Over 150 people, including all 10 High Legh Parish Councillors, local residents, Cheshire East Cllr Steve Wilkinson, and neighbouring Parish Council representatives, attended the High Legh Parish Council meeting on Monday night (17th Oct) to listen to proposals by the Highways Agency regarding the M56 / M6 link road. Three representatives from the HA were invited to the PC meeting, to present the current proposals showing the new North and South junction options, and to listen to the many concerns that residents had against the latest design.
After listening to the presentation, not one person voiced a positive opinion for the proposals, and the Parish Council gave the HA some extremely important facts and figures about the roads and areas that would be affected if the current scheme were to be adopted. The HA were asked to consider the numerous accident ‘hot spots’ that were dotted all around the local back lanes – accidents that are often not reported where damage is made to hedges, verges, private property and Parish Council fences and road signs. They were also asked to consider the dozens of incidents each year on the M6 and M56 that cause roads in the parish, including back lanes and the A50, to clog for hours at a time.
Residents went even further and questioned the viability of the scheme, wanting the HA to provide detailed facts and evidence as to why alternatives such as the M6 J20 and existing A556 widening options had been shelved. Residents highlighted the fact that the scheme had been on-going and developing, based on a succession of out-of-date assumptions, which has led to a design which is not only a blight on our rural landscape, but also a sub-standard solution.
Highlighting our policy to protect green belt and heritage areas, the PC asked the HA to ensure that these key values are both considered and respected in the next steps of the proposal, both in our Parish and all the affected Parishes – this is our Cheshire.
The HA representatives listened to all representations with a promise to take all information back to the scheme planning table in preparation for the forthcoming formal consultation. The date for the consultation has not been announced but we are led to believe it will be in the next ‘few’ months.
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