A Letter from Nantwich update

July 2009     (Comments and events relevant at the time of this update)        

New signs mean extra traffic for our roads






This is the junction of Station Road, the Waterlode and Pillory Street. Many people say the stretch of road running straight ahead to the railway (note the footbridge) is Wellington Road, but I have always thought of it as Pillory Street up to the level crossing - and St Anne's R.C. Church, far right. Until the Waterlode was added some years back there was no road to the right of the picture.

GEORGINA Ross, one of the people campaigning against the new signage on behalf of Wellington Road and Audlem Road residents, has sent me the following:


AS part of the re-signing and reclassifying process - which cost around 300,000 - Wellington Road was changed (as was London Road and Millstone Lane) from an A road to a B road.

   We were, therefore, hoping the road might benefit slightly from the re-signage, especially as it is residential, has three schools along it (including Weaver Primary), has narrow pavements and is used by many pedestrians and cyclists.

   Unfortunately, we have seen a marked increase in traffic on what was already a busy road. There are more HGVs and the traffic starts earlier and finishes later than it did before.

   The problems are twofold:


Incoming traffic
Wellington Road used to take incoming town traffic from the Whitchurch and Audlem roads. Now it is additionally taking it from the east side of town - from the A500 / M6 and A51 (from Stone). Traffic from these two routes is now redirected via Peter De Stapleigh Way onto Wellington Road. The Newcastle-London Road (B road / east artery into the town) is not now signposted to the town centre. In fact, it has no traffic directed along it all.

   [The] Highways [department] said the decision to redirect from London Road was made at the last minute and in consultation with the Nantwich Transport Group. One reason given was that the main car parks are on the west side of town (Snow


Hill, etc) and they wanted to avoid using Hospital Street and Beam Street (due to previous accidents, etc). In their opinion, this new traffic will not be

significant as it will only involve people who are new to the area.

   Beam Street is favourably affected by the rerouting and yet it is less residential, has several shops and is a much wider road. Wellington Road is 100% residential with three schools. If there have been more accidents in Beam Street perhaps there are other issues that need to be addressed - such as the position of crossings, etc.


Outgoing traffic
All outgoing traffic seems to now be directed down Wellington Road from the east and the west sides, including several signs to Wrexham and Chester.

   The sign (right) at the Station Road / Pillory Street junction used to read Whitchurch and Audlem. It now reads: M6, Chester, Wrexham, Stoke-on-Trent, Crewe, and Whitchurch. I don't know what's happened to Audlem though, ironically, it's the only destination that Wellington Road directly leads to.

   According to Highways, the Stoke / Crewe / M6 traffic route is to take the burden off Hospital Street, which is now an Air Quality Management zone.

   The signs for Chester / Wrexham - which sends traffic on a long trip round the bypass - are due to the apparently "low bridge", the aqueduct in Welsh Row. It is, in fact, the highest low bridge around at 15ft 6ins. Most lorries are 13ft and 14ft tall. It has never been signed as a low bridge before - nor did this stop the Waterlode link road from being built out to it.

   We've since heard from Highways that these signs










will be changed to say "Chester / Wrexham, avoiding low bridge". We are unhappy with the obvious lack of consideration for our residents and the apparent confusion / difference of opinion as to the powers and influence of the groups involved in the decision-making process.

   Of course, we live on a main road and don't expect a totally quiet life. What we are unhappy about is the inequitable distribution of traffic - we wouldn't expect our incoming traffic from Whitchurch and Audlem to be sent round to London Road - and the seeming priorities given to other roads. Also, the apparent disregard for schools and schoolchildren in the town. As residents, we were neither consulted nor represented. Highways calls this merely an "operational" task.

   I would argue differently.

Making roads safer meant problems for other residents

RACHEL SHENTON, who is also campaigning to stop traffic being diverted along Wellington Road, e-mailed me with the following:


I THINK that the problems started when Nantwich Traffic Action team was formed. This joined the forces of Hospital Street residents with Welsh Row residents associations.
   The aim of the highways (department) was to make both of these streets safer, less used and generally better for the residents, which is obviously a great idea for all of those people concerned. The knock-on effect


for the residents of our road is that we are either completely overlooked or worse, who knows!
   Wellington Road is now the gateway into and out of town. Nobody can tell me why we are now getting lorries from the motorway that want to deliver at Sainsbury's (for example), or why we get petrol tankers for the same destination. All I can think is that these lorry drivers don't know the way and are just following the very confusing signs.
   If the road signs do not change soon, some of the residents will be parking legally on our street, and I am in no doubt that the knock-on effect will be felt right


around town. So that will be interesting!

lOTHER points she made were: "At the moment, traffic to and from the A500 is being directed down Wellington Road. This is just one thing we want to change. When Peter De Stapleigh Way was built it was supposed to direct all through traffic away from the town centre.
   "As the signage is at present, no Crewe traffic is being signposted along Crewe Road, no traffic is being signposted down Millstone Lane, Beam Street, Newcastle Road (part), Hospital Street, or parts of the by-pass."

Authority admits it made a mistake


Speed limit urged

OTHERS are concerned about the confusing road signs. Elizabeth Thompson e-mailed me to say: "Perplexed by the road signage in Nantwich, I gave the highways authority a call and they explained to me that it is a mistake that they are sending people left down Wellington Road to Chester and Wrexham.

   "It will be remedied to send people straight on to The Waterlode, but this will still have a height restriction thanks to the aqueduct (at the top of  Welsh Row). So the signs will continue to send people left to the bypass as an alternative route.


   "It did make sense to get people onto the bypass where possible but I couldn't understand why they were sending all Chester and Wrexham traffic in the wrong direction when there was a new bypass road (The Waterlode) perfect for keeping traffic off Welsh Row. I hope they remedy the situation soon!"

See this Letter from Nantwich


lThanks for that Elizabeth. (She told me that she spoke to a very helpful man in the highways department).


PARENTS in Wellington Road have taken their fight one stage further by demanding that a 20mph speed limit is imposed in the road in the region of St Anne's Catholic Primary School. Georgina Ross (Chairman) and Rachel Shenton of Wellington Road Residents' Association are featured on the front page of the Nantwich Chronicle (September 2, 2009) calling for the new limit. They are supported by Gerry Smith, Chairman of the Governors, and Cllr Arthur Moran. Their call comes in the form of a petition sent to Cheshire East Council.   

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