The Mickle Trafford to Deeside Railway:
What the people really think- part 10
The latest letters are here...
| 8 | 9 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14
| 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 Letters
Busway parts 1 | 2 | 3
15/11/01 I read with disbelief in the self-congratulating Chester News delivered with your publication that the city council seems to be suggesting that it is promoting archaeological interests in the city and also that it cares about the erivironment and tourism which seems strange coming from an organisation which over the last years has done the following: 30/11/01 Jonathan Palmer (Points of View, November 16) asked penetrating questions about the proposed guided busway (CDTS Phase I)
Allowed a court house to be built over the amphitheatre thus depriving for an unknown period the full discovery of what lies underground for residents and tourists alike
Wants to try to force an unwanted busway on the residents of the city along the route of what is a delightful cycleway which is turning into a linear park.
Does the city council ever do anything wrong as it appears that it is good at everythiog according to the Chester News?
What was the cost of the printing and distribution of this publication amd how much council tax money was spent in collating all the facts when council staff should have been serving the community going about their normal duties?
Perhaps someone from the city council could furnish the amounts involved!
I will be very surprised if there is a reply from either councils as they will be too busy compiling the next interesting set of facts for the public at vast expense to the council tax payers.
Mike Johnson, 11 Fox Lea, Saughall
15/11/01 I can tell the council where they should not spend our hard-earned money. The unnecessary 'prestigious', to a few councillors, CDTS busway. I shudder to think how much that planned 'Dome' on wheels would slap on the local tax.
A major priority should be for police to carry out further HGV checks to protect all users of roads and those crossing them. On Thursday (30th October) police found 18 out of 48 vehicles stopped had faults so serious that they were taken off the road immediately and two arrests were made. Around 40 per cent of vehicles stopped were found unroadworthy. Safety of all road users ought to be a priority. Not molly coddling Park & Riders on posh buses whilst we have cast-offs.
A careful and conscientious driver
16/11/01 Having recently moved to Northgate Avenue I am curious about the proposals for the CDTS.
However, I am so far bemused as to how the scheme will contribute to the wider debate of sustainable development, which we are told underpins all government policies, centrtal, regional and local.
Firstly, driving what effectively amounts to a road along along an existing wildlife corridor will surely dimlish, if not destroy, its effectiveness as such.
Secondly, is the CDTS going to be linked to other moves to create a more sustainable transport network for Chester?
Studies have repeatedly shown the most effective means of reducing the use of the private car (the world's largest producer of C02) is to either reduce parking spaces or increase parking charges. However, we have recently seen a reduction in parking charges in the city and reported proposals for a 450 space multi-storey car park at the racecourse, alongside development proposals for the Northgate that do not seek to reduce the number of parking spaces.
If both paths are followed Chester will only generate more traffic movements by private car, not less!
Do environmental issues and the UK Strategy for Sustainable Development count for nothing in Chester?
Jonathan Palmer, Northgate Village, Chester
16/11/01 The city council has just published its 'Community Plan'.
This plan is supposed to reflect what the ordinary people of Chester and District think should be done. It is therefore amazing that under 'Transport' (page 13), the plan states that people want the Guided Busway (CDTS Phase 1) and its extension from Northgate Village to Saughall boundary (CDTS Phase 2)!
It will be remembered that over 1,000 people actually wrote to the Ministry to object to the scheme and that not a single councillor or resident spoke at the Public Inquiry in its support.
How then can this feature in the Community Plan as a scheme which we all support?
As to the Blacon extension, this has never been consulted upon so how can it possibly claim pubfic support?
As both the City and County councils struggle to control their budgets and the level of our taxes, they have asked for our views about how our money should be spent. Does it make sense to take on this astronomically expensive engineering scheme with all the additional maintenance and running costs?
Remember, Chester already has a Park & Ride system- one of the largest in the country- with four Park & Ride sites with a total of some 4,000 spaces.
If you believe that adopting this busway scheme would be a costly mistake, even if you have already written objecting to this scheme, do write today to: Paul Findlow, Council Leader, Cheshire County Council, County Hall, Chester CH1 1SF.
22/11/01 I see county council leader Findlow is asking where the council should not spend our money. Without hesitation I say the busway CDTS gets the chop. Please leave this highly expensive idea on the drawing board and consider spending a fraction of the amount it would cost, both the council and local taxpayers, on repairing existing roads. For instance, could I draw your attention to the bridge over the railway on Brook Lane. It is only a post and a few pieces of wire away from disaster seen elsewhere in the country. This line is electrified. a vehicle ploughing through these 'protective' wires could cause much loss of life.
A nearly penniless resident
22/11/01 Former councillor Doug Kelly has supported Anti-CDTS, and members from all over Chester and district thank him. When Doug was a councillor he spoke out at Labour group meetings saying he, as an elected representadve of local people, should speak on their behalf and, therefore, not support CDTS because of the effect on residents in his constituency, also tbe enviranment. The party whip made him tne the party line. This lost the Labour party a large number of votes and also many once loyal party members in the area. Voters felt (with justification) their local representative should be allowed to actually represent them, not a party line. It ought to be stressed that counciilors of all political parties should be allowed to do likewise. Who faces the local tax bill? It is certainly not the party.
We know many councillors are privately against this extremely costly and umnecessary CDTS busway scheme and many more will be fearful of the financial consequences to local taxpayers, of going ahead with this project.
A silver lining! Our recently elected county council leader, Paul Findlow, is asking us all where the cuts in council spending should be made - as councils struggle to keep their budget under tighter control. I trust all members of the Anti-CDTS .Campaign groups plus other local taxpayers will let him know? Do write to: Paul Findlow, County Council Leader, County Hall, Chester CHI ISF.
Never have so many, throughout a community, written objecting to a scheme - yet in the council's Community Plan booklet it states ( I quote from page 13): The council undertake: implementation of the Chester Deeside Transport System Phase 1, followed by Phase 2 (Blacon) and 3~
Many people we spoke to in the Blacon area were astounded by the news tbat Phase 2 Blacon/Saughall is to be undertaken, they seem to have been assured it would not be coming in their direction!
Audrey Hodgkinson, Chester Anti-CDTS Group
Critics of the scheme are concerned that squeezing the double-track concrete busway on to the narrow rail-bed would destroy the existing attractive green corridor.
The busway would also take a slice of the small green open space at Northgate Village to gain access to Delamere Street.
The need for an additional. expensively-engineered Park & Ride scheme has been questioned. Chester already has one of the most extensive Park & Ride systems in the country- four sites with a total of some 4,0OO spaces together with an important 'overflow' facility at Chester Zoo for peak Christmas/January sales shoppers.
The city's own Parking Officer recently raised the question whether the demand for Park & Ride in Chester was 'maturing'.
There seems to be uncertainty about the city council's intentions about the level of parking provision within the city- is it to be reduced to encourage greater use of Park & Ride or maintained at present levels or even increased to encourage shoppers back into the city.
There is a similar dilemma about the level of parking charges. lf present levels of parking are maintained then cars will still penetrate the city centre at much the present rate.
It has never been made clear how additional traffic would be prevented from using the Hoole Road corridor.
What is certain is that 90 additional bus movements per day would be introduced into Frodsham Street/Foregate Street by the new busway.
It is important to remember what the inspectors examining the Cheshire Structure Plan (CHESHIRE 2011) said about the CDTS:
"It is not for us to assess, as will be necessary in detail, both the final figure and whether it represents value for money in achieving the objectives of encouraging the use of alternatives to the car.
Such measures as bus and cycle lanes and other traffic and parking management proposals need to be spelt out in principle in direct relationship with CDTS.
Otherwise, it should be stressed, the success of CDTS and even existing Park & Ride schemes will be prejudiced by the freeing of existing road space on radial routes and vehicular congestion in the city would increase".
W.V. Jones, Daleside, Upton Heath, Chester
30/11/01 Jonathan Palmer (Points of View, November 16) asked penetrating questions about the proposed guided busway (CDTS Phase I)
30/11/01 Waste, inefficiency and inappropriate priorities are things the community would want a council leader to attack.. 6/12/2001 The council's consultation on CDTS in May 1999 raised 452 objections to the proposed scheme from people living in the Chester and District boundary. 6/12/2001
In response to the letter Busway Support, 29th November. 10/12/01 Do I detect a note of desperation in the letter of Mr. Wendt? 10/12/01 Regarding Steve Howe's excellent letter in last week's Standard regarding the role of Chester in Partnership in championing of the otherwise-unpopular CDTS project, I was prompted to investigate further and was subsequently interested to learn that CIP, "a network of public, private, voluntary and community organisations committed to working together to improve the delivery of services across the Chester district", is made up of the following members: 12/12/01 It was reported in the local press a couple of days ago that Saughall Parish councillors have asked Cheshire County Council to install a Pelican crossing on busy Church Road, only to be refused due to lack of available funding. 19.12.01 Could I add a few remarks here? There are not many people who have watched as much traffic on all roads in Chester and Cheshire as I have as a traffic surveyor for over a period of 30 years. I have watched and counted traffic of all kinds on all types of roads including motorways. It shocked me beyond words when I stood in a field surrounded by motorways slip roads and ordinary roads, on stilts, and far below and as far as I could see nothing but pockets of small green verges and roads of all kinds. Roads full of traffic for 14 hours a day. Sort sighted authorities were starving the railways - much of the heavy road traffic could have been swallowed up on the railway route. Also buses were being starved of fund otherwise much of the car users could have been travelling buses and not needing more and more and more
.(when will it end?) The fact that it costs so much more to build a new road or busway than provide decent bus and train services seems completely beyond the grasp of some. We should have more people in authority able to see the wood from the trees. We managed without cars during the war and many people do not own a car anyway, we should consider them too they pay taxes. We are not asking for anyone to give up their car just think twice before they use in unnecessarily. Letters opposed to the
Busway 1 | 2
| 3 | 4
| 5 | 6
| 7 | 8 | 9 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | Letters
in favour of the Busway
Cheshire County Council leader Paul Findlow is doing just that. He has asked us to let him know where we want council spending cuts to be made. Most of us in the community feel the CDTS busway project is not a cost-effective plan and as such would be a money waster of unprecedented magnitude.
A figure of £13 million for Phase 1 alone is the tip of the iceberg. Then add phases 2 and 3.
A small fraction of government money could be allocated but local taxpayers would be left with the rest plus interest on borrowed money, plus maintenance and running costs.
We have all heard the one about private/public money- it was called the Dome and who was left to pay for that mistake?
There are already 4,000 car spaces in the existing Park & Rides and they are little used and are only full at peak holiday times (ie Christmas).
Chester, according to the Community Plan, is undertaking Phases 1, 2 and 3. This is puzzling for Phase 3 is in Wales and the Welsh Assembly does not want CDTS!
If you would like to help the council leader decide where to make essential cuts in council spending (it only needs to be a line) write to: Council leader Paul Findlow, County Hall, Chester CH1 1SF, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Take a 'virtual stroll' along the old railway route, now a linear park cycle/walkway! and gain more information on the planned busway: www.bwpics.co.uk/railstroll/railindex.html
Audrey Hodgkinson, Secretary, Anti-CDTS Campaign Groups, Hoole Chester
30/11/01 In response to recent press reports of Chester's Way Ahead's support for the CDTS, I should like to say that the Community Plan is not a city council publication.
It was in fact produced by Chester in Partnership, a network of public, private, voluntary and community organisations committed to working together to improve the delivery of services across the Chester district.
Secondly, the extensive consultation exercises prior to the production of the plan produced 75 responses in favour of an integrated transport system for the city, including CDTS, and 55 against, so it is fair to say that the Community Plan does reflect public opinion.
Robin Wendt, Chairman, Chester in Partnership
6/12/2001 I was interested to read the response in last week's Standard from Mr Robin Wendt, speaking on behalf of his organisation, 'Chester in Partnership' regarding some recently-published views about plans for the former Mickle Trafford-Deeside railway, now enjoying a splendid new lease of life as a part of the National Cycling Network.
I have long wondered why this wonderful car-free commuting and leisure route should not be being celebrated as one of our city's greatest achievements of recent years. Instead of which, local people wait in trepidation for the long-overdue results of the Public Inquiry, one outcome of which will certainly result in the destruction of the peaceful atmosphere of this valuable public asset and will necessitate the spending of many millions of pounds in an attempt to produce a negligible reduction in traffic congestion on Hoole Road.
As a Hoole resident, as a business owner, a cyclist, a father of young children, as a citizen deeply worried about what our fair city is becoming, I have personally tried very hard indeed to meet with people who think all this would be a good idea, but must confess- councillors, planners and current MP excepted- to having met with very little success. These few aside, the overwhelming majority of the many, many people I have discussed the matter with over the last few years oppose the scheme- some on environmental grounds, some on economic- but oppose it they certainly do.
Chester in Partnership, however, would appear to know better and, in the course of declaring their aim to "Undertake the implementation of the Chester Deeside Transport System (Phase 1) followed by Phases 2 and 3", assure us that their "extensive" consultation exercises prior to the production of their report, 'Chester's Way Ahead: a Plan for the Future of Chester', resulted in "75 responses in favour of the Busway as opposed to 55 against".
In all, then, a grand total of 130 responses- a result, one feels, rather less than 'extensive'- and laughably inadequate as justification for the imposition of a vastly expensive white elephant upon the only urban greenway our city is, for the moment, fortunate enough to possess.
CIP also promised "To bring about the implementation of the fifth Chester Park & Ride site".
There are already 4,000 car parking spaces available at our existing Park & Ride sites and, except at at peak holiday times, they are decidedly underused. They are expensive to operate and currently contribute less than they should to reducing congestion and pollution. The planned construction of yet another such site would seem not to make sound economic sense.
Intrigued by Mr Wendt's letter, I set out to discover just who Chester in Partnership, the aspiring architects of our city's future, actually were. A call to the usually all-knowing ladies at the City Council's switchboard drew a blank, as did calls to the various council departments they helpfully recommended. The County Council weren't too sure but suggested I ask the City Council... I rang the three main local newspapers but they didn't know either and said they'd "get back to me".
Eventually, however, I was directed to a website (www.chesterswayahead.org.uk) where I learned that among the members of CIP are Chester City Council and Cheshire County Council- two of the three councils who dreamed up the Busway in the first place!
(The third being Flintshire County Council who, despite CIP's claims, have money worries of their own and are highly unlikely to have anything further to do with CDTS Phase III- constructing and operating the Busway on their side of the border.)
And what of Mr Wendt himself, the Chairman of CIP? No less than the recently-retired Chief Executive of Cheshire County Council.
Interestingly, the current leader of Cheshire County Council, Cllr Paul Findlow, has recently appealed to the public for their suggestions about tackling "waste, inefficiency and inappropriate priorities" within the authority. CDTS would seem to many to be the epitome of all three- many of us in the community feel the Busway project is by no means a cost-effective plan and as such would be a money waster of unprecedented magnitude. Indeed, as a mere lay observer of the debate over the last few years, I am in possession of half a bookshelf of documents and glossy illustrated publications laying out, in a highly selective manner, the City and County Council's case. The cost of these, taken together with, for example, the Public Inquiry barrister's fees (c. £1 million?), staff salaries etc mean that those acting on behalf of the people of Chester have already expended vast sums of money on CDTS - will we ever learn the true price?
And what of future maintainance and running costs? All that mass of paper but of these, too, we have as yet been told next to nothing.
Many- myself and my family included- feel that, irrespective of the outcome of the Public Inquiry, CDTS should be abandoned immediately and that a small fraction of the money saved be invested in improving the infrastructure we already have as well as providing real support for those local people who would like to leave their cars at home and get to work and school by healthier and more economic means.
York has recently achieved the remarkable figure of 25% of her commuters using bicycles and other non-car means of getting about. We could do even better here in Chester; we have the will, all we need is a little bit of money and enlightened leadership. Just imagine the savings in terms of reducing congestion and pollution and improving health!
I help to run the County Council cycling proficiency scheme at St. James' School and would love to encourage my children to cycle there, but dare not because of the large numbers of unpoliced motorists speeding around what should be quiet suburban streets. Sticking tin pictures of bicycles on lampposts isn't going to do a thing to change the fact that, for those not sat in cars, Chester's streets are increasingly dangerous.
More safe and segregated walking and cycling routes are badly needed, in addition to better and cheaper buses (it cost £1.35 for my eight-year-old and I to travel six stops the other day)- and those other value-for-money improvements that Chester's planners know all about but seem unwilling to actually build in meaningful numbers.
We learned this week that the Audit Commission, as part of their Best Value programme, have criticised Cheshire County Council 's Engineering Services department in a number of areas, none of which will come as much of a surprise to the County's road- and pavement- users.
It strikes me that, in a city where they build office blocks on amphitheatres, where family business has been driven from the city centre and all the new housing is for the young, rich and childless- but our children cannot cycle to school in safety- there is little need for outfits like Chester in Partnership, Chester Economic Development Task Group, Chester Business Leader's Group, and all their seemingly-endless ilk, to enighten the people as to what their 'way forward' is to be.
We have seen the future aspired to by these worthies and, to say the least, don't think much of it.
So while you're waiting for the imminently-expected, long-overdue findings of the CDTS Public Inquiry, may I invite you to wrap up warmly, dig your bikes out of the shed and enjoy some winter sunshine and the attractive, peaceful atmosphere of the cycleway for yourselves- while you still can!
In July 1999, 1,104 people took the time and trouble to write a letter to the:Secretary of State at the DETR to object to CDTS in the strongest possible terms for a wide range of reasons. (This set a record for the greatest number of letters ever received against a Transport and Works Act scheme).
Between September 1999 and February 2000, the CDTS campaign groups mobilised more than 400 members to raise over £10,000 to object to CDTS at the public inquiry, the results of which are still unknown.
Since its opening on Midsummer's Day in the millennium year, the poorly-funded Sustrans track on the route of the proposed £20 million CDTS busway has continued to attract thousands of walkers and cyclists to its calm, traffic-free green :space.
Yet Robin Wendt of Chester in Partnership states that following extensive consultation on the Community Plan, 75 responses were in favour of CDTS and 55 against, therefore the Community Plan fairly reflects community support for CDTS. This is clearly a limited and erroneous use of the evidence.
Catherine Green, Vice Chair, Anti-CDTS Groups.
So- Chester in Partnership is responsible for the Community Plan publication. Does this mean the council is stepping even further away from the CDTS busway plan?
The Chester in Partnership 'extensive consultation' prior to publication rendered 75 in favour of integrated transport, but not necessarily the CDTS busway project! A bus on an existing road could also be part of an integrated transport network.
In your book the 75 'may be' votes are sufficient to state the community is in favour of the plan, is it? You are obviously unaware that more thap 1,400 people, from all over Cheshire, wrote individual letters to the DETR against the CDTS busway project. These letters were not subjected to interpretation. Has Chester in Partnership undertaken a costing of this project yet? How about Ietting us in on the secret, we know it was roughly estimated at £13million for Phase One alone some 20 months ago?
When the full costs to local taxpayers for Phases I, 2 & 3 have been published, I suggest they are consulted then.
Four straightforward questions (and therefore not open to 'interpretation'):
a) Are you in favour of the CDTS busway plan?
b) Do you object to the CDTS busway plan?
c) Do you think CDTS busway plan would be best value for moriey?
d) Would you prefer the much cheaper option of green buses on existing roads, accessible to all, not just the car-borne, with good services and cheaper fares?
It seems only fair that local taxpayers should have their views taken into consideration for they will be paying the price of CDTS busway plan for the next 30 years plus- if it is ever constructed.
As I am ever mindful of council spending (local taxpayers money) I suggest that the questionnaire be posted with the next local tax demand, thus saving additional postage.
Meanwhile, in case Chester in Partnership does not take up this challenge, Council Leader Findlow has asked us all where cuts should be made to local council spending. I suggest anyone who feels this project will not give value for money writes to:Council Leader Paul Findlow, County Hall, Chester CHI ISF e-mail: email@example.com
A. Hodgkinson, Anti-CDTS Campaign Groups
6/12/2001 I could not believe my eyes when I read the council, or at least part of it, is saying the Chester and District Community has asked for the CDTS busway. Are they really saying local taxpayers are willing to pay for this money waster for some car drivers to save a couple of minutes. Is our own council willing to reduce quality of life for residents to cater for more car drivers? Are council members saying we are willing to give up.a tranquil linear park to buses. Do they really mean us? What do we pay them for? Do they expect to be elected again?
Well at least we have County Council leader Paul Findlow who asks local taxpayers to let him know where council spending cuts ought to be, as he tries to cap spending. His job is assured. I am writing immediately- cut the CDTS busway for a start. At: least someone is talking sense, thank you council leader Findlow.
Name and adress supplied
What else could it be? The DETR received over 1,400 signatures on a petition also 1,000 plus individual letters to DETR and many more letters after the Public Inquiry all opposing CDTS. To announce to the world that 75 is A Community voting in favour of CDTS is clutching at straws.
Thank goodness the authorities are now realising the folly of CDTS before the money and land has been wasted. The 2 track concrete busway and huge park & ride would not have been as easy to remove as the flagpoles and the drain of local council spending would have been enormous. It would also be as unforgivable as the London Dome drain.
We could easily attain the excellent York figure of 25% commuters using a non-car means of travel. The answer is simple for much less money than CDTS - green buses on existing roads, cheaper fares and decent services. Demand is there for first rate cycle and walking routes it would be a disaster to degrade the pleasant traffic free Linear Park, paid for with lottery money. This pathway is already proven a worthy alternative to using a car. The answer is obvious respect all non-car users don't sacrifice them to make way for more cars.
Audrey Hodgkinson. Anti-CDTS Campaign Groups.
Chester City Council
Cheshire County Council
West Cheshire College
Chester City Primary Care Group
Chester Rural Employment Group
West Chester Regeneration Board
Cheshire Fire Service
Chester College for Higher Education
Chester Ecomonic Development Forum
Cheshire Rural Primary Care Group
South Cheshire Health Authority
Government Office for the North West
Chester Council for Voluntary Service.
Chester in Partnership's report, 'Chester's Way Ahead: a Plan for the Future of Chester' (read it at www.chesterswayahead.org.uk) includes the declaration that they will,
"Undertake the implementation of the Chester Deeside Transport System (Phase 1) followed by Phases 2 and 3"
By putting their names to this document, is it to be assumed that the above organisations are declaring themselves to be active supporters of CDTS?
Having rarely met with anyone who thinks the Busway is anything other than crazy, I was intrigued to suddenly be presented with such an impressive list of apparent supporters.
Of course, we have been long aware of the role of Chester City and Cheshire County Councils in the Busway saga, and Chester College will be familiar to all who use the Sustrans cyclepath along the old railway, and also the restored canal towpath, for both pass directly alongside the campus. The use of these efficient walking and cycling routes would seem to be denied to students and teachers, however, due to the remarkable non-provision of access gates.
But what of the others? I feel sure that the people of Chester and district would be more than interested to hear, for example, why the South Cheshire Health Authority and Chester City Primary Care Group would wish to see the concreting-over of one of the finest health-promoting amenities our city has to offer?
Or even, given their apparent enthusiasm for the scheme, what plans the Police and Fire Service have in place for dealing with a major fire or accident on the Busway, bearing in mind the extreme scarcity of vehicular access to the line?
I was also of the impression that the Government Office for the North West in Manchester was independent of Chester's councils and business interests in this matter, as local people have been encouraged to write to them- which they have in considerable numbers, I gather- to voice their objections to CDTS. Yet here they are, apparently listed as promoters of the scheme!
So much we still don't know. Frankly, I am confused and would therefore be grateful if representatives of any of the members of Chester in Partnership could take to time to clarify their position?
12/12/01 York is a place we visit frequently it is no surprise that 25% of their commuters either cycle or use other non-car means of travel.
This remarkable figure has been achieved by treating the cyclists, walkers and users of public transport with respect. In Chester an enforced amount of work has been carried out but no real effort has been made to lift walkers and cyclists to the place they are justly entitled. Sustrans, with the aid of lottery money, installed the well loved and much used peaceful Linear Park. The planned busway would degrade it to a narrow alleyway, alienating instead of cultivating those who neither pollute nor congest our roads in country or town. The huge cost of CDTS would wrench money from a permanent and much less costly solution to the problem -walking, cycling and providing green buses on existing roads with cheaper fares. The disastrous drain on taxpayers money - the Dome - could have been averted if public opinion had not been ignored, this money could have been used for the seriously ailing London underground. Time we got our priorities right as Cheshire County Council Leader Findlow points out. He is asking for your suggestions to cut council spending costs, you may wish to drop him a line; Paul Findlow, County Council Leader, County Hall, Chester CH1 1SF or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Chester will never obtain the success of York until it learns to respect non-car users. Plan to give us all a more pleasant life and better environment, with decent public transport on existing roads using just a fraction of what CDTS would cost. If York can do it so can Chester.
Audrey Hodgkinson (secretary) Anti-CDTS Campaign Groups.
They were told, "Demand for pedestrian crossings, refuges and other traffic calming measures far outweighed the resources at the council's disposal. At the present time, the County Council has a list of more than eighty sites in Chester awaiting funding to enable traffic calming schemes to be implemented".
It was also interesting to learn that the Audit Commission, as part of their Best Value programme, have recently criticised Cheshire County Council 's Engineering Services department in a number of areas. They found:
"No evidence to support the service offers good value for money, with maintenance work often poorly planned and patchy, and delivery not always efficient.
A lack of investment means a lot of roads are worn out and their long-term life has not been well protected.
The council's performance is below average for county councils in several areas, including road and path repairs, the condition of main roads and pedestrian crossings accessible to disabled people".
Eighty sites in Chester alone waiting for traffic calming and below-standard maintainance of our roads and footpaths! This sounds to me like a council with much to do before considering embarking upon a multi-million pound experimental transport project like the CDTS Busway! A scheme that will provide no benefit to the people of Hoole, Blacon- or Saughall, close to where CDTS Phase II will run- and rob us all of yet another green open space merely to enable a few day-trippers to be whisked straight to the big shops in the city centre.
Where are our priorities here? If there's no money for vital improvements to the existing infrastructure, where's the Busway money coming from?
Some answers please, just for once.
Steve Howe, Lime Grove, Hoole, Chester
It has been admitted by council experts that congestion and pollution will NOT reduce on Hoole road if CDTS busway is constructed. The council reason for CDTS is now to give car users 'choice' The fact that Park & Ride users are being subsidised - the council are even thinking of charging one price for a car (no matter how many occupants )is grossly unfair to those using ordinary buses on existing roads.
"We cannot build our way out of congestion" (Transport White Paper, 1998)
Top of Page | Site Front Door | Chester: A Virtual Stroll Around the Walls
A Virtual Stroll Along the Mickle Trafford Railway | Part II | Site Index
Write to us! Your
comments are very welcome.
6/12/2001 The council's consultation on CDTS in May 1999 raised 452 objections to the proposed scheme from people living in the Chester and District boundary.
In response to the letter Busway Support, 29th November.
10/12/01 Do I detect a note of desperation in the letter of Mr. Wendt?
10/12/01 Regarding Steve Howe's excellent letter in last week's Standard regarding the role of Chester in Partnership in championing of the otherwise-unpopular CDTS project, I was prompted to investigate further and was subsequently interested to learn that CIP, "a network of public, private, voluntary and community organisations committed to working together to improve the delivery of services across the Chester district", is made up of the following members:
12/12/01 It was reported in the local press a couple of days ago that Saughall Parish councillors have asked Cheshire County Council to install a Pelican crossing on busy Church Road, only to be refused due to lack of available funding.
19.12.01 Could I add a few remarks here? There are not many people who have watched as much traffic on all roads in Chester and Cheshire as I have as a traffic surveyor for over a period of 30 years. I have watched and counted traffic of all kinds on all types of roads including motorways. It shocked me beyond words when I stood in a field surrounded by motorways slip roads and ordinary roads, on stilts, and far below and as far as I could see nothing but pockets of small green verges and roads of all kinds. Roads full of traffic for 14 hours a day. Sort sighted authorities were starving the railways - much of the heavy road traffic could have been swallowed up on the railway route. Also buses were being starved of fund otherwise much of the car users could have been travelling buses and not needing more and more and more
.(when will it end?) The fact that it costs so much more to build a new road or busway than provide decent bus and train services seems completely beyond the grasp of some. We should have more people in authority able to see the wood from the trees. We managed without cars during the war and many people do not own a car anyway, we should consider them too they pay taxes. We are not asking for anyone to give up their car just think twice before they use in unnecessarily.
Letters opposed to the
Busway 1 | 2
| 3 | 4
| 5 | 6
| 7 | 8 | 9 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | Letters
in favour of the Busway