Local roads identified as priority for repair

Craig Browne (2)

Cheshire East Council has published details of its highways repair programme for the financial year 2021/22.

Councillor Craig Browne, Chair of the Highways and Transport Committee said "Unfortunately, this year sees a 21% reduction (£3.9m) in the level of funding the council receives from the Department for Transport to repair and maintain the road network on its behalf.

"Whilst the reduction in government funding is disappointing, Cheshire East Council has attempted to make good the shortfall this year by investing £3m from its own capital budget - essentially your Council Tax."

Cllr Browne continued "Whilst the added investment from your Council Tax has helped, the table* above clearly shows a fall in investment in the highways network this year and this inevitably means that Cheshire East Highways will be able to repair and maintain fewer roads this year than last year. Nevertheless, I have been working hard to ensure that some of our local roads do make it onto this year's list."

Macclesfield Road and Knutsford Road (from the Brook Lane Roundabout to the Ward Boundary) in Alderley Edge have both scored highly being ranked 23rd and 25th on the list respectively.

Whilst in Wilmslow, Cumber Lane and Holly Road North have also scored highly being ranked 27th and 33rd on the list.

Cllr Browne said "There is a realistic expectation that repairs will be carried out on both routes and this should be confirmed in about 6 weeks time. London Road (between Heyes Lane and Macclesfield Road) is the next highest, ranked in 55th place."

Roads are assessed across the borough in line with the Dept for Transport's required criteria, which are: engineer/local councillor priority; road condition; number of defects per scheme; number of customer service requests (complaints) per scheme; claims per scheme; and scheme location.

Click here to view this year's list of assessed roads on page 3 (ranked in terms of score).

*                                                   2020-21          2021-22

Central Government Funding    19,002,000     15,051,000

Council Investment Top Up        1,700,000       3,000,000

Budget                                        20,702,000     18,051,000

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Comments

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

Vince Chadwick
Wednesday 19th May 2021 at 6:17 pm
Who is responsible for the road condition from Row of Trees to the Bird in Hand? That must be the worst in the district (equalled perhaps by the stretch of Mill Lane between the former Stag's Head and David Lewis).
Alan Brough
Wednesday 19th May 2021 at 9:13 pm
When will the huge and dangerous subsidence hole on South Oak Lane be repaired? It’s been there years and is getting deeper.
Graham McLelland
Thursday 20th May 2021 at 10:45 am
It would be a very good idea to re paint the direction signs on road approaching the by pass roundabout coming from Wilmslow.This is an area which is causing minor bumps and therefrore a danger
Andy Brown
Thursday 20th May 2021 at 11:03 am
A sink hole has now appeared outside Piccolinos.

That stretch of road has been very dangerous for anyone on two wheels for months now.
Peter Hallmark
Friday 21st May 2021 at 11:02 am
Nothing about the A34 / Congleton road through Nether Alderley. That's very disappointing.
Yvonne Bentley
Sunday 23rd May 2021 at 12:42 pm
My husband and I travel all over the UK and I can safely say that the roads in Cheshire East are significantly worse than any other! Congleton Road between Whitebarn and the roundabout is absolutely appalling as are the country lanes such as Welsh Row and Artists Lane, where there are not only deep potholes but the road is actually collapsing at the sides in many places.
Perhaps when this ‘prioritising’ takes place, Craig would be willing to look further than the Alderley Edge border signs
David Hadfield
Sunday 23rd May 2021 at 1:29 pm
I entirely agree, Yvonne.
Most of the roads around this part of Cheshire are not fit for purpose.
They're an absolute disgrace ..... they MUST be repaired ..... and repaired PROPERLY, not just some cheap filling-in that only last a couple of months, then it's back to massive potholes again.
So, why is it so bad in this part of Cheshire I ask ?
Craig Browne
Monday 24th May 2021 at 3:55 pm
Hi Yvonne,

Thank you for your question. Firstly, may I take this opportunity to explain that the assessment of local roads for prioritisation is carried out by highways engineers (rather than by elected members) according to the following criteria, approved by the DfT:

- engineer/councillor recommendation (up to 40 points)
- road condition index (up to 100 points)
- number of defects per scheme (up to 100 points)
- number of customer service requests [complaints] (up to 20 points)
- number of [motorist] claims per scheme (up to 20 points)
- location of scheme (10 points for rural areas, 20 points for urban)

All schemes are then ranked according to their overall score (out of a total possible 300 points). Local Councillors can influence the first assessment criterion by highlighting specific issues within their own wards, but this accounts for a maximum of 40 points.

The roads you have highlighted above all fall outside the ward of Alderley Edge and as Chair of the Highways & Transport Committee it is not within my gift to influence their score or ranking; that is the role of the relevant Ward Councillor.

In order to assist residents in their understanding of how local roads are prioritised for repairs, I have published the detailed assessment criteria and scoring matrix to my twitter account at https://twitter.com/Craig_9320/status/1396482384837632000

As the Dept for Transport have this year reduced (by £3.9m or 21%) the level of funding awarded to Cheshire East Council for road repairs, there will inevitably be many more roads on the ranking list than can be repaired with the money available.

Kind regards,
Craig
Yvonne Bentley
Tuesday 25th May 2021 at 6:47 am
Thank you for your response Craig. It was really informative
Bob Bracegirdle
Tuesday 25th May 2021 at 2:59 pm
I don't blame anyone in particular and I fully understand the points scoring system as well. The fact remains that pre-lockdown I was in Harlow and every road was in excellent condition, including country lanes right to the edge. Not even sunken drains. The only conclusion is that there is money there.

I believe that outsourcing is one of the problems. I've had evidence that work was said to be carried out on one occasion and it had not been. Oh for the days when the direct labour force was out - literally in force.

Patching is not the answer to where roads need rebuilding either. Falls apart too quickly.

Our road past Gawsworth the A536 has been closed again for patching. One day's notice too. No note on diversion of the bus services either. Road closure website out of date as well.
David Alexander Connor
Tuesday 25th May 2021 at 5:17 pm
What can one say? We moved 2 years ago from Bramhall to Alderley Edge and Stockport council seem to have been able to generally keep their roads and footpaths in good condition. I take a lot of pride living in a nice area and it is upsetting reading these threads of complaints about the state of our roads and pavements. Unfortunately, many of these complaints are justified but they fall on deaf ears.
In January, I took photos of shabby, weed strewn pavements in Chorley, plus a picture of the blocked drain near the Brook Lane roundabout and submitted a note to the Council. I have had 3, maybe 4 apologies for the delay in dealing with my issues and it's now almost June.
Surely, as a rate payer I deserve more than that!!
David Hadfield
Tuesday 25th May 2021 at 8:07 pm
Dear Craig, you MUST do something about all these complaints.
I find the whole thing absolutely pathetic that we live in one of the finest areas in the country, but yet have the worst roads imaginable.
Why Why Why ?
It's just not good enough hiding behind facts and figures and statistics.
We, the Ratepayers, should not have to put up with this nonsense any longer !
Stop spending £2.4.m on almost-useless things like the cycle path towards Wilmslow and concentrate on the items that REALLY matter ! (rant over)
Alan Brough
Tuesday 25th May 2021 at 8:41 pm
Based on extensive travel around UK, I think that CE is underperforming on road repair and maintenance.

I’m concerned that our elected reps seek to defend the position.
Tony Haluradivth
Friday 28th May 2021 at 2:00 pm
Alan, brace yourself for another shock. I heartily concur again with what you have written ;)) a virtual thumbs up.
2 words Ringway Jacobs. They are taking us all for a ride (a very bumpy ride) . The blame for that appalling 15 year renewal of contract lies with the last Council...but Craig we must get something done. Sam Corcoran is a Car hater so we cannot rely on him. We are pinning our hopes on you to get something/ anything improved. (As others have said the patching machine is not fit for purpose.)
Craig Browne
Tuesday 1st June 2021 at 1:02 pm
Hi all,

You may have noticed in recent days that both Macclesfield Road and Knutsford Road have been re-assessed and marked up ready for repair works to be carried out. As a reminder, there are three levels of repairs:

Level 1 - pothole filling (these repairs are intended to be temporary, pending Level 2 work)
Level 2 - carriageway patching (planing out the defective sections, re-cover and sealing)
Level 3 - full resurfacing (stripping back to the road bed and relaying with new surface)

The works proposed for Macclesfield Road and Knutsford Road are Level 2 (carriageway patching); similar works have been carried out over recent years on Moss Road, Moss Lane, Oakfield Road and at the entrance to Carlisle Street.

The replacement value of the highways asset (perhaps liability would be a more appropriate term) in Cheshire East is £6bn. This year's investment in our local road network by DfT is £15m and represents just a quarter of one percent of the value of the asset (0.0025).

To apply an analogy, I'd like to invite everyone to consider for a moment the value of their home and then multiply this by a factor of 0.0025 - if they could only spend this figure annually to cover heating, decorating, repairs and maintenance, gardening etc, how long would it be before this started to have a noticeable impact on the condition of their home?

I understand and share the frustration expressed by many of the commentators above. £15m certainly sounds like a lot of money and the Council can, must and will make efficiency savings where possible; however, for the DfT to expect us to maintain an asset with an annual investment of just a quarter of one percent of its value, isn't realistic.

Kind regards,
Craig
Vince Chadwick
Tuesday 1st June 2021 at 3:43 pm
If you voted at the last General Election for this ludicrous underfunding of infrastructure to continue, don't complain. You got what you wanted.
Tony Haluradivth
Wednesday 2nd June 2021 at 11:17 am
Vince Chadwick Labour and the Greens are even worse as are the Lib Dems. They ALL hate the Motorist. Why on earth would you think that Corbyn (the main contender against Bojo in 2019) would have increased the allowance given to councils to repair roads?? Please get REAL. As many backroom staff are now working from home perhaps CEC could review their property portfolio and sell one or two assets but we all know very well that any monies gained would NOT go towards road repairs. We now need new political parties with new and better ideas as the old 3 are no longer fit for purpose. If there was a big Independent Party with folk like Craig in Westminster perhaps there would be some hope.
Vince Chadwick
Wednesday 2nd June 2021 at 12:53 pm
Tony, it's you that needs to 'get real', and a good start would be to remove those blue-coloured spectacles. Have a look at this (and it's from the government-supporting BBC): https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-46443700

"It's widely known that since 2010" (Note that year, 2010), "English councils have had less money to spend. But that's just half the story. When you account for inflation.. ..some councils have had to cut some areas of their spending by half."

Now, Tony, ask yourself why 2010 is significant as the year these cuts, including cuts in the local authority road maintenance budget, started. I'll give you a clue: that was the year the Tories came to power. Since the Tories were again returned at the last election, one must surmise that these cuts are the will of the people.

So as I said, if you voted for austerity, fair enough. But please don't complain about the consequences.
Tony Haluradivth
Wednesday 2nd June 2021 at 8:51 pm
You have no idea how I voted in the last 3 elections Vince and I have no idea how you voted...(perhaps for Elmo or the Monster Raving Looney Party :)). I neither know nor care as the ballot is secret. You seem to think that it would have been smooth unpotholed roads all over Cheshire East if any group other than the Tories had got in. For your info' it was a yellow/blue coalition Govt. for 5 years from 2010 anyway.
In 2009 I can remember speaking to Chris Shields a Highways engineer from Ringway Jacob/CEC about the state of a couple of minor roads near Mobberley (he told me that the Highways budget was capped by the Government)..Gordon Brown and Labour as I recall. Perhaps you should take off your rose tinted specs Vince ;)
Vince Chadwick
Thursday 3rd June 2021 at 6:27 am
Tony, the choice at the last election was a hard left nationalising Cobynite government or a nasty far right Tory one. We got the latter, almost certainly as a result of the brexit lies. But for me, a plague on both their houses.

The Lib Dems didn't seem to have their ducks in a row and got nowhere.

A competent middle - ground option, which is what (in my opinion) the country needs, was not on offer. But without a PR voting system anyone in Trafford who is not a True Blue Tory is pretty much disenfranchised anyway.
Margaret Seddon
Thursday 3rd June 2021 at 6:01 pm
The local council in Chorley have reported the blocked drain at the Brook Lane roundabout regularly for the last five years!
Alan Brough
Thursday 3rd June 2021 at 9:43 pm
Vince,

Therein lies the problem. We can only vote for what’s on offer at the time.

A sensible, middle ground option would have walked it.... but there wasn’t one.

Likewise, a third option on the Brexit vote would have completely changed the outcome - the choice should have been In / Out / Reform.

The EU is an expensive, bureaucratic layer of political control. There is a great deal of dissent from most European countries about the way in which the EU Parliament conducts itself.

It needs to be reformed, brought back in line and made to serve the greater good of the European collective.

Regrettably that wasn’t an option and so, faced with a simple in / out choice, it’s no great surprise that the vote went the way it did.

I suspect that there will be others following in our stead.
Vince Chadwick
Friday 4th June 2021 at 7:04 pm
I was right with you, Alan, until that Telegraphesque picture of the EU you painted. The EU is a democratically elected (you voted for your Euro MP didn't you?) body that looks after the interests of its members and allows free trade and free movement between constituent countries. It is not some offshore ogre as painted by the Telegraph, Mail, Express etc. imposing itself on it's member nations. That doesn't mean each member nation gets what it wants of course - but that's democracy for you. Each nation gets to vote for the direction the EU takes. For unelected power, look no further than the House of Lords.

There are more post-brexit problems in Britain than you can shake a stick at, mostly stemming from border controls now we have made ourselves a 3rd country, although the exclusion of Europeans to work in hospitality and picking crops on farms is killing those industries.

The pro brexit newspapers have lied that the border problems, and food shortages, steel and wood shortages (almost unobtainable by small businesses and twice the price if you can get it since brexit) is due to EU red tape – but we have left the EU, so that is clearly not correct. Any imagined EU red tape would be behind us now. The actuality is that EU membership short-circuited for us all sorts of red tape, as would any trade agreement with any country. That we have withdrawn from that agreement with the EU and now face border red tape is down to us, not them. We need to grow up and realise that actions have consequences. Not one anti-Brit new rule has been introduced by the EU since brexit. We did it to ourselves.

Another example of probably hundreds of thousands of issues we face post brexit – we were a partner in the EU developed GPS satellite navigation system. Our share of the investment would have been peanuts, but now we are going to build our own – estimated at £22 BILLION but almost certainly a lot more. There are hundreds of engineering, scientific, and medical projects like this we are nor excluded from.

The list of brexit woes is massive. Just think if that £22B plus had been available for those who lost out on education due the covid crisis instead of yet having to build yet another GPS system!

The bottom line is we are stronger together than apart, that you make progress in life by seeking alliances, and you fail by isolating yourself and turning your back. Especially in a globalised 21st century that many brexiters seem to fear and not understand. We live in a completely different world to that of the early 1970s and we should embrace it, not flee in paranoia from it looking backwards.

However, this is turning into a brexit debate which is far from the local roads issue, so I’ll leave it there.
Tony Haluradivth
Saturday 5th June 2021 at 11:05 pm
Vince it does not take much for you to go off on a tangent does it? ;)))

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