Council to change winter gritting routes

Cheshire East Council has confirmed that changes to gritting routes will be implemented next winter following a review.

The new gritting routes have been determined according to published assessment criteria, with each road scored and ranked accordingly, following various consultations with council members, area highway group chairs, schools, cycling groups, town and parish councils and emergency services.

As a result of consultation, Mobberley Road, Wilmslow which had previously been earmarked for removal has now been added along with Burleyhurst Lane in Mobberley.

A total of 1,043km out of 2,700km (38 per cent) of the highway network has been identified as requiring routine winter treatment.

Councillor Craig Browne, chair of the council's highways and transport committee, said: "This review was essential to ensure the council does not lose future incentive funding (around £2m) from the DfT, thereby placing an even bigger strain on the borough's crumbling road network.

"The code of practice requires that we focus our efforts on gritting roads where there is higher risk and we will continue to provide an effective and responsive service – as the safety of our road users is paramount."

The winter maintenance season will run from 1 October 2021 to April 2022 and will provide a 24-hour, seven-days-a-week service to keep the borough's roads open and safe during the winter months.

Details of the revised gritting routes can be found on the council's website.

Click here to view a map of the local roads which will be gritted.

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Comments

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

Alan Brough
Thursday 24th June 2021 at 10:06 pm
Just cutting through the Orwellian “Council Speak” this means that there will be a further reduction in service for gritting roads.

They made a similar announcement last year advising that 43 per cent of roads Will be covered by the “Winter Service Schedule.”

This year it will be 38 per cent.

We pay more Council Tax, they argue that there is less from Central Govt.

Meanwhile those Senior Council Execs are still suspended on full pay pending further investigation etc etc etc
Peter Knowles
Friday 25th June 2021 at 6:55 am
The A34 Alderley Edge - Nether Alderley Bypass appears not to be included for gritting on the CEC map linked to the article. Is this correct or is it a mapping error? We must hope that it’s the latter!
Jon Williams
Friday 25th June 2021 at 9:05 am
Peter, the green roads are "roads retained"
Tony Haluradivth
Friday 25th June 2021 at 9:29 am
Craig it is crazy to lose gritting on Heyes Lane...the council know it ices up regularly it is the second most used road in Alderley and has a ton of school traffic. Up near us the Coaches ferrying kids to and from numerous schools meet each other with alarming regularity on the tight bend. Come and monitor traffic flow and you will see just how busy it is. Can you please get them to change their mind as you are still our local Councillor too
David Carey
Friday 25th June 2021 at 10:07 am
I think taking off Heyes Lane from gritting is a big mistake as it is a 'Higher Risk' road and hears why.
The road is a fast road (60mph) single carriageway with drivers often hitting the higher speed both during the day and night. It is well used as a cut through to Wilmslow and beyond so the volume of traffic is very high.
The road has deceptive bends at each end, especially prior to Jenny Heyes cottage and this bend often catches drivers out speeding to fast and thus ending up in the ditch.
The water leak outside the houses close to Whitehall Brook and the bridge has still not been fixed, I've give up reporting it to United Utilities!
But as its been leaking for a long time in winter it gets treacherous (even when the road was gritted) so I dread to see what will happen next winter when it is not gritted.
Why there is a permanent ice road sign placed at this water leak point instead of getting the leak fixed?
Let's hope nobody gets seriously injured due to the road being taken off the list.....
Fiona Doorbar
Saturday 26th June 2021 at 9:36 am
How on earth can Heyes Lane be left ungritted!!
4 of the risk factor boxes on the CE evaluation are ticked on this busy road
Coaches and buses frequent it,
It has a gradient in 2 places (one being when it joins the main London rd)
It has flooding and leaking issues (run off down Davey Ln and leaking at Emerson hill)
and finally it is simply one of the busier routes into the village both in a vehicle or as a pedestrian.
To add to the peril, traffic is forced to one lane around a blind bend from just beyond Granthams to the old library/police station.
Craig Brown please explain how this has been allowed to happen
Are there any plans for gritting bins to be positioned along the route?
Stuart Redgard
Saturday 26th June 2021 at 8:49 pm
Fiona Doorbar

The information you seek about additional grit bins can be found at the very bottom of the page on the councils website (See second to last line of the article).

Additional grit bins will be provided as follows:

Chorley Hall Lane 2
Heyes Lane 1
Mottram Road 1
Trafford Road 1
Fiona Doorbar
Sunday 27th June 2021 at 5:59 am
Thanks Stuart I missed that info
Still think this is a terribly dangerous decision
The run off down Davey lane alone creates an ice rink on a blind pull out junction
I doubt the bin collections will run down Heyes if we have a prolonged icy spell as they can’t get safe access
Tony Haluradivth
Sunday 27th June 2021 at 10:19 pm
Good point Fiona...Craig please can this be reconsidered
Craig Browne
Monday 28th June 2021 at 2:17 pm
Hi all,

Firstly, I would like to say that I am as disappointed as everyone else at the exclusion of Heyes Lane from the programme; however, it is difficult for me to argue that a process where all roads across the borough are assessed according to the same criteria is anything other than completely fair and transparent.

All roads were initially assessed in 2019 and then, at my request and at the request of the Parish Council, any local roads proposed for removal from the gritting schedule were assessed again in 2020. Unfortunately, both assessments arrived at the same result, with Heyes Lane scoring just 75 points (by virtue of the railway station).

In order to be included in the programme, each road had to score at least 100 points. School bus routes do not contribute towards the score, unless they are also used by public service vehicles; however, it does appear that the bridge deck (at Whitehall Brook, which forms the Ward & Parish Boundary) has not been scored and I will take this up with officers.

I will be insisting that both routes and scoring matrices continue to be reviewed going forwards, because whilst it is fair to assess all roads using the same criteria, I do agree that withdrawing Heyes Lane (in particular) from the programme represents a failure to recognise its status as one of the principal routes into Alderley Edge.

Kind regards,
Craig
Alan Brough
Tuesday 29th June 2021 at 8:20 am
Craig,

That all roads in the borough are assessed in the same way is a non-sequitur. The fact that Heyes Lane, a busy and bendy main route into Alderley Edge that (for much of it's length) is subject to water run-off is to be removed from the gritting programme, points to a seriously flawed assessment system.

No comfort to know that similar roads in the borough will also become skid-pans in winter.

Add the fact that the Whitehall Brook bridge has not been factored-in to the "scoring" system and (surely) we can be forgiven for wondering what is going on?
David Smith
Wednesday 30th June 2021 at 8:48 am
Peter Emerson Jones has part of his empire located on Heyes Lane and would, I should think, expect his employees to reach their place of employment safely and without incident to themselves or anyone else - so perhaps he could 'put his hand in his pocket' as a goodwill gesture for the wellbeing of the locality from which he has benefited over the years and finance the gritting of Heyes Lane. I mean it isn't as though he doesn't have vehicles and manpower to conduct such an operation over the probable short duration when winter conditions require it.
Then again - how many wealthy persons live in the village and could each of them on their own stump up the few quid required to ensure that the roads along which they and their families travel are made as safe as possible, if only to reduce the possibility of having some minor damage done to their precious, expensive motors that they move around in?
You see, we all wait until some terrible thing happens and then ask why somebody didn’t do something about it.
Well, the somebody is YOU - so what are YOU going to do about it - before something happens, perhaps not to you but someone you care about and it is then too late?
David Smith
Thursday 1st July 2021 at 5:17 am
GRIT BINS:
Not sure exactly what these are for. I always assumed they were for residents to have access to salt/grit for small areas that are problematic, a bit icy and could cause an accident or someone slipping up and getting injured. Places such as steps on a property, pavements near their home or part of their driveway as it exits onto a road - that sort of thing. I don't see them as a solution to making safe a complete road/highway such as Heyes Lane. They could however be rather useful for such a purpose if enough residents took it upon themselves to spread the salt/grit onto the road and pavements when icy conditions are forecast. Not much is required as the cars will spread it along the road and do the job. What is needed is a community spirit and defiance to get organised for their own good - a bit like clearing litter up in the place where you live. All that is required are a few good people [lead by councillor Browne] with wheelbarrows and willing assistants to throw the stuff where needed - best to use rubber gloves/marigolds. As the bins aren't that large and don't contain much material the council replenishers would have to be advised they are empty ASAP so they get filled for the next demand. Best done in an evening before the temperatures reach their lowest in the night.
It strikes me as rather contradictory when communities such as Alderley Edge can organise themselves into groups for pleasure - such as the cricket team - and will happily stand around of an evening in bars, pubs and restaurants but don’t seem to be able to organise something that is going to make their village SAFER for everyone. A bit like the nerd motorists turning up in town with their noise buckets and rattling their exhausts along the main street. This has been going on for so long now but what have the residents as a group done to stop this intrusion into their village and way of life by these ‘immigrants’ from out of town?
David Carey
Thursday 1st July 2021 at 9:42 am
Have to agree with David on this one, I was never sure what Grit Bins are for, pavements I do get, but who actually is authorised to use them. Having an extra grit bin on Heyes Lane doesnt strike me as a solution, and what about the parts of the road well away from houses who grits those areas. Also what would happen if you accidently threw grit into the path of oncoming fast car (which we have all the time on Heyes Lane) and the driver became irate thinking you are aiming it his priceless sports car food for thought.
Andy Brown
Thursday 1st July 2021 at 12:43 pm
If it snows I find strapping a pair of tennis racquets to my feet does the trick.
Tony Haluradivth
Thursday 1st July 2021 at 4:55 pm
We would need the grit bins constantly refilled for the size of the road. Heyes Lane is very long. Who grits the bend at Whitehall Brook in a dark afternoon and risks their life David? If they can keep coming to refill the grit bins (which would empty fairly fast) then they can grit the road at the SAME COST surely? Craig I am sorry but this stupid criteria list needs reviewing as the Whitehall Brook skating rink is dangerous. Lets not wait for a Coach load if School kids to overturn in bad weather. This thread will be here for years to come and we don't want to be linking to it Craig if there is some horendous accident in future we would not want it coming back to haunt you
David Hadfield
Friday 2nd July 2021 at 1:13 pm
The comments from Tony Haluradivth and others on the BENEFITS of gritting Heyes Lane makes common sense ..... this is such a basic requirement.
Where is the common sense from the councillors who oppose gritting this road ?
David Smith
Sunday 4th July 2021 at 10:32 am
DAVID CAREY:
I obviously credited any 'volunteer' grit spreaders with more common sense and to throw salt into the road well away from any passing vehicle instead of your belief that they would antagonise any motorist by aiming it a bit close to their cherished vehicle. The grit spreading machines don't seem to be bothered about that if you have ever followed a bit close behind one - the grit has quite a spread and bounces around the road.
TONY HALURADIVTH:
You've quite rightly raised the issue of the dangerous bend at Whitehall Brook. This bend is dangerous even in non-icy conditions. The road is narrow and bends with high hedges on both sides giving reduced visibility of oncoming traffic. Looking on Google maps, the road slopes down towards the entrance into the Peter Emerson Jones Management Services yard just before the bend. This allows water to drain towards the entrance and gather there in puddles, which would be icy in low temperatures. At this point in Heyes Lane the pavement has finally reduced to just one side of the road and as it passes by the entrance to the Emerson Management Services yard isn’t in the best state of repair. I suppose this doesn’t really matter as there is no more pavement along Heyes Lane thereafter and any pedestrian thinking of going further round the bend must be crazy and taking a great risk of being hit by a vehicle.
If there seems to be some concern about stopping gritting along Heyes Lane in winter, how come the councillors, residents or anyone else thinking about SAFETY in the village where they live in expensive houses, has not thought to have this bend made safer for all users - at all times of the year? Since YOU, Tony Haluradivth has pointed this out very clearly perhaps you could make it a personal aim to ensure something gets done to make it SAFE? As well as pedestrians it is just as dangerous for cyclists. Go a bit out of the village from this ‘death trap’ bend as far as where the speed limit becomes unrestricted and then turn around and look back towards Alderley Edge and - at least on Google maps at the link below -

https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@53.3098823,-2.222734,3a,75y,201.15h,99.26t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sQ_FDG3bcP26UkiUlysvhCQ!2e0!7i13312!8i6656?hl=en

- you will see there isn’t a road sign showing a reduction to 30mph despite a suggestion to drive slowly because of children - YOURS PERHAPS???. The possible 30mph limit sign appears to have been vandalised and in any case is only on one side of the lane. It’s just possible to make out a rather worn out 30mph marking in the road to give any indication of a change in the speed limit for vehicles approaching Alderley Edge and the death trap bend at Whitehall Brook. Has it been vandalised by the boy racers in their noise buckets who wish to have uninterrupted fun in Alderley Edge and the surrounding roads?
So isn’t it about time that the residents all over our Cheshire East locality started to get angry and DO SOMETHING about all the nonsense issues that seem to be cropping up all too often in the places where we live?
What are YOU going to do?
David Hadfield
Sunday 4th July 2021 at 8:47 pm
Well Done David Smith, a great article.
You write with great passion about the lack of common sense when it comes to our roads and pavements NOT being in good condition, with many of them NOT being fit for purpose !
I totally agree with everything you say about this subject, David.

Think you may be a little harsh on Tony by demanding HE do something about it.
After all, he's the one who has brought it to our attention once again.
(We are aware of the many road, pavement and safety problems in our area)

It's for the councillors and those we have elected to do something about it.
WE have raised it ..... THEY should act upon it.
David Smith
Monday 5th July 2021 at 9:48 am
Thanks David.
I wasn't pitching my YOU reference at Tony. It may have seemed like it upon further reading but I should perhaps have said YOU (the reader) to bring in a wider responsibility for my use of 'you'.
I do feel however that communities aren't just that any more - communities. The whole point of a councillor is to be a local person who 'gets around' and identifies the many little things that annoy the locals that they represent and who have largely voted them 'in' to represent them and be the go-between with the council in their ivory tower in Macclesfield or Crewe or wherever. A place [not quite yet a community] like Alderley Edge should have NO issues like gritting of roads or dangerous bends or hooligan boy racers in the main street or the like because the people who live in the ‘village’ and who are mostly of great wealth should have the community responsibility and good nature to see the benefit of arranging amongst themselves a fund that deals with such issues out of their own pockets. The advantage and payback being that the place where they live and want to raise their children is better and safer for it. I don’t live in Alderley so I can’t be responsible for such community action but surely there must be a handful of residents who could be - and that’s all it takes to get a movement going. So over to ‘someone else’.
Tony Haluradivth
Monday 5th July 2021 at 10:28 pm
I agree with much of what you say David and make a point of being a thorn in the side of the Council from time to time as I do care about the village. Age is no barrier ;)

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