Car parks closed to discourage travel during lockdown


Three car parks at popular parks and recreational spaces in Wilmslow have been closed due to coronavirus lockdown.

Cheshire East Council and Cheshire Police have decided to close the car parks at The Carrs, Twinnies Bridge and Lindow Common to prevent vehicles entering and to help to ensure social distancing is observed.

Barriers had been erected to prevent vehicles from entering the car parks, however these were removed by members of the public over the weekend.

As a result Cheshire East Highways are currently installing more sturdy barriers to block any vehicle access to the car parks, however pedestrian access remains open for those wishing to take their daily exercise in The Carrs or at Lindow Common.

Councillor Hannan Sarwar told "I understand that many residents will be disappointed with the decision to close the car-parks. This decision has been made by Cheshire East Council and the Police, due to concerns regarding social distancing measures.

"As a local town councilor I have contacted the Police Commissioner and am in contact with Highways to establish the core reasons behind this decision, and to ensure that local residents are not negatively affected. I have been inundated with communication from residents outlining their concerns and opinions, and I am working as hard as I can to get firm clarification regarding the car-parks. However, as it stands the car-parks are closed so I urge everyone to respect this decision."



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

Peter Johns
Tuesday 21st April 2020 at 3:09 pm
I will repeat largely what I said after the lay-by adjacent to the Edge was closed recently. There is nothing in the recent legislation (enacted on 26 March) or in the subsequent Government advisory guidelines (published on 29 March) that advises against, let alone prohibits, driving a car to a local park or open space for the purpose of exercise. It is absurd to argue that people, while walking on the Edge or through the Carrs are more likely to ignore social distancing than they are anywhere else. The effect of restricting or closing access to open spaces only means that the same number of people will be forced to exercise in places where social distancing is much more difficult. Such as walking or jogging along crowded pavements.

Isn't the real abuse the closure of car parks, which prevents people from acting in ways that are both lawful and within the spirit of the law. How can this possibly be justified?
Deborah Slade
Tuesday 21st April 2020 at 3:18 pm
I visit both the Carrs and Lindow Common to walk my dog. In the past few weeks I have not found either site to be unduly busy and have not encountered any problems with social distancing. To my mind this is over zealous at best and authoritarian at worst. Driving to take your daily exercise is allowed under the government guidance.
I am beginning to feel as if I’m living in a Cold War film.
The police and the council should reassess their interpretation of the guidance and the law.
Brian Trafford
Wednesday 22nd April 2020 at 8:25 am
I agree with Peter and Deborah, the car parks across wilmslow and Alderley Edge, including the layby's at the edge should be open. Our mental health and wellbeing should be paramount. Give the public, including dog owners,
who have to drive to parks, credit for sensible behaviour.
Natalie Husdan
Wednesday 22nd April 2020 at 10:14 am
This is an appalling decision and waste of time and money. As Mr Johns says - there is nothing in the lockdown legislation that prohibits driving to exercise, sadly this legislation is widely misunderstood having been misinterpreted by some media and police. Discouraging use of open spaces like The Carrs and The Edge only means surrounding streets/areas are busier as people still want to get out from their homes for a break - as they are entitled to do so - and people will simply park in Wilmslow town centre for example or the residential streets neighbouring the park and enter from there. However this does make it harder for elderly and disabled residents to enter the park. Ridiculous.
Tony Haluradivth
Thursday 23rd April 2020 at 4:08 pm
It's the beginning of the end ...with Police Helicopters buzzing us twice this afternoon. I agree with all the comments above and there is no need for our Council or Police to start acting like Stasi or their predecessors and I am old enough to remember what Germany was like in 1938 when my family fled here to escape oppression.
Vince Chadwick
Thursday 23rd April 2020 at 6:43 pm
I only heard one helicopter this afternoon, and that was a privately owned one going home to Pickmere, where it lives. It circled around a bit over the Alderley area waiting for a clearance from Manchester Airport to cross the airport easterly final approach track as there was landing jet traffic at the time.

Nothing sinister about the helicopter, then. I'm not so sure about that landing jet traffic - should we be allowing influxes of passengers untested for C19 and un-quarantined into UK right now?
Tony Haluradivth
Saturday 25th April 2020 at 11:54 am
Thanks Vince was so loud and low flying that we were told it was the Police Chopper. Iwonder how many passenger jets are still landing from Spain, Italy and China at the moment with zero screening apparently. This whole parrallel existence of us locked down but incomers moving freely through many UK airports without any screening smells rotten quite frankly
Chris Jones
Sunday 26th April 2020 at 10:03 pm
I think it was quite obvious that driving to somewhere to take daily exercise was classed as a bit of how can I put it, numptyish.
Anybody can walk out of wherever they live and take exercise, by yourself or with a dog. Driving increases road traffic accidents, this takes hospital beds and resources no matter how clever anybody wants to be picking holes in rules.
Obviously everything is now more relaxed and the dumbos can get on with it. They probably won’t be worried about going to work everyday.
Tony Haluradivth
Sunday 26th April 2020 at 10:27 pm
I have just posted on the other thread re the laybys closure on the Edge. To reinforce this CEC along with Cheshire Police have seen fit to close the entire Macclesfield road until further notice. This has doubled journey time for emergency vehicles from the hospital into our village as the diversion is now back upto the bypass and then down to Monks Heath. Knock on effect of this is that traffic has doubled on Heyes Lane during the day and is now heavier than before lockdown. I have requested a response from Craig Browne to this if possible.
Jon Williams
Monday 27th April 2020 at 8:18 am
Travelling time to Macclesfield Hospital by public car is only 1 min. longer via Monks Heath, than over the edge and a safer road, this I why most ambulance use the main road as it's faster and safer than the edge.
David Isherwood
Monday 27th April 2020 at 4:51 pm
Reading all these threads on and it does seem that the Council have got this one totally wrong.

The Police have both the powers and the budget to enforce these new laws. I'm tired of hearing that Council resources and budgets are streched or cut back. Perhaps a good starting point would be for CEC to stop spending our money doing the job of the Police and get on with doing the job of a Council.

As I've said on the lay by thread the idea of NHS resources being tied up because people are driving rather than staying home just doesn't add up.

Natalie is right that this whole idea is a complete waste of money. Anyone who thinks closing car parks and roads will stop people is just naive. They just park somewhere else and carry on breaking the law. Locks only keep out honest people. The Police should step up and do their jobs.
Harry Martin
Tuesday 28th April 2020 at 5:17 pm
I can't understand why anyone has to drive to exercise. If you can walk round a park you can walk to it. There are hundreds of local walks around Cheshire without driving everywhere. To drive to take a dog a walk is madness. If you walk around the A34 there seems to be a lot of cars. Surely not all shopping or driving to work.Look at Tesco Handforth Dean car park and you wouldn't think there was a lockdown.