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Action for A51 Group

29th June 2019 @ 6:06am – by Tarvin Webteam
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A meeting of the Action for A51 Group was held on 12 June 2019 in Duddon Village Hall with 47 attendees.

The following is taken from some notes made by Ted Lush, representing Tarvin Parish Council.

"The meeting was very well attended with several Tarvin residents in the audience who made their views known.

The Chairman of the meeting reported that the Group had had some success in ensuring that the A51 corridor was included in Transport for the North's long-term plans, but a lot more detailed work would be needed to identify the issues and how they might be addressed.
With regard to the immediate issues i.e. volume of traffic, speed and HGVs, he was disappointed that neither Cheshire West and Chester Council (CWaC) nor Cheshire East Council (CE) had engaged with the Group.

The main part of the meeting was to listen to Philip Cox, Chief Executive of the Cheshire and Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP). He was joined by a CWaC Highways policy officer.

Philip outlined the LEP's economic context and aims. Overcoming congestion on strategic routes and sub-regional movement were key transport challenges. The A51 corridor is on the long list of proposals for studies and business case development. There is £400k per year available for three years to develop robust business cases for schemes. He could not confirm that the A51 would be one of the first to be evaluated, but it has a chance. Each study costs up to £150k. However, money to implement schemes ceases in 2021 and is subject to the next Government spending review.

The presentation was followed by questions from the floor: these included questions on the long-term strategy, but also very specific matters e.g. potholes in Clotton.

Making the case for the A51 is vital

  • the A51 is a key strategic route linking the M6 to the A55 and on to Holyhead
  • the Department for Transport needs to classify it as part of the Major Road Network, so that it can access funds for network improvements
  • it is recognised by Transport for the North as a strategic route but has a low priority. The Action for A51 Group needs to try to influence decision makers to give it a higher priority

The Action for A51 Group needs to keep maximum pressure on the LEP to use some of their £400k to develop a scheme or schemes which would address the current problems and support the broader economic strategy. If a robust business case were drawn up now it would be ready for when new capital resources for implementation come on stream in 2021.

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