Agenda and minutes

Cheshire East Countryside Access Forum
Thursday, 14th September, 2017 10.00 am

Venue: West Committee Room - Municipal Buildings, Earle Street, Crewe, CW1 2BJ. View directions

Contact: Rachel Graves 

Items
No. Item

10.

Welcome and Apologies

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Pat Featherstone and Maurice Palin.

11.

A500 Dualling - Proposals for Non-Motorised Users

Dominic Flynn, Jacobs

Minutes:

Dominic Flynn from Jacobs attended the Forum to provide an update on the proposals for non-motorised users in the plans to widen the A500 from the M6 Junction 16 to the A5020 roundabout.

 

The results of the non-motorised users surveys, which had been carried out over four days, were reported.  The Forum was concerned about the method used for these surveys and suggested that the use of counters on the affected routes would provide a better indication of usage over a longer period of time.

 

The Forum consider the proposed footpath diversions and felt that the construction of a bridge to link Smithy Lane and Barthomley Public Footpath No.18with Barthomley Public Footpath No.33 would be a better alternative than diverting the footpaths to the two road bridges and would be of greater benefit to users.

 

The Forum also posed questions about how walkers would cross the A500 at the M6 junction, given the proposed diversion of Barthomley Footpaths Nos.25 and 15, and about the possibility of creating a shared use pedestrian/cyclist route alongside the widened road.

 

Public consultation was being held between 20 September and 1 November on the proposals for the dualling of the A500.   Public exhibitions were being held on Wednesday 20 September and Saturday 23 September at the Village Hall in Barthomley. The Forum’s response would be fed into the consultation process.

 

12.

Minutes of the Previous Meeting held on 6 July 2017 pdf icon PDF 77 KB

Minutes:

RESOLVED:

 

That the minutes of the meeting held on 6 July 2017 be confirmed as a correct record subject to the following amendment:

 

Minutes 7 (c) Rural Road Safety Working Group

Paragraph 3, 4th sentence – delete ‘British Horse Society’ as they were in attendance as a delegate and not as a speaker.

13.

Proposals to Change the Name of the Forum pdf icon PDF 61 KB

Bob Anderson

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the proposal to change the name of the Forum to the Cheshire East Countryside Access Forum as it was often thought that the word ‘access’ related to disability access.

 

It was reported that a number of Local Access Forum used an alternative name to the title used in the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 which created the Forums.  Of the 84 Forums listed on the Natural England LAF webpage, 7 of these used the title of Countryside Access Forum.

 

Members asked if there would be any cost involved in the change.  The name change would be reported to Natural England and changes be made to the Forum’s webpage, contact email address, letterhead and agenda front page.  The only cost would be to amend the Forum’s pop-up banner. 

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the Forum’s name be changed to Cheshire East Countryside Access Forum.

 

14.

HS2 Phase 2a and Phase 2b Update

Mike Taylor/Genni Butler

Minutes:

In the absence of a representative of HS2 Ltd, Mike Taylor and Genni Butler updated the Forum on proposals for HS2 in Cheshire East and the treatment of Public Rights of Way and rural lanes.

 

Comments from the Forum had previously been submitted in relation to the outline proposals for Phase 2a.  The Public Rights of Way Team had also submitted detailed comments and suggestions on individual Public Rights of Way affected.

 

Consultation was now taking place on the Environmental Statement and Equality Impact Assessment following the deposit of the Phase 2a Hybrid Bill in Parliament in July 2017.  The document included proposals for the accommodation of Public Rights of Way and rural lanes with routes to bridge crossings being provided without undue diversion from desire lines and new linking bridleways were proposed for a significant length to provide connectivity for users.

 

The consultation documents were available at www.gov.uk/hs2 and with responses required by 30 September 2017.

 

The proposals for HS2 Phase 2b north of Crewe were less developed.  The proposed route alignment was available but no detail on the impact or mitigation for Public Rights of Way or rural lanes were available.  A formal public consultation on the draft Environmental Impact Assessment and draft Equality Impact Assessment Scope and Methodology Reports was underway and comments were required by 29 September.  The documents were available at www.gov.uk/hs2.

15.

Reports from Members

15a

Communications

Minutes:

A draft report had been prepared for the next Partnerships for Action in Cheshire East (PACE) newsletter which included details of the Neighbourhood Plan Guidance and the Reconomic Plus report.  A press release was being prepared for local newspapers on the proposed name change for the Forum.

15b

Rural Road Safety Working Group

Minutes:

Linda Rose and Dale Langham had met with Superintendent Cleworth and discussed a wide range of topics included the submission of dash camera footage, PSCO using speed camera, accident statistics, speed limits on rural roads and road signage.

15c

Access for All Working Group

Minutes:

There was nothing to report at the present time.

 

The Bollington Walking Festival leaflet was handed out and it was noted that the programme included a number of Walks for Health and a Sensory Walk for those affected by sight loss.

 

15d

Waterways Working Group

Minutes:

It was reported that Macclesfield Canal had been awarded a Green Flag by Keep Britain Tidy, after been judged as being a quality green space which had high environmental standards, was well maintained and offered excellent visitor facilities.

15e

Other Reports

Minutes:

Riverlands Project

The Forum had send a letter of support for the National Trust’s bid for funding for the Catchments in Trust project, now renamed the Riverlands project.  The project built on the work outlined in Chris Widger’s presentation to the Forum in December 2016, about the Landscape Scale Partnership work.

 

Available Walking Routes to Schools

Rhoda Bailey reported that Cheshire East’s Cabinet had considered Phase 2 of the Available Walking Routes to School Programme and had authorised community engagement on the removal of free transport between Mobberley and Knutsford Academy on the basis that the route was now assessed as an available walking route. 

16.

Rights of Way Improvement Plan pdf icon PDF 80 KB

Genni Butler

Minutes:

Genni Butler reported on the Rights of Way Improvement Plan.

 

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

·       Sandbach Footpath between Station Road and Clifton Road - improvements to be scheduled once extent of Network Rail works and HS2 proposals are known

·       Sandbach Footpath No.6  - an additional length of path had been improved by adjacent developer

·       Gritstone Trail and Sandstone Trail ‘Twin Trails’ – the expression of interest application had been successful and full application had been submitted to Rural Development for England Growth Programme

·       Planning - use of S106 contributions

17.

Date of Next Meeting

10.00 am on Thursday 7 December 2017 in the Silk Room, Macclesfield Town Hall, Market Street, Macclesfield  SK10 1EA

Minutes:

The next meeting will be held on Thursday 7 December 2017 in the Silk Room, Macclesfield Town Hall, Market Street, Macclesfield  SK10 1EA.