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.”
Councillor Kyle Robinson is calling on Staffordshire County Council Highways department to fix damaged crash barriers in the Butt Lane ward located on Congleton Road and Fourth Avenue. Some of the damaged barriers were reported months ago and have yet to be fixed. Highways officers also highlighted in an email that repairing the barriers were not a priority in certain locations, even at a school entrance. There have been several accidents at both locations in recent months and residents are furious that the Council is failing to take their concerns seriously. The crash barriers were put in place to protect pedestrians walking past busy junctions which are also known to be crash hot spots.
Kyle said: “I reported the damaged barriers outside of the school entrance on Fourth Avenue nearly 12 months ago and the County Council has still done nothing to repair them. I am particularly concerned that damaged barriers at a school entrance are not seen as a priority. Well over 400 school children use Fourth Avenue each morning to access The Kings School. I think the safety of our kids should always be a top priority and I call on Staffordshire County Council to get their act together and fix these barriers as a matter of urgency. The regularly damaged barriers on the Congleton Road Junction with Cedar Avenue is further evidence that this particular stretch of road is dangerous and a thorough traffic survey is required.”
Local resident, Helen Chadwick said: “The barriers were installed to protect people walking past busy junctions. The barriers on Fourth Avenue are near to a school entrance and I dread to think what could happen should a car hit the already damaged and weakened barriers. The County Council should fix the problem without question or further delay.”
Crash barriers at both sites have been re-reported and reference numbers have been obtained. Any updates received regarding future repairs will be published here for information.
Butt Lane Post Office on Congleton Road is set to be updated to offer a new modern service that is convenient for it’s customers. As part of this programme of investment and modernisation some services will change, but the Post Office will be open for longer hours. If the changes go ahead the Butt Lane branch will be open Mon-Wed 9:00 – 18:30, Thu 09:00 – 17:30, Fri 09:00 – 18:30 & Sat 09:00 – 13:00 (Current opening times are : Mon – Fri 09:00 – 17:30 & Sat 09:00 – 12:30).
Customers will still have most of the products and services they’re used to, but some some services will no longer be available at this branch. Some Insurance services will no longer be available in branch due to Insurance becoming more widely available over the phone or online. Payment by cheque will also go now that the banks have agreed not to issue cheque guarantee cards. The Butt Lane branch may close for up to seven days during August/September 2015 while a refurbishment of the building takes place.
Cllr Kyle Robinson said: “I welcome the news that our local Post Office will get a complete overhaul to make it more accessible to local people. The Post Office is very well used in Butt Lane as the Pharmacy also helps to increase it’s footfall. I think it’s great that these businesses work alongside each other to offer an exceptional service in our community. The only concerns I have raised with Post Office Limited is the ending of payments by cheque. There is still a generation that prefer to pay by cheque and I have raised this with the area manager. Unfortunately, the banks have stopped issuing cheque guarantee cards so this makes it difficult for companies to accept a payment by cheque for fear of it bouncing should there be insufficient funds in a customers account.”