Coole Lane accident, skip lorry

Coole Lane in Nantwich has seen another crash – the third this week – after Cheshire East Council removed it from its winter gritting route.

The latest accident involved a skip lorry which crashed off the road into the ditch earlier today (December 2).

Witnesses told Nantwich News the driver was “okay” but “winded and shocked”.

One said: “I specifically complained to Cheshire East Council about this bend and barrier a week ago.”

The accident comes after a vehicle crashed into a wall along the same lane on Monday during the first cold snap of the winter.

Residents are furious that Coole Lane was removed from the council’s winter gritting route as part of its “Well Managed Highways” strategy brought in this year.

crash skip lorry coole lane

A scoring system used by Cheshire East Council rated all four stretches of Coole Lane – Austerson, Baddington, Coole Pilate and Newhall – as just 0.25.

Only roads scoring 1 (or 100%) were added to the council’s gritting routes.

We requested information on how the figure of 0.25 was reached for each Coole Lane section.

But the council has declined to provide this detail and insisted we submit a Freedom of Information request.

One resident on Coole Lane said: “Yet another accident.

“Will it take serious injury or worse before Cheshire East Council sees common sense and resumes gritting on our lane?

“Cllr Browne’s council speak really means nothing if the criteria on which they make a decision is not transparent.

“There have been just two sub-zero snaps in the space of four days.

“And on those two occasions there have been several accidents causing major damage to two small bridges – and to vehicles.

“Fortunately, nobody had been seriously injured but unless the council makes a rapid U-turn then it seems that possibility is just a matter of time.

“This alarming situation highlights a lack of forethought and understanding from Cheshire East Council’s highways bosses who seem determined to make savings at the risk of life and limb.

“The decision to stop gritting a very busy rural lane using a prescribed formula is obviously wrong and needs to be reconsidered urgently.

“The limit on the lane is 60mph and that is frequently exceeded as the road becomes busier by the year. That in itself is a concern as but in winter the dangers significantly worse.”

Other roads in and around Nantwich removed from the winter gritting route, and their scores, were:

Bridgemere Lane, Hunsterson 0.25
Hunsterson Road, Hunsterson 0.0
Calveley Hall Lane, Calveley 0.25
Checkley Lane, Checkley cum Wrinehill 0.35
Cock Lane, Broomhall 0.0
Colleys Lane, Willaston 0.0
Heatley Lane, Broomhall 0.0
Hollin Green Lane, Newhall 0.0
Long Lane, Alpraham 0.0
Long Lane, Brindley 0.0
Long Lane, Haughton 0.0
Long Lane, Spurstow 0.0
Long Lane, Wettenhall 0.0
Longhill Lane, Audlem 0.25
New Road, Dodcott cum Wilkesley 0.60 (reinstated after further consultation)
New Road, Wrenbury cum Frith 0.60 (reinstated after further consultation)
Sound Lane, Sound 0.35
Swanley Lane, Burland 0.0
Wettenhall Road, Cholmondeston 0.10
Wettenhall Road, Poole 0.10
Winsford Road, Cholmondeston 0.25
Winsford Road, Wettenhall 0.25
Wrenbury Road, Dodcott cum Wilkesley 0.50 (reinstated after further consultation)
Wrenbury Road, Marbury cun Quoisley 0.50 (reinstated after further consultation)
Wrinehill Road, Blakenhall 0.25
Wrinehill Road, Lea 0.25

A number of factors are used by CEC in the “scoring matrix” for winter routes, but these do NOT include speed limits. Factors used are:

  • public transport – If public transport infrastructure or routes on a road length and from a safety view point considers the likes of automatic and manned level crossings and from a connectivity view point the national cycle network, bus routes and railway stations. Bus routes categorised according to usage
  • council – If road length joins section of carriageway treated by an adjacent authority
  • business parks – Locations of business parks as identified on the Cheshire East website
  • education – Location of educational establishments with scoring factors depending on reliance on vehicles for access
  • topology – Altitude of a road, if it is exposed, if there is a flooding issues and if a road falls towards a major road at a gradient which is equal to or greater than 1 in 10
  • climate – Presence of known climatic issues
  • emergency – Presence of emergency services and large health care centres etc.
  • establishments – Presence of care homes, crematoriums, public cemeteries and centres of communities (ie a village centre )
  • communities – Access to a hamlets and villages
  • infrastructure – Presence of supermarkets, retail centres, refuse centres and utility infrastructure

Outside of main A roads and some B road classed as key connection routes, all other roads were risk-assessed using the criteria above.

CEC says this was carried out “using data already held, by individual assessment and also using local knowledge and experience”.

“For a road to be included through the risk assessment process, a score totalling 1 (ie 100%) must be achieved.”

Only four roads in Nantwich were added to the gritting routes for achieving the score of 1.0.

These were Manor Road, Park View, Birchin Lane and Davenport Avenue.

The factors/categories can be viewed here.

A map of roads retained and removed in Nantwich area can be viewed here.

We have contacted Cheshire East Council for a comment and are awaiting a reply.

Coole Lane accident in icy conditions


  1. Denise Slusser says:

    I live on Coole Pilate Lane and it’s always been gritted till now, why it’s been taken off dumbfounds me. We have a care home on route which needs access for paramedics, ambulances and fire. There are two school buses which go up and down twice a day, secondary & primary school picking up/dropping off children so gritting the road for these two exceptions alone should be mandatory. It’s on the National Cycle Network route 552 connect to 551 to 451 Crewe. We have loads of cyclists on the lane mainly for leisure but quite a lot use their cycles for work. The cyclists will ride in clumps, it’s an obstacle course waiting for an accident to happen. So how are cars going to stop on ice against a bike beggars belief. It’s a through road Nantwich to Audlem and vice versa, it’s very busy. The road itself is something to be desired pot holes everywhere, cyclists dodging them putting themselves in harms way. Highways do their bubble gum patchwork in a couple of days back to a pot hole again, spending taxpayers money on tap you gotta let the lads out to do some fixing, 2 watching one beating the hole with tarmac with a shovel. Love to see my taxes being used like this over the years it must of cost a fortune. Could you use my taxes more efficiently to which Coole Pilate Lane could be gritted. The lane in parts has gradients I now see an odd grit bin in random places, there is no footpath to reach them so getting out of my car and of course I dont carry a shovel (maybe I should now) would be dangerous being icy, falling would mean having my hip replacements done again let alone a small fall or worse some vehicle coming the other way and running me down unable to stop. Cheshire East stop penny pinching, save lives I believe gritting is essential to do this.

  2. Sudeburn Rovers says:

    Or spending millions on a fibre to the premises broadband contract to lay cables in Stapeley when Openreach already provide that very same surface….. money wasted!

  3. Well, why am I not surprised at another decision that has been proved wrong. It is strange how the Council seem to find money (lets face it this is what it is about) for all sorts of ludicrous schemes whilst letting things like this happen. Councils in general seem to have little or no common sense, you only have to look at the A51 major works undertaken at the same time as major works on the A49 in Beeston (THE DIVERSION). To put icing on the cake, both jobs conducted at the end of long lockdown periods when traffic was at its lowest levels for years. Logic???, lets hope theres plenty in the Councils stockings this Xmas. Fit for purpose – NO.

  4. Coole Lane is National cycle Network route 552. Minimum score under the councils own rating system is 0.5, even if there are no other factors.

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