A Virtual Stroll Along the Old Mickle Trafford-Deeside Railway: now the Millennium Greenway
Part 1: Newton Lane, Hoole
The latest newsletter ( March/April 2009) is here!
• Be sure to visit the latest excellent source of local cycling news, full of fascinating information: Chester Cycle City
November 2009- Well, we're sure you'll agree, especially in light of the splendid news above, that the time is long overdue for this hopelessly out-of-date version of our virtual journey along the Millennium Greenway- largely dealing as it does with the bitter, years-long battle to preserve our car-free path from the iniquities of the CDTS 'Guided Busway'- to be gracefully retired into the archives and a complete re-write to take place. This would add all of the new photographs and other material that this writer has been thigh-deep in for the last few years, tell of the very welcome extension of the route to Guilden Sutton that is about to take place, add better access information and detailed maps, provide a guide to hotels, shops, pubs, cafes etc close to the path- and generally provide a much, much more positive, regularly-updated read than it currently is!
That's a lot of work and sadly, we are now financially utterly incapable of taking the job on- without your help. If you are in a position to donate towards the site's renaissance, brilliant. If you're in business along the route, consider advertising with us. We can design (for free!) a jolly banner advertisment for you with details of your business, your contact details, links to your website and email- and a map directing Greenway travellers to your establishment!
February 2003, and the long battle seemed to be at last at an end, if this remarkable statement by Chester City Council was to be believed! On the same page is reproduced a remarkable editorial from the Chester Evening Leader, Lessons to be Learned from the CDTS Fiasco...
On 20th September 2003, a welcome event occured- one none of us ever though we'd see...
September 11th 2002: People of Chester rejoice! At a full meeting of Cheshire County Council, a majority of councillors today made the historic- and extremely welcome- decision to refuse to assist in funding the ludicrous CDTS Busway project!
Right: 13th September 2002- just some of the 400-odd people who turned out to celebrate the County Council's wise rejection of CDTS and show their support for the cycleway/footpath...
So, what now for Chester City Council? They could now decide to go it alone- doubtless with the good wishes of those county councillors who disagreed with the decision (the most rabid examples being David Robinson, Sue Proctor and Hoole's own Molly Hale) and, many suspect, with the generous assistance of the private sector. But surely, one asks, the County's commendable decision makes their case for the busway no longer viable- if the costs are considered excessive for the County and City working together, how on earth could Chester's taxpayers be expected to afford it alone? City council leader John Price and all manner of businessmen's organisations, economic development forums- and the Chester Chronicle- are, it seems, far from coming to the same conclusion, however.
The County Council debate over the go-ahead for CDTS on 24th October 2002 resulted in much the same outcome as the vote of September 11th- a majority of County councillors opposed to funding the busway.
By February 2003, the long. long battle seemed to be at last at an end, as this remarkable statement by Chester City Council seemed to indicate...also here is a hard-hitting editorial from the Chester Evening Leader, entitled Lessons to be Learned from City's CDTS Fiasco...
And then, on 20th September 2003, a most welcome and encouraging event occured- one none of us ever though we'd see. On a rainy Saturday afternoon a group of happy folk assembled at Kingsway Chapel to hear the new leader of Cheshire County Council, Cllr Nora Dolphin publicly thank all those who devote their spare time to litter picking, pruning, weeding and in other ways caring for the cycleway. County Council Cycling Officer Anna Geroni also gave an interesting talk as did the tireless Audrey Hodgkinson, Secretary of the Anti-CDTS Groups- and also now busy with the new Friends of the Millennium Cycleway. Both of them have worked long and hard- albeit from 'opposite sides of the fence'- to see that the cycleway was completed, to publicise it, ensure it is well maintained and, eventually, to see it extended.
To become a Friend of the Millennium Cycleway (it's free!) talk to Audrey Hodgkinson: 01244 343055 firstname.lastname@example.org
"In 1997 the consultation draft of the Chester Transport Study stated the following, and I quote: "The system is needed to permit redevelopment and regeneration of major brownfield sites in Chester". This appeared at the top of the list of factors supporting the CDTS, not pollution and traffic reduction, not the improvement of the environment but development and that's what this has all been about".
Newton Lane Bridge
returned to our starting point, we invite you to to join us for part
2 of our exploration of the Mickle Trafford-Deeside railway:
Newton Lane to Mickle Trafford
Some background material: Notes for a Controversial History parts I, II and III
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and comments are very welcome...