Agenda and minutes

Cheshire East Countryside Access Forum
Thursday, 22nd March, 2018 10.00 am

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

Contact: Rachel Graves 

No. Item


Welcome and Apologies


Apologies were received from Forum member Pat Featherstone and from Mike Taylor, Public Rights of Way Manager.


Middlewich Eastern Bypass Proposals

Paul Holder, Jacobs


Paul Holder, Jacobs and Richard Hibbert, Cheshire East Council attended the Forum to provide details of the preferred route of the Middlewich Eastern Bypass.


Consultation on the proposals were taking place until 29 April 2018 and public exhibitions were being held in Middlewich.


A non-motorised users’ survey had been carried out on 11 March 2018. A further survey of non-motorised users would be carried out later in the year.


The results of the survey had shown a high cyclist usage – a mixture of group riders and individual riders, at the Cledford Lane junction survey.As a result of this, the junction arrangements would be reviewed to provide for cycle safety.


The survey of Public Footpaths No.19 and No.20 had shown low usage and it was proposed to provide at grade crossing with central refuge island over the Bypass.


The Forum was disappointed that the plans did not include proposals for pedestrian/cyclist paths on both sides of the Bypass and felt that the opportunity was being missed to provide one as a need for these could increase as the building of the Bypass would open up employment and housing development opportunities.  It was agreed that the Forum’s concerns would be submitted as a response to the Consultation process.




Leighton West Spine Road Proposals

Paul Holder and Durba Jha, Jacobs


Dominic Flynn from Jacobs attended the Forum and gave a short presentation on the proposals for the Leighton West Spine Road.


This was a new road scheme which had come about in anticipation of development.  The land was currently farm land.  The new road would provide access from A530 Middlewich Road to Leighton Hospital and to the B5076 Flowers Lane.


Two public footpaths  - No.3 Leighton and No.20 Crewe, would be affected by the new road.  User surveys would be carried out with the results being reported back to the Forum.


It was proposed that pedestrian/cyclist paths would be creating on both sides of the new spine road.


The Forum asked about the crossing point provision and the landscaping proposals alongside the pedestrian/cyclist paths.



A500 Dualling Proposals

Dominic Flynn and Durba Jha, Jacobs


Dominic Flynn from Jacobs attended the Forum to provide details of the preferred route for the dualling of the A500 from the M6 Junction 16 to the A5020 roundabout and the proposals for the affected public rights of way.  It was expected that the planning application would be submitted in June 2018.


Parts of Public Footpaths No.25 Barthomley, No.17 Barthomley and No.4 Barthomley would be stopped up and new paths created to divert user to cross over the A500 via the two road bridges. 


The Forum raised again the desire to see a shared use pedestrian/cyclist route alongside the widened road. 


Forum members were asked to submit any further comments on the proposals to Genni Butler.


Minutes of the Previous Meeting held on 7 December 2017 pdf icon PDF 78 KB




That the minutes of the meeting held on 7 December 2017 be confirmed as a correct record.


Draft Forum Annual Report 2017-2018 pdf icon PDF 41 KB

Genni Butler

Additional documents:


The draft Annual Report for 2016-17 had been circulated with the agenda.


A photograph of the Forum members present was taken for inclusion in the Report.


The Forum approved the content of the Annual Report and thanked Genni Butler for her work in producing the Report.


Forum members were asked to circulate the Annual Report, once the final version was published, to their wider networks.


A534 Wheelock Rail Trail Crossing Report pdf icon PDF 47 KB

Genni Butler

Additional documents:


The Forum considered the feasibility study for the Wheelock Trail crossing of the A534 Wheelock Bypass.


The study set out and assessed a number of options for improving the crossing facilities for pedestrians and cyclists across the Wheelock bypass. These options included a signalised crossing, central refuge, grade separated crossing (e.g. shared use bridge), illuminated sign warning, rumble strips, coloured high friction surfacing and kerbed build outs.


The report concluded that a grade separated crossing would be the safest way to cross the Wheelock Bypass.  However this would be subject to a cost benefit analysis as low numbers had been recorded crossing the bypass in the user survey carried out.


The Forum supported the provision of a shared use bridge as being the safest and easiest way to cross the Bypass and were concerned that the cyclist and pedestrian user survey had been carried out on a weekday when it was known that the Trail was used more at weekends.


The Forum suggested that if a number of the options could be provided, as together they would provide a safer crossing of the Bypass.


Reports from Members




It was reported that articles had been submitted for the next edition of the Partnerships for Action in Cheshire East (PACE) Newsletter and that it was proposed that press releases be issued on items discussed at today’s meeting - Middlewich Eastern Bypass, A500 Dualling and Leighton West Spine Road.


Rural Road Safety Working Group


Linda Rose reported that there had been discussion on social media about speeding on rural roads and the effect that lowering the speed limits on A roads had on rural roads.


The Forum discussed the recording of accidents statistics and the merits of having a recording system to report where vehicles have left the highway, similar to the recording of potholes system.


Access for All Working Group pdf icon PDF 52 KB


A report by the Working Group had been included in the agenda which detailed a proposal to collaborate with Access for All UK following a meeting with Gillian Scotford and Jane Cooper.


The report proposed that the Forum write to Access for All UK to indicate their support for an event on the lines of an Access Exchange, stressing the limitations of the help which could be given and indicating a wish to talk about ways the Forum could apply material to their work.  The Forum would compile and forward a list of contacts which would be of use to Access for All UK.


The Forum agreed to support these proposals and proposed that Ivor Williams would be the main contact for this project.


Waterways Working Group


It was reported that Pat Featherstone had been unable to attend launch of Canal and River Trust’s project to get over 55s active on the towpaths in Macclesfield due to the weather conditions.  Gillian Renshaw at the Canal and River Trust had agreed to keep Pat updated on the project.


Other Reports


Landscape Character Assessment

John Handley reported that the Supplementary Planning Document on Landscape Character Assessment would soon be revised and issued for consultation and asked that the Forum respond to this.


Meeting with Cheshire East Council

The Chair reported that he, along with Pat Featherstone and Genni Butler, were to meet in April with the Leader of Cheshire East Council – Councillor Rachel Bailey, and the Portfolio Holder for Environment – Councillor Don Stockton.


Rights of Way Improvement Plan pdf icon PDF 81 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:

·       Sandbach footpath between Station Road and Clifton Road – work scheduled for March-April 2018

·       Sandbach Footpath No.6 – potential S106 sought for remaining length of path linking to proposed development site

·       Gritstone Trail – discussions with RPA in progress via Cheshire West and Chester Council

·       Planning – use of S106 contributions.


Date of Next Meeting

10.00 am Thursday 21 June 2018 in the Council Chamber, Macclesfield Town Hall, Market Street, Macclesfield 


The next meeting will be held on Thursday 21 June 2018 in the Council Chamber, Macclesfield Town Hall.