An Unsatisfactory Response - A54

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Earlier this year the Parish Council responded to the concerns of residents on the north side of Bye-pass Road about both the speed of traffic and the difficulties in crossing the A54 road.

They conducted a survey of residents and were fortunate to obtain the help of a local resident who is a Transport Engineer. A report sent to Cheshire West and Chester Council argued for the reduction of the speed limit to 40 mph from Tarvin Sands giving traffic more time to adjust and be more likely to be complying with the speed limit as it passed the bulk of the houses. The positioning of the crossing 'refuges' was also raised.

While accepting that many decisions about speed limits are constrained by national standards, the final report sent through was well argued, professionally presented and evidence based. However, the reply has been received from Cheshire West and Chester Council and the Parish Council considers it to be quite dismissive.

The Highways Department state that as there have been no changes to the road/housing situation since their own studies, there is no need to change. Despite the clear evidence of the range of ages and road usage by residents, the decision seems to be made on "number of economic and health units" rather than living people!

The Parish Council Report compared sections of the A51 through Duddon and Clotton, where speed limits have been lowered, with the Tarvin section of the A54. The Parish Council concede that the A51 through these areas has more bends and junctions and has a school, but argued that the two roads carried similar volumes of traffic. However the one statement made by Cheshire West that astounded the parish Council was that "The (Parish Council) report states that there are more reasons to cross the A54 than the A51 which I disagree with as there are no generators or attractors or any reason to cross in the assessed section of the A54."

This would seem to imply that all residents who live at the north side of the road never have any reason to come into the village, or ever have any need to go to the doctors, take their children to school or go and buy a stamp.

The Parish Council have accepted an invitation to meet with a Principal Engineer from Highways to discuss their response. They have also sent the reply to the author of the report for his professional opinion. This issue continues.

Ed:"This is a poor response to what was a "professional report" from the Parish Council, let's hope CWaC will eventually agree to make our roads safer!"