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Road campaigners create a united front

COMMUNITIES fighting to make a deadly road safe have joined forces to seek strength in numbers.

COMMUNITIES fighting to make a deadly road safe have joined forces to seek strength in numbers.

Don Alderton has brought A51 action groups across the Chester district together with a website and leafleting campaign.

Mr Alderton, of Littleton, said: 'In the past residents along the A51 have lacked strength in numbers. Isolated protests within small local areas have been easily ignored.

'It has been very difficult for communities to organise protests effectively outside their own immediate areas.

'There is now an opportunity to pool the organisational talent in all of our communities to achieve results.'

Mr Alderton's website, which has a discussion group section, can be found at www.a51actiongroup.org.

He says he has e-mailed his neighbours along the A51 in Littleton about the site and has received a positive response.

'The website and its discussion group are dedicated exclusively to the issues facing communities and residents along the A51,' he said.

'They will provide a way to communicate and share concerns, to find areas of common agreement, to campaign for change, to co-ordinate action and to liaise with other like-minded groups throughout the UK.'

Mr Alderton also leafleted households in villages along the A51 from Littleton to Reaseheath encouraging them to log on.

After receiving his leaflet, fellow campaigners organised a joint event.

A51 activists from Littleton, Clotton, Calveley and Reaseheath attended a meeting in the Bull's Head pub in Clotton two weeks ago.

Recently The Chronicle reported that Clotton campaigners Stephen Millet and Alan Ramsay, members of the A51 Environmental Group, have stepped up their campaign after teenager David Hamblett, of Eastham, became the sixth person to die on the road in four years.

Mr Millet and Mr Ramsay say heavy traffic along the road is endangering the lives of residents and motorists and destroying village life.

They called for HGVs to bypass the A51 and use the motorway network instead.

Mr Alderton says it was reading about their crusade which inspired him to create the website and rejuvenate the Littleton A51 Action Group, which has been active on and off since 1988.

He said: 'It is possible for residents to remedy the problems of traffic volume, speed and noise pollution, environmental deterioration and damage to neighbourhood quality and property values.

'The Littleton action group achieved a number of improvements when the road was under the control of the Highways Agency.

'The road has since been de-trunked and responsibility transferred from the Highways Agency to Cheshire County Council.

'While the bureaucrats have all moved on to other jobs, residents along the A51 are still living with the consequences of their actions.'

Mr Alderton added: 'We are confident that our elected representatives on Cheshire County Council will take more notice of residents' concerns than the Highways Agency, and we've already had conversations with Cheshire police about speed issues on the A51.

'We believe that joining up the efforts of all A51 residents between Littleton and Reaseheath will enable real progress to be made on the central issues of traffic volume, speed and noise pollution.'

Anyone who would like leaflets to distribute to residents in communities adjacent to the A51 or would like to discuss ways of being kept informed on the A51 action group can send an e-mail to info@a51actiongroup.org or leave a message on 01244 335417.

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