Getting from 6 to 55

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The Parish Council has been asked to join a Steering Group with other Parish Councils to lobby for the improvement of the A51 route from the M6 to the A55. This 25 mile stretch of road has become increasingly overcrowded in recent years as it provides the most direct route for vehicles coming from the south and going on to North Wales and Ireland. Heavy lorry traffic is particularly severe and though the route is slow and affected by many variable speed limits, the route is preferred because the alternative, via the M56, is both longer and often clogged with traffic. The short piece of the A51 from the Tarvin Roundabout through Littleton is one of the most congested suburban roads in the country.

The initiative has been spearheaded by Matthew Waterhouse, Chairman of Calveley Parish Council, who has also lived alongside the A51 for over 30 years. He has been involved with this issue for many years and at one time was part of a group that succeeded in putting the need for a new road firmly into a planned scheme for development. However, governments, priorities and budgets changed and the plan was dropped. Both Tarporley and Tarvin got their by-passes, but one for Duddon and Clotton never materialised. Changes to the signs on the M6 directing traffic north to reach the motorway may have helped a little, but any improvements have been overwhelmed by the general increase in traffic.

There seems now to be renewed interest in Cheshire East to look again at a problem that never went away and can only get worse. A joint report for both Cheshire Councils by the business services company Mouchel highlighted continuing difficulties. Mr. Waterhouse has suggested that a Steering Group of a representative of all the parishes affected be established to see if this interest can be turned into something more substantial. The route is not a trunk road and is therefore the responsibility of the two Highway authorities, CW&C and Cheshire East, rather than central Government. Budgets are exceptionally tight but new roads are a long term issue and a start must be made somewhere.

Councillor Lush has agreed to join the new group, and the Parish Council will report back when progress has been made.

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