A Letter from Nantwich
Updated November 2011, etc:
Not so bad after all |
Greenway officially opened
Will it be a red light for
MAKE an effort to take a look for
these scenes along the Barony and Beam Street because if I have read
the plan correctly they are about to disappear under a Crewe-to-Nantwich Greenway.
That is, a three-metre-wide
surfaced path running from the west side of Crewe to Nantwich Town Centre
which is part of a £50 million nationwide programme to provide safe
routes for pedestrians and cyclists. Surfaced, presumably, in Tarmacadam - so not really a
I have at least two thoughts on
this. First, given that the
Greenway paths are virtually wider versions of the current
footpaths, why spend £1.5 million so that cyclists can ride along
them. Many adult cyclists already ride on the current footpaths at no
to the local authorities - apart from wear and tear, of course.
And pedestrians who have
encountered cyclists sharing their route will not wish to be part of
the new Greenways which, being wider, will simply mean that
law-avoiding cyclists will simply ride faster along
Secondly, at three metres
wide the new pathway will clearly wipe out established green areas - flowerbeds, hedges and trees, as
seen on this page, according to my calculations. Hedges and trees
are not indicated on the map which was part of a letter from
Cheshire East Council's Highway Operations department in Crewe to
local residents in mid September. There, for all to see, is the Greenway (actually grey on the map) and
proposed verges and embankments about which it seems to wander. The
Greenway/verges are shown going round Barony Park on the Middlewich
Road, Barony Road and Park View sides. The letter refers to "sections of
the Barony Park" although the coloured line is continuous.
The new structure also runs
along Beam Street and a short stretch of Barony Road on one side of
Coronation Gardens (see footnote) which is currently a normal footpath. The area
coloured grey and green doesn't seem any wider than the
I wait with interest to see
the rest of the route to the town centre - mainly because there
isn't anywhere wide enough for a three-metre-
A floral bed on Barony Road. Will this
disappear with the arrival of the Greenway?
wide pathway. The £50 million that will finance
Greenways all over the UK will come from something
called "Connect2" - funded by Sustrans, The Big Lottery, North West Development Agency and Cycle for
England. Apparently viewers of an ITV programme voted
for the Greenways to get the award.
Phase 1 - from Queen's
Park, Crewe, to Wistaston Green Road - is under construction, we are
LAST April, an article in The Nantwich
Link (a free monthly magazine circulated to all homes), written by
someone at Nantwich Town Council, was bemoaning the fact that
Cheshire East Council hadn't given the
go-ahead for crossing points
on the Crewe to Nantwich Greenway - one of three in Cheshire. If the council
didn't do so by April 12 the £1.5 million part of the grant wouldn't
be coming our way after all, it said.
The crossing points
on the Nantwich end of the
Greenway, which look like pedestrian
islands in the middle of the road on the map with the council's
letter, are on
The Barony and Middlewich Road near to Sainsbury's. There will also be a "traffic
signal controlled crossing point" across Nantwich by-pass near the
Presumably, Cheshire East
Council gave the necessary permission before the deadline.
An area of land by
any other name . . .
CORONATION Gardens? Queen's Gardens? Volunteer
Fields? Over the
years, I have used all three names for the area of land at the
Barony end of Beam Street. In the 2010 Nantwich Food and Drink
Festival the area was called Volunteer Fields. That, to me, is the
road that runs at right angles to Beam Street.
I think the truth is that
the circular garden area surrounded by hedges and trees in the
middle of the grassed area is Coronation Gardens (also called
Queen's Gardens in some publications).
And I think the whole area is
- or was - Volunteer Fields where local people massed to enlist to
fight Napoleon. It would be logical for the road to be named after
A further question. Which
Queen is commemorated by the garden area? Queen Elizabeth II or
Queen Victoria? I must try to find out.
Left, Trees near to the sports complex. Right: The proposed route of the Greenway on
the edge of Coronation Gardens in Beam Street.
Public conveniences in Barony Road
(one of only two still open in town) seem to be on the way out.
A narrow verge and a hedge between
Barony Road and Barony Park
The floral display in Barony Road in July 2013. After several days
of blazing sunshine the grass is going yellow
UPDATE FROM JUNE 2009
Assurances on the impact of the Greenway
PERHAPS my worries about the Crewe and
Nantwich Greenway were a little unfounded. The hedge along the
boundaries of the Barony Park and the public toilets in the area are
not, it seems, at risk after all.
Although the Greenway was
flagged as being three metres wide, and the initial plans seemed to
indicate that was from the back edge of the present footpath, I have
been assured that the route of the new pedestrian and cycle route is
For instance, it will go on the
park side of the hedges, leaving them intact. Also, as it passes the
public toilets, its width will vary from the aforementioned three metres
so that it fits between the toilets and the courts that are part of the
sports complex. The toilets will not have to be demolished.
In fact, the Greenway will not
always hug the edge of the road. When it goes past Alvaston Hall Hotel
it will deviate from Middlewich Road and go around the edge of the
fields immediately in front of the hotel. That will add an extra minute
to the journey of cyclists I was assured by a charming young lady at the
information event at the
Barony Park Sports Complex on October 14,
2009. There was a lot of interest shown in
the maps and plans on display in the small room at the front of the
complex. Work has already started on "elements
1 and 2" of the Greenway route next to Queen's Park and the King George
V Playing Fields in Crewe.
A leaflet (entitled "Connect 2") published by
Cheshire East Council says: "The remaining elements are at the planning
stage and it is anticipated that the work will be completed by November
2011." [It was actually March 2013].
A FEATURE of the scheme is a portrait bench
which will have cut-out metal figures standing next to it. These, says
the leaflet, "can represent local icons, Cheshire characters, historical
figures or workers in local industries."
Just who will be chosen is up
to local people, we are assured. Comments about what "the bench should
symbolise" are being welcomed.
Greenway confrontation | Toilets
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