Bypass pumping station is 'damaged beyond repair'

As many local residents will have noticed a section of the A34 bypass, between Prestbury Road and Alderley Road, remains closed due to flooding.

Pendleton Way has been shut since Storm Barra brought severe winds and heavy rain on Wednesday 8th December.

Yesterday Councillor Craig Browne inforned us "As a result of the sheer volume of rainwater we have experienced locally following the two recent storms, the pumping station that services the northbound carriageway has failed and is damaged beyond repair (the pumping station is serviced regularly under contract with a third party).

"CE Highways are currently considering how to resolve this issue utilising temporary pumps, although an effective long term solution is likely to be complex. It is anticipated that Pendleton Way will reopen tomorrow (Tuesday); however, this is dependent upon no further significant rainfall overnight."

Sally Hirst, who could not understand why such an important road has only two workers getting it open, sent us the above photos taken whilst walking her dog at 10.50am this morning (Tuesday, 14th December).

She said "The bypass had less water lying on it than Alderley Road. 2 men were working on the bypass, one man in a tractor and one man looking over the bridge at water being pumped by the tractor. Dirt was on the road and central reservation.

"Why was the road not being cleaned for opening? Is the tractor also pumping the new lake on the business site that is being constructed?

"At that time an ambulance had to travel into Wilmslow past heavy standing traffic.

"Why not a ditch/pipe to Whitehall Brook, why a pump? Why do we rely on pumps so heavily when roads were constructed with gravity drainage during the industrial revolution?"

Updated 15th December 2021: A spokesperson for Cheshire East Council said: "The Pendleton Way section of the A34, between Prestbury Road and Alderley Road, has been closed in both directions after the high volume of water from two recent storms and a fallen tree caused serious, irreparable damage to the pumping station at Whitehall Brook.

"Cheshire East Council's highways teams were on site throughout the weekend emptying the gullies and sweeping the large amount of mud and debris deposited by the flood water. Workers have been on site at the pumping station to assess the damage and install temporary pumps, which will enable the water to be cleared and the road to reopen, hopefully, later today.

"A long-term solution is likely to be complex due to the extent of the damage to the pumping station. We thank people for their patience in this matter."

Tags:
A34 Bypass
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Comments

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

Ade Whitaker
Tuesday 14th December 2021 at 3:29 pm
"Sheer volume of water" blah blah blah. We've heard it all before over the past few years. Wake up and smell the coffee. We have a climate emergency right now. It needed planning for (which it wasn't) and it now needs dealing with effectively (which it isn't being). @Sally raises some good questions - the response to this incident has been woefully inadequate. The road has been closed way too long with way too few resources allocated to re-opening it. Do any of those responsible actually live round here? Do they have to battle with the constant flooding or get stuck in gridlocked roads on a regular basis ? How can a pumping station which has one purpose in life, to prevent the road from flooding when it rains a lot, fail beyond repair when it rains a lot ? Sounds like whoever signed the contract for this road and its pump was sold a pup. Is anyone anywhere being hauled over the coals for these failings ?
Nick Jones
Tuesday 14th December 2021 at 5:13 pm
Whilst no fault of the current CEC regime, The ousted administration with their propensity for green belt decimation, removed the adjacent land from Green belt protection allowing further development...and water / drainage problems., which have yet to exacerbate this problem. Water always finds its own level... I think we have also determined the same from those initially charged with protecting our environment who dropped the baton of responsibility to those now in elected office to pick up and resolve with their duty of care to sort this mess out. Alderley Road hasnt been resolved in donkeys years, I suspect the Gondola's may be on Pendleton Lake for a while longer..
Mark Goldsmith
Tuesday 14th December 2021 at 5:39 pm
The pump was installed in 1996 and despite being regularly serviced, it is 25 years old and has reached the end of its life. The recent storm and its prolonged use has burnt it out and it is beyond repair.

This part of the A34 goes under the railway line, so the water storage tanks are positioned at the lowest point in the area. This means gravity won't drain them away, which is why a pump is needed.

All the surface water has been repeatedly pumped off the road since Thursday but ongoing rain means the flooding quickly returns. This has kept the road closed. Temporary pumps to drain the large attenuation tanks are now being installed, which should provide an ongoing fix. These are planned to be installed today (Tuesday) and the road re-opened.

These temporary pumps have to be housed in a container to secure them though, otherwise they could be stolen. Unfortunately, the only space available for the container is on the road, which means closing one of the north bound carriageways. This is not ideal, but it does mean the other three lanes can reopen indefinitely until a new pump is installed. This is a priority but the pump capacity needs to be re-evaluated, the pump sourced, procured, manufactured, shipped and installed. At the moment, it is not known how long this will take but it is likely to be several months.

Cllr Craig Browne lives in Alderley Edge, while your local councillors live locally too, so we are all inconvenienced by this as well. However, as you may appreciate, this is an exceptional problem and it has taken time to engineer a solution.


Cllr Mark Goldsmith
Residents of Wilmslow
Wilmslow West & Chorley
Tony Haluradivth
Tuesday 14th December 2021 at 7:03 pm
Craig Browne needs to insist Ringway Jacob has the crack team of SEVERAL people on this now. It is insulting to have 2 hapless guys trying to drain it today. This closure made the Traffic reports (top of traffic reports) yesterday on Classic FM, Radio 4 and LBC and Talk radio's AM shows
Shaun Waugh
Tuesday 14th December 2021 at 10:31 pm
I am a bit confused about the word pump. It should read pumps. In a situation like this, there should be a duty and standby pump to allow for changing over for maintenance / failure. In industry, this would be the norm.
Perhaps the decision of 'what would happen about a failure' was not considered on financial grounds.
Will it be considered now?
David Pearce
Wednesday 15th December 2021 at 7:42 am
Shouldn't some of the well publicised local boy racers be expected to volunteer their clean up services - maybe they could be encouraged by creating a new pit stop somewhere along Pendleton Way.
Andrew Backhouse
Wednesday 15th December 2021 at 3:00 pm
I hope it gets more people to use the train because at least that parallels much of the A34 - the climate emergency caused by our excessive use of cars and planes does not help the situation - and there are things we can all do about it (though I am not sure that the government is doing much leading on it....)
Elaine Kinghorn
Wednesday 15th December 2021 at 3:10 pm
Why would we want more people on the trains with coronavirus. They are already packed out with people who don't adhere to the rules
Simon Rodrigues
Wednesday 15th December 2021 at 3:22 pm
This adds greater concern to me. As clearly councillors understand the cause, so why on earth give planning permission for a business park which will only add to the problem. Would love to see the maintenance schedule for these pumps as most services are cut, council Tax rises year on year and council workers paid good money to drink tea and eat biscuits. Wow dont they spend thousands of pounds on fire exit lighting on a church that hasn’t and still isn’t used for over 10 years. The church sits in ruins with all the electric off now, tell me how is that money well spent? Another one people apply for planning to build an extension in a conservation area and they go ahead and start building it without waiting for consent. Why? Because you take so long to get from behind your desk and stop them. What do we pay you for? To protect us, to enhance our living all you do is create more stress to people this isn’t politics, its some kind of comedy sketch.
Graham Cork
Wednesday 15th December 2021 at 3:33 pm
I would like a breakdown from CEC highways and their contractor's of when these pumps were actually serviced and the interval of inspections. Personally I doubt this record will be available. CEC highways have not really inspected the A34 or the A555 infrastructure since they were constructed as there have never been road closures for any inspections which would be required under health and safety to allow any safe inspections/servicing.

The whole of the A34 and the A555 under CEC is seen as an outpost for the CEC highways department in my opinion and has never been maintained.
Simon Atkins
Wednesday 15th December 2021 at 3:50 pm
It's probably the wrong type of water...
Ludo McGurk
Wednesday 15th December 2021 at 4:21 pm
This sounds like a grand version of the domestic boiler or washing machine with a very minor fault that the nice engineer chappy decrees "sorry madam but it can't be fixed and you need a new one." These pumps are heavy machinery and it is highly implausible that they cannot be repaired; 25 years is young in the life of such equipment. Does anyone have details of what exactly is "burned out?"
Roger Bagguley
Wednesday 15th December 2021 at 4:22 pm
It is clearly the case any Government or local council needs to be always planning for the future. Growth seems to be the religion followed by all. Thus, if you rely on a pump, this must suffice well into the future and a second pump will click in whenever there is a need. This will be the case in any system which could fail. There is always an emergency provision.

At local planning level there are other examples: with or without Covid and working from home, Wilmslow is designed to grow in line with the Local Plan. Thus, it is inevitable pre Covid parking problems will return with the need for a multi storey car park on Broadway Meadow. Why then is this being stalled to reassess need? It is called pre planning for growth. Every successful business regards this as a necessity so why not CEC? I feel the current Wilmslow councillors all agree.
Kristina Hulme
Wednesday 15th December 2021 at 4:33 pm
Thank you for your concise response and understanding of the complex issues . We will have to be patient and reorganise our journey at this difficult time .
Tony Haluradivth
Wednesday 15th December 2021 at 6:27 pm
Andrew Backhouse your response is puerile. Go and see St Greta and polish the virtue signalling halos. The trains are a), expensive. B) beset with woes and strikes (Northern Rail early last year), and C) can be very unreliable especially in the winter when the weather is rougher. Emergency vehicles need roads as do the myriad deliverly drivers and HGV drivers delivering you "stuff". And as another commenter pounted out , during these times of covid folk are coming off public transport in droves
Kristina Hulme
Wednesday 15th December 2021 at 8:36 pm
Thank you for your concise response and understanding of the complex issues . We will have to be patient and reorganise our journey at this difficult time .
Stuart Redgard
Wednesday 15th December 2021 at 8:40 pm
#Shaun Waugh

I too am a bit confused about the word pump. Either Mark has been misinformed that there are actually two pumps that have both failed or the "bean counters value-engineered" the design to a single pump.

What is happening now could well be the repercussions voiced by the engineers at the time if the "bean counters" did decide that only a single pump was used on financial grounds.
Stuart Redgard
Wednesday 15th December 2021 at 8:44 pm
# Simon Rodrigues

Which church are you talking about or am I missing the point?
Simon Rodrigues
Thursday 16th December 2021 at 8:10 am
Church Chapel Wilmslow.
Mark Goldsmith
Thursday 16th December 2021 at 10:19 am
I have asked further and there was a primary and a back-up pump. They were serviced by a specialist third party company as we do not have this skill in-house. Therefore, there is an independent and audited trail for this work.

The rainwater holding tanks are 5m deep and an alarm sounded when they were getting full and not emptying. Highways staff were on site within 30 minutes but it was too late. The area had flooded and the pump room was underwater. This has contributed to the irreparable damage of the whole site.

@Simon Rodrigues – I am not aware Cheshire East owns any disused churches, so please
name this site.

I share your concerns about the proposed business park nearby but it was granted planning permission by our predecessors. The plans include large water storage tanks that will feed rainwater into the drainage system at a slower rate than now. Therefore, it will supposedly improve the current situation and was a key reason why it gained planning permission. We cannot undo that decision now though, as UK law just does not allow it.

Neither is it unlawful to start building work without planning permission. In my experience our enforcement team visit unapproved sites quickly to monitor and advise. However, they are not judge and jury on the application and there needs to be a planning decision for them to enforce. Therefore, most disputed work has to go through the planning process to establish if there is a problem or not. It means any building work starting early runs the risk of it being undone later (at the applicants expense) but it is not unlawful to take this risk. It means imposing justice on unapproved sites is often a slow process but this is a failure of UK planning law, not of Cheshire East.

Your comment that our staff just sit around drinking tea and eating biscuits is also not true. I see all the hard work being done behind the scenes to transform how the council operates as it fast becomes a far more transparent and responsive organisation.

Much of this work is in areas you will probably never encounter though. Ofsted's latest report on our children’s care services is a good example (link below). It shows the significant improvements being made in how we care for vulnerable children:

https://reports.ofsted.gov.uk/provider/44/80447

I've gone off topic though, so back to the main thread. I have been told the A34 is scheduled to reopen this afternoon.
Mark Goldsmith
Thursday 16th December 2021 at 10:42 am
@graham cook

All Wilmslow's councillors get notification of the legal orders needed to close roads. I get one for the A34 every few months, so the council can undertake its routine inspections and maintenance work.

However, they involve a single lane closure during the day, so are usually not noticed unless you happen to be driving there at the time.

For your information, the next closures are scheduled for 10th and 11th January.

I do despair though, why some people want to invent council failures without even a shred of evidence to support their claim?
Manuel Golding
Thursday 16th December 2021 at 10:42 am
live adjacent to Whitehall Brook, south of the Whitehall Bridge. When CCC contemplated the Alderley Edge By-Pass. I raised my concerns to the beook overflowing as a consequence of building a road on the existing faields which acted in part to disperce rain water.As it was the Brook would overflow during heavy rains & would floof over into the fields & Alderley Golf Course.My concerns as to more severe flooding was sunnarily dismissed by the self proclaimed Cheshire Council highways "experts" including the by-pass road builders. There answer was to build a few ponds on the fields to accomodate "excess" water, also a disruptive tank just south of the Whitehall Bridge - we were assured by CCC this tank would be serviced/flushed of collected debree regularly (I think every 4 mths or so was the "plan". Well, the "plan" has not worked for at least 10 years as noone has attempted to clean the tank (must now be choked with refuse).
At the time it struck me that one didnot need a degree in water flow maintanance.I was dismissed as a nuisance by those "experts". The Whitehall Brook still overflows but not into the fields but ibto our gardens. This was long before the Royal London flooding of Alderley Road - I now understand United Urilities & RL are trying to reduce flooding on the RL site by pumping that site;s water into the Whitehall Brook - before any remedial work is contemplated on the Brook. In the past 30 or 49 years the river authority (whichever one I don;t remember) use to dredge the brook,clearing it of obstructions & the channel. Such dredging needs doing again and now before we experience even worse flooding of our properties.
I will be writing to Cheshire East Council, the Environment Agency (it suppoesdly manages rivers) and UU putting them all on notice they will be held fully responsible for any flooding & consequential damage we may incur should such an event occur as a result of their poor planning and management of the water environment.
With new building development planned for the Fulshaw area of Wilmslow (houses on yhe east side of Alderley Rd and similar & probably more offices on the west side - the former Royal London site - really wonder if either of the above bodies have thought about the further damage to both the local environment or the consequences of more buildings on the fields that currently absorb the rains (where will those waters go?)
Laurie Atterbury
Thursday 16th December 2021 at 10:56 am
Perhaps the time has come to display the speed limit on the bypass in knotts per hour instead of mph?
Alan Brough
Thursday 16th December 2021 at 1:34 pm
@Laurie,

Point of order. A knot is a nautical mile per hour - so you cant have a nautical mile per hour per hour.

However, I do agree that, given the circumstances, maritime rules might be more appropriate. Traffic should pass to starboard and maintain a speed not exceeding 5 knots until the fairway marker bouy is passed and open water is reached. If a risk of collision exists, the least expensive vehicle shall be deemed to be the "Stand-on" vessel etc etc.
Graham Cork
Thursday 16th December 2021 at 3:01 pm
@ mark goldsmith

Time to request a freedom of information regarding the detailed 'audited' maintenance, inspection and servicing schedule for the A34 and A555 infrastructure then.

It will either prove my "invented" accusation , as you state, right or your claim to be correct.

20 working days from the FOI request is the deadline so it'll be interesting to see what I get.
Tony Haluradivth
Thursday 16th December 2021 at 8:15 pm
Manuel Golding and others have absolutely got the nub of the problem here. They should have listened to Manuel in the mid 90s . It is down to the usual arrogance and hubris of planners and Highway surveyors. Graham I agree , it would be most enlightening reading those maintenance reports. I wonder if the main pump failed in the January 2020 floods and were they relying on the back up pump?
Vince Chadwick
Friday 17th December 2021 at 6:37 pm
To diverge for a moment from directly addressing the need for a Masters' Certificate to navigate the Wilmslow bypass or the reliability of pumping systems, I disagree that Andrew Backhouse's response is 'puerile'. The train should be at least a viable alternative to road travel, and preferably the preferred choice. It's true that if you have to travel at short notice or cannot commit to a particular train, UK rail fares are probably the highest in Europe. But that is the choice of UK governments (not just this UK government) who do not seem to believe in properly funded public transport. Except, perhaps, in London.

Andrew's point about our use of cars and air travel being a contributory cause of climate change, which 98% of climate scientists (and David Attenborough) agree is very real, is 'right on the money'. This planet will become uninhabitable unless we change our ways. Or perhaps it's too late for that, or we are too set in our ways, or set in denial and we just carry on as we are and accept on their behalf the fate that will befall future generations, as we won't be around to suffer it. The Wilmslow bypass would probably have flooded anyway even without the effects of climate change, as there are other factors in that equation. But Andrew points out the underlying truth of climate change which will only make such events worse in future, and that is not a puerile observation. Rather, it is the deniers who should wear that badge.

His further point, alluding to our government not seeming to give a fig while giving lip service to reducing carbon emissions, is supported by their actions not being in line with their message. Just before COP26 this government REDUCED taxes on highly-polluting internal flights - the very flights that in mainland Europe have largely disappeared as high speed rail has replaced them. A major contributor to carbon emissions replaced by the least carbon-emitting transport system by far, and the passengers voted for it with their feet because it is a more pleasant way to travel (anyone who has not tried high speed rail should nip down to St Pancras with a ticket to a European destination to see what rail travel CAN be like). The closest we have come to incentivising this change of transport mode within the UK is when Virgin got hold of the antiquated BR service from Manchester to London and transformed it into a fast, reliable, frequent service which all but eliminated the business airline traffic between the two cities. Those business travellers voted with their feet.

HS2 would have taken that further, especially when extended to Scotland. However, Johnson's recent promise-breaking emasculation of that project together with his tax break to the airline industry shows the government's true colours. Furthermore, the Road Fuel Tax Escalator has NOT been applied to road fuel since 2009, while every year the government jacks up rail fares by above-inflation rises (and that has today just been promised again for 2022). Is it any wonder they are so expensive and we stay in our cars? Now THAT'S puerile.

None of this transport puerility is set in stone. It is a choice. Governments on the other side of the Channel, and in Japan and elsewhere in the world have made different choices to ours. Unless you disagree with 98% of scientific opinion (and David Attenborough), they would appear to be more sensible choices. Certainly not puerile.
Ade Whitaker
Saturday 18th December 2021 at 8:27 am
I think the public transport debate is worthwhile - albeit a big diversion from the flooding issues being discussed on this thread. I would love to see us being less reliant on cars - but it would need a step change in investment and thinking. The train line being parallel to the A34 doesn't really help as it serves a very limited number of destinations. We would need buses, say every 5 minutes, radiating out in all directions to get people to/from the station. We would also need new buses (or existing ones on a much more regular basis) linking Wilmslow to towns where train journeys are messy (e.g. Macclesfield, Congleton, Altrincham, Knutsford etc). Those towns would need regular buses to/from their stations. As an example, I had a booster jab in Cheadle Hulme last Friday. A round trip walking to/from the stations at both ends would have taken somewhere between 2 and 3 hours whereas a return car trip (with no flooding) would have been about 30 minutes. My plan to get it done in my lunch hour back fired with the flooding chaos. Most people just don't have the time to get around on public transport in its current state. I've lived in cities at home and abroad and not owned/needed a car - it's really great when you can benefit from proper investment in buses, trams, trains etc. London has invested heavily in their bus network but it's hard to envisage equivalent steps happening nationally any time soon - even with the so called "leveling up" agenda.

Back to flooding .. we are well into week 2 now. Do we know when the road is going to be fully re-opened?
Jon Newell
Saturday 18th December 2021 at 10:41 am
When thinking about the flooding and potential future problems we should bear this in mind.
The Royal London building is now almost empty and new tenants are being sought.
This building provides 11,000 sq m of premium office space.
We also have sites with planning permission for new offices - 17,000 sq m to the south of the current RL site and 17,000 sq m to the immediate East of the railway line.
Under pre-Covid standards, 54,000 sq m would accommodate over 6000 people.
We do not know the long term impact of Covid on working practices but it is inevitable that work patterns will be much more flexible.
And this is my point - flexible working practices MUST be supported by appropriate public transport. That means frequent services running regularly from early mornings to late evenings (as it does in London).
If we do not get the public transport decisions right - and it will need significant national funding - any post Covid recovery will completely swamp the ability of Wilmslow to host the multitude of cars that will flood the town.
Tony Haluradivth
Saturday 18th December 2021 at 1:35 pm
Vince Chadwick you are one big yawn. Cop 26 full of hypocrites who flew in on Private Jets to "signal their virtue and superspread". St Greta swearing her way through interviews and encouraging mass disobedience. Most people commenting on here about the problems caused by lack of maintenance on our bypass. Flooding caused by rain which was NOT exceptional. AGW and people leaving their cars at home HAS NOTHING TO DO with incompetence and is a total irrelevance other than it has been used as the stock "rolled out" excuse to cover reasons for not maintaining or repairing vital infrastructure. Start an AGW thread and you and Mr Backhouse from Transition Wilmslow can chat amongst yourselves. His comment WAS a puerile off topic bit of virtue signalling. I hope you have both insulated your homes, pulled out your "polluting gas boilers" fitted £10k heat pumps and are wearing green hair shirts whilst you nosh on soy fake meat.

For the beleagured commuters on here apparently they wont have the pump housing secured and suitable barricades instalked until 23rd of December( acvording to Highways Control)
David Simmons
Saturday 18th December 2021 at 2:21 pm
I noticed today (18th) that the Whitehall Brook culvert under the Alderley Rd is largely blocked by what could have been a beavers' dam if there were any around! This must cause more flooding the next time we get more heavy rain (which the Met Office are saying is going to be more more common due to climate change unfortunately). So who is responsible for clearing this - and on a regular basis? As most council services are now outsourced does anyone know what contractual obligations - and possible sanctions - might be in place to encourage the clearing of the brook before the A34 is drained again into it? (Photo added above).
Vince Chadwick
Saturday 18th December 2021 at 3:42 pm
The only yawn around, here, Tony, is your scattergun posting of irrelevances. I can almost picture the steam rushing from your ears as you frantically type! But I think red mist might have obscured your vision once you started to read my post and I am left wondering if you read much of it at all?

You attack COP26, which I happen to agree was a complete farce. You attack 'St Greta' (whose style gets up my nose but there's no denying her message) and you attack the associated mass disobedience, which I also abhor. Then you state the flooding was caused by unexceptional heavy rain which I certainly did not disagree with in my post. In fact I think I even said as much.

So - do you agree with 98% of climate scientists (and 'St' David Attenborough - and me!) or not? I really can't tell.
John Harries
Saturday 18th December 2021 at 5:11 pm
A lot of common sense comments and also a lot of utter tosh from those on the defensive.
Back to the beginning. Our local roads (even the younger jobs like the 'new' A34) hardly, if ever, in my memory from the mid. 50's onward, ever flooded. The pinch points were then the bridged Bollin on Manchester Road, Cliff Road, Styal Road and Adlington Road - the really low points in the topography; sure they would occasionally look to about flood but it never actually happened - and there were plenty of 'flood safety valves' like river valley meadows and ponds to offer the occasional protection necessary.
The current problems (and I'll avoid any deep discussion on global warming) are man-made and much more recent though, and ultimately the unitary body are responsible - they initiate surveys, approve plans, appoint contractors and inspect their works; they then accept responsibility to keep things in good order. They also have similar responsibilities when it comes to the tertiary issues concerned with long term development/expansion. Some circumstances may be to the account of higher authorities but no-one can just start building whatever they please and hang the consequences.
Rather than go down that rabbit warren I'd rather just stick to the point of our local road and drainage management (or lack thereof). To suggest the life of a modern pumping system is just 25 years is crass - they invariably only operate for a fraction of any given year; to then make a statement that it [has] reached the end of it's operational life is too much to swallow - if it had reached the end of life why wasn't it replaced (after all they are regularly inspected/serviced by a third party), perhaps there is evidence that contingency funds are set aside, just waiting for this predicable 2021 'planned' refurbishment programme...? If indeed the existing pumps were not man enough for the job (and 'we' ie CEC already knew that fact...) maybe there is already a provisional order ['not' is my guess] already in place with a pump manufacturer!!
The A555 is a new capital project and I believe the two enormous interception tanks for that were actually a design afterthought (that is one reason why it was almost 3 years late on delivery) and the western tank operated with pumps that had been installed when the Wilmslow Road - Bramhall section was built (think that was in the mid. 90's) - and it's now failed on what I shall call numerous occasions.
The way I read some of the excuses we now get is that it is someone else's fault but we all know there is plenty of evidence now to suggest the problems should have at least been anticipated rather than wait for the fail (flood) and 'fix'/bodge philosophy that CEC Highways seem to adopt. I know for a fact that local drainage - regular gutter/drain clearing - was neglected for years, carried out only in reaction to complaint rather than the 'good housekeeping' it used to be; the same can be said about our road gritting 'service'. Someone makes these decisions but ducks the consequences.
The ongoing planning future for commercial and domestic developments in this area alone is irresponsible yet some CEC 'suit(s)' will rubber stamp our probable miserable future and be far away and out of mind by the time the proverbial hits the windmill - as Manuel Golding states, the 'system' has form and the citizen takes the hit.
Alan Brough
Saturday 18th December 2021 at 5:35 pm
I’m in full agreement with Vince Chadwick concerning the much needed transition from private to public transport. It works well in other European countries and in London.

In the rest of the UK we have had to get used to continued lack of funding that stretches back to Beeching’s ravaging of thousands of miles of rail track in the 60’s.

Train travel is largely unreliable,
uncomfortable and expensive. It has to change in order to have any hope of achieving the sort of carbon cuts necessary to meet the targets agreed. In addition we have to look at providing huge funding into bus and tram services to make a meaningful reduction in car journeys - the majority of which are under 5 miles.

The problem (and it’s a big one) is that we start from a very low base. Our railways pretty much run North/South with very poor East/West connectivity. The investment needed to right the wrongs is colossal and I wonder if any government, or any taxpayer really has an appetite for it.
Pete Taylor
Saturday 18th December 2021 at 8:16 pm
Let's remind ourselves of the brave boasts about saving a million pounds per year on the Highways budget: the initial contract being for five years and then renewed for another FIFTEEN years, despite huge problems right from the start!

https://www.wilmslow.co.uk/news/article/4938/cheshire-east-launches-new-highways-service

Who can that be making the brave boast? Surely not the same fellow who was asleep at the wheel during the Lyme Green fiasco and also voted to remove Green Belt protection from agricultural land around Wilmslow?

Rather surprisingly this fellow has just been made an Honorary Alderman for his services to the community!

Beyond belief? If it was not all on the internet and in the public domain I would not believe it myself.
Tony Haluradivth
Saturday 18th December 2021 at 9:12 pm
John Harries you are perfectly right about road drainage in these parts going back to the 1950s it is true we did not see this kind of flooding issue those far off days despite constant rain in some seasons. Mr Simmons raises a theory about possible Beaver damming and I think he has a very valid point. Walking in the Summer with my dog I often wondered if these charming creatures were at work. I am afraid if that is the case their work needs to be dismantled
but I am sure that will be a siren call to action from idiot eco protestors like Swampy.
Vince no red mist (save for lax Highway engineers) re puerile postings or the laughable antics of weird eco activists. Attenborough has a bigger carbon footprint with all his flying over the decades (probably more than the residents in our entire road). There resides a wonderful retired lady in these parts who worked in the BBC between the 60s and late 80s (in a senior role). She is none to complementary about David A and said he could be very arrogant and offhand with junior staff (when he was Controller of BBC 2) whereas she said his late brother the actor Richard (whom she met many times whilst helping with the Baftas) was the polar opposite and very charming and considerate. I therefore do not subcribe to the drooling hagiography of Lord David.
Stuart Redgard
Saturday 18th December 2021 at 10:08 pm
As I took a walk up the "closed" section of the A34 northbound carriageway between Whitehall Brook Roundabout and the Prestbury Link Road at about 14:25 today, I was based by an Audi doing about 50mph traveling north. They were obviously not prepared to go "the long way round" and had moved the cones blocking the road. Good job I managed to get the registration.

Reported it to the police and have been given a crime reference number.

Let's see what the outcome is.
Fred Rayers
Sunday 19th December 2021 at 10:15 am
Alan & Vince see the world through very rose tinted spectacles. See for example https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/03/european-commuters-still-prefer-cars-to-public-transport. There are successes, including for example the Manchester tram system, but all are in very built up areas where the frequency/cost/locations of entry/exit points does provide a good alternative to private transport.

Looking at the countries with most public transport use the common factor is poverty driving people to use it, because they have no other option.

What is more likely in the UK is that increased working from home may well significantly reduce the average annual mileage.

What we, and just about all countries fail on is mixed mode journeys.
Vince Chadwick
Sunday 19th December 2021 at 3:15 pm
Actually, Fred, in my experience of occasionally working in Denmark and The Netherlands, most people there commute by bicycle as they have the cycle-friendly infrastructure that requires.

Your comment "Looking at the countries with most public transport use the common factor is poverty driving people to use it, because they have no other option" is, frankly, facile. But it's a typically British notion and goes some way to explain why we have useless public transport and a car-centric attitude ("only those who can't afford a car ride bicycles" - or Thatcher's ludicrous "if you find yourself on a bus beyond the age of 25 you have failed in life"). The two-wheel commuters I refer to above are not 'cyclists', neither are they doing it because it's all they can afford; even the Shell refinery manager where we were working arrived on his bicycle. They are simply folk who use bicycles to get from A to B in the safe, healthy, and convenient way our road infrastructure (designed for cars) does not allow.

A few years ago my wife and I travelled home from Barcelona to Wilmslow by high speed train (as far as London - Virgin from there onward). The views from our luxury upstairs TGV seats along the Mediterranean coast were simply stunning, and formed a very enjoyable part of our holiday. In no time were in Paris and onto the Eurostar for the final high speed leg to UK. Looking around, I did not see many who looked as though they were in poverty. Maybe they were all crammed onto the cheapo polluting Ryanair flight instead?
David Smith
Sunday 19th December 2021 at 9:59 pm
Whilst I'm still formulating and gathering my thoughts about the flooding, I am tempted to join in the off thread transport natter but will refrain until I have posted my watery comments which are a bit more relevant at the moment.
The transport issue is well commented on by some but rather lacking by others - so come back in a while when I've caught up.

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