MP Timpson on Coole Lane

Dear Editor,

To Cllrs Browne and Corcoran.

In launching your 2022/23 budget consultation you claim a balanced four-year budget but totally ignore the impact of ‘your policy’ of cuts to rural areas and passing on cost to Parish Council’s via your ‘highway pilot top up scheme/price list’.

A policy, which you accept, has never been debated or agreed by elected members of Cheshire East Council.

I also understand that Cheshire East Council are now refusing to answer residents’ questions as to, ‘who signed this harsh winter gritting cut off’, advising correspondents to submit a Freedom of Information request?

Is it that you are trying to shelter from the true impact of this ‘uncaring cut to winter gritting of rural roads on residents’?

I fear you do, so allow me to share the carnage on Coole Lane Audlem where three days of icy weather have resulted in the unthinkable cost to road users, blue light services and Cheshire East Council:

Public Service Costs:

· Blue light services of Cheshire Fire and Police
· Emergency Road Closures
· Activation of a CEC road closure for 21 days from 30/11/2021
· Activation of a CEC 30 mph temporary speed limit
· Temporary lights at Finnaker Bridge
· Delivery and installation of temporary concrete bollards to replace the bridge walls on both sides of the lane.
· The Bridge at Finnaker Brook will hopefully be repaired one day?

Is that a further cost to CE Highways and how long will the temporary traffic lights be in place?

Resident and Road User Costs:
– The unthinkable risk to life, mental wellbeing, in particular, that of isolation
– 3 accidents in 3 days required rescue vehicles, a cost born by the owners of damaged vehicles
– Emergency road closures has rendered children unable to access/leave school by bus

Cllrs Browne and Corcoran, I hope you will visit Coole Lane, see first hand the impact of the removal of Coole Lane from the Winter Gritting Programme, as Edward Timpson MP has done.

In particular I know that residents are keen to understand just where you think this cut has made a saving for Cheshire East?

Rachel Bailey
Cheshire East Councillor Audlem Ward

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