Agenda and minutes

Cheshire East Countryside Access Forum
Thursday, 7th December, 2017 10.00 am

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

Contact: Rachel Graves 

No. Item


Welcome and Apologies


Apologies were received from Forum members Rhoda Bailey, Chris Driver, Maurice Palin and Linda Rose, and from Mike Taylor, Public Rights of Way Manager.


Active Cheshire pdf icon PDF 42 KB

Adam Norris

Additional documents:


Adam Norris, Senior Partnership Manager (East), Active Cheshire, attended the meeting and gave a presentation on the Blueprint the organisation had developed to tackle physical inactivity.


Active Cheshire had worked with partners from education, health, business, transport and leisure to look at the issue of physical inactivity, the reasons for it and the benefits of regular physical activity.  From this the Blueprint was developed with the aim of embedding physical activity into all aspects of everyday life. 


A copy of the Blueprint had been included in the agenda pack for the meeting.  Feedback and comments were now being sought on the plan with the consultation period being extended to 14 December 2017.  Forum members were asked to forward their comments to Genni Butler for inclusion in the Forum’s response and were also encouraged to respond as an individual to the consultation.


Middlewich Eastern Bypass Proposals

Rachel Whitehead, Jacobs


Paul Holder and Rachel Whitehead from Jacobs attended the Forum to seek members’ views on the effects of the proposals for the Middlewich Eastern Bypass on Public Rights of Way and countryside access.


The proposed Bypass was to be single carriageway road with a cycleway/footway running the length of the road.  The route would affect a number of public footpaths and National Cycle Network Route 71.


Details of the preliminary proposals for non-motorised users were shared with the Forum and included proposals for junctions with Pochin Way, Cledford Lane and Booth Lane and where the new road would cross Public Footpath No.20 Middlewich. 


A survey would be carried out of the usage of the affected Public Rights of Way with the results reported back to a future meeting of the Forum, along with the detailed plans.


In general the Forum welcomed the accommodation provided to the Public Rights of Way network and rural lanes. Members of the Forum also raised a number of points in relation to the proposals:

·       the Forum’s views on the appropriate design of usage surveys had already been communicated to the project team;

·       the importance of a connecting link to be provided between the shared use footway/cycleway alongside the new road and the canal towpath, for use of both pedestrians and cyclists, was highlighted.  This would offer onward traffic-free route options for both leisure and active travel;

·       the proposals included provision of one shared use footway/cycleway on the western, town side of the new road.  The potential to provide two such routes, one either side of the road was raised, particularly given the proximity of the borough boundary and the potential for future development sites;

·       the proposals included a potential ‘diversion’ for part of Middlewich Footpath No.19 onto Cledford Lane on the east side of the new road.  This was questioned as members felt they would prefer to remain on the Footpath within agricultural land and therefore separate from traffic on the lane;

·       the width of the island refuge crossing the new road at the Cledford Lane junction was questioned, with the need for it to be adequate for cyclists’ use being highlighted.




Minutes of the previous meeting held on 14 September 2017 pdf icon PDF 76 KB




That the minutes of the meeting held on 14 September 2017 be confirmed as a correct record.


Revised Forum Terms of Reference pdf icon PDF 36 KB

Genni Butler

Additional documents:


The Terms of Reference for the Forum had been updated following the change of name and were brought to the meeting for approval.




That the revised Terms of Reference be adopted.


Reports from Members




Pat Featherstone reported that a couple of articles on the Forum’s work had been included in the Connected Communities newsletter.  No coverage had been achieved on the name change of the Forum.  However the items on Active Cheshire and Middlewich Eastern Bypass were to be used as a topic for new medial releases.


Rural Road Safety Working Group


There was nothing to report at the present time.


Access for All Working Group


Ivor Williams had attended an Access Exchange Conference in Chesterfield, which had been led by Access for All UK, an organisation set up by two parents of children with disabilities, which provided specialist expertise in training and development, accessible tourism and healthcare to promote access for all in these areas.  The event had had a BOMA all-terrain mobility vehicle and Mountain Trike vehicles on display/demonstration. 


Waterways Working Group


There was nothing to report at present.


Other Reports


Dale Langham reported on a meeting he had attended in Derby on Lost Ways, where it was reported that the Peak and Northern Footpaths Society has created a database for Lost Ways in Derbyshire so that the information could be shared with others interested in recording Lost Ways before the 2026 deadline.   It was suggested that this be brought to the attention of attendees of the Public Rights of Way Consultative Group to see if users groups were interested in creating a database for Cheshire East.


Pat Featherstone had attended the Chairs’ Regional Forum meeting, which had discussed the following:

·       Restoring the Record’ – an updated version had been circulated to Forums

·       National Street Gazetteer – access to the List of Streets

·       Natural England grant settlement – expected to be reduced and as a result less support to be provided to Forums.  They would no longer be requiring annual report forms to be completed in addition to annual reports.

·       Network Rails’ plans to close at-grade crossings


Pat Featherstone reported the success of the Canal and River Trust in securing funding for a project in Macclesfield aiming to get over -55s active on the towpath.


Genni Butler reported that the Canal and Rivers Trust would shortly be publishing maps of accessible towpaths on their website. Ordnance Survey had also launched a Greenspace Map on their website.


John Handley reported that he had informed Macclesfield MP David Rutley about the role and work of the Forum.


Genni Butler reported that there was no update available on the Deregulation Act 2015.


Dale Langham reported that he had attended the Highways England opening event for the non-motorised users route alongside the de-trunked A556.  However, since that date hawthorn hedge cuttings had been left on the route.  Genni Butler was to report this Cheshire East Highways who maintain the route.


Genni Butler reported that a meeting had been held with consultants for Highways England about the missing Restricted Byway bridge over the M6 in the parishes of Mere and Tabley Superior, following the Forum having secured a project timetable for its replacement.


The value of the Forum’s advice on countryside access in the Neighbourhood Planning process was reiterated by John Handley.


Rights of Way Improvement Plan pdf icon PDF 80 KB

Genni Butler


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:

·       Altrincham Road A538 cycle route Wilmslow

·       Gritstone Trail – funding bid

·       Planning – use of S106 contributions



Proposed Dates of Next Meetings

10.00 am Thursday 22 March 2018 - East Committee Room, Municipal Buildings, Earle Street, Crewe CW1 2BJ


10.00 am Thursday 21 June 2018 – Council Chamber, Macclesfield Town Hall, Market Street, Macclesfield SK10 1EA


10.00 am Thursday 20 September 2018 – East Committee Room, Municipal Buildings, Earle Street, Crewe CW1 2BJ


10.00 am Thursday 6 December 2018 – Silk Room, Macclesfield Town Hall, Market Street, Macclesfield  SK10 1EA


The date of meetings in 2018 were agreed as follows:


Thursday 22 March 2018 – East Committee Room, Municipal Buildings, Earle Street, Crewe  CW1 2BJ


Thursday 21 June 2018 – Council Chamber, Macclesfield Town Hall, Market Street, Macclesfield  SK10 1EA


Thursday 20 September 2018 – East Committee Room, Municipal Buildings, Earle Street, Crewe  CW1 2BJ


Thursday 6 December 2018 – Silk Room, Macclesfield Town Hall, Market Street, Macclesfield  SK10 1EA