Work set to begin on Wilmslow's £1m walking and cycling scheme

Cycle 2

Cheshire East Council is to start work in the new year on a £1m walking and cycling scheme in Wilmslow.

The 2km joint walking and cycling route will run from Wilmslow railway station to the A34 bypass and is designed to improve links to education sites, including Wilmslow High School, as well as business hubs at the Royal London site and Alderley Park.

Work is due to start on Monday, 4th January, the project is expected to take 12 weeks to complete and during construction a series of road closures will be required.

The scheme includes:

● Footway widening to provide a shared pedestrian and cycle path along Alderley Road, near the Royal London campus;

● The existing pedestrian crossing outside the rail station will be upgraded to provide a new toucan crossing for pedestrians and cyclists;

● A signed on-road cycle route will run between the leisure centre and Alderley Road, near Wilmslow High School;

● Resurfacing work will take place on sections of Alderley Road and Station Road alongside additional maintenance work, such as minor drainage improvements, to take advantage of the closures.

The intention is to maintain access to business and residential properties at all times. Signed diversions will be in place during the road closures and diversion routes can also be found online

Councillor Craig Browne, deputy leader of Cheshire East Council, said: "This scheme will provide major improvements for sustainable transport on these key routes in Wilmslow, benefitting local families, businesses and visitors to the town. The work will really help improve access to and from the town centre for pedestrians and cyclists, providing opportunities for healthier living lifestyles through physical activity.

"We thank members of the public in advance for their patience and ask them to allow extra time for their journeys."

Councillor Suzie Akers Smith, Cheshire East Council's walking and cycling champion, said: "This is great news for local residents and visitors and a fantastic step for Wilmslow to help reduce our carbon footprint and improve air quality.

"There are significant long-term benefits to our health and environment by taking up daily active travel and there has never been a better time to walk or cycle – especially for shorter journeys – and establish greener habits.

"Walking and cycling not only help reduce congestion and improve air quality but also help communities to tackle the threat posed by the climate change emergency."

Cheshire and Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP) provided £900,000 of the funding for the walking and cycling scheme, with £100,000 funded by the council.

CWLEP chair Clare Hayward said: "It's exciting to see this project come to life – one of eight sustainable travel schemes in the region we've funded from the Local Growth Fund. To date, we have invested a total of £5m, which will see a total of 24km of new cycle ways created, helping to link communities and businesses and giving people a healthy, viable alternative to car use."

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Comments

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

Tony Haluradivth
Monday 21st December 2020 at 6:11 pm
Yet they cannot mend a pothole which endanger cyclist's lives all the time. They refuse to remove debris or overgrowth on existing lanes (which is why my grandson gave up cycling to the High School). They do nothing about stopping a certain Alderley Developer allowing his contractors to park on the Alderly Road cycle lane near Travis Perkins and they are prone to muddle up the existing shared pedestrian and cycle lanes as they did by putting the signage back to front ( on the pavement opposite Summerfield village). I was nearly kiled by a fanatical cyclist 18 months ago.( I was walking along the area reserved for pedestrians which is actually the cycle lane and wrongly markedout).Highways were informed about the incorrect signage all those many months ago and have done nothing to rectify this.
This is Corcoran's pathetic pet Extinction Rebellion project using taxpayers money.
Hilary Pinnock
Tuesday 22nd December 2020 at 5:18 pm
I applaud this initiative but you don't get much for your money, do you.....1.25 miles for £1m!
Steven Mccrory
Tuesday 22nd December 2020 at 8:49 pm
This our of control out of touch bunch of tree huggers are not in touch with the tax payers that pay there 11 month furlough. Let us all see in areas where these schemes are added how many actually use them in the dark cold winter season, we live in a primarily WET area even in most summers. The council cannot repair roads, lanes etc with HUGE POT HOLES, The lanes from Mobberley to Wilmslow a death trap and damaging cars in places.Yet the lycra loving moaners who only use these cycle lanes on a Sunday 10 a go 3 a beast are costing us all thousands when the Councils are BANKRUPT!
David Smith
Tuesday 22nd December 2020 at 9:22 pm
In the coming together of a vehicle and a cyclist/pedestrian the score is always: VEHICLE 1 - CYCLIST/PEDESTRIAN 0.
Anyone sending their children out on a bike and onto the ROADS around here is increasing the chance that their offspring will be badly injured or worse. Even adult cyclists take their life into their own hands. For a variety of reasons: the roads are not wide enough: cars are parked to occupy the side of the road and often IN the cycle lanes [cyclists have to weave in and out and into the road]: the gutters are full of slippery leaves or have potholes or grids that are sunken or contain debris [bricks, stones, tins, bottles, bits of trees].
So any scheme that we are spending money on is in the long run a waste if the cyclist/pedestrian is NOT separated from vehicles.
I mean, does anyone think SAFETY around here. The latest fiasco is the positioning of 4 planters down by Wilmslow church to deter motorists from parking on the grass. The planters have been plonked onto the pavement instead of the grass, reducing the width of the pavement and thereby pushing pedestrians nearer the vehicles passing by on the road. See images and the full story at the link:

https://www.wilmslow.co.uk/news/article/21010/planters-to-stop-parking-on-memorial-garden?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newsletter1259

It's a similar issue to Tony's posting above. Whoever was responsible for doing a simple task and was being paid for it [it was their JOB] didn't even display any common sense or thought about what they were doing.

The image for this article isn't particularly helpful. There's a school kid cycling without any head protection, cycling in what looks like a semi-pedestrian zone with a sign for vehicles saying 'left turn’ which means he is on the wrong side of the road.

Why provide a signed on-road cycle route running between the leisure centre and Alderley Road, near Wilmslow High School when a cycle path could be made alongside the railway line from the leisure centre all the way to Wilmslow high school and be totally free of vehicles - so SAFER!
If anyone thinks that more of us are going to come to Wilmslow by train WITH THEIR BIKE the please tell me where they are going to be put on the train A couple of cyclists and their bikes positioned near the doors and that's free and easy access onto and off the train up the spout for a start. Whilst I'm mentioning trains - why is there a step down onto the platform from a train? They are all the same. Shouldn't platforms have been modified years ago to allow level in & out of the carriage like on the London underground?

Suzy Ackers Smith apart [who is a shining example of a dedicated and enthusiastic cyclist] how many of our councillors will be seen cycling around town? Let us all know if you see one.
Mark Eden
Wednesday 23rd December 2020 at 4:24 pm
If a council were a business, it would have gone bust years ago. No taxation without representation. Maybe we should withold our council taxes en masse. Then they would listen. I am a keen cyclist myself but the harsh reality is that many of our roads are a mess, we don't have police on the beat and drug crime in the area is rife. I simply despair of these tree hugging woke liberals sponging off our money.
Donald Strathdee
Tuesday 5th January 2021 at 4:35 pm
Craig, please get in your car and take the Knutsford road . At the point near Lindow End where the road crosses a stream (Whim Brook). There is a narrow bridge. On approach, whilst avoiding the hundreds of pot holes some filled, many not. Then with traffic speeding in the other direction you will close your eyes, aim for a gap and pray. Coming through your heart will be pounding.
This stretch of road has needed resurfacing for years. It is highly dangerous for car drivers, but for cyclists!!!!!
Craig you have your priorities confused.
Craig Browne
Tuesday 5th January 2021 at 7:43 pm
Hi Donald,

Thank you for your comment; however, I must respectfully disagree with you in relation to confused priorities. In the current financial year, Cheshire East Council has invested an unprecedented £6.85m in its Level 2 (carriageway patching) and Level 3 (carriageway resurfacing) programmes. In each of the four previous years, the level of investment in highways capital repairs remained static at around £2m and as a result of this, we are now attempting to play "catch-up" following several years of under investment.

If I could ask you to read again the article above, you will see that of the £1m cost of the Wilmslow Cycling Scheme, £900,000 is being funded by the Local Enterprise Partnership (the strategic voice of the business community across the Cheshire & Warrington sub-region) with Cheshire East Council funding the remaining £100,000. For a relatively modest investment (just 10% of the total costs of the scheme) therefore, the Council has been able to lever in the remaining 90% of the required funding from an external partner.

I think the fact that the Local Enterprise Partnership has seen fit to invest so heavily in this scheme and that it is clearly considered to be a strategic priority by the LEP (linking Wilmslow Railway Station with Wilmslow High School and key employment sites) represents a vote of confidence in the scheme, from the business community. This is very much to be welcomed and I hope that we see more of this kind of partnership approach to major infrastructure schemes in future.

Kind regards,
Craig
Andy Brown
Thursday 7th January 2021 at 2:41 pm
Craig - Donald raised an important issue regarding the state of Knutsford over that narrow bridge.

The current state is downright dangerous. Please look into get the necessary repairs underway.
Simon Brennan
Wednesday 13th January 2021 at 7:15 pm
Craig - Regarding potholes. I have just travelled from my home up Macclesfield Road then down Artists Lane then onto Congleton Road to the village to give the car a quick run out a trip if 1.5 miles. During this short journey, which I wished walked, a pothole bent my passenger front wheel beyond repair also damaged my tyre. I will now have to waste my time trying to make a claim the £400 repair bill which I have precious little time to waste on. The state of our local roads Is completely unsatisfactory to say the least. Forget parking and speeding super cars the roads will be littered with abandoned damaged cars and injured cyclist if the state of the roads continues to worsen.
Fiona Doorbar
Thursday 14th January 2021 at 7:01 am
Don’t waste your time Simon.... my husband tried to claim last year as he damaged suspension , wheel and tyre. Honestly don’t know why they invite you to claim as no one seems to get compensated! This council is a joke
Jon Williams
Thursday 14th January 2021 at 7:58 am
Bring back CCC
Simon Brennan
Thursday 14th January 2021 at 10:09 pm
Fiona, Agreed, my comment was really a rhetorical one in case someone on here suggested ‘just make a claim’ . I really do not have the time or the energy to bother, which is what the man hopes for anyway. I have already wasted too much time and money on getting my vehicle repaired.
Simon Lundy
Tuesday 19th January 2021 at 9:44 am
I am a car driver and a cyclist. Being a cyclist doesn't make me fanatical. I don't wear ridiculous gear and I stick to the rules. Many car drivers are often texting at the wheel or doing something else, which makes cycling so dangerous. I am not anti-car atall - I love cars and I need one for work. But for short journeys (5-10miles) I am happy to use my bike, provided it's safe. And the only way that can happen is to seperate car drivers and cyclists in some way eg by a cycle lane. At this point I hear people saying "well pay some road tax then...". Well I do. I pay tax on my car, and if it's parked at home whilst I instead use my bike then I am effectively paying road tax for a bike. This more than pays for the space I take up on the bike and I also lessen congestion by being on the bike which is another benefit to other car drivers. As I say, I am not a tree hugging anti-car lycra wearing fanatic. I love nothing more than the burble of a V8, but it cant harm to try and get more of us onto bikes now and then, at least for short local journeys surely.

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