A public meeting is being held at Christleton High School tonight (Friday, September 29) to address growing concerns over traffic issues in the village.
Christleton Parish Council, which held an exhibition asking for residents’ feedback at the village fete in June, has identified the main issues as ‘speeding, congestion, parking and safety’ in the village.
It is continuing a consultation on several proposals including the introduction of speed cushions, speed indication devices (SIDs) and a one-way system through the village.
The suggestion of a one-way system has caused particular concern among local residents who fear that adjoining roads could become rat-runs for motorists entering and exiting the village.
Following a recent public meeting, Christleton Parish Council’s website says: “A number of residents attended the meeting to voice concerns regarding the proposals being explored to deal with traffic congestion, speeding and parking problems in Christleton, of particular concern was a suggested ‘one-way system’.
“There has been no decision on any of the suggested ideas and none would be taken until all avenues have been explored and there has been a consultation period and a referendum undertaken which would be put to all residents of Christleton.”
The impact of a recent 20mph speed limit is due to be reviewed by the Highways Department in November, a year after it was introduced.
The meeting, from 7-8.30pm, is being co-chaired by Chester MP Chris Matheson and representatives of the parish council. Members of Cheshire West and Chester Highways and Planning Department and Cheshire Constabulary will also be in attendance.
Mr Matheson said: “There is a general concern that because of the situation on the A41 and A51 that the village is being used as a rat run, which obviously raises safety issues with two schools in the village.
“This meeting is about people discussing the problems they have and trying to arrive at some solutions. It may be that there is no solution other than enforcing measures that are already there.
“I know for a fact that the high school are extremely aware of the safety of their pupils and will continue to work closely to help find the best solution. It’s being further impacted by the proposal of a housing development at the Law College, which will increase the amount of traffic even further.”
At the request of the parish council, Christleton High School has looked at the cost of installing a second entrance off Birch Heath Lane so that traffic could be diverted from coming through the centre of the village. The cost was estimated to be in the region of £385,000 and the funding is said to not be currently available.
Headteacher Damian Stenhouse says the school remains fully committed to working with all parties to create workable solutions that ensures the safety of pupils and the best outcome for residents.
Ian Wade, owner of the Ring o Bells, Village Road, says he’s concerned as both a resident and business owner.
He said: “As a business we’ve always tried to help as much as possible with any traffic issues and have for a long time offered our car park for people dropping off at the primary school. It’s acted as an unofficial village car park and that’s fine with us.
“From a business point of view, a one-way system would be a nightmare in terms of deliveries and for our customers. My worry would be that people would be put off coming because it’s such a pain trying to get here.”
Councillor Karen Shore, Cabinet Member for Environment, said: “Our Highways team has had discussions with Christleton Parish Council regarding their concerns in the village and have given advice on their initial ideas. No proposals are currently being taken forward by the Council as the Parish Council is now undertaking a consultation with residents to seek their views, to enable them to decide on the appropriate way forward.
“The Parish Council is aware that any proposals would need to be taken through a formal consultation process.”
The impact of an application to develop the former Beechmoor Nurseries on the A41 into an assisted living complex consisting of 110 care apartments and bungalows with car parking, landscaping and amenity space will also be addressed at tonight’s meeting.