Agenda and minutes

Cheshire East Countryside Access Forum
Thursday, 20th September, 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 John Handley, Dale Langham and Ivor Williams.


HS2 Phase 2a Amended Proposals and Technical Specifications

Tim Taylor and Nisha Plaha, HS2 Ltd


The Forum received a presentation on the HS2 Phase 2a amended proposals and technical specifications in relation to public rights of way affected by the route.


The presentation detailed the roads and public rights of way which would be changed, stopped up or diverted.  The Forum was informed that all crossings would be over or under the rail route; any diversions would be the shortest possible route; construction would be to the standards set out in the Design Manual for Roads and Bridges; standards for minor and rural road would be based on the Channel Tunnel Rail link; highways would be to the standard of the local authority, and public rights of way would be based on design guidance produced by organisations such as the British Horse Society. 


The Forum asked if some of the proposed new public rights of way and tracks could be given higher access status e.g. bridleway status or restricted byway so that cyclists and horse drawn carriages could use them. 


Concerns were raised about construction traffic using rural roads during the construction phase of the work.  In response it was stated that a construction plan would be agreed with the local authority which would state which roads would be used by HGV lorries.


The Forum was asked if they had any specific local issues to forward them to the HS2 team.







Minutes of the Previous Meeting held on 21 June 2018 pdf icon PDF 64 KB




That the minutes of the meeting held on 21 June 2018 be confirmed as a correct record.


Forum Recruitment: Marketing and Publicity pdf icon PDF 49 KB

Genni Butler


The Forum considered an indicative timetable for recruitment for Forum membership.


The term of membership for the current Forum members would end in April 2019.  The current members would be invited to consider whether they wish to continue for a further three years.  As the present membership number of 10 was the required minimum number set out in the Local Access Forums (England) Regulations 2007, it was proposed to undertake a recruitment exercise to attract new members to the Forum.


It was suggested that the date for sending out invitations to selected organisations/individuals be brought forward to allow more time for applications to be made.   Other potential organisations and advertising channels suggested included the National Trust, CPRE, Cycling UK and advertising in the press in surrounding areas to Cheshire East e.g. local Stockport newspapers.


It was agreed that Forum Recruitment should further be considered at the next meeting in December.


Reports from Members




Pat Fetherstone reported an article would be included in the next edition of Connected Communities Newsletter, with would include the HS2 Phase 2a presentation from today’s meeting.


Rural Road Safety Working Group


It was reported that Cheshire Police had been focusing on motorcycle safety to reduce the number of motorcycle related collisions on the roads.


Access for All Working Group


It was reported that since the last meeting there had been no further progress made with the event with Access for All UK.


Waterways Working Group


It was noted that the Canal and River Trust had a new logo and strap line ‘Making life better by water’.


No response had been received from South Cheshire College to the Forum’s suggestion that a student work with the Forum to produce a leaflet on accessibility to canals for the disabled.


Other Reports


John Handley had via email suggested that the Forum respond to the newly published Draft Site Allocations and Development Policies Document, as a number of policies were relevant to the work of the Forum f e.g. RUR 6 Outdoor recreation in the open countryside; RUR 7 Equestrian Development and RUR 8 Visitor Accommodation.


It was agreed that John be asked to draft a response on behalf of the Forum and that members forward any comments to him.


Review of Working Groups


The Chair led a discussion on the future of the Working Groups as there was often little or nothing to report at meetings and to consider whether the Groups should be disbanded or change their focus to consider an issue when they arose in the form of a task and finish group.


The Forum agreed that only when a Working Groups had something to report it would be included on the agenda and that task and finish groups be established when a particular issue arose.




Rights of Way Improvement Plan pdf icon PDF 64 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 – lighting and signage to be completed autumn 2018.

·       CAMS Web Portal – included as a future option in the new contract.

·       Gritstone Trail – the grant application had been successful and the work initiated.

·       Publicity – comment had been received that the Walks for All leaflet demonstrated best practice.

·       Planning  - use of S106 contributions to be used for footpath improvements


Date of Next Meeting

Thursday 6 December 2018 at 10.00 am in the Silk Room, Macclesfield Town Hall.


The next meeting will be held on Thursday 6 December 2018 in Macclesfield Town Hall.