Council’s next steps in drive to get more of us walking and cycling

Active travel 1

Cheshire East Council has taken another step in its drive to reduce emissions from cars and get more people walking or cycling to boost health and wellbeing.

The council intends to introduce cycling and walking infrastructure plans with proposed dedicated active travel routes across four towns in the borough.

Crewe, Macclesfield, Wilmslow and Congleton are the first towns to benefit from a walking and cycling infrastructure plan, which could attract government investment.

Following a review, these towns were considered to have the greatest potential for increased walking and cycling. Each town could see a network of segregated cycling and walking routes linking key locations, such as bus and train stations, leisure centres, shops and employment sites.

In Wilmslow work is already scheduled for a new walking and cycling designated route from the train station, through the town centre to the high school, Royal London campus and Alderley Park. Other measures are also proposed.

In Crewe, where seven potential routes have been identified, a new green link along the Mill Street corridor would offer off-road cycling and walking routes to and from the town centre and train station.

Rood Hill, Mill Street, Antrobus Street and the town centre are some parts of Congleton, identified as potential locations for similar schemes, while in Macclesfield, a variety of improvements are proposed, creating or upgrading cycling and walking-friendly routes linking Middlewood Way, Hurdsfield industrial park, Waters Green, Sunderland Street and Cumberland Street, together with public realm improvements at the train station.

Council deputy leader Craig Browne, cabinet member with responsibility for strategic transport, said: "There is every indication that councils that have these plans in place are more likely to receive central government funding in future years.

"These improvements take account of the numbers of people cycling and walking in Cheshire East and how we can increase these numbers through a wider infrastructure strategy. There will be extensive public consultation before any schemes are implemented."

The council's cycling strategy, adopted in 2017, outlines the target to double the number of people cycling once per week for any purpose by 2027. The Department for Transport says councils should develop local plans to increase the number of people walking or cycling to work, for education or other reasons.

Councillor Jill Rhodes, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for public health, said: "The health benefits from walking and cycling are obvious. We know that good health is important to people in Cheshire East and we are generally a healthy borough.

"Physical activity improves mental health as well as physical wellbeing, reducing the risks of poor health and morbidity as well as improving the air that we breathe, through reduced emissions."

Cheshire East Council is committed to becoming a carbon neutral authority by 2025 and is encouraging all businesses, residents and organisations in the borough to reduce their carbon footprint in whatever way they can.

The plans for each town will be published on 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.

Chris Neill
Wednesday 17th March 2021 at 8:08 am
I just wonder if any of these Councillors have ever walked or cycled around places where they are throwing our hard earned tax. Yes we know it’s healthier and yes a fancy bike lane is something....but what about all the joined up bits. How do you get to the lanes. I live just off Moor Lane in Wilmslow ...the roads all around are a potholed nightmare for the bike.
If I walk into the town, the pavements are buckled, overgrown hedges take up half of what was once the walkway, and vans and cars park on the pavement, providing a constant obstacle course for pram walkers.
So how are we supposed to walk or bike or abseil to the new lanes?
Don’t you think this ongoing problem should have been attended to first, or would you Councillors feel it’s better to fit a new carpet before fixing the leaky roof?
Julian Barlow
Wednesday 17th March 2021 at 5:04 pm
We're not short of footpaths and we have quiet a few cycle paths. The issue is that CEC fail to maintain and manage what we already have, which is odd given their obsession with sustainability.

Our existing pavements and cycle paths have been allowed to crumble into disrepair, whilst overgrown hedges reduce their width. CEC's inability to find an effective solutions to the towns parking issues means that cycle paths and pavements are often obscured by parked cars-See Manchester Road for details.

CEC offer the very opposite of sustainable solutions, they build things at our expense, allow them to fall into disrepair, hope we haven't noticed and then try and tantalise us with the promise of something shiny and new, rinse and repeat.

Creating new cycling infrastructure doesn't offset years of mis-management and neglect, they need to take care of what we already have.
Simon Rodrigues
Wednesday 17th March 2021 at 7:04 pm
But yet the maintenance of existing walkways and cycling routes are badly maintained and less important aparently.
David Smith
Wednesday 17th March 2021 at 7:30 pm
I decided to WALK to Vicar's Farm off Lees Lane where I get my duck eggs. Ok past Summerfields and as far as the roundabout just past the Unicorn Pub where you go either left to Woodford or right as I was going towards Parker's Nursery. This stretch of road is narrow and there is NO footpath on either side - just a bit of muddy grass if you are lucky and when vehicles are coming past you in both directions you have to squeeze up against a wall or hedge.
Anyone wishing to WALK further to Adlington down Lees Lane will have to dodge the traffic in this manner ALL THE WAY as there is no footpath. The road isn't particularly wide either so not very good for cyclists too. There is plenty of grass verge or waste ground most of the way to make a decent footpath. A better idea would be to compulsorily purchase a bit of land from the farmer's fields and make a proper job of a pedestrian/cycle path separated from the road all the way to the A523 Macclesfield - Poynton road.
All councillors should take their own buggy or send out their wives/daughter’s pushing a buggy with their child/grandchild inside on a cold winter’s day. Only by these means will anyone get to know first-hand what needs to be done to make life better round here for those they represent who aren’t as fortunate to have a car. Either that or ride around the local area all day on a bike to get first-hand experience of how dangerous our local roads really are. It would be interesting to see how many are still alive at the end of it!
Audrey Youngman
Wednesday 17th March 2021 at 8:58 pm
Forget cycle lanes just maintain roads and footpaths first and move on to cycle lanes.
Esther McVey our MP came to look at Hall Road in Handforth and said that they were an absolute disgrace.
Eric Butterworth
Friday 19th March 2021 at 5:32 pm
All very well ! But as a complete aside , how long will it be before one of the clowns driving round small estates and residential roads in unmarked white vans at breakneck speeds , cause a serious accident ? They seem to be oblivious to the fact that children play and ride their bikes in those areas , and it is my contention that All vans should carry identification to deter some of those dangerous drivers !
Mark Russell
Friday 19th March 2021 at 7:35 pm
Hi Eric, they do carry Id. They all have registration plates.
Jonathan Price
Monday 22nd March 2021 at 10:55 am
Yes, it would be good if the roads were better maintained, but I notice that as part of the bike lane work on Alderley Rd. paid for by central government funding, they are resurfacing some of the road as well-a win for both motorists and cyclists! It shouldn't be either/or-road repairs and cycle lanes are both important-the bike lanes are designed encourage cycling and to reduce traffic, which should eventually reduce wear and tear on the roads, and also reduce emissions to combat global heating, reducing extreme storms and floods, which are one of the things that are causing most damage to road surfaces! Bike lanes also get bikes off the road to help keep traffic moving. Transition Wilmslow have designed a local cycle network on quiet roads such as Moor Lane, which we hope CEC may adopt, to solve the problem you point out Chris, with safer crossings etc, and linking in with the new bike routes. These routes aren't expensive to implement-If you support this then do drop us a line at .
Terence Burgess
Tuesday 23rd March 2021 at 4:35 pm
I agree with Audrey Youngman the state of Hall Road is terrible.
I'm not a car driver, I cycle frequently down Hall Road on my way to Tesco and I have to cycle into the middle of Hall Road and weave in and out due to the amount of pot holes all the way along this road.
If there are any Councillors here who read this I would ask that you take a look at thus.It urgently needs resurfacing as soon as possible.

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