them coming and so are unaware of their presence.
•Why is it that the property developers of the massive local estates have not been obliged to make non-vehicle routes to the surrounding areas. Has any estate a cycle route to Handforth Dean or the John Lewis/Sainsbury’s at Cheadle? It should be possible to cycle/walk to Tesco/M&S from Handforth by going down Dean Road and Hall Road. Will there be a cycle route to ANYWHERE from the new ‘Garden Village’ when it is built? How about a cycle/pedestrian bridge across the bypass?
•A solution to the dangerous Manchester Road situation for cyclists/pedestrians coming to Wilmslow is to have a high level pathway connecting the existing path that runs along the railway line and staying high when the steps go down to the Bollin [see Google maps at: https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@53.32938,-2.2222139,221a,35y,270h,39.46t/data=!3m1!1e3?hl=en&authuser=0] then across and underneath the railway arches to the other side and beside the viaduct towards Wilmslow station. It could also connect to a bridge over the bypass allowing access to the Summerfields estate and so connect that now growing area of housing in Wilmslow. This wouldn’t be cheap but is the only safe solution for the future. It is an example of NOT TINKERING WITH A PROBLEM BUT DOING SOMETHING PROPERLY.
•The access road going from Sainsbury’s to the BP petrol station and passing in front of Hoopers should all be given aside for pedestrians and cyclists with places to leave a bike securely and go shopping. It would be a ‘destination’ for cyclists to head for and be safe when there which would attract them. Perhaps a few more meeting places for pavement cafes could be allowed. Combined with other safer routes into town would make coming there by bike a SAFER option.
•Novel ideas to solve our problems are what are needed. Where are yours?
Laurie Atterbury
Wednesday 2nd December 2020 at 6:12 pm
David, I'm confused by your many points.These out of town shopping areas were designed in the age of the car so why are you arguing that we should be able to cycle to them? How much shopping can you load on to a bike? I suppose you could wear a trunk worth 's if purchased clothes on the way back?The emphasis might be to make local shops come back so we might start walking and cycling to them just for what we need for a day or two? Will help bring back community?