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Traffic safety fears at Mill Lane

5th October 2013 @ 6:06am – by Webteam
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An action group warns of an unacceptable increase in traffic on estate roads if housing plans for Mill Lane get the go-ahead.

They want the plans thrown out unless major improvements are made to improve traffic flow and ensure pedestrian safety.

Local residents have carried out their own traffic survey to highlight the traffic danger if approval is given to plans by Hockenhull Ltd to build up to 36 homes off the Mill Lane bridleway with the main road access through Heathfield Road.

They counted traffic levels on Heathfield Road and Hillary Drive far in excess of those forecast by the developers in their planning submission to Cheshire East.

Their survey found consistent peak time traffic flows of more than 60 vehicles with up to nine cars forced to stop because of the narrowness of the roads.

Their report to Cheshire East planners says: "The stoppage data shows that Heathfield Road already struggles to cope with existing traffic, never mind any substantial addition, and the fact that it does is dependent upon the goodwill of residents allowing passing vehicles to stop in the entrances to their driveways."

The survey also points to the danger to pedestrians as around 225 metres of Heathfield Road is without pavements with morning traffic as "substantial" with an average of 21 pedestrians using it at peak times.

A traffic study in support of the Hockenhull plan forecasts around 19 extra vehicle peak hour journeys a day to and from the proposed development and that "the traffic impact of the development will be imperceptible."

Council highways experts predict 24 peak hour trips and claims this would not cause significant harm. But opponents point out that this could mean a 29% increase in traffic levels and nearly double the risk to pedestrian safety.

Their survey show that 75% of traffic uses Heathfield Road rather than Hillary Drive even though Heathfield Road is narrow, at only four metres wide for 70% of its length, and has poor access to the main road.

They warn: "Absence of pavements creates high accident risk for pedestrians in general and children and the elderly in particular. The presence of the school and that fact that 23 of 34 adjacent properties (including those in Hillary Drive) are occupied by retired residents (a significant number of whom are very old) raises the accident risk further."

They say the plan should be thrown out on highway unsuitability alone and the planning application rejected unless highway improvements are made to Heathfield Road that will allow freer flow of traffic and pavements provided that will reduce the injury risk to pedestrians.


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