Parish Newsletter March 2019 Part 2:
Northwich Road Speed Limit, 8th March 2019
Dear Resident of Northwich Road / New Platt Lane,
Over the past 4 years a number of your neighbours have been lobbying the Cheshire East Highways (CEH) department to reduce the current speed limit along Northwich Road. These efforts have been supported by Cranage Parish Council as much as possible, indeed, you will have noticed the change from a 60 mph limit to 50 mph in June 2017 as a direct result of this lobbying. However, many residents believe the current 50 mph limit currently in place is not in line with many other residential roads in the area and that this is dangerous and unacceptable for several reasons.
Many residents have reported on-going concerns including near-misses and difficulties simply pulling on and off their own driveways largely due to the high speed of other motorists. However, perhaps the most striking concern is the fact that school children walk alongside and cross Northwich Road on a daily basis in order to access the Holmes Chapel Comprehensive School bus stop, beside the post box and village notice board.
If you feel a 40 mph limit on Northwich Road is appropriate, Cranage Parish Council encourages you to contact Cheshire East Council to file a formal complaint against the actions of the CEH in relation to this matter.
Below is a chronological summary of the key points since 2015, which you may find useful when filing your complaint:
- July 2015: CEH were asked by a group of residents to consider a 40 mph speed limit for Northwich Road and New Platt Lane
- August 2015: Councillor David Brown responded with the following email:
Speed Limit to 40 mph on Northwich Road, Cranage
Thank you for your recent email raising concerns about the above. I am pleased to say that a decision has been made in principle to go ahead with a 40 mph speed limit.
All funding has been allocated within the current 2015/16 financial year. However, a speed reduction scheme will be put forward for allocation of funding in April 2016. Your local Members will represent this through the Local Area Highways Panel to ensure this is given the most visibility.
I hope this answers your query; however, if you do require any further information, please do not hesitate to contact me.
David Brown (Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Highways).
- July 2016: CEH revealed that the 40 mph limit was no longer being pursued due to a lack of support from the Police Traffic Management Officer.
- August 2016: Residents were encouraged by the ‘Design – Traffic and Road Safety Team’ from CEH to instead pursue a reduction to 50 mph, which was done
- June 2017: The speed limit was reduced to 50 mph
- July 2017: The Police and Crime Commissioner, David Keane was contacted to ask why the reduction to 40 mph was not supported by the police. Mr Keane responded on 1st August 2017, stating that:
“neither the Constabulary or I have the power to implement (or block) a change to the speed limit as this is a matter for the local authority”
- August 2017: CEH was again contacted, with the explanation that police support was not needed for a speed reduction and a renewed request for the original 40 mph decision to be implemented.
- September 2017: Councillor David Brown (CEH) replied, stating that the decision for a 50 mph speed limit would be upheld, and the 40 mph limit would not be honoured. In this email Councillor Brown attached a ‘reduced speed limit assessment’ document that had been written by Ringway Jacobs consultancy. This document made reference to a new ‘Speed Management Strategy’ that CEH were now applying
- October 2017: CEH were contacted with feedback on the ‘reduced speed limit assessment’, including some critical observations not referenced in the document. Perhaps the most important feedback was the lack of recognition of the Holmes Chapel Comprehensive school bus stop as a ‘generator for pedestrian activity’
- March 2018: Cranage Parish Council funded a traffic and speed survey on Northwich road. The results from this survey showed that:
o More than 7,000 vehicles per day use the road
o Roughly 1 in 10 vehicles exceed the current, un-policed 50mph limit
o More than half exceed 40mph, which is the highest legal limit in the UK for a residential road
- December 2018: CEH responded to the feedback of the ‘reduced speed limit assessment’ document, again asserting that a new speed limit would not be considered. The fact that the average speed was shown to be marginally below 50 mph in the traffic and speed survey is being used by CEH to justify the current 50 mph limit. The view of Cranage Parish Council is that motorists are driving close to the speed limit, which would also be the case with a 40-mph limit on these roads. With 40 mph limit residents would be able to form a Residents Speed Action Group to monitor and report vehicles exceeding the limit. This is not possible with a 50-mph limit.
The table below summarises the criteria, according to CEH Speed Management Strategy, for a 40-mph limit, along with CPC’s interpretation in relation to your Northwich Road. Please note that speed limits on other roads in the area suggest that not all criteria need to be met in order to result in a 40-mph limit:
Speed Limit (mph):
Where limit should apply
CPC - Northwich Road and New Platt Lane interpretation
Settlement has shop(s), school(s), public house, petrol station etc.
Twin Acres Nursery; Woodlands Farm; Nu Aesthetics; Love 2 Groom; The Green Spark Club Co.
Significant development on both sides of road, but not necessarily continuous, with some development in depth, overall frontage exceeds 400m in length.
Continuous development of >70 residential homes. Overall frontage exceeds 1km.
Some pedestrian/cycle activity throughout the day with possible peaks associated with schools etc.
Children walking to and from Northwich Road bus stop for Holmes Chapel Comprehensive School bus. Dog walkers and general public using the road to access Shakerley Mere and other local amenities. Several cyclists recorded by the recent traffic survey.
Some provision for pedestrians/cyclists or acknowledged need and possible warning signs.
Horse and rider warning sign in place. Pedestrians in road warning sign I place. Signage for School Children needs to be erected. This is being prioritised by Cranage Parish Council.
Should you feel that the current speed limit is of concern Cranage Parish Council urges you to contact Cheshire East Council to file a complaint against CEH and request the reduction to the speed limit be reconsidered. We believe our residents deserve to live in a safer environment.
Complaints should be titled “Speed Limit Northwich Road and New Platt Lane, Cranage” and made either by e-mail to: email@example.com
Or in writing to: Compliance & Customer Relations Team, 1st Floor Westfields, c/o Municipal Buildings, Earle Street, CREWE, CW1 2BJ
Cranage Parish Council