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.
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: