Public meeting to discuss A34 issues re-scheduled

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A public meeting announced last month to discuss speeding and anti-social behaviour on the A34 in Wilmslow and Alderley Edge has been re-scheduled.

Having received lots of correspondence from local residents about the issues the community faces, Police and Crime Commissioner John Dwyer has announced a new date for his public meeting following the Wilmslow Dean Row by-election.

The meeting will now be held on Thursday 23rd September from 6.30pm to 8pm at Wilmslow Parish Hall, Cliff Road, Wilmslow, SK9 4AA.

The meeting will include representatives from Cheshire Constabulary, Cheshire East Council's Highways Department and local elected representatives.

John Dwyer said: "I want to thank the local community for their patience, whilst we waited for the by-election to take place. This is an important issue and I want to make sure we address residents' concerns. A number of residents have highlighted the speeding and anti-social behaviour that is taking place on the A34 between Wilmslow and Alderley Edge. Nobody should have to live with the types of issues the residents are describing and some are concerned that the behaviour will eventually lead to an accident or worse.

"I'm conscious that numbers at the meeting will be limited as we want to ensure everyone feels comfortable as the UK continues to emerge from the Coronavirus pandemic, but I'd urge you, if you can't attend the meeting and want to get something off your chest, then please get in touch with me and share your views. The more information and questions I can put to the panel at the meeting, the better the outcome."

You can reserve your place here: A34 Public Meeting Tickets, Thu 23 Sep 2021 at 18:30 | Eventbrite

If you'd like to submit a question in advance, please email [email protected] with the subject: A34 public meeting.

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Comments

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

Stuart Redgard
Sunday 5th September 2021 at 11:34 pm
Don't bother trying to book a seat. The event is already sold out! I will be asking the PCC to find a larger venue. Let's see if he agrees.
Stuart Redgard
Sunday 5th September 2021 at 11:54 pm
Dear Office of the PCC.

I refer to your press release published on Friday 3 September 2021

I have just tried to book a seat only to find that the event is already sold out (See attachment).

There is obviously greater demand for this event than you anticipated. Are you planning to find an alternative larger venue or will the meeting go ahead as planned?

How are you proposing to include those members of the public who wanted to attend but are not able to do so in person? This being either due to it being “sold out”, or not wishing to attend a public meeting in person due to the risk associated to their health due to the current world wide pandemic?

Are you proposing to “live stream” it over the internet and if not why not?
David Smith
Monday 6th September 2021 at 7:23 am
Stuart Redgard: Why do you want to attend? You replied on the 4th August to this posting…

https://www.wilmslow.co.uk/news/article/21768/police-commissioner-calls-public-meeting-to-discuss-a34-issues?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newsletter1323

…that you had visited Alderley Edge twice and not noticed any 'plastic cars' so the 'problem' was perhaps not as perceived by others who have concerns and posted comments over the recent past.

What you don't appreciate is that the 'boy racer' noise issue is along the A34 by-pass as it runs through Wilmslow [not Alderley Edge] beside Summerfields and towards the roundabout with Melrose Way. This noise nuisance was particularly bad on Sunday 5th September 2021 for all of the afternoon and into the evening. As some would believe - unelected councillor Frank McCarthy and RoW Mark Goldsmith - the manufacturers of this disturbing racket are not motorbikes but mostly cars that have one thing in common. This is a modified exhaust created to produce more noise and driven in such a manner as to make as much of it as possible in the manner of a Formula 1 racing driver as they negotiate the collection of roundabouts along this stretch of road. The 'boy racers' seem to be encouraged in the pursuit of their passion whenever there is an F1 race occurring.

So if you don’t get a ticket to attend it won’t matter as you don’t seem able to contribute towards a sensible discussion on the nature of the problem that is affecting so many other residents of the town where you live and who want something done.

It is a good start that the new Police Commissioner has got a ball rolling and inviting residents who understand the nature of the problem to express their views and hopefully amongst us all come up with some ideas of what to do.

It is expected that councillor Craig Browne by dint of his position as Councillor for the residents of Alderley Edge will be representing their views but ALSO as the deputy leader of Cheshire East Council AND as leader of the Independent Group AND as Chair of the Highways and Transport Committee, will present to the meeting his findings of the requested evaluation of ‘noise cameras’ as have been successfully used by councils in other parts of the country. His contribution will only be pertinent as far as the noise nuisance in the main street of Alderley village as he has stated on Wilmslow.co.uk that he does not see this noise intrusion along the A34 as his responsibility. I expect therefore that our Wilmslow councillors will fill that void and represent the long-time irritated feelings of the folk that they have been elected to represent and whose views on this topic they surely must have gathered - if not only very recently whilst out canvassing for their votes in the recent Dean Row ward.

I am sure Lisa Reeves will present a full rundown of the meeting in a future Wilmslow.co.uk posting so you will then be able to catch up with what was discussed.
Mark Goldsmith
Monday 6th September 2021 at 10:38 am
@David Smith

I was at Handforth Dean yesterday afternoon and lingered to see what vehicles were making all the noise. I could hear them before I could see them and about 80% were motorbikes. None of them were speeding though as they made their racket when going round the roundabout.

This reflects similar problems I regularly see (and hear) in the Peak District when visiting my mother-in-law and recently when on holiday in Snowdonia. The tranquillity of these areas is routinely broken every few minutes by the high pitched shrieking of motorbikes.

Motorbikes also explains why the noise problem is always worse on sunny days (like yesterday) and not on wet weekends (like the recent ones). Invariably, wet conditions and slippery roads make it uncomfortable for motorbikes, so they stay in the garage.

We should also stop thinking this is a generational issue too. These are not just boy racers. The tragic fatality at Handforth recently involved a Harley Davidson rider who was 70 years old. I also saw several vintage cars in town yesterday making a huge racket that were driven by people of pensionable age. Therefore, this is a mindset, not an age specific issue.

The drivers age and vehicle type is immaterial though. It's the excessive noise that is the problem and the law needs to solely address this aspect. We can't play music excessively loudly because it spoils peoples right to the peaceful enjoyment of their property, so why are vehicles any different?

However, excessive music noise carries a maximum fine of £20,000 but excessive vehicle noise carries a maximum fine of only £1,000. Vehicle noise is also harder to prosecute because it is harder to gather the evidence. This means it is extremely unlikely offenders will be caught and if they are, then a few hundred pounds in fines is largely irrelevant. It is no deterrent. It's also not a great incentive for the police to focus on either, given they have so many other demands on their time.

Therefore, what is needed is a change in the law, so that the UK adopts similar regulations to Australia's 'Hoon' Laws. These allow the courts to prosecute more easily and to quickly ramp up fines for persistent offenders. They can even crush vehicles. So the law can't be ignored and their courts can fix the problem one way or another.

But this will need a change of law by parliament though. However, I believe this is a national problem for many, many people. Recently, after widespread outcry, the government very quickly changed the law regarding the theft of pets. So they can do it, when they want to.

Therefore, I will be asking Craig Browne who meets each month with all five of Cheshire East MP's to write to the Department for Transport, along with the PCC to request the law on excessive vehicle noise is greatly strengthened.

It is long overdue that Parliament says society will not accept excessive vehicle noise and we give the police real powers to enforce the publics wishes.


Cllr Mark Goldsmith
Residents of Wilmslow
Cheshire East & Wilmslow Town Council
Stuart Redgard
Tuesday 7th September 2021 at 9:25 pm
Dear Mr Redgard,

Thank you for your email regarding the Commissioner’s meeting later this month.

We’re happy that people have expressed an interest in attending and we want to ensure that people can be safe given the ongoing pandemic. The venue for the meeting is the largest and most appropriate in terms of safety and location, given the time constraints the OPCC had after having to reschedule the initial meeting.

We are discussing capacity with the venue and it’s likely that tickets will become available closer to the time, so we’re more than happy to add you to our waiting list and will be able to advise further next week on whether we’re able to register further attendees.

There are currently no plans to livestream the meeting, however we’ll be keeping a close eye on demand and are keeping all options open. As things stand we have asked people who are unable to attend if they’d like to submit a question in advance, and we will also be providing a meeting summary after the meeting to those who have expressed an interest, so that people are clear as to next steps. We’ll also follow up on any queries or unanswered questions after the meeting.
Stuart Redgard
Tuesday 7th September 2021 at 9:37 pm
@David Smith.

You must have therefore heard the Triumph TR6 that I was driving behind that made one hell of a racket as in drove through Wilmslow Town Centre on Monday afternoon.
Stuart Redgard
Tuesday 7th September 2021 at 9:47 pm
@David Smith

FYI

Sent on 14th August 2021
For the attention of

Mr John Dwyer - Police & Crime Commissioner
Chief Constable Mark Roberts - Cheshire Constabulary
Councillor Craig Brown - Chair of Highways & Transport Committee, Cheshire East Council


Prior to the announcement of a public meeting to discuss speeding and anti-social behaviour on the A34 in Wilmslow and Alderley Edge, I asked Wilmslow Town Council if it was possible to install the Speed Indication Devices (SID) that they own on this section of Road. The purpose being, to gain actual and reliable data rather than relying on hearsay and innuendo about the actual speed of vehicles. Their response was as follows.


The Town Council has always tried to work with the Police in its use of the Speed Indication Devises that we have owned. Locations have in the past been identified by ourselves and at other times they have been at the request of the police. Over the years we have had many conversations with the police, usually at PCSO level, regarding the siting of SID's and from those conversations we know that they favor devises being placed in 30mph areas. When Cheshire East Highways installed up to half a dozen of these devises around the town (including Styal Road, Adlington Road, Macclesfield Road and Knutsford Road) they also took the view that 30pmh roads were the most appropriate and effective locations.

Whilst it is technically possible to install a SID on the A34 the Town Council would not do so without the blessing of or at the request of the Police and Cheshire East Highways, indeed we would not consider it safe to install the devise on this road without the appropriate safety measures that Cheshire East Highways would use when dealing with any work undertaken on the verge. Should these bodies request use of our equipment for whatever purpose then we will consider each request on its merits with an underlying attitude of wishing to work collaboratively with them.

Could I suggest that you consider my suggestion or use some other means to gather reliable and verifiable data before the meeting is held?

I have no doubt that members of the public will also be raising the question of the number of accidents and fatalities on the A34 Handforth, Wilmslow, and Alderley Edge Bypass at this meeting. I, therefore, suggest that the police make available information relating to the Road Traffic Units report on the cause of each accident/fatality. I suspect that most people will automatically assume that they were caused by speeding rather than the actual causes determined by the RTU investigations.

Regards

Stuart Redgard
Roger Bagguley
Wednesday 8th September 2021 at 2:03 pm
Admittedly I have not been venturing out over recent times but have started doing so. I observe an increase in the number of motor bikes and very flash sports cars running around. The flash cars at weekends when the enthusiasts are out with their cameras. The exhaust noise created is a real intrusion in to the lives of those living close to the A34 and Prestbury Road/Hough Lane as cruising vehicles use this circular route.

Speeding has become an issue on A34 and along the Prestbury Relief Road. The A34 in particular has become a raceway with two or three fast but ordinary saloon drivers enjoying the sport. When driving this road one has to keep a careful eye in the rear view mirrors. It is no longer safe to move early into the outside lane when approaching a roundabout. These guys are driving fast, well in excess of 70mph.
Terry Roeves
Wednesday 8th September 2021 at 2:04 pm
Just gets back to effective real time policing - speed cameras and heavy fines. Add a noise meter as well to catch any one exceeding the statutory noise levels. It’s used on race days at Castle Donington - fail and you are banned for the day.
What is there talk about? In this case, actions really will speak better than words.
Simon Worthington
Wednesday 8th September 2021 at 2:37 pm
Unfortunately I didn’t have the pleasure of listening to the first world problem of”super car noise” on Sunday 5th September as it was drowned out by screaming kids, garden machinery and barking dogs!! If we are on noise issues, is it necessary to have music blaring out all day on market day?
Nick Jones
Thursday 9th September 2021 at 2:00 pm
I think the stationary vehicles on A34 and Prestbury Link (from three directions) into WHS have been forgotten in prioritising remedial action.
Beatrice Turler
Thursday 9th September 2021 at 3:28 pm
@Mark Goldsmith I am sure you did not intend this, but your comment about the recent tragic fatality implies that the victim contributed to the excessive noise made by motorbikes. You do not know this. Please do not tar all bikers, old or young, with the same brush. In my experience as a horse rider, many of them are among the most considerate of all road users.
Stuart Redgard
Tuesday 14th September 2021 at 11:08 pm
#David Smith. You have been very quiet since my posts responding to your comment. I wonder why?
Manuel Golding
Wednesday 15th September 2021 at 1:02 pm
Despite the popular misconception that speed alone is the issue along the A34 (Wilmslow & Alderley Edge by-pass, neighbourhoods of the road suffer from intrusive vehicle exhaust noise every weekend & sometimes throughout the weeks. These adult car drivers with pee-brains that encourage them to act like children regularly behave in an anti-social way, ensuring their soupedup vehicles make as much exhaust noise as possible. Their driving performances are also extreemly dangerous, including tail-gatting, cutting up other cars, undertaking, overtaking dangerously, nil use of traffic signals, multi vehicle overtaking etc. By the way, ultra noisy motorbike riders also add their quota of these stuntsand noise.
I wonder what is these drivers psychological problem?; Do they crave onlookers, what was in their formative years' childhood, are they happy at home that they have to crave seeking public attention?
Rather than the police asking drivers for their licence details, maybe they need to show their I.Q. quota.That will give a better guide to their competance to be allowed free-rein on public roads.
We know the technology exists to monitor exhaust noise levelsand is being used by other police forces and councils to photo and record the supposed offenders with decibel count,number plate details and dated photos. The fines for noise offences are very low but there is more than one way to skin a rabbit (so I'm told)-the police need to ensure these drivers' lives are a missery to such an extent they will realise they either go elsewhere to play or alter their vehiclnoise levels. How about a spin around Oulton Park race circuit every weekend, under police supervision (rather like "community service")? The legislation exists, let's use it to improve our community's ives.
John Harries
Wednesday 15th September 2021 at 2:48 pm
Dave Smith,
The meeting convened by the Cheshire PCC was supposed to be a PUBLIC meeting. Most of the complaints come from the public which then appears to stimulate councillors.
I equate road speeds/excess noise together as a public nuisance and danger.
The reactions from the public at large underpin the fact that there are issues around the local dual carriageway sections of the A34 (including the AE section which sadly is a proven dangerous single carriagway) and the A555.
Data gathering concerning these highways should have taken place long ago but to anyone resident in Alderley Edge, Wilmslow and Handforth it's clearly evident what's going on and what most people want (nay demand) is some positive action to bring the generally agreed antisocial/dangerous activities of (IMHO), mainly speeding motorists, to an end.
It's not rocket science, simply put, the prevailing speed limitations need to be enforced.
I have no idea regarding costs but temporary speed averaging camera systems are one obvious solutions (whilst placing the slightest of obligations on our present police resources). These can be hired and erected quickly/safely and thereafter monitoring, administration and legal pursuit of culprits become the on-going cost items - done assiduously it can probably be self funding.

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