Transport consultation extended due to lack of responses

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Cheshire East Council has extended its consultation on local transport plans for the borough due to the low number of responses.

The online public engagement, which seeks the views of communities, residents, elected members and other stakeholders, began in December and was due to end on 31st January, however it is now being extended to 31st March 2021.

To date, the council has received only 408 responses, which they said could be in part because the impact of Covid-19 has limited the ability of people to access paper copies of the local transport plan delivery plans in local libraries – which are closed due to lockdown restrictions.

The results of the consultation will help shape ideas to improve transport, walking and cycling in towns, alongside vitality plans for town centres.

A separate consultation on parking arrangements has received nearly 3,000 responses.

Councillor Craig Browne, deputy leader of Cheshire East Council, said: "Local transport delivery plans are substantial and important documents and, with our libraries closed due to coronavirus and people being directed to stay at home whenever possible, we have decided to extend the consultation period.

"This consultation is a real opportunity for us all to work together and get the right blend of local transport and walking and cycling infrastructure in the right places. That is why it is so important that people take the time to have their say in helping shape future plans.

"Alongside these proposals, we are also developing town centre vitality plans for our key urban hubs, helping us to better understand and respond to local needs.

"We also need to consider the potential longer-term impacts of coronavirus. This may include using our public spaces differently to enable greater social distancing, more reliance on active travel, as well as increased home working."

The local transport plan consultations are based around the following themes:

● Accessibility for all – considering all travel needs;

● Sustainability – improving walking, cycling and public transport;

● Quality of the public realm – managing traffic to support town centres and the visitor economy;

● Better neighbourhoods – improving amenities where people live; and

● Connectivity – the strategic links needed to access work, education and essential services, such as hospitals.
The responses to the consultations will be used to shape future policies and proposals.

To find out more and take part in the consultations, visit the council's web page.

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