John Gill from Halton Borough Council attended our meeting on Thursday 25th May to answer questions about the planned closure of the Daresbury Expressway (A558) as well as listen to residents concerns and suggestions on ways to combat some of the potential issues that may arise. He agreed to his responses to the questions being published here, for residents who could not attend, to read:
1. The traffic at school and peak times exiting Wharford Lane and Acton's Wood Lane is already an issue prior to these closures, what review has taken place prior to this closure? Are you able to share the risk assessment with residents prior to the closure?
J Gill – I will speak with Cheshire Police about possible measures to combat the congestion at the school during drop off and pick up times.
2. Have you considered the dangers to young children walking to Moore Primary along Runcorn Road, these footpaths are extremely narrow and vehicles of residents are often parked on the narrow pavements meaning children and parents with prams have to walk on the, with diverted traffic of non-locals who don't realise these children walk this route I feel this is a serious risk of an accident.
J Gill – Runcorn Road is not part of the signed diversion Route, there will be signage erected to discourage 'through Traffic' from using Runcorn Road.
3. Have you consulted with the local building sites Vistry/Bloor about a staggered time for their large vehicles to be on this route, could they maybe avoid the area between 8-9 and 14:30-15:30 to reduce the capacity on these local roads?
J Gill – I will discuss this suggestion with Countryside.
4. Have the local Police been consulted about the parking on these roads as the parking of vehicles on pavements causes a bottle neck in this area adding to the problems of congestion, especially parents outside Sandymoor Academy morning and afternoon.
J Gill – I will discuss this matter with Cheshire Police
5. Have Sandymoor Academy been consulted about promoting their children being dropped at the Co-op and walking over as this would be a huge help to locals trying to exit Actons Wood and Wharford lane?
J Gill – Does this issue occur regardless of the A558 closure, I can speak to our Traffic Management team
6. The road that's being closed is highly dangerous, if it is being closed for so long can that time be used wisely to actually upgrade the road to a more suitable design as it's currently not safe and I'm sure residents wouldn't mind the closure as much if they appreciated the layout was being improved for everyone's safety rather than it just being closed to benefit Redrow homes!
J Gill – The A558 speed limit is to be reduced to 40mph as part of these works however upgrading the section of carriageway north of Innovation Way junction would be a scheme which would require substantial funding.
7. Why has it been allowed to also place temporary traffic lights on Pitt's Heath Lane for the cycle path works at the same time, have these planning officers got any idea they are looking to send a diversion via the same route, it will be chaos!
J Gill – Pitts Heath Lane will not be the signed diversion Route, there will be signage erected to discourage 'through Traffic' at the junction of Pitts Heath Lane.
John also confirmed that the map showing the diversion route for the Keckwick Lane closure would be through Moore and up Hobb Lane was incorrect and will be changed. The correct diversion will be all the way through Moore to the traffic lights at Chester Road and back up to the Daresbury Expressway.
The parish council made the point that even though the legal process was followed by way of announcing the closure, informing the parish councils affected (Sandymoor, Moore and Daresbury) ahead of the signage being erected, would have been a sensible thing to do. John accepted this and plans to communicate better with the relevant parish councils in the future.
We will keep residents informed of any follow ups to these concerns or any other information we receive.