Closure on London Road for two weeks

A section of London Road is due to be closed for two weeks next month to enable Cheshire East Highways to install kerbs and barriers at the railway bridge.

The road will be closed from the junction with Heyes Lane to the junction with Ryleys Lane for two weeks during August.

Councillor Craig Browne said "Following the Selby Rail Crash in 2001, in which a high speed train collided with a land rover resulting in the death of ten passengers, Network Rail has been carrying out a safety assessment at all locations across the country where vehicles have the potential to leave the road and end up on a railway line. Although there have been no recorded incidents at this location in the last five years, the risk assessment by Network Rail resulted in a score of 92 at this location (where a score of 100 represents an immediate danger).

As a result the footpath will be widened on the westerly side of the railway bridge, a Titan kerb system which is designed to prevent cars coming off the carriageway in vulnerable areas will be installed along with metal barrier railings and the road surface will be narrowed by approximately 650mm.

It is anticipated that the works will be carried out between Monday 6th August and Sunday 19th August. The closures will be in place 24 hours a day.

Councillor Browne added "At this time, I am still awaiting confirmation that the road surface between Heyes Lane and Ryleys Lane is to be resurfaced at the same time, though I am confident that this is going to be forthcoming. This aside, whilst the road closure will cause unavoidable temporary disruption, I believe the project is to be welcomed as the installation of the new barrier and subsequent narrowing of the carriageway will act as a traffic calming measure at an entry point to our village.

"I am also pleased to confirm that the metal barrier railings are to be painted dark green, as this is considered sympathetic and complementary to the Conservation Area, whilst the existing railings on the easterly side of the bridge (which have been in need of repainting for many years) will also be painted to match. As soon as I receive confirmation of the road resurfacing, I will provide an update. Whilst there is never a good time to close a major route into the village, it was felt that carrying out the work during August (whilst schools are closed) would minimise the level of disruption."

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London Road
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Comments

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

Tony Haluradivth
Tuesday 10th July 2018 at 4:59 pm
Hello Craig thanks for the info' have yoy any updates on Heyes Lane re -surfacing yet? Thanks in advance, Tony
Bob Bracegirdle
Wednesday 11th July 2018 at 2:15 am
Exciting read as I look at this in San Francisco.
Pete Taylor
Wednesday 11th July 2018 at 4:42 pm
If the road is narrowed by 65mm (2ft), will two HGVs be able to safely pass each other on the bridge?
Tony Haluradivth
Wednesday 11th July 2018 at 5:08 pm
Are Cheshire East paying for this Craig or is it Network Rail ?
David Hadfield
Wednesday 11th July 2018 at 5:19 pm
…… and what about the lunatics who drive out of the narrow cobbled road between Piccolino's and the office block and still insist on turning RIGHT on the blind bend instead of turning left over the railway bridge ?

They have to come halfway out into the main road to see what's coming round the corner, making it an incredibly dangerous manoeuvre !

There should be a Left-Turn Only sign at this dangerous junction, although when we see drivers deliberately disobeying most other road signs in and around the village, who is around to prosecute these individuals ?

Just to confirm that statement, I've seen dozens of motorists coming the wrong way down a one-way street to enter the main London Road, not giving a damn about the consequences, and as for motorists, usually taxi drivers, doing three point turns (well, usually five or six point turns) in London Road at peak times just beggars belief ?
Jon Williams
Wednesday 11th July 2018 at 7:56 pm
Making it "one way" at Piccolino's should have been insisted on the Planning Application
Fiona Doorbar
Thursday 12th July 2018 at 6:11 am
Pulling out from Heyes Lane is difficult due to the speed that drivers get up to over the bridge and I agree with Pete re his comment about HGVs etc as 2ft is a substantial reduction in road width.Will the same process be carried out on all bridges (?Chorley Hall Lane/Davey Lane?).....in the case of Chorley Hall it might be the answer to the issue Craig was trying to solve sometime ago and the bill will be with either CE or network rail!
Craig Browne
Thursday 12th July 2018 at 3:45 pm
Dear Pete/Fiona,

There is a weight limit of 7.5T on Wilmslow Road, which is indicated on the signs as you exit from Whitehall Bridge Roundabout (by the Merlin). If my memory serves me correctly, this limit was introduced when the bypass opened; the rationale being that larger vehicles should be using the bypass, rather than coming through the centre of the village.

Typically, the maximum width of such a vehicle is about 2.5m, whereas the road width in each direction at its narrowest point, will be 3.65m. I have uploaded to twitter, an image showing the revised dimensions of both the footpath and the road surface, which you can view via the following link: https://bit.ly/2zxtuAx
Kind regards,
Craig
Pete Taylor
Saturday 14th July 2018 at 7:22 am
Thanks for your response Craig, the max width allowed is 2.55 M (2.6 for refrigerated vehicles) however these dimensions exclude mirrors. I think that delivery vehicles are exempt from that weight restriction too.
Tony Haluradivth
Saturday 14th July 2018 at 11:37 am
Hi Craig any chance of a quick response to my comments also (you may habe missed them as they are up thread). Thanks in advance Tony :)
Craig Browne
Saturday 14th July 2018 at 2:59 pm
Hi Tony,

The latest information I have is that Heyes Lane remains a priority; however, confirmation of this year’s Highways Investment Programme is still awaited (over three months into the financial year).

I share your frustration and for several months have been pressing for confirmation, both at the Area Highways Group and more recently, at Overview & Scrutiny Committee.

The works to the railway bridge are being carried out by Cheshire East Highways, although it is possible that Network Rail are making a contribution to the barrier element. I will find out and come back to you.

Kind regards,
Craig
Tony Haluradivth
Saturday 14th July 2018 at 10:19 pm
Thanks very much for the update Craig, and thanks for pursuing the issue on our behalf. Yes very frustrating they cannot sort and identify budgets 3 months in but they were also probably sitting on their hands waiting to see how much more "Suarezgate" was going to cost. Now that he has jumped ship hopefully thing will be a little less sclerotic.
Tony Haluradivth
Sunday 15th July 2018 at 8:02 am
Many thanks for the update Craig and best wishes
Charlie Gaughan
Sunday 15th July 2018 at 8:50 am
What about large vehicals delivering into the village is there any restrictions on them craig
David Richmond
Sunday 15th July 2018 at 10:51 am
This stretch of road really needs a 20mph limit between the junction at Brook Lane and the end of the built up part of the village at Chorley Hall lane.
I'm not a big supporter of 20mph limits, but this part of town is crying out for traffic calming measures urgently. Sensible drivers rarely get above 20mph anyway so it wouldn't really inconvenience many people.
Tony Haluradivth
Sunday 15th July 2018 at 10:54 am
If this width restriction is not given proper consideration and larger vehicles don't fit (including mirrors as some have pointed out) how will those who need to get into the village do so? Perhaps that is why Congleton road has been resurfaced ;)They cannot/should not be encouraged to use Heyes lane which is a dangerous , nightmarish route at peak time especially where it's pinch points occur going out of the village. The council NEED to think this one through really carefully as Pete Taylor (above) has raised very pertinent ponts
Duncan Herald
Tuesday 17th July 2018 at 10:21 am
'no recorded incidents at this location in the last five years'.
Any incidents before the last 5 years?

We are told above that it is 'Network Rail' that wish the work t be carried out, despite their 'score' showing 'no immediate danger'. But from the above it seems that 'Cheshire East' will carry out the work; from that do we deduce that 'Cheshire East' will also pay for all (or most) of the costs?
By the way, what is the likely cost; I'm assuming that the cost has been estimated but wonder why the figure has not been released to us?

Might it be that this is one of those 'cunning plans' that sound good around a boardroom table but to many may seem not-needed and wastefully costly?

Perhaps an alternative use of the monies would be to fill in pot--holes?
Duncan Herald
Tuesday 17th July 2018 at 11:44 am
'no recorded incidents at this location in the last five years'.
Any incidents before the last 5 years?

We are told above that it is 'Network Rail' that wish the work t be carried out, despite their 'score' showing 'no immediate danger'. But from the above it seems that 'Cheshire East' will carry out the work; from that do we deduce that 'Cheshire East' will also pay for all (or most) of the costs?
By the way, what is the likely cost; I'm assuming that the cost has been estimated but wonder why the figure has not been released to us?

Might it be that this is one of those 'cunning plans' that sound good around a boardroom table but to many may seem not-needed and wastefully costly?

Perhaps an alternative use of the monies would be to fill in pot--holes?
Craig Browne
Tuesday 17th July 2018 at 1:42 pm
Hi Tony,

I promised to get back to you once I had queried with the relevant officer, the question as to who is paying for the work to be carried out. Here is the response I have received:

"In accordance with Department of Transport guidance, we are under obligation to carry out the essential safety work at locations identified by Network Rail, including Alderley Edge. Any costs for the works will be split with Network Rail (50% each). Unfortunately, we are unable to confirm the total cost until all the work has been completed".

I am also very pleased to confirm that during the period of the closure, the section of road from the junction with Heyes Lane to Ryleys Lane is to be completely resurfaced.

Kind regards,
Craig
Vince Chadwick
Tuesday 17th July 2018 at 3:03 pm
"'no recorded incidents at this location in the last five years'.
Any incidents before the last 5 years?"

I understand that the reason for the barriers is to prevent any road vehicle from accidentally ending up on the railway line and causing a rail accident, as happened at Great Heck, near Selby, some years ago. It was that accident that led to the Network Rail survey to identify sites where a similar accident might happen.

There has, to my knowledge, never been an incident at London Road bridge resulting in a road vehicle ending up on the railway. Such an incident has happened in the village, however, but not at that location.

Back in the 1950s an RAF 'Queen Mary' (a large HGV used to carry aircraft or parts of aircraft) was descending Macclesfield Road hill when its driver (who had got lost and should not have been on that route) found was unable to prevent it gathering speed down the hill. It shot across Congleton Road at the foot of the hill and charged down George Street opposite Macclesfield Road, through the builder's yard at the end of George Street, and came to rest on the railway.

In those days of sparse traffic it did not collide with any road vehicles, and thankfully no trains were coming either. The men working in the builder's yard had a miraculous escape, too. The signalman at Alderley signal box was able put his signals at danger to ensure that no trains would collide with the obstruction, and the 'Queen Mary' driver suffered only minor injuries.

The outcome at Great Heck, unfortunately, resulted in a tragic loss of life.
Tony Haluradivth
Wednesday 18th July 2018 at 12:18 am
Interesting bit of history there Vince thanks. Craig thanks also for letting us know about the cost:)
Duncan Herald
Wednesday 18th July 2018 at 3:17 pm
...'unable to confirm the total cost until all the work has been completed.'.
Does that imply that at least an outline cost is currently known? If so could that figure please be put into the public domain?
Or is there no figure at all available? cart before horse?
How many of us would hire a builder with no reasonable idea of likely total cost?

Just asking.
Pete Taylor
Wednesday 18th July 2018 at 3:53 pm
Duncan, iirc when you were a Councillor AEPC hired a builder without a reasonable idea of the full cost and without a formal contract.
Duncan Herald
Thursday 19th July 2018 at 9:45 am
Hi Pete,

the lack of a formal contract surely meant that the incoming P.C. were free to act as they wished?
The incomers went with the builder that the previous P.C. wanted, didn't they? Could that have been because his was the lowest quote?

There were estimates at the time were there not? A lot more money was spent, than in the estimates. Were the estimates wrong, or did the incoming P.C. decide to spend more? (as they were entitled to of course). We'll never know as no detailed works/costs were published?

Besides why would you 'defend' the lack of costs (made public) today by harking back several years?
Pete Taylor
Thursday 19th July 2018 at 12:37 pm
Not defending anything Duncan, just responding to your question.
Geoff Hall
Thursday 19th July 2018 at 2:13 pm
Duncan,

Perhaps I can help you with your exchange with Pete Taylor, which I understand relates to the Festival Hall/Medical Centre project.

You comment that "We'll never know as no detailed works/costs were ever published". I am told that you have made a similar comment before.

I suggest that you read carefully the three detailed reports that I presented to Council between November and January this year - reported by Lisa at the time. They are available either on alderleyedge.com or on the Parish Council website.

The costs are available and have been for some time, so I have no idea why you should maintain that they haven't.

Here is quick summary:

- Medical Centre: You told us that the Medical Centre would cost a maximum of £2m, but page 2 of the building contract (already approved by the former Council and signed by the builders when we took over) showed a figure some ,000 higher.

You also failed to budget for the fees due to the Project Managers (whom you yourselves had appointed) and you also missed other substantial costs. Total difference £370,000, which we had to find to finish the job, against a very tight deadline and without any documentation from the previous Council.

If I had not been the project manager acting for the doctors over the previous two years we would not have stood a chance of managing it. Even then - as my wife ( a former doctor in the Practice) will confirm - it was close to a full time unpaid job for the first two years of this Council.

- Festival Hall: You told us that the Festival Hall would cost £540,000 to refurbish but you had not agreed any specification, so how could you know what the true cost was? The £540,000 was the amount of money you had allocated, not an estimate of the true cost. Who would start to refit their own kitchen - let alone a building on this scale - without first having an agreed spec and price? (This, I think, is the point that Pete Taylor was making).

We inherited a stripped out Hall, a tight timetable to completion and a spreadsheet which indicated actual costs totaling over £800,000. The final cost was £825,000, which we raised through fundraising and generous donations, notably from Peter Jones' Emerson Foundation, and the hard work of a small group of Councillors and sympathetic volunteers.

It is clear to me that other residents have fully grasped all this, so I do not believe that we have failed to present the facts clearly. No one from the previous Council has ever contradicted or challenged what we have presented publicly.

Like all residents you have the right to attend Parish Council meetings and pose questions publicly if you want more detail. Feel free to exercise that right. Just don't keep complaining that you haven't had the detailed costs. You have, though I can understand why you might prefer to deny it.
Pete Taylor
Thursday 19th July 2018 at 5:34 pm
Geoff, thanks for stating the facts- yet again. Well done to all who cleared up the mess.

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