This has been contributed to AudlemOnline by ex-Parish Councillor Peter Morgan.
Ed – A series of entries (some from "Harryboy") on the topic "Illegal Parking and Phone Use" appeared on chatbox during September.
Our lovely picture shows that there is actually no parking (or indeed traffic) problem in Audlem.
Harryboy, I was on the parish council when we campaigned to get the parking moved from the chapel side to the Co-op, but unfortunately, when you launched your diatribe against us, I was on holiday at Abersoch learning how to fall off a paddleboard, standing on them like a penguin with a paddle is just so boring, don't you think?
For the edification of recent arrivals to the village or those with short memories like Harry, his much-vaunted line of visibility that he laments losing, led to all sorts of problems that should have been foreseen by the Highways dept. when they originally located parking on the chapel side of the road. That of speeding down the 'co-op gap' in particular. A problem exacerbated by the bad decision of CE planning authority to foolishly allow, in defiance of the parish council's own recommendation, the building line which had previously been well back behind the petrol pumps of Mosely's garage, to be moved forward, right up to the edge of the pavement. We had, during the planning process, requested off-road parking provision in front of the store but planners ignored our recommendation, as so often is the case. So much for local involvement in the planning process.
The result was the creation of a dangerous situation for pedestrians, those using the store access and for anyone with their back to the traffic using the cash machine. For not only was speed the danger but in addition large wagons and agricultural machines were known to mount the pavement when wide vehicles were parked opposite, in order to squeeze through the gap.
The installation of automatic opening doors at the co-op added to the danger. We asked for a barrier to be installed on the pavement immediately outside the door, as is often located outside any school entrance/exit to prevent a child or distracted individual from stepping out into the direct line of the speeding traffic, but Highways declined this option on grounds of safety, creating a possible pinch point between the barrier and large vehicles. The recent demolition of the barrier at the canal bridge proves the point.
The problem came to a head when the council received a letter from a concerned young mother following an incident when her child inadvertently caused the automatic door to open and allowed her child to access the pavement on her own with traffic speeding past. Fortunately, a tragedy was averted, but that was the clincher. The parish council owes a duty of care to all the people of this community not just those who do not wish to have impediments placed upon their speed and I speak as one who, a few years back, reluctantly suffered the indignity of involuntary taxation at the hands of the 'man in the van' temporarily residing in Woore.
Allowing parking outside the co-op creates a chicane which reduces the speed of traffic in both directions as care has to be taken whilst negotiating the obstruction, whilst at the same time moving the risk away from the co-ops front door. There are times when it creates congestion, especially at the commute but that is a price we must pay for pedestrian safety. It is also the result of the total inadequacy of Cheshire East Planning Dept.and their blatant failure to act upon the justifiable concerns of the parish council who foresaw the problem at the outset.
Having just returned from Wales via Penley were they have a substantially long 20mph speed limit in force, I would certainly support such a limit in Audlem. The size of both wagons and agricultural machinery has reached the point of absurdity and the dangers are commensurate. It could persuade some of the continental hauliers to choose an alternative route.
I hope that assuages your desire for speed Harry, without the necessity for another vehicular casualty on that short stretch of road, or have you forgotten?
Meanwhile, your snide comments about the parish council on Chatbox are unworthy and deliberately derogatory of people who put themselves forward to help run and improve our community, unlike so many 'Keyboard Warriors' who hide their impoverished personas behind pseudonyms.
Ed – While we are happy to further discussion about all this, as long as it is reasonably constructive, we will not be publishing any more anonymous contributions, snide or otherwise, on this subject.