Agenda and minutes

Cheshire East Countryside Access Forum
Thursday, 21st March, 2019 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 Rhoda Bailey and Maurice Palin.


HS2:Phase 2b (Northwards from Crewe)

John Atkinson, HS2 Ltd


John Atkinson, Darren Nicholls and Ethan Smith attended the meeting to discuss with the Forum the route of the HS2 Phase 2b: Northwards from Crewe and the impact on Public Rights of Way.


The Forum raised the following points:

·                the maps being used were not up to date with information of Public Rights of Way and used the example of changes which came about with the A556 road improvements.  It was stated in response the maps used in the previous consultation were based on an earlier design freeze and therefore did not include the comments by the Forum and Public Rights of Way Team.  It was reported that updated maps are now being used.

·                concern about the standards being used for equestrian routes in the vicinity of HS2 as there were no specific standards for high speed rail and the Forum asked if what had been learnt from Phase 1 of the route had been applied to this Phase. The representatives from HS2 undertook to check that this was the case.

·                the missing restricted byway bridge over the M6, as it was noted that it was not included in the Phase 2b proposals.  It was agreed that Highways England would be contacted again about this.

·                aspiration for an active travel and green infrastructure link between Tatton Park, Durham Massey and local communities needed to be included within proposals.

·                cohesion of responses from local authorities affected by this Phase of the route to ensure opportunities were taken to improve access to Public Rights of Way

·                the proposed cycle route to run alongside HS2 and were informed that the DfT had commissioned a feasibility study but no proposals had been forthcoming.








Minutes of the Previous Meeting held on 6 December 2018 pdf icon PDF 68 KB


Minute 18(C) Cheshire East Draft Site Allocations and Development Policies

It was reported that no comments had been received.  It was requested that any comments to Genni Butler and John Handley by 4 April.




That the minutes of the meeting held on 6 December 2018 be confirmed as a correct record.



Forum Recruitment pdf icon PDF 52 KB

Genni Butler


The recruitment process to attract new members to the Forum had been launched on 4 March with invitations being sent to selected organisations and individual, along newspapers adverts and web notices.


The closing date for responses was 5 pm on 12 April 2019.  This would be followed by a shortlisting of applications and invitations being sent out to the applicants for interview.


Forum members were encouraged to speak to their networks and contacts in order to being the recruitment process to the attention of as many people as possible.


Forum Annual Report 2018-19 - Draft pdf icon PDF 40 KB

Bob Anderson

Additional documents:


The draft Annual Report for 2018-19 had been circulated with the agenda.


The Forum considered the draft version and suggested a number of changes.  These included the removal of the HS2 logo and the rearrangement of the order of bullet points under ‘Other Work of the Forum’ so that HS2 Phase 2a and 2b came first.


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


The Forum 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.



Reports from Members


Road Safety and Seeking New Off-Road Routes: Road Safety Group

Cllr Rhoda Bailey


Genni Butler reported on information provided by Rhoda Bailey on road safety groups which the Forum may wish to make representations in relation to road safety for vulnerable road users on country roads.


Councillor Bailey had approached the Road Safety Team at Cheshire East Highways and, explaining the work of the Forum, had asked for details of any Road Safety Groups. She was informed of Road Safety GB which delivered education, training and publicity on road safety issues, with information being available on their website -




Other Reports


Access for All

Ivor Williams reported that various attempts had been made to get the access event up and running but no response had been received from Access for All UK. It was suggested that the event be put on hold until a response was received.


Sustrans Funding

Linda Rose reported that a £21m investment had been announced to improve significant on and off-road stretches of the 16,575-mile National Cycle Network. The investment will fund projects for upgrading the Network, which were identified in Sustran’s Paths for Everyone Review Report. 


It was suggested that the Forum write to Sustrans encourage the consideration of off road tracks being upgraded to multi use to allow use by horses.


Restricted Byway 22 – Wilmslow

Linda Rose reported that the Restricted Byway had been blocked by gates installed by the National Trust.  The route went over a stone bridge and had cobbled steps which limited the use of the route. She believed that the route had been wrongly way marked with yellow footpath markers.  It was reported that the Council’s Network Management and Enforcement Officer had approached the National Trust. 


Bridleway Nos. 17 and 18Great Warford

Linda Rose reported on a bridleway in Great Warford, which was on an access route to a warehouse and farms.  The bridleway formed part of Laureen’s Ride, a long distance horse riding and cycling route.  An application had been made to increase the number of HGVs operated from the warehouse and was concerned about the impact on users of the bridleway.  Genni Butler responded that the Public Rights of Way Team had sent representation to the Traffic Commissioner in response to the HGVs application. 


Rights of Way Improvement Plan Update pdf icon PDF 64 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:


·         Sandbach Footpath between Station Road and Clifton – this project had now been completed

·         Gritstone Trail – work had commenced to improve path surfaces, furniture, signposting and interpretation as part of the Twin Trails project for which grant funding had been secured in partnership with Cheshire West and Chester Council

·         Planning – use of S106 contributions for use on footpath improvements on Alsager Footpath No.10.




Date of Next Meeting

Thursday 20 June 2019 - Macclesfield



The next meeting will be held on Thursday 20 June 2019 in Macclesfield Town Hall.


Post meeting note:  This meeting will take place at 11.00 am and will be preceded by induction for new Forum members at 10.00 am.