Traffic surveyed to gauge impact of making Chorley Hall Lane one-way

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Members of Alderley Edge Parish Council along with some local volunteers have carried out traffic surveys on Chorley Hall Lane to try and gauge what the impact of making the road one-way would have on the village centre.

As a result of concerns raised by several residents about the safety of the footpath over Chorley Hall Lane railway bridge, Councillor Craig Browne has been working with Cheshire East Highways to explore options for making it safer for pedestrians and people with pushchairs or wheelchairs.

The proposal put forward is for a one-way system between Greenlands Walk and Carlisle Street, heading towards London Road. This would enable the footpath over the bridge to be widened and 18 new on-street parking spaces to be created at a cost of around £10,000.

Two surveys were carried out on consecutive Mondays, the first when Chorley Hall Lane was closed, to enable an investigation to be carried out into the bridge structure and road surface , and the second when it was open as usual.

On Monday, 25th September, they collected traffic data at the junction of Ryleys Lane and Wilmslow Road to record how many vehicles were diverted through the village as a result of the temporary closure of Chorley Hall Lane.

The traffic survey was repeated on Monday, 2nd October, in order to establish how many vehicles use this route when Chorley Hall Lane is open as usual.

Councillor Craig Browne said "I am pleased to share the results below, which were taken to assess the increase in traffic through the village whilst Chorley Hall Lane was closed (simulating what would happen if CHL became one-way only)."

Monday 25th Sept (Road Closed)                  Monday 2nd October (Road Open)
Total No. of Cars 336                                      Total No. of Cars 187
Total No. of Vans 47                                       Total No. of Vans 32
Total No. of Lorries 15                                    Total No. of Lorries 5
Total No. of Cycles 1                                      Total No. of Cycles 2
Total No. of Vehicles 399                               Total No. of Vehicles 226
Average per hour 89                                      Average per hour 50

Craig Browne added "The formal assessment carried out by CE Highways in March of this year, showed that on average 85 vehicles per hour pass along Chorley Hall Lane (off-peak). Assuming the survey results to be representative, on average 39 of these vehicles (46%) choose to travel through the village as an alternative route. It therefore follows that the remaining 46 vehicles (54%) choose to avoid the village and take a different route (e.g. via Nether Alderley).

"The CE assessment showed that the number of vehicles travelling along Chorley Hall Lane increases to 200 per hour between 7.30am - 8.30am and 150 per hour between 4.00pm - 5.00pm. Again, assuming the survey results to be representative, this would equate to 92 extra vehicles along London Road/Ryleys Lane between 7.30am - 8.30am and 69 extra vehicles between 4.00pm - 5.00pm."

The data above was collected between 9.30am and 2.00pm.

What do you think about plans to make Chorley Hall Lane one-way? Share your views via the comment box below.

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Comments

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

Elizabeth Mooney
Wednesday 4th October 2017 at 8:21 pm
I am sorry to say this but the final part of this report seems to be based on second guessing traffic flow at peak times. Surely it would have been more productive to have a traffic survey at 7.30 and then again during the afternoon rush hour.
Kathryn Blackburn
Thursday 5th October 2017 at 7:55 am
Well yes it would have been not only more productive but also have given us a more truthful result Elizabeth - that's not what Cheshire East are good at though is it ?
Russell Hall
Thursday 5th October 2017 at 8:11 am
I have read your article with interest. The old adage lies, damn lies, and statistics comes to mind. I appreciate you are not lying to us.

The data was taken between 9.30 am and 2 pm. Surely that is the quietest part of the day (excluding late at night) for vehicle movements and ignores “rush hour” and school traffic completely.

Even between these quiet hours of 9.30 am and 2 pm, there was an 80% increase (336 as opposed to 187) in car journeys on Ryleys Lane / Wilmslow Road and a 200% increase in Lorries (15 up from 5).

Overall vehicle movements increased 76.5% in the 4½ hours, from 226 to 399. An extra 173 vehicles passing down the High Street I assume.

Relating to a different survey taken in March, you say “this would equate to 92 extra vehicles along London Road / Ryleys Lane between 7.30 am - 8.30 am and 69 extra vehicles between 4.00 pm - 5.00 pm”.

So we could say, using your data, that there would be 92 extra vehicles between 7.30 am and 8.30 am, 173 extra vehicles between 9.30 am & 2 pm and 69 extra between 4 and 5 pm. A total of 334 EXTRA vehicles in 6½ hours. We still ignore 8.30 am to 9.30 am and 5 pm – 6.30 pm.

It is quite conceivable that in the region of 500+ extra vehicle journeys could be made, per day, on London Road / Ryleys Lane if the 2½ hours that were not surveyed, are included.

I can’t see how this one way street is the solution to a narrow footpath on a bridge, where I understand there have been no reported incidents in 18 years. There was a fatality at the Ryleys Lane/Chorley Hall Lane junction in 2004.

I understand there have been five serious injury accidents at the Ryleys Lane/Wilmsow Rd/London Rd junction in the same period. Two of these involved pedestrians.

Try driving along Ryleys Lane at school dropping off / picking up time. An already very busy road will get even more congested. Stationary traffic will create more pollution. There are three schools adjacent.

I think the survey has helped to indicate how another solution must be found.
Elizabeth Mooney
Thursday 5th October 2017 at 2:31 pm
My faith in the senior management ranks of Cheshire East Highways and Ringway Jacobs is pretty non existent at the moment. They close entire roads at the drop of a hat, the contractors are employed from other regions and do not know the area thus there are absurd diversion routes (one near Mobberley went around in a long circle and ended up back in Knutsford near the start of the diversion). There seems to be sparse
communication between departments and a "bunker" mentality with the top brass, have they forgotten that they are supposed to act in our interests. I think the survey should be re-visited and should obviously include the rush hours as Russell suggests.
Fiona Doorbar
Thursday 5th October 2017 at 4:12 pm
Please can this crazy suggestion be dropped....it ain't broken so try and why fix it!?
Tam Byrne
Thursday 5th October 2017 at 4:48 pm
I don’t know how can say it’s not dangerously narrow across the CHL bridge. I walk it with my two young girls regularly as a resident on the road and I have to walk in the road to give them the space on the pavement and all stop and stand against the wall when a car comes. It’s possible to navigate safely but it’s not exactly safe - a subtle difference.

The most alarming of all this is the idea you can fit in 18 Parking spaces???? Where exactly? That’s the madness. Has there been any drawings? Parking along the playing fields stretch would cause a much more dangerous situation.

Hopefully this too will be strongly objected to by everyone with any sense.
Steve Scholes
Friday 6th October 2017 at 6:29 am
Craig. You have been doing good work around the village but this idea is not one of them.
Ditch the one way proposal it will only increase traffic through the village
Fenton Simpson
Friday 6th October 2017 at 11:54 am
The Chorley hall Lane bridge is not safe for pedestrians in particular for wheelchair users and children's push trollies. The path is only wide enough to accommodate a single file pedestrian. The bridge is Victorian and I suspect the pavement was put in when the road was first tarmacked over the cobbles.

Given the speed the some cars down the lane towards Ryle's Lane I am surprised that there has not been an accident recently given the access to the allotment site and Network Rail sidings vehicles on a blind hump and pedestrians passing each other on the bridge and cyclists.

The problem is that we are dealing with a legacy of Victorian infrastructure and trying to use it in the 21st Century. Compromises are needed between the car and pedestrian throughout the village.
Bob Bracegirdle
Tuesday 10th October 2017 at 1:51 pm
Victorian infrastructure? I remember the lane being closed whilst the bridge was raised for electrification in the early 1960s. Ample opportunity to widen the bridge then - an opportunity lost. We got a new bridge just as narrow as before.
Francis Grundy
Tuesday 10th October 2017 at 2:45 pm
Ryles Lane/Wilmslow Road already most dangerous crossing for pedestrians in the village.This proposal will only make matters worse
Jon Williams
Tuesday 10th October 2017 at 3:09 pm
The bridge was built between 1840 - 1846 when we had no cars, so I think it's time we had a real footpath on it.
Giles Geddes
Tuesday 10th October 2017 at 5:06 pm
Just summarising then;

1. Concerns were raised by several residents about width of pavement.

2. No actual accidents on the bridge reported.

3. A snapshot survey was conducted outside of peak hours, counting vehicles in 1 hour intervals.

4. Another survey was conducted some months later and an estimated number of vehicles travelling on alternate routes was extrapolated from the first set of results.

Other than the shakiness in the results being based on assumptions, my main concern is that the intervals are still hourly. We all know what a difference even 20 minutes will make in the morning when trying to get somewhere. I believe most of the diverted traffic will be passing through the village and down Ryleys between 8:20 and 8:40. In my opinion this will cause significant congestion and increased traffic around AESG and AECPS pedestrians. Traffic is already at walking pace from Barclays to the A34 roundabout at this time in the morning - another 50-80 cars at this time will cause gridlock.

It’s well documented that making traffic one way increases traffic speeds. The slight restriction on carriage width will not offset this as it will become a wide single carriageway from a narrow two-way. We’re not short of aggressive drivers in fast/large cars in the village. I can anticipate now the 4x4s speeding over the bridge back into the village with drivers a) frustrated with the delay getting to the Ryleys drop off and b) confident there is no opposing traffic.

I have pushed prams over the bridge many times, and the pavement is undeniably too narrow, but I’d much rather this than face the chicken run of crossing CHL with the speeding one way traffic coming over the blind brow.

Obviously - these are just my opinions and assumptions too, but that’s sort of my point. There are so many unknowns involved with such a significant change. There will be effects that were considered and other, potentially more significant ones, no one saw coming - all because of ‘some concerns from several residents’.

Once again, I’m extremely grateful to the Parish Council for sharing their proposals and results to invite this discussion and I genuinely appreciate their hard work.

Time for another referendum maybe? I’m voting CHOWXIT!
William Harris
Wednesday 11th October 2017 at 11:47 am
Clearly and eloquently put by others, a glowing example of poor statistics trying to justify a flawed idea.
Alderley village is blighted by traffic congestion during school pick up and drop off.
For years the solution of a mini roundabout at Rileys lane junction (opposite Piccolinos) and no right turn into Brook lane has been discussed and clearly would have a significant
impact of the numerous cars using CHL as a "rat run". The problem of the gridlock created by the two schools needs to be addressed.
Judy Turner
Wednesday 11th October 2017 at 1:33 pm
My understanding is that the problem to be solved is speeding traffic over the railway bridge on CHL? If white markings on the roads where traffic is going down one way streets the wrong way is the most cost effective solution, why not use the same idea for slowing down traffic on the approach to the bridge? No need to stop traffic flows in both directions , just make drivers more aware of their speed and visibility to others.
Marc Asquith
Friday 13th October 2017 at 8:02 pm
A one way flow proposal reflects the loss by CEC of expert, experienced highways officers. Its a suggestion from an inexperienced amateur, bound to lead to increased speeds over the blind bridge. Make it narrower. Make cars take it in turns. Maybe install lights ( expensive).
Stuart Redgard
Tuesday 24th October 2017 at 4:17 pm
Now I am not a resident of Alderley Edge, so please feel free to ignore the following suggestions.

My professional background is in the design, construction and operation of Building Services installations. The problem with Building Services Design (ie heating ventilation etc) is that you can never satisfy the requirements of 100% of the building occupants 100% of the time. I sense that the issue with Chorley Hall Road Bridge falls into this situation.

When I first moved to Wilmslow in 1994, there was a similar type of problem for pedestrians trying to pass under the railway lines on Macclesfield Road adjacent to the Railway Station.

The solution was to narrow the two lane road to one lane and add a pedestrian walk way on one side. The traffic flow through the single lane section is managed by a simple give way system. This works quite well in my humble opinion, as there is a good visibility from both directions for vehicles. Unfortunately this isn't the case at the bridge over the same railway lines at Chorley Hall Road.

I understand peoples concerns with a one way system being introduced and the effect it would have on traffic flow in other parts of the village.

So here are two alternative suggestions.

1) Install a pedestrian walk way by narrowing the road width and install a two way traffic flow system through the single lane section of the bridge controlled by traffic lights.

2) Don't bother narrowing the road width at all and just make the whole width of the road over the bridge a pedestrian crossing. Them pedestrians approaching the bridge from either side could just stop the traffic flow in both directions when they want to walk over the bridge.

Remember. These are just my suggestions and not proposals.

Good luck!

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