Reader's Letter: Wilmslow planning, politics, cycle ways and environmental impacts


The local elections last week were awash with predictable 'please all' promises. A Conservative leaflet promises to 'digitalise Wilmlsow,' whatever that means, and will make the town centre a 'vibrant place'. The local candidate couldn't tell me how, but you can be sure they are happy to spend our taxes on making this happen and all are 'listening' to what you say.

Improved cycling and walking in the town is another big vision. In August last year we were told Hawthorn Lane in Wilmslow will see through traffic restricted to cyclists and pedestrians to encourage cycling and improve access to the town centre. Nothing so far, which is a relief, as the road gives access to many houses and takes some pressure off the main road on Green Lane.

Unbalanced deference to the cycle lobby offers no consideration to older people unable and unwilling to cycle in cold wet weather. Cheshire East claims our town centres will be 'safer and more welcoming to visitors'. No mention where cyclists are expected to park their bikes securely.

For nearly five years our town has become a parking free-for-all as day commuters discovered no action would be taken if they used main roads to Wilmslow centre as car parks, obstructing through traffic, blocking cycle ways, parking on pavements and in residential roads. It took over two years for residents along Manchester Road to get a meeting with highways councillor Don Stockton to demand double yellow lines where people were parking on narrow access road corners. Yet still the main road has no restrictions, making it difficult to see fast moving traffic when exiting side roads.

A poorly publicised four-week consultation in March proposes developing a new cycleway on Manchester Road, Styal Road and Cliff Road this summer. The plan will ensure construction chaos, gridlock and environmental vandalism for local residents.

Manchester Road is a prime gateway into Wilmslow with a beautiful avenue of Copper Beech trees. It already has adequate cycleways that only need a low cost, common sense resolution to replace dashed white lines with solid white or yellow lines, making parking on the cycleway and pavement an offense, but the council is locked in a bureaucratic mindset that major changes are needed.

They now plan to install ugly orange or invisible black bollards along the boulevard, with breaks to allow access to side roads and residential properties. They claim pedestrian refuge crossing points by Dean Drive and Styal Road/ Manchester Road intersections need to be replaced by costly Puffin or Toucan crossings. People along Manchester Road know the road is generally easy to walk across and reducing the speed limit from 40 to 30mph would make things safer all round. Raised 'Bus Boarders' or bus lay-bys will also be built.

All this will create traffic queues as residents exit into side roads. But the plans go further. The cycleway will turn into Styal Road before turning down steep and narrow Cliff Road, which will be made one-way access for cars. More CO2-absorbing mature Beech trees will go. The wider Manchester Road still needs no-parking lines to the bottom and diverted traffic from Cliff Road will add to queues.

The council is now fixed on engineering environmental vandalism and traffic gridlock along prime gateway roads to the centre. It needs to think again.



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

Mike Hennessy
Wednesday 12th May 2021 at 2:45 pm
i would only comment that if you live on manchester road or one of the side streets between styal road and the garden centre, you had a leaflet put through your door by me encouraging you to vote during the consultation period. i missed out no-one !!
Gary Chaplin
Wednesday 12th May 2021 at 2:48 pm
Thinly veiled anti-cycling rant, riddled with typical inaccuracies, selfishness and NIMBY-isms.

Much (all?) of the cost if these schemes are met by central government in a 'use it or lose it' granted funding.

People of every generation cycle, under 10s to over 80s. Even for the non-cycling, the schemes bring increased pedestrian provision/safety.

Bike parking problems?? Which is harder to provide for, a 100 cycles or a 100 cars? Last times I checked, Wilmslow had a huge parking problem; cars, not bikes.

Traffic congestion? Every car you remove is 5-7 metres less road congestion.

Environmental Vandalism? Are you really using an environmental argument in support of car use Vs zero-emission/bike/walking? We all saw how much better our air quality became with less road use.

The schemes already in place have made Wilmslow a lot more cycle friendly, especially for young families. I can now ride with my young daughter right around Wilmslow with roads far more child-cyclist friendly, meaning our frequent trip to the shop is on two wheels, not four - we should be encouraging bike use at that age, not encouraging more cars making tiny journeys, creating the congestion & parking issues you speak of.

Above all else, in a society where obesity is becoming a drain on society of pandemic proportions, any encouragement to exercise should be warmly welcomed and provided for (as the recent study showed, a 10% increase in cycle use would equate to a £17bn saving to the NHS) and that is before one considers the actual environmental impact and societal benefit of reducing car use and promoting walking/cycling.

It strikes me the author is needlessly hot under the collar about someone potentially impinging on his 'right to drive'. Perhaps a nice bike ride would calm him down a little ;-)
Adrian Hackney
Wednesday 12th May 2021 at 4:13 pm
Well said Gary Chaplin, you’ve captured my thoughts entirely.
Jonathan Follows
Wednesday 12th May 2021 at 5:10 pm
I walk around Wilmslow and, by far, the hardest road for me to cross is Manchester Road between the public footpaths in the vicinity of the proposed Puffin or Toucan crossing.

The reasons is primarily the large number of cars and vans parked in the non-mandatory cycle lane which obscure my view of oncoming traffic. By the time I've ventured into the road to see what's coming, I'm putting myself in danger.

I agree that, for me, a solution could be either to stop vehicles parking in the cycle lanes or a pedestrian crossing, not necessarily both. But who should have priority here? Allowing traffic to whizz along unimpeded and probably in excess of the speed limit, or the pedestrian with slightly restricted mobility? What are our priorities in Wilmslow, and what should they be?
Mark Goldsmith
Wednesday 12th May 2021 at 5:21 pm
While I agree with Brain that we do not want cycling schemes to become draconian towards car users, Manchester Road has plenty of room for both cars and bikes to happily co-exist.

Regarding two of Brians main concerns about this scheme:

Concern 1
"Unbalanced deference to the cycle lobby offers no consideration to older people unable and unwilling to cycle in cold wet weather."

Concern 2
"It already has adequate cycleways that only need a low cost, common sense resolution to replace dashed white lines with solid white or yellow lines..."

In November 2012, 77 year old Margert Ward was killed on Manchester Road while cycling to her husbands grave at Wilmslow Cemetery. She cycled within the painted cycle lane but a car cut in front of her and clipped her front wheel, tragically sending her to her death. The car driver didn't even notice they had done it.

I therefore think this clearly disproves both of Brian's two main concerns.

This tragic case also highlights why physically segregating cyclists from other road users is so important. This segregation also means cars cannot park over the cycle lane, meaning it will always remain clear.

Unfortunately, it has taken 9 years since Mrs Ward's tragic death to get this safe cycle link to Handforth agreed. However, this represents seven years of the previous Conservative councillors doing nothing and two years of Residents of Wilmslow councillors getting this project designed, costed, funded, consulted and approved. And without costing Cheshire East rate payers a penny either.

So before anyone says they would prefer our potholes to be filled with this money, the scheme is being paid for by the governments Cycle Infrastructure fund. As the name implies, it only pays for cycling schemes, so we cannot use the money for anything else. Cheshire East pays to install the cycle lanes and the government then pays them back once the work is completed. Therefore, there is no money for potholes or any other road improvements we may also want.

Of the five similar cycling projects proposed across Cheshire East, this one received the highest number of residents supporting it and had very few objections as well. Therefore, with popular support for this plan, we hope to have it implemented later this year.

Cllr Mark Goldsmith
Residents of Wilmslow
Cheshire East & Wilmslow Town Council
James MacDonald
Wednesday 12th May 2021 at 8:19 pm
Well said Gary. I agree, instead of crying about cyclists, the anti-cyclists should get themselves a bicycle and discover the fresh air. When they’ve been cut up by a driver in the first 5 minutes they’ll understand the real menace on the road.
Terry Roeves
Thursday 13th May 2021 at 7:45 am
As a former cyclist, with the scars to prove it, you cannot control the actions of a motorist using her mobile and not looking where she is heading along Hawthorne Way. She never saw me, before or afterwards.
After 2 other controlled spills, I gave up.
However, there are many who do cycle safely in and around Wilmslow.
Let’s hope that cycling accidents become a thing of the past.
John Harries
Thursday 13th May 2021 at 11:12 am
The emerging schemes, particularly that proposed for Manchester Road are (IMHO) overblowing the issue and perhaps the partisan supporters/CEC administrators can explain right now what funding is devoted to maintaining/supporting existing and any new schemes.
As an example the existing scheme in Handforth (along the B5358) has all but disappeared, it's been utterly neglected (by CEC) since introduction almost 20 years ago via an earlier central government financial 'inducement' made to then MBC so plenty of blue sky thinking going into how we spend term limited new funding but naff all consideration as to how 'we' bother to keep them maintained or monitored. As an example of this CEC 'improvement thinking' (again in haste to utilise 'use it or lose it' other moneys) I give you the 'upgrade' made 2 years ago to the traffic light/junction of the B5358 Wilmslow Road/Station Road - an apparent throttling of the existing highway with what ultimately was intended to offer the improved 'safety' of a pedestrian refuge (mostly those using the 150M distant BR station) and customers entering/exiting the adjacent Freemasons Arms (a pub!); result, Handforth is now congested with thro' road traffic and this is before the proposed bus interchange/car park to be built 200M from the new junction (just beyond the rail station bridge) and the additional traffic generated by the 230 plus new domestic dwellings off Sagars Road - planning, you simply just couldn't make it up!
Finally, whether it's cycling or motor vehicles I will be utterly opposed to the wanton destruction of any of our beautiful (and environmentally useful/vital) historic trees (and I'm no tree hugger), they are a wonderful characteristic in many parts of Wilmslow, AE and Handforth and should cherish them - the planners certainly will not.
Brian Mcgavin
Thursday 13th May 2021 at 12:23 pm
'There are several things I can say in response to the comments on my opinion letter. First, Gary Chaplin claims it is a thinly veiled 'rant' riddled with typical inaccuracies, selfishness and NIMBY-isms and Much (all?) of the cost if these schemes are met by central government.

I have NOTHING against cycleways and as a concerned environmentalist fully support this way of travel. I have no idea what he is talking about when he says it is riddled with typical inaccuracies, selfishness and NIMBY-isms. Perhaps he would like to clarify?

I am against the years of council inaction in responding to residents concerns about parking and blocking the existing cycleway, when it only needed simple low-cost action to paint double yellow or solid white lines to legally enforce penalties for vehicles parking on the cycleway and pavement. I am against a 'grandiose' costly and unnecessary scheme that will add to traffic gridlock, destroy mature trees we need for absorbing carbon emissions and despoil a beautiful boulevard of trees on a gateway route to our town.

We all know that the costs are met by taxpayers, whether local or national, so claiming it won't impact council tax payers is bending realities. I question why after years of inaction a consultation many wouldn't notice, to implement an unnecessarily complex scheme is given just four weeks.

Mark Goldsmith says Manchester Road received the highest number of residents supporting the cycleway plan with very few objections. Small surveys can be driven by active lobby groups. Is he claiming the vast majority of residents along Manchester road are all in favour of costly redevelopment plans? As a resident just off the road I know from public meetings that all were concerned about parking on the existing cycleway and pavement and loss of visibility in exiting side roads. What is needed is to bring the 40mph limit down to 30mph - very simple.

The sad case he mentions of the elderly cyclist killed by a fast moving car 12 years ago is something we all deplore and very rare. The police need to crack down harder on mindless speedsters around our town. They also need to target many young cyclists we see who flit around at night with no lights and reflective clothing, where a motorist would immediately be pulled over.

We need a balanced common-sense approach using existing assets that can be implemented at little cost and disruption, not 'grandiose' schemes
Mark Goldsmith
Thursday 13th May 2021 at 5:19 pm
Hi Brian

I am a bit confused. You claim this was "A poorly publicised four-week consultation". However, it was announced on this web site in February 2021 and you even posted a comment on it:

Your comment back then only mentions one concern though:

"Now the council plans to spend taxpayers' money sticking ugly orange or invisible black bollards to designate the cycleway along an historic and beautiful copper beach boulevard."

I cannot help but think this is your real motive for this Readers Letter. You even use the same phrase "ugly orange or invisible black bollards" in this article too.

If the bollards were merely decorative, then I would agree with you. However, they are not and I vehemently disagree with you that their aesthetics takes priority over all else. They are there to provide a physical safety barrier between cyclists and traffic and not to just "designate the cycleway" as you say.

As for the other issues you now find important:

- No trees will be cut down, moved or even touched. The cycle lanes are only going on the existing roadway.

- Part of Manchester Road will become 30mph as you have requested.

- Double yellow lines do not stop vehicles parking on them. Stand outside Waitrose to see how they are ignored. Likewise, delivery drivers dropping off parcels ignore them too. Only the "ugly bollards" will ensure the cycleways are free of parked vehicles.

- The accident involving Mrs Ward was not due to speeding. It was careless driving by getting too close to the cyclist. "Ugly bollards" prevent this but the painted cycle lines you insist on do not.

Ultimately, your objection was 1 out of 241 comments submitted by local residents and the vast majority of them were in favour of this cycle scheme. Therefore, it is going to be installed with or without your personal approval on how the bollards look.
Brian Mcgavin
Friday 14th May 2021 at 12:38 pm
Mark, I only became aware of the four week consultation when a local resident pushed a letter through my door and I rang him. I then made a quick comment on the day before the 'consultation' closed. Like many people I am engaged on many other things and it was only when I spoke to a ROW town cllr, that I became aware of the full extent of these cycleway 'plans' There was no detail in the consultation letter of routing the cycleway along Styal Road and Cliff Road and restricting traffic to one-way to accommodate this. Styal road is also narrower than Manchester road and I don't see how you could accommodate a cycleway and existing pavements down this section without removing mature trees and constricting traffic.

The plan to add expensive Pelican or Toucan crossings in place of adequate pedestrian refuges, will add to more gridlock and emissions from traffic build up, exacerbated by all the housing development on greenbelt taking place and diverted traffic from the proposed one-way systems.

Residents adjoining Manchester road will face these issues on a daily basis in your determination to bulldoze this through after years of council inaction to implement a simple, common-sense solution. I despair of our town streetscapes littered with orange bollards, as black is too easily invisible to drivers momentarily diverted.

You say double yellow lines do not stop vehicles parking on them. Likewise, delivery drivers dropping off parcels ignore them too. Only the "ugly bollards" will ensure the cycleways are
free of parked vehicles. If CCTV cameras and wardens monitored this area and issued penalty tickets after cycleway parking was legally enforced by appropriate markings, drivers will soon realise illegal parking doesn't pay. Delivery drivers either need to be given a
few minutes exemption or turn into the many large driveways on Manchester road. Unless the ugly bollards are extremely robust they can be easily knocked over by a vehicle
touching them. If robust, they are likely to cause vehicle damage and delays. Have you an answer for this? You have avoided addressing other safety observations I made about unlit cyclists at night that can so easily cause accidents.

You say you had 241 comments submitted by local residents and the vast majority of them were in favour of this cycle scheme. In the interests of 'openness' it would be useful to have a proper breakdown of this as we already have a cycle scheme that has for years not been enforced by the council. How many 'positives' came from residents adjoining the cycleway and how many came from cycling lobbyists, for example? It is easy to say 'bigger, better' but the full implications of the 'grandiose' plan has consequence we may regret at our leisure. .
David Smith
Friday 14th May 2021 at 9:40 pm
A quick comment before I perhaps think of devoting some of my valuable lifetime remaining in order to 'rant on' further later!

So I now see why some apparently healthy trees have just been removed between Lacy Green and Manchester Road - probably in order to nab a bit of the grass verge and use it for the cycle lane. Or is this just coincidental?
The cycling connection out of Wilmslow towards Handforth is a major route and very difficult because of the steep gradient "down then up' - whether coming in to or out of town. So not appealing to cyclists on that account and also because of the 40mph legal limit [= vehicles going much faster and perhaps nearer 50mph because too many motorists don't seem to be able to follow the indications in front of their noses as to how fast they are actually going and equate this speed of their vehicle with that required by law]. I have ranted on for years that ADVISORY cycle lanes are a complete joke and allow any motorist to 'extract the urine' out of the law and police by parking in them for as long as they wish and even after sunset when they are required by law on this type of highway to display a parking light on their vehicle. How many motorists have been ‘booked’ for not doing so?
The original 'moan' was for residents of Manchester Road safely to exit their driveways onto the road, which was made very dangerous on account of the vehicles parked in the cycle lane or on the grass verge. A bit of white paint to convert the lane into a MANDATORY cycle lane would have done the job of removing the parked cars and made cycling easier and safer as well as meeting the very reasonable wishes of the residents. Double yellow lines wouldn’t be required but would have more authority. It would also put a modicum of faith in the Local Councillor system by which we residents should be 'governed' at local level and in our everyday lives. We have a local problem - the residents meet with their local councillor to discuss the issue - the councillor makes representations on behalf of the residents to the area council [Cheshire East Council] who are not elected in any shape or form and so DO NOT REPRESENT the residents and are in fact EMPLOYED by them through their taxes - council/income. Although I am sure someone will explain that our council employees are all paid directly from government finances in which case it has to be asked whether they are therefore controlled in a political way by the government of the day and so we local residents have no real say in what goes on outside our own front door or the streets of the place where we live.
The ONLY viable cycle route for Wilmslow-Handforth is a high-level cycle/pedestrian bridge across the bypass from the Summefields area and connecting with the path that runs alongside the railway line before both heading still at high level, underneath the railway arches towards the railway station, across Station Road and into the town centre by the Leisure Centre. Cost would be considerable but if we could set aside various monies over time towards such a project until enough finance is available we would one day have a fine solution to be proud of instead of an amateur attempt to solve an issue that we all want sorting that by comparison just looks like money has been chucked away and will most of the time seem like a bit of a waste on an inferior solution that hasn’t really solved much in the end.
All too often we identify a problem and these mysterious ‘consultations’ occur after which we are presented with a ‘solution’ and asked what we think about it. Which all sounds like a ‘fait accomplit ‘ and can’t be changed because all the materials have already been ordered and work is scheduled to start in a week.
What should happen is we identify an issue, the residents are all informed by their local councillor who actually goes round and knocks on doors, instead of just when they are after our votes, to see what we think. All our councillors could also be available for ‘ear bending’ or a natter at a stall on the Wilmslow Artisan Market that happens now and then. Lots of views and ideas for a solution to the issue are collected and ONLY THEN is a plan/solution formulated and presented to the residents based on OUR views for what WE want.
Simon Worthington
Sunday 16th May 2021 at 2:27 pm
Not much of a view either way although a cycle way you can park on does defy logic, but it is East Cheshire Council in charge!! Wilmslow, despite alternatives, is a major through route from east to west and back. It is entirely possible to ban heavy goods vehicles from travelling through Wilmslow and a campaign by our Council to encourage employers to employ and/or relocate locals to a place of work close to home could also remove a great deal of traffic and parking. The council (for many reasons, greed being one and naivety when dealing with savvy business men another) encouraged the mass building of offices in the town centre (often on the very parking they would require) far beyond the needs of locals which exacerbated the problem. The council have a chicken and egg with the "need" to create jobs and the "need" for those taking the jobs created to have housing or vice versa - we "need" neither. The disappearance of local shops away from the town centre as their business was gobbled up by supermarkets makes it very difficult to do a shop of any size if walking or cycling hence the car use!!
Great to mention obesity Gary, given that it is a major problem with covid. I am constantly surprised to still see them waddling about after a year or so to trim down and the sight of them stuffing their faces with fast food just after breakfast at yesterday's market was a picture. The enormous lump in Sainsbury's recently with a basket full of cakes got me to dump my two cream cakes!! The great reset will sort this as their card won't work when trying to buy unhealthy grub!!!
Brian Mcgavin
Tuesday 18th May 2021 at 1:45 pm
I agree with many of the comments made by David and Simon. The dogma local councils all use is the 'use it or lose it' panic near the end of the financial year that sees loads of works happening, when a more holistic approach recycling unused grants has long been needed.

By far the simplest and cheapest solution is to paint road markings on the existing cycleway to legally enforce vehicles parking there. Reducing the 40mph limit to 30mpg should have been done years ago in a built up area. But the council only pretended to listen to residents concerns. Now it wants to develop a scheme that will degrade the environmental landscape of our town so many residents value and cause further gridlock with unnecessary Toucan crossings and one-way systems.

Some in the cycle lobby see this 'grandiose' scheme as just the job, and cite traffic incidents from years back. Yet I see no concerns raised about invisible cyclists flitting around at night with no lights, or the new electric scooters weaving down our pavements and speed junkies on the bypass. Until the police intervene more visibly to deter this behavior, there will, sadly, always be accidents waiting to happen.
Gary Chaplin
Wednesday 19th May 2021 at 3:17 pm
Nothing against cycling? No inaccuracies? Come on Brian.

“Unbalanced deference to the cycling lobby?”
“No consideration to older people”?
Hawthorn plan not materialised ‘which is a relief”?
Parking problems in town for bikes?
"Cause further gridlock?"
Poorly publicised consultation?
Cycle schemes "ensure environmental vandalism”?

Your comments prove the current Manchester Road cycleway is NOT adequate. Aside from being too easy to block/park on, it offers no protection and being no more than cycling in the gutter, is just filled with road debris.

You say on one hand it is dangerous to pull out onto Manchester Road, then say it is easy to access/walk across?

You cite parking on cycle ways as a problem, then say they should just be repainted rather than adopt a scheme that would physically prevent?

Finally, the ‘cycling lobby’ as you see it a local residents. They have just as much right to protection and consideration as anyone, and certainly as any vehicle driver who sees their time and ease of driving as being more important. These cycle lanes are not geared toward the ’serious’ leisure cyclist, they who will go and ride 80/100/150km as a leisure pursuit, those riders will be close to car speed and avoid the gutter…, these schemes protect children, older people, those commuting a couple of miles by bike, those going to the shops by bike. Your neighbours, the townsfolk you appear to think you speak on behalf of.

Encouraging bike use from those who currently drive or use public transport should be a priority, for environmental concerns, congestion concerns, pollution concerns, wellbeing concerns and obesity concerns.

If you feel doubling the width of a cycle lane and providing a physical barrier as a tool of demarcation and protection would make driving down Manchester Road harder for vehicle users, then I would question your driving skills. That road is comfortably wide enough to take a decent lane, AND good sized traffic lanes.

Once again, the costs of this are not from the council budget, it is monies available from Central Government SOLELY for the use in such schemes, so again your ‘Dogma/Recycling Grants’ comment is another inaccuracy in this topic.

It is easy to throw in the comment of being a ‘concerned environmentalist’ but every word you have written goes against that, and at best just positions you as a crazed anti-cycling campaigner. Easy to throw in comments about "kids on scooters”/"speed junkies on the bypass” etc, but this is all seeking to distract and is irrelevant in this subject matter. What is relevant is the number of KSI stats, the bias towards cyclists and the causational factors behind those stats.

Come out on the bike with me Brian, even better, come out with me and my daughter, see what it is really like on the road when not surrounded by your comfortable meal box (that IS bad for the environment).
Brian Mcgavin
Friday 21st May 2021 at 12:04 pm
Gary, your 'rant ' is riddled with inaccuracies and spin. People are entitled to balanced opinion, which is what I presented. I REPEAT, I am all for cycle lanes, but not ones that are unnecessarily over-engineered and costly for our landscape and our taxes, when we have had a simple solution for years that the council, locked in procedural dogma, has ignored.

You imply I claim
No consideration to older people
All I said was that for many (older) people cycling is unrealistic as a transport solution.
Hawthorn plan not materialised which is a relief
If Hawthorn Rd had been closed to traffic it would divert more traffic to busy Green Lane.
Parking problems in town for bikes - I simply said secure bike parking needed addressing.
Cause further gridlock
The plan to close Hawthorne Road and build Toucan crossings on M/C Rd would lead to more gridlock on gateway routes into town.
Poorly publicised consultation. Considering the potential impact on the town. Yes!
Cycle schemes ensure environmental vandalism
Twisting words. Unnecessary destruction of mature trees is environmental vandalism when they absorb emissions and add to our landscape - one of Wilmslow’s great assets.

Your comments prove the current Manchester Road cycleway is NOT adequate. Aside from being too easy to park on, it offers no protection and being no more than cycling in the gutter, is just filled with road debris.
It is NOT cycling in the gutter as you claim, but currently blocked with vehicles. I live adjacent to Manchester Rd and it is dangerous to pull out as vision of oncoming traffic is blocked.
You say on one hand it is dangerous to pull out onto Manchester Road, then say it is easy to walk across.
But it is easy to walk across via the central refuge most times as you have clear vision. I do this every day.

You ignore other valid cycle safety points I made on failure to target cyclist with no lights at night and the increasing number of youths on e-scooters weaving at speed on pedestrian pathways. They are pedestrian collisions waiting to happen, with over 230 incidents this year according to national news They are illegal in the UK unless used on private land or hired from a registered e-scooter company of which there are none in the area.

Attention has now turned to the cycleway on Alderley Road formally opened by the council this week For weeks works have been going on to widen the paving on one-side, but the designated cycleway is already confusing people. The road still shows a white cycle (?) marking on one side with intermittent double yellow lines while the widened other side is confusingly unclear whether this is a shared pedestrian/cycleway. There are no bollards, making the designation inconsistent with the plans for Manchester Rd. And how much did all this cost?
Gary Chaplin
Monday 24th May 2021 at 10:44 am
No, your rant was and still is riddled with inaccuracies. Your bias against cycling is quite obvious.

Claiming more cycles will bring more congestion and more parking problems?
Claiming it offers "no consideration to older people?"
Claiming it "ensures environmental vandalism”

You then try and hide behind the irrelevancies of e-scooters that are not bikes, not legal and nothing to do with cycle lanes, and complaints about idiots riding at night without lights (which whilst wrong, is nothing to do with the existence of a cycle lane).

As for the injuries to pedestrians, over 99% of those are caused by a motorised vehicles (KSI stats 2019). Cycle lanes would help the minority of incidents. More cycling might also help the 40,000 deaths attributed to road pollution.

As for the Alderley scheme, you hate bollard on your road, but lament the lack of them on Alderley Road? NIMBY?

My offer still stands Brian, join me on the road, you might like it. It might lighten you up a little as well as educate ;-)
Brian Mcgavin
Wednesday 26th May 2021 at 12:36 pm
Gary, you really love to twist and conflate words to suit you view claiming my 'rant' was and still is riddled with inaccuracies. And my bias against cycling is quite obvious. This is pure misinterpretation that would be libellous in court. I admire your cycling advocacy, but think before you wilfully misrepresent what I said.

Claiming more cycles will bring more congestion and more parking problems and Claiming it "ensures environmental vandalism” I never said more cycles will bring more congestion and parking problems in itself. I said grossly over complex re-engineering with Toucan crossings and one-way roads to accommodate wide cycleways will cause more road congestion (and emissions from car queue traffic) with degraded tree landscapes on the route. Compared to this we have a cheap and simple to enforce remedy to stop vehicles blocking the existing cycle way by painting white or double yellow lines. Something that should have been done
years ago.
Claiming it offers "no consideration to older people?" I never said cycle lanes offer no consideration to older people. Please stop repeating this. I said that cycle lanes are not a practical alternative for many older people.

You then try and hide behind the irrelevancies of e-scooters that are not bikes. You say this is all about road safety and then dismiss e-scooters and cyclists without lights at night as irrelevant.
As for the Alderley scheme, you hate bollard on your road, but lament the lack of them on Alderley Road? NIMBY? Conflating words again Gary!

I object to bollards defacing our environment on gateway routes into our town. Like many commentators on the Alderley Rod section, I said the grossly expensive £1 million scheme here was confusing and why were orange bollard deemed necessary for the Manchester road section but not on Alderley Road?
Gary Chaplin
Wednesday 26th May 2021 at 3:12 pm
Brian, the only conflation is yours. All I've done is directly quote what you've said.

Intentional or not, you just appear to be moaning for the sake of moaning whilst avoiding every query about your comments. If you're not in politics, your skills of twisting and re-writing comments to suit your changing narrative suggest you have missed your calling.

Alas, your variant of logic is rife within our council, hence why nothing ever gets achieved.
Robert Taylor
Tuesday 6th July 2021 at 8:17 am
Gary Chaplin, keep it up you have my full support.

Councillor Goldsmith and Brian Mcgavin, unfortunately the last 75 years of car biased transport policy in favour of the car has created an intolerable mainstream draconian and bias against people who cycle and walk. This policy is now also damaging those who run local businesses and live in neighbourhoods harmed by excess through traffic and inappropriate car parking.

The default mode of travel for short trips should be on foot but people have generally become addicted to the private car and because of this harm the freedoms and the health of others. Generally, I am in favour of any measures that make car use considerably more difficult in urban areas. The measures made in Wilmslow (and elsewhere in the UK) are positive but do not go far enough so, contrary to the emphasis of the article, actually there is much to complain about the lack of immediate action from government at all levels and individuals to curb car misuse.