Agenda and minutes

Cheshire East Countryside Access Forum
Thursday, 20th June, 2019 11.00 am

Venue: The Capesthorne Room - Town Hall, Macclesfield SK10 1EA. View directions

Contact: Rachel Graves 

No. Item


Welcome, Introductions and Apologies


Following the successful recruitment campaign, the new Forum members  Sharon Angus-Crawshaw, John Matthews, Laureen Roberts and Helen Wainwright were welcomed to the meeting.  The fifth new member, Terry Dykes, was unable to attend this meeting.


It was reported the Councillor June Buckley was proposed to be Cheshire East Council’s new representative on the Forum, a position to be confirmed by the Council in the near future.


Appointment of Chairman


Nominations were sought for the Chair of the Cheshire East Countryside Access Forum.  Bob Anderson was proposed and seconded to be Chair.




That Bob Anderson be appointed as the Chair of the Cheshire East Countryside Access Forum.


Bob Anderson in the Chair


Appointment of Vice Chairman


Nominations were sought for the Vice Chair of the Cheshire East Countryside Access Forum.   Sharon Angus-Crawshaw was proposed and seconded as Vice Chair.




That Sharon Angus-Crawshaw be appointed as the Vice Chair of the Cheshire East Countryside Access Forum.



Review of the National Cycle Network and Paths for Everyone National Cycle Network Physical Review and Action Plan: Activation Project Catergory A1: National Cycle Route 70 - Cheshire Cycleway pdf icon PDF 56 KB

Paul Bruffell, Sustrans


Paul Bruffell of Sustrans attended the meeting to discuss a project within Cheshire East identified in the action plan from the review of the National Cycle Network ‘Paths for Everyone’.  The project related to National Cycle Network Route 70 and aimed to change the road character to create a quiet route.


Sustrans had developed a level of service measure scoring system based on surface quality, traffic related safety, flow, and way finding and signage to review the cycle network.   Traffic related safety was based on whether a section of cycle network on road would be acceptable for an unaccompanied 12 year old to cycle. 


National Route 70 – Cheshire Cycleway had been identified as one of the activation projects, having scored a very poor rating on speed and flow of traffic on certain rural roads which made up the cycleway.  In Cheshire 84% of the cycle network was on roads compared to 67% nationally.  The Cheshire cycleway had been established many years ago when there had been less traffic on the roads. 


The aim was to change the approach to management of the rural roads by reducing traffic speed and volume of traffic in order to ensure a safer user experience.  The idea was to develop quiet sections of road with a speed limit of 40 mph and reduce traffic flow. In built up areas the speed limit was proposed to be 20 mph.  Improvements were to be proposed to crossing/junctions to allow for safe movement of users and increased signage to highlight the speed limit and inform drivers to expect people walking, cycling or horse riding. 


In the discussion Forum members mentioned about conflict on cycle paths between cyclist and pedestrians and the provision of segregated paths; the use of the cycle paths by equestrian users; speed limits on rural roads; the speed of fast cyclists; different type of cycle users – family groups, long distance riders and racers; and the 2022 legislation for speed limiters.


Forum members were asked to provide any further feedback to Genni Butler for forwarding to Sustrans.


Minutes of Previous Meeting held on 21 March 2019 pdf icon PDF 83 KB


Matters Arising


Minute 23 – HS2: Phase 2B

A consultation was taking place on design refinements for HS2 Phase 2B until 6 September 2019.


Minute 26 Forum Annual Report 2018-19

The Annual Report had been published. Councillor Sam Corcoran, Leader of Cheshire East Council; Councillor Nick Mannion,  Portfolio Holder for Environment and Regeneration and Councillor Suzie Akers Smith, the Council’s Cycling and Walking Champion, had been invited to meet with the Chair, Vice Chair and Genni Butler.


Minute 27a Road Safety Group

Genni Butler had been in contact with Cheshire Fire and Rescue to invite a representative to attend a future meeting of the Forum.


Minutes 27 (b) Restricted Bridleway 22

Officers had been in contact with the National Trust to try to find a resolution to this issue.




That the minutes of the meeting held on 21 March 2019 be confirmed as a correct record.


Reports from Members


Priorities of the Forum



The Chairman led discussion on the work priorities of the Forum for the next 12 months.


The Chairman outlined the previously agreed work priorities of the Forum and asked for suggestions for topics that could be considered for future work.


Suggestions forthcoming included:

·         Unrecorded public rights of way for adding to the Definitive Map before the cut-off date of 2026;

·         Education on responsible use of countryside access

·         Health and Wellbeing

·         Networking on social media.


It was agreed that that a report would be brought to the next meeting detailing what had been done and what could be done in the next 12 months.


Rights of Way Improvement Plan Update pdf icon PDF 63 KB

Genni Butler


Genni Butler reported on the Rights of Way Improvement Plan.


An update on projects being delivered under the Improvement Plan was provided and included updates on:


·         Gritstone Trail – delivery of the project was now underway 

·         Planning  - section 106 monies being used to improve public rights of way which included improvements to Alsager Footpath No.10 and Nantwich Footpath No.28.


Any Other Business



Watersports Park

Linda Rose reported that a new application had been submitted for a Watersports and Outdoor Activity Centre at the former Mere Farm Quarry – planning reference 19/3513M.  The Forum had supported a previous application which was refused.  It was agreed that the application should be viewed to see if the Forum’s previous comments were still relevant and if so be re-submitted.


Climate Change and Visitor Economy

John Handley reported that he proposed to bring a report/presentation to the Forum on this issue to a future meeting.


Date of Next Meeting

10 am on Thursday 19 September 2019 in the East Committee Room, Municipal Buildings, Earle Street, Crewe  CW1 2BJ


The next meeting will be held on Thursday 19 September 2019 in the Municipal Buildings, Crewe.