Local Labour councillors hail success after securing £45,000 to upgrade public footpath 216 in Butt Lane. The footpath is accessed from West Avenue and runs behind the houses of Church Street, finally exiting onto Congleton Road adjacent to St. Saviours Primary School. The improvement works will be funded by a Public Right of Way contribution from Taylor Wimpey. Taylor Wimpey’s contribution was secured through a section 106 agreement with Newcastle Borough Council.
It is understood that the works will be completed by contractors appointed by Staffordshire County Council and not housing developer, Taylor Wimpey. The contractor will begin work on the surfacing of the footpath on Monday 16th January. The path will be temporarily closed for the duration of the works. Residents are politely asked to use other routes until the works are completed.
Councillor Kyle Robinson said: “I welcome the news that this footpath will finally be brought up to a decent standard. Back in 2013, Sylvia and I raised the alarm about the state the public footpath had been left in following the development of Bluebell Croft. The footpath in question has been used for many years by local residents as a safer route to school and for recreational purposes. I am pleased we have been listened to on this matter and finally this 106 agreement will deliver for local people. It’s about time our local area gets the investment it deserves and we will fight for more.”
Councillor Sylvia Dymond added: “Many residents have been calling for an improvement to the footpath, including those that have moved onto the new estate. Local people have endured two years of problems with fencing, building work and a muddy overgrown footpath so this news is well received. At last we have a safer route for everyone to reach the local school, shops and to just enjoy a walk.”
The Department of Transport has confirmed that long-awaited plans for improvements to Kidsgrove Railway Station are set to go ahead on schedule. Local residents have been campaigning for years to secure improvements, including a new pedestrian bridge and lift, in order to improve transport networks in the town. Construction could now begin as early as April next year. This decision also means that third party funding for a new car park and transport interchange will likely remain secure.
Ruth Smeeth MP, who has been working with the campaign and who recently met with the Transport Minister to lobby him on the issue, has welcomed the news.
Ruth said : “It’s absolutely brilliant news that these works finally have the all clear. Kidsgrove station is a vital transport hub for the community and these improvements will be a big boost. I had a productive meeting with the Transport Minister where we discussed the potential benefits of these renovations. I’m delighted that he has recognised the value that this investment will bring. This is the culmination of many years of hard work from so many local residents, Councillors and community organisations who have been advocating for these works for a long, long time.”
Councillor Kyle Robinson said: “When we launched our ‘bridge to equality’ petition in September 2013, we had everything crossed and hoped that the Government would listen. After a lot of lobbying from our MP and members of the community, we are finally moving forward. Almost £4 Million will be invested into this scheme and Kidsgrove will have a modern transport hub fit for the 21st Century.”
Kyle added: “While this is all very positive news I was disappointed to learn that the Department of Transport announced Kidsgrove will lose its direct service to London. This will mean that passengers travelling to London from Kidsgrove will need to change over at Stoke or Stafford stations. However, Kidsgrove will gain a new direct service to Birmingham New Street which opens our area up to jobs in that region. It is important that all our local representatives continue to lobby the Department for Transport for the best possible deal for the people of Kidsgrove.”
Thank you to East Midlands Trains and Network Rail for allowing us to share this video with the public.
On Monday 20th June, Staffordshire County Council issued a letter to community leaders to state that the School Crossing Patrol on the A34 Congleton Road, Butt Lane (outside St. Saviours School) will be scrapped by September 2016. The letter also states that sites across the county have been assessed and categorised and the A34 Congleton Road has been deemed as a low priority due to a traffic signal controlled crossing point already in place. The school may be asked to find £3,500 if the service is to continue.
On speaking with parents and families in the local area, it has become clear that we need this School Crossing Patrol. Staffordshire County Council has a duty to keep our children safe and this decision is very worrying indeed. For many years, Congleton Road has been considered a dangerous road with increasing accidents and even fatalities. It is completely unacceptable for the Council to categorise this road as a lower priority. The school crossing is situated near a dangerous junction to St Saviours School and St. Saviour’s Street and our local lollipop man plays a crucial role carrying out a potentially life-saving task. Congestion on Congleton Road has increased in recent times and becomes strangled if there is an accident on the M6. This adds further safety concerns for local residents and the leadership at Staffordshire County Council cannot go on ignoring this problem.
Our local schools should be spending their ever shrinking budgets on children’s education, not be forced to foot the bill for highways services, which are the responsibility of Staffordshire County Council.
Please click the link and sign the petition to save our lollipop man for the safety of our children and families: