Res­i­dents clash over planned road clo­sure

Macclesfield Express - - FRONT PAGE - DANIELLE ROPER

RES­I­DENTS have drawn bat­tle lines over plans to close a town cen­tre road.

Cheshire East Coun­cil launched a public con­sul­ta­tion af­ter res­i­dents com­plained about traf­fic on Coare Street, which they say is be­ing abused by driv­ers us­ing it as a cut through.

The coun­cil pro­poses to stop traf­fic cut­ting be­tween Beech Lane and Westminster Road by clos­ing Coare Street.

But a sec­ond group of res­i­dents have hit out at the plans, say­ing it would cause travel mis­ery and de­lay emer­gency ser­vices try­ing to reach them.

Mar­garita Be­na­vides, from New Hall Street, set up a face­book op­po­si­tion page ‘Stop Cheshire East Clos­ing Coare Street’ fol­low­ing the an­nounce­ment of the pro­pos­als.

She said: “If you were asked to come up with a scheme that would have the least ef­fect on the traf­fic prob­lem whilst caus­ing the most chaos for resi- dents, well, you couldn’t do a bet­ter job than what the coun­cil have come up with.”

The cam­paign, which now has 90 ‘likes’ on Face­book, urges oth­ers to ob­ject to the coun­cil be­fore the con­sul­ta­tion pe­riod ends.

Ann Hall, who lives on New Hall Street, par­al­lel to Coare Street, said: “Ev­ery­one agrees the vol­ume of cars us­ing Coare Street is a prob­lem, par­tic­u­larly for those liv­ing on it, but these plans will re­move park­ing spa­ces for peo­ple af­ter work and cause traf­fic chaos. Ev­ery­one will have to turn right onto Beech Lane to reach schools in the op­po­site di­rec­tion.”

But for­mer Mayor Lloyd Roberts, who ini­tially called for the road clo­sure, is still back­ing the pro­pos­als and has urged ev­ery­one to voice their con­cerns to the coun­cil. He said last year res­i­dents voted in favour of the coun­cil’s plans.

He said: “All of the 306 house­holds in the af­fected area were bal­loted last year and the ma­jor­ity of re­spon­dents voted in favour of clo­sure so to sug­gest a con­sul­ta­tion hasn’t taken place is to­tal rub- bish.”

Coun­cil­lor David Brown, deputy leader of Cheshire East Coun­cil, which has ex­tended the con­sul­ta­tion dead­line un­til Satur­day, Oc­to­ber 10, said: “We have writ­ten to the lo­cal res­i­dents af­fected, in­form­ing them that these pro­pos­als have gone into a for­mal con­sul­ta­tion – and if peo­ple have any con­cerns they should make these known dur­ing the con­sul­ta­tion.

“All re­sponses will be con­sid­ered for­mally be­fore any de­ci­sion is made on road clo­sure.”

A coun­cil spokesman said the pre­cise clo­sure area will de­pend on the out­come of the con­sul­ta­tion.

To com­ment email cheshireeast­traf­fic@ cheshireeast.gov.uk.

●● Res­i­dents op­pos­ing the clo­sure of Coare Street (from left) Alan Burgess, Martin Lowry, Su­san Dale, Mar­garita Be­na­vides, Ann Hank­in­son, Mrs Hol­land, Tony Mi­callef, Mr Hol­land and Brian Wool­ley

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