The following, from Fay Price, Project Co-ordinator at Cheshire East Highways, is the current position of Cheshire East:
As you will be aware we have consulted widely on measures for the Wallhill area (Wallhill Road, Childs and Brownlow Heath Road) and have found there is no universal support for any one option. Most residents support the closure of Wallhill Lane but feedback on that proposal from both Local Ward Members and local and neighbouring parish councils was they did not support a closure of Wallhill Lane and had concerns about traffic routing to other unsuitable routes.
Residents and Local Ward Members have also raised concerns and objection to the mandatory lighting requirements for alternative traffic management measures that involved builds out and road narrowing.
As a result of the opposing views we are proposing to discharge the planning conditions with a comprehensive lining and signing scheme but to include a condition in the planning discharge to review the effect of the link road on the area once it has been opened and traffic has settled into its normal patterns. This will be between 9 and 15 months after the opening of the new Link Road.
This approach will help determine whether residents concerns are realised (i.e.: that Wallhill Lane traffic would significantly increase) . Funding from the mitigation measures pot will be retained to support this approach.
The Portfolio Holders for Highways and the Deputy Leader of the Council are both supportive of this approach, preferring to have actual traffic data rather than extracted from a large scale traffic model.
The measures to be installed are illustrated in the attached plan and include:
- Provision of give way markings either side of the pinch point on Wallhill lane
- On coming vehicles in middle of road vehicle activated sign, VAS, at the pinch point
- Refreshed edge of carriageway markings at the pinch point
- Two ‘slow down crossroads ahead VAS at the Wallhill Lane crossroads on Childs Lane
- Extended footway on Brownlow Heath Road
- Improved road markings and solar road studs on Brownlow Heath Road near Sandy Lane
These measures will enable the planning condition to be discharged which will include a condition to take forward a road closure in the discharge notice should post opening monitoring of the link road demonstrate that traffic on the Wallhill area has significantly increased. We are not attempting to define the term significant at this stage and this will be a decision for the Portfolio Holder at the time. Such an approach will provide a framework for the necessary legal requirements for a road closure. Any future road closure would be done on an experimental basis to understand the impacts on other lanes from displaced traffic.