Silk Road cross­ing will re­place buses

Macclesfield Express - - FRONT PAGE - BELINDA RYAN

THE coun­cil will in­stall a tou­can cross­ing on the Silk Road in or­der to make it safe for chil­dren to cross.

The de­ci­sion was made at a full coun­cil meet­ing on Thurs­day (Fe­bru­ary 23) to ap­pease par­ents and coun­cil­lors who raised safety con­cerns when the coun­cil voted to re­move a free school bus for chil­dren trav­el­ling from Bolling­ton to Tyther­ing­ton.

The coun­cil voted to cut fund­ing for free school buses for chil­dren who live less than three miles away last year.

But cam­paign­ers claimed the route to Tyther­ing­ton School was too dan­ger­ous – par­tic­u­larly for chil­dren walk­ing along the Mid­dle­wood Way.

Now, fol­low­ing a special meet­ing called by a cross party group of five coun­cil­lors, the coun­cil has voted in favour of in­stalling a tou­can cross­ing – and the buses will re­main un­til this is built.

Par­ent Heidi Reid, who fought to re­tain the free bus, said while she pre- ferred to see the buses main­tained, the re­sult is more pos­i­tive.

She said: “I do at least feel happier know­ing that none of our chil­dren will be forced to risk their safety walk­ing the iso­lated Mid­dle­wood Way to school ev­ery day, or risk­ing life and limb leg­ging it across a busy dual car­riage­way at peak com­muter times to get to school.”

But Manny Botwe, head­teacher at Tyther­ing­ton, main­tains the free bus should be pre­served and crit­i­cised the de­ci­sion process.

He said: “Of course we are dis­ap­pointed with the coun­cil’s de­ci­sion. We be­lieve that the pro­vi­sion of a lo­cal au­thor­ity bus is the safest op­tion.

“The process also seemed to lack trans­parency. We will be ar­rang­ing meetings with a num­ber of stake­hold­ers in the near fu­ture steps.

He added: “I sim­ply find it hard to be­lieve that this has been thought through. The chil­dren of Bolling­ton, the chil­dren ev­ery­where, de­serve a pol­icy pro­ce­dure that has been well thought thor­ough. They de­serve a con­sul­ta­tion... the par­ents, the school, the young­sters de­serve some­thing more than what ap­pears to be a knee­jerk re­sponse.” to dis­cuss next

Mac­cles­field MP David Rut­ley said: “Given that the coun­cil is not cur­rently pre­pared to change its mind on the de­ci­sion, the pro­posal to pro­vide a pedes­trian road cross­ing at the Silk Road is a pos­i­tive de­vel­op­ment, but I would en­cour­age the coun­cil to take more time to speak to lo­cal par­ents and Mr Botwe to de­ter­mine what more can be done to mit­i­gate the im­pacts of its de­ci­sion.”

A tou­can cross­ing will be in­stalled to help pupils cross the Silk Road on their way to Tyther­ing­ton School from Bolling­ton but head­teacher Manny Botwe (inset) brands it a ‘knee-jerk re­sponse’ af­ter the with­drawal of free school buses

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