Councillors propose to reduce speed limit on Alderley Edge bypass


Following the recent fatal accident on the Alderley Edge Bypass local councillors are proposing a reduction of the speed limit on this stretch of road.

Speaking at the Parish Council meeting on Monday, 13th November, Councillor Craig Browne said "I first discussed this issue with Cheshire East Highways over 12 months ago but in the light of the most recent fatalities I have decided to revisit this and have held discussions with representatives from both the police and Cheshire East Highways as well as neighbouring ward councillors. Many people may not be aware but the bypass actually goes through three different Cheshire East wards - obviously Alderley Edge is one, the others being Wilmslow West & Chorley and Chelford, Nether Alderley comes under Chelford."

"The other ward councillors, I am pleased to say, have expressed their support for a speed limit reduction to 50mph and the chief highways officer has indicated that this is both reasonable and feasible. However, we have all been asked to bring this proposal back to our prospective parish councils for further discussion and feedback."

Having read the comments on, Verity Williams attended the meeting to comment on the proposals.

She said "It worries that the immediate response is always to lower speeds because I think when you talk about always reducing driving to the lowest common denominator you're not necessarily making roads safer. What I've noticed in the roads around here, especially the roads where there are national speed limits, is there are very few speed limits signs."

Verity continued "I wonder if people don't realise it's the national speed limit as they frequently drive between 30mph and 40mph on these stretches of road. This will inevitably encourage drivers to do dangerous overtakes - they're often winding country roads with few places for safe overtakes. So maybe a better initial response is to put more speed limit signs up.

"The single lane bypass doesn't necessarily need to be 50mph it just needs people to do the speed that its set to be and then people are less likely to do dangerous overtakes as they are not frustrated by people not maintaining the correct speed."

Councillor Rachael Grantham responded "Whilst I support making the speed limit lower on that particular stretch I think signage is very important."

Councillors also discussed the possibility of installing awareness signs displaying how many serious and fatal accidents have occurred on this stretch of road, highlighting the fact that it is a single carriageway and introducing solid white lines in the middle of the road to indicate no overtaking - ideas which Councillor Browne will feedback to Cheshire East Highways.

Councillor Browne confirmed that the investigation into the causes of the recent accident is still ongoing.

Verity Williams responded "Police are trained to look into this and determine what are the safe conditions of a road. Obviously when there is a death people want to show their empathy and show that they don't want it to happen again but equally I do feel it does need to be responded to based on a factual situation. Also it's a very long stretch of road and if you are stuck behind someone who is not doing the speed limit and you've got solid white lines then you are just kind of penalising other drivers.

"An expert for Cheshire East should be looking into it rather, than emotional responses, determining what the reaction is."

She added "It would be interesting to see what the average speed on the bypass is currently because I was on it this morning and it certainly wasn't 60mph, it was between 40 and 50mph. So again it goes back to actually assessing what the cause of the accidents are and looking at the current behaviour on the bypass to see what would make it safer. My experience of the bypass is that you very rarely travel at 60mph so if the cars are already doing 50mph on average and there are still accidents what is reducing the speed limit to 50mph actually going to achieve?"

Councillor Browne responded "Can I give you some assurance that any action that is taken will be based on a thorough assessment, firstly on the course of this accident, but also whilst I've said the three ward councillors are broadly supportive of introducing some change, ultimately that will be based on not three lay people but the professional work carried out by both highways officers who are qualified and of course the police as well."

What do you think about lowering the speed limit on the Alderley Edge bypass to 50mph? Are there any other changes you would like to see happen on this stretch of road? Share your views via the comment box below.

Alderley Edge Bypass


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

Dave Moores
Tuesday 14th November 2017 at 3:37 pm
Verity may have a point. Several times I have witnessed people driving at 30 or 35 mph causing frustration for other drivers who then try to overtake, sometimes when it isn't completely safe.
Craig Wilson
Tuesday 14th November 2017 at 3:41 pm
Average speed cameras at each end of bypass, and add double white no overtaking lines as required where dangerous overtakes occur.

Direction arrows wouldn’t be a bad idea either as I sometimes think some drivers may think it’s a dual carriageway.

No need to slow everyone down.
Barry Buxton
Tuesday 14th November 2017 at 3:48 pm
I think Verity Williams is absolutely right! No knee-jerking back to the dark ages please.
Karen Robinson
Tuesday 14th November 2017 at 3:57 pm
Reducing the speed limit won't do anything! People go whatever speed they want when there isn't cameras to catch them. Yet, in my experience, you very rarely get people overtaking on double white lines.
A speed limit is what it says, a limit. If some people drive slower, then that isn't an offence! Yes it can be annoying but as I said people don't overtake on double white lines. It's the safest option.
Bob Bracegirdle
Tuesday 14th November 2017 at 4:20 pm
It's a 50mph road. Anyone can see that. It's also very confusing as it looks like a dual carriageway road, certainly from the Manchester direction.

Average speed is a good idea though.

Should have been built with extra access if only for emergencies.
Susan Parker
Tuesday 14th November 2017 at 4:24 pm
Reducing the speed limit will increase the amount of dangerous overtaking. It's a knee-jerk reaction.
Roy West
Tuesday 14th November 2017 at 5:47 pm
I agree with Craig that double white lines would certainly draw attention to the dangerous bend and could be introduced without delay and maybe saving lives this winter!
Margaret Hinde
Tuesday 14th November 2017 at 6:52 pm
I suspect it is overtaking that causes these accidents, possibly by drivers who forget they are not on a dual carriageway. So surely we do not need a lowering of the speed limit, which encourages overtaking. We need double white lines down the centre of the road to prevent overtaking - PLEASE.
Steven Cozens
Tuesday 14th November 2017 at 7:34 pm
I am not sure a lowering of the speed limit is the answer. I have driven down this stretch many times just below the speed limit and it truly feels like a trundle along a very safe and mundane stretch of road. There is nothing to distract a driver and it feels like you are driving extremely slowly right up to the speed limit. From what I have seen, the issue is the frequency of overtaking on this stretch which should, as many people have said, been constructed as a dual carriageway.
Please don't rush for the 'cheap' option of reducing speed limits which in turn gives the local council an excuse to raise even more money from motorists innocently caught out by frequent changes in speed limits.
How about some double lines in the middle in certain places or some no overtaking signs on the is not rocket science.
Steven Mccrory
Tuesday 14th November 2017 at 7:51 pm
Won't work at all...people will ignore any new cannot be policed unless speed cameras are in a strategic position like the Handforth A34...working or NOT it slows all drivers down!...Maybe now time for re tests for all drivers at 80 plus, and now bans for mobile phone users and if you go over 20 mph over any speed limits it will make poor careless drivers more awake to the ongoing accidents and fatalities. And risking their licences!
Jon Williams
Tuesday 14th November 2017 at 8:56 pm
50mph max is the way to go, plus no overtaking lines on bends and dips in the road
Giles Geddes
Wednesday 15th November 2017 at 8:28 am
Just echoing the above points. I believe that accidents are caused by poor overtaking/frustrated drivers. Lowering the speed limit will only encourage this. Double white lines for the whole stretch is surely the best way to go.
Roy West
Wednesday 15th November 2017 at 12:17 pm
Can't agree with Steve McCrory, most accidents are not caused by 80 year old drivers but probably by under 30 year olds, the red Porche causing the first death was not an 80 year old's car!! Check the national statistics.
Mandy Worthington
Thursday 16th November 2017 at 7:07 pm
As a landowner of which the Alderley Edge bypass blazed through us, we were promised upon construction of the road that we would warrant tractor/animal crossing warning signs near our farm. These have never been put up and when my husband crosses the road with either shire horses on foot or in our wagon carrying stock to our land on the other side of the bypass or on a tractor, he feels that he is putting his life at risk as the speed of many drivers is completely unacceptable. You realise how fast vehicles are going on the bypass when you are actually on the side of the road or living by it 24 hours a day! A dual carriageway would be a death trap more so than it is already. Double white lines would be of benefit in the poor passing areas, a speed camera (or two), would be even better. We have also had a dog killed on the bypass. The police would be very welcome to use our access to the bypass to use a speed camera on a regular basis to monitor the speed.
John Butler
Tuesday 21st November 2017 at 4:03 pm
Firstly I believe there is probably a lack of knowledge amongst UK drivers regarding speed limits on different unsigned roads. There are no limit signs on the bypass. So reduce the limit from 60mph to 50mph with several signs along the 3 miles of the bypass. Paint double white lines along the centre of the road to deter overtaking which I believe more people are likely to obey than the speed limits. Generally speaking there are few minimum speed limit signs in the UK, they are used to ensure traffic keeps running smoothly, but outside of any area that has a minimum speed limit, it’s down to the driver to use common sense and courtesy to determine as safe and appropriate minimum speed at which to drive. Maybe a minimum speed limit of 40mph would help reduce attempted overtaking. Finally, it is better that something is tried soon to help reduce the accidents. I can't believe it takes the inept authorities so long to implement this! How much further discussion and feedback do these people want, or more importantly how many more fatalities!!
Harry Martin
Tuesday 28th November 2017 at 9:12 pm
Do the speed cameras on the A34 actually work ? I drive towards John Lewis where the limit is 30MPH . Many are travelling a lot faster than this as are towards John Lewis where the speed is 50. Would be great if figures could be obtained as to how many people were fined .It is no use bothering setting limits if cameras are switched off.
Jon Williams
Wednesday 29th November 2017 at 10:12 am
Most of the speed camera's in the whole country are NOT switched on due to manpower, but of course, we don't know which one's. (this was in the press last week).
Mark Duffy
Wednesday 29th November 2017 at 8:48 pm
It needs closing until it is made safe with a central reservation. Just looking at it you can see how dangerous it is. Whoever passed the design needs to be made accountable and a fund for the victims of tragedies and fatalities on this road needs setting up. Hopefully a good solicitor reading my post can represent the "Victims of the Alderley Edge Bypass" and their families for the compensation they deserve.