Reader's Letter: Dangerous path needs attention

Opposite the south entrance to Alderley Park in Nether Alderley is a designated shared use path, intended for use by pedestrians and cyclists. It runs beside the busy A34 where vehicles can legally travel up to a speed of 50mph.

A significant section of this path has been unsafe to use for several years because of the very overgrown boundary hedge and a thick mat of weeds and debris.

Concerned about the safety of path users, I made my first complaint to Cheshire East Highways Dept. in June 2021. Since then, I have continued to write to them alerting the authority that it remains a dangerous path. I have been told that it is not regarded as dangerous, even when I made an official appeal about their initial decision.

In October 2022, a Senior Highways Officer wrote to tell me that "Congleton Road is inspected twelve times per year as part of our scheduled safety inspection programme" so it seems that, since my first complaint, it has now been passed as a safe route on 29 occasions!

Do readers agree that this cannot be classified as acceptable? My most recent messages to CEC, with updates photos (these taken on 22nd November 2023), have not been even acknowledged.

What should I do next?

Helen Battilana

Reader's Letter


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

Chris Templar
Tuesday 28th November 2023 at 2:46 pm
I agree 100% Helen. I too have remarked several times on the overgrown state of that footpath.

If Cheshire East are refusing to fix it - and could be held liable if a fatal accident were to occur as a result of the dangerous footpath - I suggest you email our MP, Esther McVey, on and I think you will find the job will be done very quickly.

I am still waiting to see the dangerous unlit (at night) traffic bollards, in the middle of Bollington Lane at the junction nearby with the A34, repaired and replaced with internally lit bollards after reporting them some weeks ago and being told they would be repaired as an 'urgent. job.
David Hadfield
Tuesday 28th November 2023 at 3:51 pm
Helen, I totally agree with you.
This pathway is dangerous and not fit for purpose.
If a serious accident were to now occur, the authorities should hang their heads in shame ... and the fact you have highlighted this problem yet again (this time on this website) maybe action will be taken at last as I know Councillor Craig Browne reads these messages and maybe, just maybe, action will be taken.
Neil Jennings
Tuesday 28th November 2023 at 7:58 pm
The hedge on the opposite side of the road on Brook Lane as you go down just past Brook View sticks well out into the road so far that you can’t see the kerb.
When driving up Brook lane it forces vehicles out into the centre of the road and hasn’t had anything done to it for years.
It always gets overlooked but one day there is going to be a serious accident and the council could be to blame.
Stuart Redgard
Tuesday 28th November 2023 at 8:55 pm
Helen,I totally agree. I raised the same issue relating to the footpath on the A538 (Altrincham Road) between the Airport Hotel and Honey Bee Pub. I got exactly the same type of response and also that it was the responsibility of adjacent landowners to remove encroaching vegetation.

2 years ago I raised other issues about the highways department relating to failures in the gritting routes risk assessment process. These have still not been addressed.

I will be addressing this again at the public speaking session of the next full council meeting on 13 December 2023.

Do you want to join me and raise your points with the full council?
Kelvin Briggs
Friday 15th December 2023 at 11:44 am
A footpath clearance project yesterday end of Ryleys Lane beginning of Chelford Road by Chorley Village Hall.
The full Monty,traffic lights and a digger.
Alan Brough
Friday 15th December 2023 at 7:31 pm
That’s good to read. I’m sick of having to play “chicken” whilst walking the dog and having to step out into the road against oncoming traffic because the hedges are over growing the road and the pavements are overgrown with weeds and detritus due to neglect.
Jon Williams
Saturday 16th December 2023 at 10:54 am
I reported this area many, many times to C/E. it took about 5 years for them to remove part of that mound of earth off the footpath.
Diana Bullock
Sunday 17th December 2023 at 12:06 pm

You mention the mound of earth on the path (opposite Chorley Hall Lane) blocking the way. I reported that about twenty years ago, after my parents died, and I was walking regularly to the cemetery. It has, as you say, been removed and that part of the path is a lot better but, further along, where the road bends, the path is very narrow and the overgrown soil and weeds, etc. need a severe cutting back, as do a lot of hedges in Alderley Edge. The footpaths, because of overgrown hedges, are getting worse. I met a lady with a pushchair the other day at the end of Steven’s Street and she was having a struggle to get along the path because of the overgrown hedge and rough path.
Tony Haluradivth
Monday 18th December 2023 at 1:49 am
Many hedges are like this now in Alderley and many property owners will read these comments. Those who allow their hedges to expand and block footpaths should be ashamed and if they are not prepared to do something about it then perhaps they shoud be named and shamed.
Jon Williams
Monday 18th December 2023 at 11:02 am
Similar to this "Dangerous path needs attention" post I have a "Dangerous Street needs attention" complaint and the street is Duke Street in Alderley Edge. This street is not maintained by the Highway Authority (C/E).
A duty to maintain the road will still exist. This usually falls upon the owners of any properties fronting the road, along with having public liability insurance in place.